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MLB free agency roundup: Marcus Semien heads to Rangers; Kevin Gausman to Blue Jays – USA TODAY

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With murmurs of a lockout and a collective bargaining agreement that will expire at midnight Dec. 2, Major League Baseball had a busy holiday weekend on the free-agency front. 

The New York Mets agreed to terms with three players during a “Black Friday” shopping spree, and other teams jumped in from there. Earlier in the week, the Tampa Bay Rays secured a future with phenom shortstop Wander Franco, 20, with a record deal that guaranteed him $185 million. 

The news kept coming Sunday: a veteran starting pitcher inked a huge deal and a veteran infielder got paid, plus a noteworthy extension. Here’s the news from Sunday: 

Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers finished the 2021 MLB season with a league-worst .670 team on-base plus slugging percentage. The Toronto Blue Jays led MLB in that category (.797), and the one-year acquisition of Marcus Semien certainly helped. 

Now the Rangers have Semien to anchor shortstop, as the 31-year-old signed a seven-year, $175 million deal on Sunday, according to ESPN.

Semien enjoyed a career year in Toronto. He played in all 162 games, finished third in MVP voting and set career highs in RBI (102) and homers (45). He also won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, parlaying it all into a payday that Texas was happy to provide. 

Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are going all in to win the American League East, spending big money on a big arm. ESPN’s Jeff Passan and MLB.com report pitcher Kevin Gausman and Toronto have agreed to a a five-year, $110 million contract.

The right-hander is coming off a stellar season in San Francisco, where he made 33 starts and went 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts to only 50 walks. The 30-year-old, who is entering his 10th season, now heads back to the AL East after spending his first five big league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. He joins a Toronto staff that boasted a 3.91 ERA in 2021 and already features a pretty stacked rotation.

Kevin Gausman, 30, is coming off a superb 2021 in which he struck out 227 in 192 innings with a 2.81 ERA. His market was hot, and he winds up with a Toronto team that already has Jose Berrios, Alek Manoah and Hyun-Jin Ryu in its rotation. The Blue Jays are built to win now.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 29, 2021

Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins

This is a gamble by both sides, as the injury-prone Buxton has played more than 92 games in a season just once. But he is a rare five-tool player, so the Twins signed him to a seven-year, $100 million contract, according to ESPN.

The deal pays Buxton $9 million next season and $15 million until 2028. Buxton will turn 28 next month.

The deal is incentive-laden, per The Athletic, with escalators included for MVP awards. The breakdown is: 

More details:

$1M signing bonus.

2022 salary-$9M

2023-28-$15M per season

MVP bonuses, believed to be unprecedented, for every year of deal.

1st-$8M

2nd-$7M

3rd-$6M

4th-$5M

5th-$4M

6th-through-10th: $3M

Also: $500K each for 502, 533, 567, 600 and 625 plate appearances. https://t.co/leTEjfa4wR

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 28, 2021

Avisaíl Garcia, Miami Marlins

Garcia, 30, was an All-Star in 2017 while with the White Sox and played for Tampa Bay (2019) before spending the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2021, he reached career highs in home runs (29), RBI (86) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.820). 

In the need of bats, the Marlins signed the outfielder to a four-year, $53 million deal, according to ESPN.

Corey Kluber, Tampa Bay Rays

A two-time American League Cy Young winner, Kluber endured a third injury-ridden season, this time after a season with the New York Yankees. He missed about three months with a shoulder injury after throwing a no-hitter on May 19 and finished with a  3.83 ERA in 16 starts (80 innings). He appeared in eight games in the two years before that.

A different AL East team will give the 35-year-old another shot: the Rays. Kluber’s deal is one year and $8 million, per multiple reports. Incentives could bring the deal to $13 million, based on number of start thresholds.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

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