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The Week in Transactions: Detroit Tigers land Justin Upton

A slew of late-offseason signings happened this week, including Chris Davis (Orioles), Justin Upton (Tigers), and Chen (Miami).

The Detroit lineup just got even better
The Detroit lineup just got even better
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tribe Transactions

[this space left intentionally blank because the Indians didn't do anything last week]

Selected MLB Transactions

January 18

Texas Rangers signed RHP Colby Lewis to a one-year, $6M contract

A pretty good deal for the Rangers. Lewis wasn't all that good, but he made all his starts last year, throwing 204.2 innings in the process. Compared to similar signings this winter, re-signing Lewis for $6M and only one season is a bargain.

January 19

Los Angeles Angels signed RHP Al Alburquerque to a one-year, $1.1M contract

The Tigers cut Alburquerque loose in early December, and I'm a bit surprised he got a major-league deal.  The good news from the Indians standpoint is that he'll stay in the AL; the Indians have hit six home runs off him in 123 Plate Appearances.

Los Angeles Dodgers signed RHP Joe Blanton to a one-year, $4M contract

Blanton re-invented himself after getting to Pittsburgh and was a dominant piece of the Pirates bullpen down the stretch. This may be the beginning of a fascinating second career for the one-time starter.

Miami Marlins signed LHP Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year, $80M contract

Chen had a career year at the perfect time. He was at the end of his initial contract with the Orioles, and even though he had only accrued four years of MLB service time, he was able to declare free agency as part of his initial deal with the Orioles.

This deal with the Marlins has an opt-in (as opposed to the opt-outs that we've been seeing the last couple of years); after the 2017 World Series, he can pick up the last three years of his contract all at once. If he doesn't pick up those options, he's a free agent. In addition, if he does pick up those three players options (2018-2020), he will have an additional player option in 2021 assuming he finishes the 2020 season healthy and arrives for Spring Training in pitching shape.

Kansas City Royals signed LHP David Huff to a minor-league contract and invited him to Spring Training

Just wanted to note this...

January 20

Colorado Rockies signed OF Gerardo Parra to a three-year, $27.5M contract (2019 team option)

Parra had a career year in 2015 (at least with Milwaukee), and was able to get a three-year deal out of it. Now you would think the Rockies would trade one of their outfielders.

Detroit Tigers signed OF Justin Upton to a six-year, $132.75M contract (player opt-out after 2017 season)

For a player of Upton's age and caliber, a $22M AAV is pretty good for the Tigers. I think if Upton is healthy in 2016 and 2017, there's no way he doesn't opt out of his deal; he'd be just 29, and in line to sign another contract at least as long as this one. The signing lengthens an already potent Tiger lineup, and although the core of the Detroit attack is on the bad side of 30, they're still really good.

January 21

Baltimore Orioles signed 1B Chris Davis to a seven-year, $161M contract

This deal has a high chance of burning the Orioles down the road (though a big chunk of the deal is deferred to the 2030s). Davis' value is almost entirely based on his home run power, and that can go quickly as a player's bat slows down.

Chicago White Sox signed RHP Matt Albers to one-year, $2M contract (2016 team option)

The LGFT returned to prominence after missing almost the entire 2014 season.

January 22

New York Mets signed LHP Antonio Bastardo to a two-year, $12M contract

Another part of Pittsburgh's dominant bullpen last year. Bastardo will presumably serve as the team's primary setup man, as Bastardo was fine against right-handed hitters a season ago.

San Diego Padres signed SS Alexei Ramirez to a one-year, $4M contract (2017 mutual option)

The long-time White Sock is moving to the National League after a poor 2015 season. He's lost a step on defense and posted a career-low OBP a year ago.