Lefthanded pitcher Matt Strahm has joined the Philadelphia Phillies on a two-year deal, the team announced Friday.
Strahm gets $7.5 million in each of the next two seasons and can earn $500,000 annually in performance bonuses for starts: $125,000 each for 15, 20, 25, and 30.
The 31-year-old free agent was a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the 2022 season, with a 3.83 ERA in 50 appearances, striking out 52, giving up 17 walks and allowing just five home runs.
Strahm has been a reliever and a starter over his seven seasons in the MLB, playing for Kansas City and San Diego before landing in Boston.
The Phillies did not say how much Strahm’s deal was worth in the news release.
After falling short in the World Series to the Houston Astros, Philadelphia has been on an offseason spending spree, picking up shortstop Trea Turner and righthanded starter Taijuan Walker.
Willson Contreras signs 5-year, $87.5 million deal to leave Cubs for rival Cardinals
For the first time in more than 18 years, the St. Louis Cardinals will have a new starting catcher.
Catcher Willson Contreras signed a five-year contract with a club option for 2028, the team announced at a news conference.
“Willson is a proven All-Star performer who is driven to win each and every day,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “The Cardinals have had a lengthy history of standout catchers, and we feel that Willson is someone who is capable of adding his name to that distinguished list in the years to come.”
Financial terms were not released. A person familiar with the negotiations previously told The Associated Press the five-year deal is worth $87.5 million.
Contreras, 30, batted .243 with 22 home runs and 55 RBI in 113 games last season for the Chicago Cubs. He debuted with the Cubs in 2016 and won a World Series as a rookie, an experience he is looking to repeat with his new organization.
“I came here because I know the history of the team,” Contreras said. “I know that this is a team that is looking forward to winning and the whole organization is looking at one direction, to get back to the World Series.”
Contreras takes over for 10-time All-Star Yadier Molina, who retired after spending his entire 19-year career with the Cardinals.
“We all know who the guy is, the best catcher the last two decades, future Hall of Famer, first ballot,” said Contreras, who was the National League’s starting catcher in the 2018, 2019 and 2022 MLB All-Star Games. “But I came here to be Willson Contreras. For me it’s an honor to succeed a Hall of Famer behind the plate. It’s a big responsibility which I take, and I know that every time I step on the field, I do my 100 percent to win that day.”
The Venezuela native is a .256 hitter with 117 homers and 365 RBIs in 734 career games over seven seasons. He hit a career-best 24 homers in 2019 and drove in a career-high 74 runs in 2017.
Contreras was one of the last remaining members of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series champion team. Kyle Hendricks is the only active player left in Chicago from that club.
Contreras finds himself on the opposite site of a historic rivalry.
“I’m excited for what the next chapter is,” Contreras said. “I’m thankful for the organization, thankful for the fans of Chicago. They always will have a special place in my heart. I played for them, but now I’m looking forward to beating the Chicago Cubs. It’s just part of the game. It’s just part of the business. I’m here, and I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to help the St. Louis Cardinals win.”
Earlier this offseason, Contreras rejected the Cubs’ $19.65 million qualifying offer meaning St. Louis will surrender its second round draft pick in the 2023 MLB Draft and the Cubs will gain a pick after Competitive Balance Round B.
Trevor Williams, Nationals agree on a two-year deal
Trevor Williams and the Washington Nationals agreed to a two-year contract, giving the rebuilding club a righthanded pitcher with experience as a starter and reliever.
The agreement was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because nothing had been announced yet.
It was first reported by MASNsports.com.
Williams, who turns 31 in April, was a free agent after playing for the New York Mets last season, going 3-5 with a 3.21 ERA and one save in 30 appearances — nine as a starting pitcher and 21 out of the bullpen.
On Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, Williams tweeted: “BLACK FRIDAY FREE AGENT SALE! TODAY ONLY! 2 for 1 Deal: Buy one Trevor Williams the RHP and also get Trevor Williams the LHH Corner Outfielder! (deal expires at midnight EST).”
He made his major league debut in 2016 and has played for three clubs across seven seasons in the majors, posting a 4.27 ERA with a record of 38-44.
Washington is in need of pitching help, particularly in a rotation that has been missing the injured Stephen Strasburg. Young pitchers Josiah Gray, 24, Cade Cavalli, 24, and MacKenzie Gore, 23, are considered building blocks for the future, but the only other starter considered likely to be back on the team is Patrick Corbin, who was a key part of the 2019 World Series championship but was 6-19 with a 6.31 ERA last season.
The Nationals finished last in their division at 55-107 in 2022 — the worst record in baseball — and are in the process of rebuilding their roster a few years after winning the franchise’s first title. Their offseason has been relatively quiet so far compared to the splashy spending of NL East rivals such as the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The agreement with Williams comes about 1½ weeks after Washington signed free-agent infielder Jeimer Candelario for one year and agreed to a major league deal with outfielder Stone Garrett.