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With less than a month until pitchers and catchers report to Florida and Arizona for spring training 2015, teams will still be making moves and signing players. Some of the highest ranked free agents are still available like right-handed starting pitcher James Shields. Even so, most of the biggest free agent signings have already taken place as the battle begins for the new MLB campaign.

Let’s take a look at the some of the biggest free agent signings of the 2014/2015 offseason, starting with the top five pitchers and moving on to the top five position players.

Top Five Free Agent Pitcher Signings:

5. Andrew Miller – New York Yankees.  Miller signed to a four-year $36 million contract by the New York Yankees after spending the 2014 season splitting time between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. The 29-year-old left-handed reliever pitched well for the Red Sox posting a 2.34 ERA in 50 appearances but with Boston out of contention by the end of July, he was traded to Baltimore at the trade deadline. He excelled with the Orioles posting a 1.35 ERA in 23 games and made five postseason appearances allowing just one hit in 7.1 innings.

4. David Robertson – Chicago White Sox. Robertson, 29, spent 2014 as the closer for the New York Yankees. He appeared in 63 games for New York, pitching 64.1 innings and collecting 39 saves in 44 save opportunities. The right-hander posted a 3.04 ERA on the year and was one of the most sought after relievers on the free agent market. Robertson was signed by the Chicago White Sox to a four-year deal worth $46 million.

3. Brandon McCarthy – Los Angeles Dodgers. 31-year-old Brandon McCarthy’s four-year $48 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers came as a bit of a surprise as McCarthy struggled during the first half of the 2014 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The right-handed starting pitcher went 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts for Arizona before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 6. After joining the Yankees, McCarthy went 7-5 in 14 starts posting a 2.89 ERA. He now joins a star rotation as the Dodgers’ number four starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu.

2. Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs. After spending eight and a half seasons with the Boston Red Sox, 31-year-old Jon Lester was traded on July 31, 2014 to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. A three-time All-Star, Lester went 16-10 with a 2.46 ERA in 32 starts between the Red Sox and the A’s. The left-hander finished the 2014 season as one of the most coveted free agent pitchers on the market. After being courted by a number of teams including the World Championships San Francisco Giants and the Red Sox, Lester settled on a five-year $155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

1. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals. Scherzer, 30, began his career in Arizona with the Diamondbacks but he’s best known for his work over his five seasons with the Detroit Tigers. He turned down a contract extension offer worth $144 million in March of last year in order to test the free agent market during the offseason. It was a good move by the two-time All-Star and 2013 Cy Young Award winner who just signed a seven-year deal with the Washington Nationals worth $210 million. In 2014 the right-hander went 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 33 starts for Detroit.

Top Five Free Agent Position Player Signings:

5. Melky Cabrera – Chicago White Sox. Even though the now 30-year-old Cabrera was suspended back in 2012 while with the San Francisco Giants for using performance enhancing drugs, he was still one of the most coveted hitters on the free agent market coming out of the 2014 season which he’d spent as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. An outfielder and a switch-hitter, Cabrera can hit for power. He batted .301 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI in 2014 for the Blue Jays. He signed a three-year deal worth $42 million with the Chicago White Sox this offseason.

4. Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners. Nelson Cruz signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles just prior to the 2014 season. He lead all of Major League Baseball with 40 home runs in 2014, batting .271 and driving in 108 runs for the Orioles. The right-handed hitting outfielder and three-time All-Star signed a four-year $57 million deal with the Seattle Mariners that will take him through the 2018 season and possibly the remainder of his big league career.

3. Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays. Catcher Russell Martin had an unbelievable year for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014 and was granted free agency at the end of the season. A three-time All-Star and stellar defensive player behind the plate (he took home a Gold Glove Award for the position in 2007), Martin hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in 2014. The 31-year-old Canadian native signed a five-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays worth $82 million.

2. Pablo Sandoval – Boston Red Sox. A three-time World Series Champion with the San Francisco Giants, Sandoval, 28, decided he wanted a new challenge with a new team in his first year of free agency. He signed a five-year $95 million deal with the Boston Red Sox even though the Giants desperately wanted him back. The two-time All-Star third baseman was also the MVP of the 2012 World Series. Sandoval, a switch hitter, batted .279 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI for the Giants in 2014.

1. Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox. Three time All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez spent 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He signed as a free agent with the Red Sox to be their left fielder. Even though he’s never played the position in a Major League game (he did play the position once during a winter league game in South America), the Red Sox believe that Ramirez will be fine at his new position. The highest paid player on the team, Ramirez signed with the Red Sox for four years and $88 million. The contract also comes with a $22 million vesting option for a fifth year. In 2014 the 31-year-old batted .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBI for the Dodgers.

 

Those are the largest signings of the 2014/2015 Major League Baseball hot stove season, at least so far. There are still some big free agent names out there but it’s doubtful that any of them will receive bigger contracts than the names already on this list.



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