With the Winter Meetings about a week away, we should start to see some movement in MLB free agency in the near future. Even though stars like Aaron Judge, Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, and others remain unsigned, we should start to see some dominoes fall in the near future.
As we wait for the hot stove to get fully warmed up, let’s take a look at some of the other stories from Major League Baseball over the last week.
White Sox Sign Clevinger
After starting his career with the Cleveland Guardians, starting pitcher Mike Clevinger is moving back to the AL Central as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that he is signing a deal with the Chicago White Sox. At the time of this writing, the details of the contract had not been disclosed.
Last season, with the San Diego Padres, Clevinger pitched in 23 games (22 starts) and went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA. He also had a 1.198 WHIP, and he struck out 91 in 114.1 innings.
The 31-year-old Clevinger missed all of 2021 after having Tommy John surgery. From 2017 to 2019, Clevinger was solid with Cleveland, going a combined 38-18. In those three seasons, his highest ERA was 3.11 in 2017.
Unfortunately, durability for Clevinger has been an issue. He has only reached 30 starts once (2018). Last year’s 22 starts was the second-most of his career.
Still, Clevinger should help a White Sox pitching staff that finished 16th with a collective 3.92 ERA. At this point, he is slated to join Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Michael Kopech in the rotation.
It was a disappointing season for Chicago, as they finished 11 games back in the AL Central with a 81-81 record. They have since moved on from Tony La Russa and will be managed by Pedro Grifol, who previously was a bench coach with the Royals.
At +2200, the White Sox currently have the 11th-best odds of winning the 2023 World Series.
Padres Sign Teheran To Minor League Deal
While the Padres may have lost Mike Clevinger, they did bring in some veteran depth on a minor-league contract. The Padres inked 31-year-old Julio Teheran to a minors contract that could pay him as much as $6 million if he were to make the majors.
Teheran, a two-time All-Star, last pitched in the majors in 2021 with the Detroit Tigers. It was only one start, with his last full season being in 2019.
In that 2019 season with Atlanta, he went 10-11 with a 3.81 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and he had 162 strikeouts in 174.2 innings.
Again, this is mostly just a depth move for the Padres, but they would love to catch lightning in a bottle if Teheran can even show a glimmer of his former self.
Pirates Bring In Veteran Santana
First reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed veteran Carlos Santana to a one-year deal worth just under $7 million.
Last season, in 431 combined at bats with the Royals and Mariners, Santana hit .202/.316/.376 with 19 home runs, 60 runs batted in, and 52 runs scored.
The 36-year-old Santana now joins Ji-Man Choi and Lewin Diaz as potential first basemen or designated hitters that Pittsburgh has acquired this offseason. With the National League adopting the designated hitter, though, the Pirates should certainly be able to get the veteran at bats.
Last season, the Pirates tied the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in the NL Central at 62-100, 31 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals.
For Santana, he will now join his fifth team of his career and will look to help contribute both with his bat and as a clubhouse leader.
Like last season, he could also be a name that is floated around at the trade deadline, assuming that the Pirates are not in contention.