Last week, Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon agreed to free-agent deals worth a combined $814 million. Yes, baseball has come a long way from the first free-agent class in the 1976-77 offseason, when an infielder named Paul Dade signed with the Cleveland Indians and, Sports Illustrated later reported, figured he could “start to enjoy life a little.” He bought a new 25-inch color television.
Now we have Madison Bumgarner going to the Diamondbacks on a five-year, $85 million deal — further proof that geography has little to do with where a player ultimately lands. (Many predicted Bumgarner would go to the Braves because he’s from North Carolina.) It’s an intriguing signing for Arizona given that Bumgarner has a 4.61 ERA on the road over the past three seasons (and 5.29 in 2019).
With the three big stars signed and delivered, Zack Wheeler in Philadelphia with the fourth $100 million-plus deal of the winter, Bumgarner staying in the National League West and seven other players landing $20 million-plus deals, let’s check in on where we’re at in free agency.
The big fish
Josh Donaldson (No. 7 on Keith Law’s list of the top 50 free agents):…