The best acquisition impression of every MLB team in 2022


Whether your squad made their best new addition before lockdown or in the frantic weeks that followed, there were plenty of reasons to be excited about whoever they recruited. After all, that’s the fun of the offseason: believing that your best new acquisition will fix everything. your problems and lead you to the promised land.

So how are they doing so far? Today at The Thirty, we take a moment to take stock of all these new acquisitions. The beginning is not everything… but as they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Blue Jays: Matt Chapman, 3B
Mode of acquisition: Trade with A

You can also plead for Kevin Gausman — who’s been fine so far — if you want, but Chapman felt like the guy who potentially pushed the Blue Jays over the top: a former MVP candidate who could solve all sorts of things. defensive issues. The defense has been as splendid as expected, but their batting has also been very practical; he’s hit three home runs so far.

Orioles: Jordan Lyles, RHP
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

With John Means now out after undergoing surgery at Tommy John, Lyles is apparently the…ace of this team? He’s actually doing well, with a pitching team that has surprised just about everyone in baseball. Perhaps unsurprisingly: Rougned Odor’s other addition doesn’t hit well, which has become a pattern.

Spokes: Corey Kluber, RHP
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Kluber has made all of his planned departures so far, so it’s a positive step here. However, they haven’t exactly been vintage Kluber: he walks more batters and strikes out less than in just about any other season of his career.

Red Sox: Story of Trevor, SS
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

The Red Sox bet Story’s 2021 season would be a fluke when they offered him a six-year, $140 million contract. While it certainly hasn’t collapsed, its numbers look awfully like last year. A little worse, in fact: he’s hitting .234 without a single extra base hit so far.

Donaldson has yet to miss an injury. But that 0.182 average, on a team that’s struggling to score points right now, doesn’t help much.

The rather famous Guardians didn’t make many off-season ripples, only adding Enyel De Los Santos and Luke Maile. Maile is yet to have an at-bat and De Los Santos has gone 1 2/3 innings with no hits and no scores. So: exceeding expectations, I guess!

Royals: Zack Greinke, RHP
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Greinke pitched 16 innings and allowed just four runs in three starts. It’s impressive and makes you think, “wow, vintage Greinke!” But seriously, look at his strikeout rate: he faced 63 batters and struck out… two. Of them! Greinke is a magician. But it’s not really durable.

Tigers: Javier Báez, SS
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Báez has just returned from the injured list with a swollen thumb, but when he’s been on the pitch he’s been as exciting and productive – albeit in his signature mercurial way – as the Tigers could have hoped. It’s always a very exciting team, and it’s even more so with Báez on the pitch.

I’ve made this joke before, but: did they remember to turn Carlos Correa off and on again? Correa, as high-profile addition the Twins have ever had, stalled at the starting gate, hitting .192 with a single homer in his first 14 games. The Twins are still in first place, so there is plenty of room to grow.

White Sox: AJ Pollock, OF
Mode of acquisition: exchanges with the Dodgers

When the White Sox traded Craig Kimbrel for Pollock, it looked like they were just plugging a hole in the outfield. Now it’s clear, thanks to injuries to Eloy Jiménez and Yoán Moncada, they need Pollock’s bat even more desperately than they thought. It starts slowly, but it will warm up. It’s almost a must at this point.

It’s Thor: You never know how long he’ll stay up. But as a one-year flyer deal, the Angels look smart, as Syndergaard has been terrific in all three of his starts so far. (And he also made all three starts.) The strikeout rate is lower than you’d like, but the Angels, more than anything, just needed capable starters. It’s clear with Syndergaard – and perhaps also with his colleague Michael Lorenzen – they have one.

Astros: Hector Neris, RHP
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

With Ryan Pressly on the injured list, Neris is doubly important to this bullpen, and it’s hard to complain about what he’s done so far: 7 1/3 innings with just one earned run will work perfectly.

Trade-best Matt Olson played great defense and is an early fan favorite, but the bat still hasn’t arrived. The strike came from another newcomer, Sheldon Neuse, who they took off waivers from the Dodgers and is hitting .313.

