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MLB News and Notes for Monday, November 21, 2022

As the offseason starts to heat up, this last week saw the most prestigious awards in baseball handed out. Justin Verlander (Astros) and Sandy Alcantara (Marlins) won the Cy Young Awards for their respective leagues, while Aaron Judge (Yankees) and Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals) won the Most Valuable Player awards.

Looking at free agency, while the biggest names remain unsigned, there were some notable transactions that took place this week. Let’s look at those and all the major stories of the week from around Major League Baseball.

Former MVP Now A Free Agent

It is not very often that a 26-year-old former MVP is non-tendered by a team, but that is exactly what happened this week when Cody Bellinger was not offered a contract by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2019, Bellinger won the MVP after hitting .305/.406/.629 with 47 home runs, 115 runs batted in, 121 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases.

If it is any indication of how far he has fallen, though, he hit just .210/.265/.389 with 19 home runs, 68 runs batted in, and 70 runs scored this season. He also struck out 150 times in just 504 at bats.

Bellinger was entering his last season of arbitration, and while the Dodgers may look to re-sign him to a smaller contract, he very well could draw interest from other teams in need of a centerfielder. After all, even though his offense has struggled, his defense and speed have still been an asset for Bellinger.

Yankees Bring Back Rizzo, Have Offered New Contract To Judge

While many of the premier free agents are still on the board, a very solid one came off as the New York Yankees agreed to a new contract with first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

The deal is worth two years and a guaranteed $40 million. It is actually $17 million a year for two years, but there is a third-year option for $17 million or a $6 million buyout.

This season, the 33-year-old Rizzo hit .224/.338/.480 with 32 home runs, 75 runs batted in, 77 runs scored, and six stolen bases for the Yanks. There was belief to be interest by other teams, including the Houston Astros, so the Yankees were quick to get their guy back in the fold.

General manager Brian Cashman has also confirmed that the team has extended a contract offer to free agent Aaron Judge. After hitting .311/.425/.686 with 62 home runs, 131 runs batted in, 133 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases, Judge will likely land the largest contract in free agency this season.

Last offseason, he turned down an extension offer worth $213.5 million, and that gamble on himself appears to have been the right call. It is widely believed that the 30-year-old reigning MVP will command at least $300 million in free agency.

The Yankees have the third-best odds of winning the World Series next year at +850.

Angels Pick Up Starter

Lefty pitcher Tyler Anderson had a phenomenal season this year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He went 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA, 1.002 WHIP, and he struck out 138 batters in 178.2 innings of work.

While he rejected the qualifying offer of just under $20 million from the Dodgers, he quickly found a new deal as he signed with the Los Angeles Angels for three years and $39 million.

Anderson will be 33 at the beginning of next season, and this was by far his most successful year of his career. In fact, his second-lowest ERA to this year was back in his rookie season of 2016, when he went 5-6 with a 3.54 ERA with Colorado.

The Angels ranked ninth in the majors in staff ERA this season at 3.77. They will hope that Anderson can help the team make a playoff run for the first time since 2014.

The Los Angeles Angels are currently +4000 to win it all next season.

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