Sitting Out Free Agency

Four teams have yet to sign a free agent to a Major League deal, according to our free agent tracker: the Braves, Astros, Athletics, and Blue Jays.  A closer look:

  • Braves: So far, the Braves' offseason has consisted of exercising a $1.5MM option on Eric Hinske, ridding themselves of $5MM of Derek Lowe's contract, taking Robert Fish in the Rule 5 draft, and signing players to minor league deals.  The Braves have the starting pitching depth for another trade, perhaps involving Jair Jurrjens.  Martin Prado has also been mentioned in many rumors.  The Braves are looking to add a traditional backup shortstop on a one-year deal, and Ronny Cedeno is a candidate.  The Braves don't seem to have any huge needs, so perhaps their inactivity is justified.
  • Astros:  As you might expect, the rebuilding Astros focused on finding a new GM rather than signing Major League free agents.  Prior to the hiring of Jeff Luhnow, the team added Brian Bixler and Craig Tatum on waiver claims, took Rhiner Cruz in the Rule 5 draft, and signed a slew of minor league free agents.  Luhnow made a splash right out of the gate, acquiring Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland in a trade with the Red Sox for Mark Melancon.  I imagine he'll continue to shop Wandy Rodriguez
  • Athletics:  This offseason the A's picked up some cash for reliever Trystan Magnuson, but more notably traded Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to the Diamondbacks for prospects.  The A's are tearing down the team as they hope for approval to move to San Jose, and Andrew Bailey and Gio Gonzalez could be next to go.
  • Blue Jays:  The Jays have been active in routes other than free agency.  They picked up Edwin Encarnacion's $3.5MM option, made several waiver claims and traded for Magnuson, Sergio Santos, Luis Valbuena, Jeff Mathis, and Ben Francisco.  They were a finalist for Mat Latos, and we'll know soon whether they'll spend the next 30 days negotiating with Yu Darvish.  Additionally, second baseman Kelly Johnson accepted arbitration and is under team control for next year.

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