Sailors: Jesse Winker, DE
Mode of acquisition: Exchange with the Reds

The bad news is Winker, the centerpiece of the trade with the Reds, has struggled so far, hitting just .154 without a homer. The good news is that Eugenio Suárez, the other part of the trade, is one of the best hitters on the team, including three homers, good enough for the team’s second place (first place).

Rangers: Corey Seager, SS
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Seager didn’t rip the lid off the ball like you’d expect, but it’s Corey Seager: he’s going to crush it eventually; Everybody knows it. But what’s going on with Marcus Semien? His .188/.260/.250 slash line is, it’s fair to say, not going to make it.

Braves: Matt Olson, 1B
Mode of acquisition: Trade with A

It shouldn’t be the least bit offensive for Freddie Freeman to point out that Olson is thriving in Freeman’s former position. He rides on base at a clip of .461, an almost Bonds-ian level, and it really feels like he’s going to be a fixture on this team for a long time.

Marlins: Jorge Soler, DE
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Soler will always have that home run in the deciding game of the World Series: they will certainly play it at Truist Park forever. He might have to hang on to it for a while: he’s only had one since then, and he’s hitting .190.

Met: Max Scherzer, RHP
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

So in four starts he’s 3-0, with a 1.80 ERA, and the Mets have won all four games he’s started. It also gave them a swagger and an identity that they had been seeking for years. The Mets have super good vibes right now. Scherzer is at the center of reason.

Nationals: Nelson Cruz, DH
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

In any other context, you’d look at a guy who turns 42 in July, see him hit .169 with two homers, and think, “This guy might be getting too old.” But that guy is still Nelson Cruz, so don’t worry about it just yet.

Phillies: Kyle Schwarber, OF/DH
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Schwarber is hitting with all the power you expect, even if the strikeouts are kind of raging out of control right now. Fellow countryman Nick Castellanos was a little more complete, hitting .317 with three homers.

The Brewers have one above-average hitter on their roster right now, and it’s not McCutchen. (It’s actually Rowdy Tellez). The former MVP has been healthy but not particularly productive, although he helps give this roster an identity, for better or worse.

Cardinals: Albert Pujols, DH
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

His strong start – two homers, .345 OBP – has led the Cardinals to temptation a little too often: he really has no business against right-handers (he’s 1-for-14 against them, but 6-for-12 against the left-handers), but the Cardinals still try sometimes. But he’s got this team that thinks it’s part of something special just to have him here, and that matters more than any statistic could account for.

Cubs: Seiya Suzuki, OF
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Whatever the Cubs hoped for from Suzuki, he exceeded it: His .354/.492/.688 line is the stuff of MVPs. His personality is also a perfect fit for Wrigley: he’s already immensely popular and will continue to be as the Cubs win more and more in the years to come.

It’s fun to watch Vogelbach fight for a variety of reasons: It’s good to have guys who look like Vogelbach in the game. He’s also the Pirates’ best hitter right now: he’s on base with a career-high .380 clip by far.

Reds: Tommy Pham, OF
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Take your pick from the Reds’ disappointing offensive additions: Pham is hitting .167, Colin Moran is at .222 and not walking like Pham, Jake Fraley is at .129. It’s pretty tough in Cincinnati right now.

Diamondbacks: Zach Davies, RHP
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

It’s been a while since Davies has been one of the game’s least popular starters. He’s now just a guy who gives you innings but walks way too much and doesn’t hit enough either.

If it was a 60-game season like his 2020 MVP — and thank goodness it’s not — he’d be a third of the way to another MVP: he’s doing everything right so far. And the uniform doesn’t seem weird to her at all, actually.

There were injury issues for Rodón, but not many performance issues. But even the biggest optimist didn’t see that kind of dominance coming: He’s allowed two runs in three starts in 17 innings, and he has a career-high 15.4 K/9s by far. Another rejuvenated veteran in the Bay.

Chaplains: Sean Manaea, LHP
Mode of acquisition: Trade with A

The last minute trade addition was a key part of a rotation that has been inconsistent but has real potential. He’s not their No. 1 starter, but they don’t need him to be.

Rockies: Kris Bryant, 3B
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

The power has yet to show – how could Kris Bryant play so many games at Coors Field and still not make a home run? Still, he’s a consistent and clear influence for a team that’s been a pleasant surprise so far.


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