The first free agent signing in the Major League after the MLB shutdown went to an unexpected player, with the Cardinal announcing Friday they had signed on the right Drew VerHagen For a two-year contract. VerHagen, an ISE Baseball customer, has spent the past two seasons in Japan. It is said that he will receive a total of $5.5 million – $2.5 million in 2022 and $3 million in 2023. He can increase his earnings through incentives.
While the 31-year-old VerHagen was probably not expected by many as the first domino to fall after the lockdown, he will return to the major leagues not just under a guaranteed contract but on a multi-year arrangement. The 6’6 owner struggled for much of his six seasons with the Tigers, racking up a 5.11 ERA over 199 big frames in the league. His two-year stint abroad changed his fortune, as VerHagen broke out as a lead member of the Nippon-Ham Fighters’ game.
In two seasons with the fighters, VerHagen hit a 3.51 ERA in 2017 1/3 innings while hitting a quarter of his opponents for a solid 7.2% walking rate. He’s had a decent speed (94 mph average 94 mph) on his dive and has a track record of spurting players on the ground at a high rate (53.9% in Majors) – which fits nicely with the other Cardinal’s underworld defense.
Overall, the Cardinal has a track record of signing players outside of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and Korea Baseball Organization – both in terms of the return of the former top leagues and NPB/KBO stars who made their first jump into the MLB. 2017 Cardinals’ signature on Miles Micholas (2 years, $15.5 million) Proved to be one of the best throwback pickups in recent memory, and KBO Kwang Hyun Kim He spent the past two seasons as a major cast member of the St. Louis Monument after signing for two years and $8 million. VerHagen is the latest to follow this path in a big league deal, despite the right January Card signing Aaron Brooks to a minor league contract that could eventually enter this part.
VerHagen has worked out of rotation with the fighters, and head of baseball operations cards John Muziliak suggested today that he would compete for a job in St. Louis as well (Twitter link via Jeff Jones from Belleville News-Democrat). However, it seems easier to carve out a starting point, given the already crowded nature of the team’s starting lineup. Includes rotation of cardinals Jack FlahertyAnd the Adam WainwrightAnd the Dakota HudsonAnd Micholas and the left Stephen Matz, who signed a four-year, $44 million deal earlier in the season. Cards also have prospects Matthew Liberator And the Zach Thompson They make their way into majors, as well as depth options like Jake Woodford And the Johan Oviedo.
VerHagen’s addition gives them a potentially long break and the option of an immediate start, but he could also find his way into a late role if he can maintain some of his success overseas. Giovanni Gallegos It is currently the favorite to close matches for new manager Oliver Marmol, and there is plenty of talent throughout the Bullpen mix. Alex Reyes And the Jordan Hicks Both games are closed in the past, while Genesis Cabrera and veteran TJ McFarland Give the cards a pair of strong left hand options. The cards are very likely to do extras, as they have been plugged in with high level attenuators like Joe Kelly And the Ryan Tebera for the duration of the closure.
MLB.com’s Mark Vinsand first mentioned Agreement and Terms.