Four More Top Free Agents Off the Market

The MLB Winter Meetings ended on Thursday, but there is still plenty of Hot Stove action around baseball. Chase Headley, Melky Cabrera, Brett Anderson and Jed Lowrie are the latest high-profile free agents to find homes for 2015.

Yankees Re-Sign Headley

Alex Rodriguez or no, the New York Yankees weren't going to walk away from the opportunity to re-sign third baseman Chase Headley. The Yankees agreed to a four-year deal with the switch-hitting Headley, who played well for the Bronx Bombers after a mid-season trade from the San Diego Padres.

The contract is worth a reported $52 million over four years. Headley will remain the Yankees' everyday third baseman. Rodriguez, who is set to return from his year-long suspension, will likely get most of his playing time at DH or as a back-up corner infielder.

In a market thin on third basemen, Headley was clearly the second-best free agent on the market at that position this off-season. Top free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval signed with the Boston Red Sox earlier this off-season. Headley played in 58 games for the Yankees after the trade and he had a 119 OPS+ and a .262/.371/.398 slashline. He had just a .229/.296/.355 lin with the Padres before the trade.

Headley has had a productive career, but he does come with some risk. The he had back problems, although he appeared in 141 games in 2013 and 135 games last year.


White Sox Nab Cabrera

The Chicago White Sox continue to make noise this off-season. Over the weekend, the White Sox agreed to terms on a deal with free agent Melky Cabrera. He joins Adam LaRoche, David Roberton and Jeff Samardzija as major acquisitions by the White Sox this off-season. Cabrera had an 808 OPS and 171 hits for the Toronto Blue Jays last season in 135 games.

The contract is worth a reported three-years, $42 million and comes just two years after Cabrera was suspended for PEDs and was connected to the Biogensis scandal. Cabrera was with the San Francisco Giants when he was suspended. He spent the past two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and hit .293/.340/.421 in 227 games. Cabrera should take over in left field for the White Sox, who may look to move Dayan Viciedo from their now-crowded outfield.


Astros Sign Lowrie

Two years after trading him to the Oakland A's, the Houston Astros signed shortstop Jed Lowrie to a three-year deal with a fourth year option. Lowrie returns to Houston, where he played in 2012. Lowrie spent the last two seasons with the A's. In 2013, he was very productive, hitting .290/.344/.446 and playing in 156 games. However, he struggled with injury in 2014 and hit just .249/.321/.355 in 136 games. Injuries have been a problem for Lowrie throughout his career.

The Astros are reportedly set to keep Lowrie at shortstop, at least for this year. He had a -1.7 dWAR with the A's at short the past two years. The Astros' top prospect is a shortstop, but Carlos Correa isn't expected to be big league ready for at least one more season. Lowrie joins former A's teammates Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek as recent free agent signings by the Astros.


Dodgers Reportedly Sign Anderson

The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to terms with oft-injured left-hander Brett Anderson on a one-year deal. The contract is worth reportedly $10 million guaranteed with up to $4 million in additional incentives. Anderson more than 100 innings since 2010 thanks to a variety of injuries that have included a torn UCL, an oblique strain, a broken toe, a broken finger and back problems.

When healthy, Anderson is effective. He made eight starts for the Colorado Rockies last season and had a 2.91 ERA in 43.1 innings. He struck-out just 29, but he walked only 13 and surrendered only one homerun. Last year was Anderson's first in the National League. He pitched five years with the Oakland A's in the American League, posting a 3.81 ERA in 450.2 innings. His best season came in his rookie year when Anderson had a 4.06 ERA in 175.1 innings. He had Tommy John surgery midway through the 2011 season and returned for the final two months of the 2012 regular season. He also made one post-season start.

Anderson was non-tendered by Colorado earlier this off-season. He will turn 27 in February.



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