Welcome to a new season in a new world, a fresh start for all with opportunities to build the ultimate championship contender. Although free agency has come and gone, it kicked off with a bang and saw a plethora of $110 million-dollar max deals given out. With a huge FA class, some teams geared up to compete immediately, while others are looking to build toward their future. This will be a look at a few of the major signings this season. Welcome to Knuckleball!
Stud third basemen Keith Sele (33) came off the board only 24 hours after free agency opened up. He signed a team-friendly 3 year $21 million dollar contract with the Salem Sacrifices. He's an All-Star caliber player with plus defense and a high quality bat. As long as he can stay out of the umpire's face, Sele has cemented his place on the field as Salem's team captain.
The Cincinnati Reds struck gold once again when they pried Frank King (30) away from all other suiters. When asked to comment, King said "When my agent told me Cincy offered me a deal, I was like... get dat money. That's where I wanna be." And for good reason. Cincinnati has competed for a championship in The Bigs for the past decade, and they will continue that trend in Knuckleball with their new 5 year $68 million dollar man. King is an MVP type player who can hit the long ball, steal some bases, and bat for average; all while holding down the CF position!
One of the best hitters in the world, Edinson Lugo (33), signed a 4 year $34 million dollar deal to move out of Norfolk and on to the Charleston Chew. Although not known for being a superior defensive catcher, Lugo makes up for it on the other side of the plate. He's an All-Star who can still hit 45 homers and 120 RBIs pretty easily. He'll be looking to lead the Chew back to another World Series.
The Scottsdale Scorpions won the bid for one of The Bigs' biggest FA starting pitchers. Joseph Woo (32) signed a max deal (5 year $110 million) to join in on the Scorpions' hunt for post-season immortality. A perennial All-Star and Cy Young candidate, Woo is capable of posting 20+ Win seasons and sub-3 ERAs with one arm tied behind his back (just don't make it his right arm).
Another max signing sent Cubs Win ace Ivy Wood (33) to the Philadelphia Continentals. With plenty of gas left in the tank, Wood has been handed the keys to the City of Brotherly Love. Misplace those keys and Ivy will be reminded that even the most lovable characters, Santa Claus, can be pelted with snowballs -- though it might be caught foul balls in this case. If he can put together another MVP-type campaign, however, Philly will have a good shot at competing for the commissioner's trophy.
Pitchers are not the only ones receiving max deals this season, however. The King of The Bigs who owned many single season records and was on his way to the top of the all-time record books, Cesar Gonzales (31), signed a 5 year $110 million dollar contract to join the Syracuse Squires. After a decade of domination in Fargo, the ultimate first basemen will take his talents to ... upstate New York. With more MVPs than All-Star appearances, the iron man will play 162 games and hit with power and efficiency throughout most, if not all, of his new contract.
Another big winner this free agency is William Loney (32) who signed a 5 year $68 million dollar deal with the Iowa City Janitors. The third-best starting pitcher this FA will become the staff ace of an already high quality pitching unit and hope to lead the Janitors to a division title and then some. As long as he can avoid any major injuries, he should pitch at a high level for the next couple years.
Stud relief pitcher Vinny King (34) will be heading to the Big Apple to finish off his star-studded career with the New York Greys. He signed a 4 year $38 million dollar deal with a mutual option on the last should he decide to hang up the gloves early. The city welcomed King with a parade/tribute through Times Square, honoring his illustrious career earlier this morning, and they expect great things out of the big 6'6" right hander.
Other significant signings:
Jake Johnson (28) C, 5 year $36.25 million, Mexico City Riverdogs
Eddie Borland (31) RF, 5 year $34.1 million, San Juan Dead Bunnies
Luis Tejera (36) SP, 1 year $7.5 million, Syracuse Squires
Tito Whang (33) 2B, 4 year $20.7 million, Iowa City Janitors
Diego Julio (31) SS, 4 year $24.9 million, Seattle Silver
Grant Wilson (33) RP, 4 year $19.6 million, Toledo Cougars
Polin Urbina (33) SP, 4 year $29.2 million, Houston Colt .45s
Antone Hoover (34) 1B, 2 Year $5.2 million, Texas Renegades