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Correa Inks Three-Year Deal with Twins

Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After a relatively quiet weekend following the end of the lockout, the last few days have been anything but. Friday brought another significant day of news in MLB, capped off Friday night -- on the west coast, anyways --by the Twins’ agreement with star free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa on a three-year, $105.3 million contract. The contract will pay the 27-year-old $35.1 million each year and comes with opt-outs after the first and second seasons.

The deal is quite the shocker as Minnesota lands the most coveted free agent after Freddie Freeman. But the Twins might have been gearing up for a move like this after clearing Josh Donaldson‘s $50 million contract last Sunday in the trade that sent the veteran third baseman to the Yankees.

It was speculated that Correa would be seeking a contract similar to the 10-year, $325 million deal Corey Seager inked with the Rangers before the lockout. Ultimately, he gets a higher average annual value at $35.1 million -- fourth-highest in baseball -- with the flexibility to re-enter the free-agent market for a long-term deal before turning 30. Correa is coming off his best season after hitting .279/.366/.485 with 26 home runs, 104 runs scored, and 92 RBI for the Astros in 2021.

As far as his fantasy value goes, it’s an overall neutral move for Correa, who has an average draft position of 74.4 in Yahoo leagues. With the addition of Correa, the newly acquired Gio Urshela likely shifts to third base, moving Jose Miranda to a utility role. The deeper lineup also means better run production across the board, helping the likes of Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sano, and Byron Buxton. And this, Correa has hit .413/.443/.762 with five home runs and seven doubles across 70 plate appearances at Target Field. Albeit, it’s likely come against inferior pitching. And while the Twins have made moves to give them a more competitive lineup, it’s that pitching staff they’ll need to improve to make a serious run in 2022. The team did trade for Sonny Gray, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them enter the mix for another starting pitcher on the trade market.

Phillies sign Nick Castellanos

Before the Carlos Correa news, Nick Castellanos had all the headlines when he came to terms on a five-year, $100 million contract with the Phillies late Friday. The addition of the 30-year-old outfielder adds yet another big-time slugger after the team signed Kyle Schwarber earlier this week. Castellanos is coming off a career year with the Reds after he slashed .309/.362/.576 with 34 home runs over 138 games. He undoubtedly raises his fantasy value given his landing spot in hitter-friendly Citizen’s Bank Park. And the lineup context is incredible. He joins a lineup, along with Schwarber, that includes Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and J.T. Realmuto. Let’s just hope the Phillies’ starting pitchers can strike everyone out. Castellanos isn’t the best defender. And Schwarber likely moves to DH while forcing Hoskins to play the field at first base. Then again, they may just be trying to out-slug the rest of the league.

Braves land new closer in Kenley Jansen

Perhaps the most significant transaction from a fantasy perspective came when news broke that the Braves locked up veteran closer Kenley Jansen to a one-year, $16 million contract. Who saw that one coming? The 34-year-old right-hander joins the defending champs after posting a 2.22 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 86 strikeouts over 69 innings while closing 38 games for the Dodgers last season. According to Braves’ general manager Alex Anthopoulos, Jansen was signed to be the primary closer with Will Smith‘s endorsement. Smith, who has an average draft position in Yahoo at 117, takes the biggest blow in fantasy value as he’ll serve as the team’s setup man. It’s one less reliever fantasy managers can count on for saves, which are getting more scarce and spread out by the year.

On the other side, Jansen’s departure opens up the ninth inning in Los Angeles for someone like Blake Treinen. The 33-year-old right-hander should skyrocket up draft boards as he enters spring training as the favorite to take over as the Dodgers’ closer. Treinen posted a 1.99 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 85 strikeouts with seven saves across 72 1/3 innings. Though manager Dave Roberts eluded that the situation could be fluid with no set full-time closer. I’d expect Brusdar Graterol, Daniel Hudson, and possibly others to be in that mix, with Treinen ultimately leading the way in saves. Even 20 saves from Treinen will be incredibly valuable given the closer landscape and how spread-out saves are becoming.

Yankees send Luke Voit to the Padres

After all the news throughout the day and the first full slate of spring training games, the trade sending Luke Voit to the Padres Friday morning seems like an afterthought. San Diego reached a deal with the Yankees, sending 20-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Justin Lange to New York for the slugging first baseman. Voit struggled to stay on the field in 2021, hitting just .239/.328/.437 with 11 home runs over just 241 plate appearances. It was clear that the Yankees were ready to move on after re-signing Anthony Rizzo. The Padres made a good fit after losing star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for the first few months of the season following wrist surgery. The 31-year-old is looking to bounce back to his slugging ways after he led baseball in home runs with 22 during the shortened 2020 season. The Padres now have a perfect candidate for the designated hitter, and keeping Voit from playing the field could help him stay off the injured list. With his playing time situation cleared up, Voit’s average draft position in Yahoo of 224.7 looks like it could be a bargain.

American League Quick Hits: Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies have discussed an Austin Meadows trade with the Rays... Raisel Iglesias will only be used in a one-inning role, according to Angels’ manager Joe Maddon... Eduardo Rodriguez was named the Opening Day starter for the Tigers... Michael Pineda signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Tigers on Friday... The Red Sox re-signed Travis Shaw to a minor league contract... Boston signed Derek Holland to a minor league contract with a spring training invitation... Matt Carpenter signed a minor league contract with the Rangers with an invitation to spring training... The Rays acquired Luke Raley from the Dodgers in exchange for Tanner Dodson...

National League Quick Hits: Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Trevor Story is expected to pick a team soon with the Giants, Red Sox, and two other clubs in the mix... Jayson Stark of The Athletic reports that the Phillies are in “serious pursuit” of Nick Castellanos... Starling Marte expects to resume hitting in the next few days... Jack Flaherty will not be available for Opening Day after receiving a PRP injection for a small tear in his right shoulder... Dominic Smith revealed he played through a partial labrum tear in his right shoulder he suffered in late May... Alex Reyes will be shut down from throwing for two weeks... The Dodgers re-signed Danny Duffy to a one-year contract with a club option for 2023... Tyler Anderson signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Dodgers... Jimmy Nelson was placed on the 60-day injured list as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery... The Marlins signed Delino DeShields to a minor league contract and designated Monte Harrison for assignment... Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Friday that Alcides Escobar will receive the bulk of the playing time at shortstop...