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MLB: Free Agent Moves That Shocked the World

The New York Mets secured the signing of Carlos Correa from the San Francisco Giants in a move that shocked baseball fans.

There have been a number of high-profile free agent moves in recent years, and we've picked out some of the more eye-catching ones...

Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals to Los Angeles Angels) 

Pujols had been a St.Louis Cardinals player for the previous 11 seasons, but the Cardinals ownership didn’t want to give out a 10-year contract to a 32-year-old. 

Unexpectedly, the Los Angeles Angels paid Pujols a 10-year $254 million contract, a move that stunned baseball after it appeared that the Cardinals, despite not willing to offer such a long-term deal, would be favourites to sign him. 

The deal was the second-largest in baseball history in terms of average salary, behind Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million deal with the New York Yankees in 2007. 

Jacob deGrom (New York Mets to Texas Rangers) 

Throughout 2022, Jacob deGrom was expected to opt out of his deal with the New York Mets, with deGrom looking to get a higher value contract. 

The Texas Rangers swiftly moved in and offered the 34-year old, with two years of injury issues, a five-year, $185 million contract. 

It was the first big free-agent signing of the winter and it was a blockbuster, with deGrom considered to be the best pitcher on the planet when fit and available.

Texas have also splashed out elsewhere in recent seasons, obtaining infielder Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million) and Marcus Semien (seven years, $175 million) and they are now making great strides.

The Texas Rangers are +3300 to win the 2023 World Series. 

Kris Bryant (San Francisco Giants to Colorado Rockies)  

How did a World Series winner and MVP with the Chicago Cubs end up at one of baseball’s consistent under-performing sides in the Colorado Rockies? 

When the Cubs started to shed their salary and go for a rebuild from 2020, there was always speculation where Bryant was going to go. 

During 2021, Bryant left to join the San Francisco Giants and with his deal expiring at the end of that season, plenty of competing clubs were making enquiries for the third baseman. 

However, it was the Rockies that reached a seven-year, $182 million deal with Bryant. 

Sadly for Bryant and the Rockies, the 30-year-old played just 42 games for Colorado in his debut season as they finished bottom of the National League West Division. 

The Rockies are +12500 to win the World Series in 2023. 

Ivan Rodriguez (Florida Marlins to Detroit Tigers) 

After helping the Marlins to become World Series champions in 2003, Rodriguez was a free agent and, at 32, with back issues, he wasn’t expecting anyone to give him a long-term deal.

In came the Detroit Tigers, though, with a four-year, $40 million deal for the veteran catcher. 

The 10-time All-Star turned out to be part of the Tigers revolution which took them from a 119-loss season in 2003 to reaching the World Series in 2006, losing out to the formidable St. Louis Cardinals. 

Alex Rodriguez (Seattle Mariners to Texas Rangers) 

Another Rodriguez, this time the future 14-time All-Star and now ESPN pundit, made a big move in 2000 when he signed a 10-year $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers. 

At 25, Rodriguez was one of the games brightest stars having hit .309 with 189 home runs after five full seasons with the Mariners. 

Rodriguez was excellent with Texas and hit .305 with 156 home runs in three seasons before the cash-strapped Rangers traded him to the New York Yankees in February 2004. 

The Seattle Mariners are +1600 to win their first World Series in 2023. 

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