Bryant, Freeman find new homes as MLB teams make moves

  • FILE -San Francisco Giants’ Kris Bryant throws out Milwaukee Brewers’ Avisail Garcia at first base during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, in Milwaukee. Veteran slugger Kris Bryant has agreed to a $182 million, seven-year deal to join the Colorado Rockies, according to a person familiar with the agreement. The person confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday, March 16, 2022 because its completion is pending a successful physical. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash, File)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Veteran slugger Kris Bryant has agreed to a $182 million, seven-year deal to join the Colorado Rockies, according to a person familiar with the agreement.

Bryant is headed to his third team in eight months after spending his first six major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, who traded him to San Francisco last July.

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The 2016 NL MVP and World Series champion batted a combined .265 with 25 homers and 73 RBIs last season, and he pounded out eight hits in the Giants’ five-game playoff loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite a midseason slump that precipitated the trade, Bryant earned his fourth career All-Star selection during a solid rebound from a rough year at the plate in 2020.

Bryant is a career .278 hitter with 167 homers, 487 RBIs and an .880 OPS, but he is about to get the full benefits of playing at hitter-friendly Coors Field, where he has batted .263 (15-for-57) with two homers, nine RBIs and a .757 OPS in his career.

Freddie Freeman agrees to $162 million deal with Dodgers

Former Atlanta Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman will sign a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The deal will give the Dodgers four former MVPs on their roster.

Originally a second-round pick out of Orange El Modena High, Freeman has a .295 batting average, 271 home runs and 941 RBIs in his 12-year MLB career. He followed his MVP performance in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season by earning a fifth All-Star selection in 2021, when he hit .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs.

The towering 6-foot-5, 220-pound first baseman is also a former Gold Glove winner, and is widely respected as one of the best clubhouse leaders in the league.

Tatis has surgery on broken left wrist, out 3 months

PEORIA, Ariz. — All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres had surgery on his broken left wrist Wednesday.

General manager A.J. Preller said earlier this week that the $340 million superstar is expected to miss three months. Tatis led the NL with 42 homers in 2021 and was third in NL MVP balloting.

It’s unclear how the electrifying player broke his wrist, but there were reports in December that he had a motorcycle accident in his native Dominican Republic. Preller said Monday that the team believed the injury occurred early in the offseason but that Tatis didn’t start feeling it until he began taking swings about a month ago in preparation for spring training.

Blue Jays acquire 3B Matt Chapman from Oakland for 4 players

TORONTO — All-Star third baseman Matt Chapman was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the payroll-shredding Oakland Athletics for four players on Wednesday.

A five-year veteran and three-time Gold Glove winner, Chapman hit .201 with 27 home runs and 72 RBIs in 151 games for the Athletics last season. He was a first-time All-Star in 2019.

Chapman won Platinum Gloves as the best defensive player in the AL, regardless of position, in 2018 and 2019. He is expected to join the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Oakland received right-hander Gunnar Hoglund, Toronto’s top pick in the 2021 amateur draft, minor league left-hander Zach Logue, left-handed reliever Kirby Snead, and infielder Kevin Smith.

Cubs, Seiya Suzuki agree to $85M, 5-year deal

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs showed they’re serious about competing again after selling off their stars last year, agreeing to a contract with Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki.

Suzuki agreed to an $85 million, five-year deal, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person, confirming several reports, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a successful physical.

Chicago will pay an additional $14,625,000 as a posting fee to Suzuki’s club, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan’s Central League.

A five-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner over nine seasons with the Carp, he could give some much-needed pop to an offense that ranked among the worst in the majors in 2021. The Cubs struck out a major-league record 1,596 times, and were 21st in runs and 24th in batting average at .237.

Suzuki batted .317 with 38 home runs and 88 RBIs in 132 games last season and had nearly as many walks (87) as strikeouts (88). He is a career .315 hitter with 182 homers and 562 RBIs for Hiroshima.

Suzuki plays right field, a position five-time Gold Glove winner Jason Heyward has manned for the Cubs since signing a $184 million, eight-year contract before the 2016 World Series championship season. But while Heyward has provided strong defense and leadership, he hasn’t performed at the plate the way Chicago hoped. The 32-year-old veteran’s average dropped from .265 in 2020 to .214 last season, and he finished with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 104 games.

1B Rizzo agrees to $32M, 2-year deal with Yankees

NEW YORK — Anthony Rizzo is staying with the New York Yankees, agreeing Tuesday night to a $32 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

A three-time All-Star first baseman, Rizzo was acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago Cubs on July 29 and added a left-handed bat to a heavily right-handed batting order in New York. He hit .248 with 22 homers, 61 RBIs and a .783 OPS last season, including .249 with eight homers, 21 RBIs and a .768 OPS in 49 games for New York.

Rizzo also provided plate discipline and smooth fielding at first, where he has won a pair of Gold Gloves.

Royals sign RHP Greinke to $13M contract for 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals signed six-time All-Star pitcher Zack Greinke to a $13 million contract for this season Wednesday, reuniting the left-hander with the club that drafted him in the first round two decades ago.

Greinke also can make up to $2 million in performance bonuses, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not disclosed.

The 38-year-old Greinke was the sixth overall pick of the Royals in the 2002 amateur draft, and he spent his first six seasons with the club, winning the Cy Young Award during his standout 2009 season. He was traded to the Brewers the following year for a package of players that formed the basis of the Royals’ back-to-back AL champion teams.

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