Major league teams committed to over $1 billion in salaries in one day for the first time Wednesday, hours before the league was expected to lock out the players following the 11:59 p.m. EST expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
The Texas Rangers led the spending spree, finalizing deals with shortstop Corey Seager for $325 million over 10 years and infielder Marcus Semien for $175 million over seven years.
Ace Max Scherzer got $130 million over three years from the New York Mets, and right-hander Kevin Gausman landed with the Toronto Blue Jays for $110 million over five years. Twins center fielder Byron Buxton also finalized a $100 million, seven-year contract to remain with Minnesota.
The Tigers were also expected to finish a $140 million, six-year deal with shortstop Javier Báez.
The 16 deals and counting announced Wednesday totaled $1,011,250,000, part of more than $1.9 billion in new contacts handed out in the days ahead of the CBA expiration.
The union and league are likely headed for a protracted labor dispute after the average major league salary fell on opening day in 2021 for the fourth consecutive season.
Among the other deals completed Wednesday:
— OF Avisail Garcia to Miami, $53 million over four years
— LHP Alex Wood to San Francisco, $25 million over two years
— INF Eduardo Escobar to New York Mets, $20 million over two years
— INF/OF Leury Garcia to the Chicago White Sox, $16.5 million over three years
— C Yan Gomes to the Chicago Cubs, $13 million over two years
— RHP Yimi Garcia to Toronto, $11 million over two years
— RHP Corey Knebel to Philadelphia, $10 million over one year
— RHP Corey Kluber to Tampa Bay, $8 million over one year
— RHP Andres Munoz with Seattle, $7.5 million over four years
— C Roberto Perez to Pittsburgh, $5 million over one year
— C Kevin Plawecki with Boston, $2.25 million over one year
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