Teams Spending Big In Offseason

(Game date: Dec. 20, 2018) — Bull League teams have been spending big this offseason, partly in anticipation of a longer season bringing in more revenue.

But adding to the spending craze is that this has been one of the best-stocked free agent pools in a few years, leading to some big name talent moving around for sizable piles of cash.

So far, the biggest contract signed went to international free agent Hiroki Omiya, yet another highly-touted Japanese star. Omiya, a first baseman, went to the California Tidals for $161 million over 7 years. The 32-year-old is reported to be a very solid power hitter with great judgement of the strike zone and solid contact ability.

Some have criticized his lack of drive, and he also won’t win any stolen base titles. The Tidals needed a replacement for Jim Lahey, the slugger first baseman they traded to Nevada during the 2018 season.

Another player to match Omiya’s $23 million per year, although for a much shorter 3 years, was veteran catcher Dao-zi Ling, who also signed with the Tidals. Ling batted .300, raking 22 homers and scoring 41 runs with Rimouski last season, fracturing his cheekbone just before the end of the season and missing the playoffs.

Ling rejected Rimouski’s qualifying offer, meaning his signing cost the Tidals a draft pick. The four-time MVP is probably worth the gamble, however, and California is suddenly looking like a possible playoff contender for 2019, if they can overcome their perennial weak rotation problems.

Another international free agent signed for a deal worth over the $100 million mark. The Minneapolis Ravens will spend just over $106 million over 7 years on Lan-quing Siew, a Taiwanese second baseman blessed with elite contact ability, and plus defensive capabilities overall. The 32-year-old lefty signed a deal that will see him paid $15,145,000 a year through to 2025, along with an MVP bonus of $470,000.

While some teams took risks on internationals like Siew and Omiya, both in their early 30s with no Bull League history to judge them by, others stuck to “sure things” in free agent signings.

Montreal inked a 4-year deal with Gula Kareem, a former Toronto and New York catcher who hit an impressive .289 with 19 homers and 49 RBIs last year. Kareem’s $14.8 million a year deal totals just under $60 million and makes him the 5th highest paid catcher in the league by annual salary.

California invested in Peyton May, the 4-time all-star and 2-time Bull Cup winning second baseman, to the tune of $94.1 million over the next five seasons. In 11 seasons, May has been solid, batting .278 and nearing 400 RBIs and closing on 150 home runs. Last season with Denver he batted .347, a career high.

Miami came to terms with veteran starter Kyle Cahill, a power throwing left-handed starter who did double duty for Rimouski last season as a starter and spot reliever. Cahill was 9-1 with 9 saves, starting 11 games out of his 25 total, and maintaining a 2.68 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and league-lowest 1.4 walks per 9 IP. Cahill, who played in his 4th all-star game in 2018, rejected a qualifying offer, holding out for $19.4 million a year over the next four years in the Miami Storm rotation.

Signings by team:

Arizona Cowboys

Koichi Masuda, 2B – $1,580,000 (1 year)
Lozaro Lozano, P – $1,640,000 (1 year)
Cody Martin, 1B – $8,900,000 (5 years, $44,500,000 total)
Bronson Jamieson, RF – $3,440,000 (2 years, $6,880,000 total)

Calgary Inferno

Joe Haworth, P – $1,020,000 (1 year)
Jacques Barral, P – $2,280,000 (1 year)

California Tidals

Peyton May, 2B – $13,700,000 (5 years, $94,100,000 total)
Dao-zi Ling, C – $23,000,000 (3 years, $69,000,000 total)
Hiroki Omiya, 1B – $23,000,000 (7 years, $161,000,000 total)
Shi-min Chaim, P – $9,800,000 (1 year)
Brad Bogus, 1B – $3,360,000 (1 year)
Tim Weis, P – $880,000 (1 year)
Joe Burch, 3B – $1,240,000 (1 year)
Rod Matos, P – $1,020,000 (1 year)

Chicago Pit Bulls

William Febres, P – $10,670,000 (1 year)
Jesus Carillo, P – $8,920,000 (1 year)
Kevin Krohn, P – $7,300,000 (1 year)

Detroit Motorheads

Logans Run, 1B – $10,200,000 (2 years, $20,400,000 total) 
Willie Perez, P – $680,000 (1 year)

Miami Storm

Ricky Jalapeno, CF – $9,800,000 (2 years, $19,600,000 total)
Celestino Caparica, SS – $3,640,000 (2 years, $7,440,000 total)
Alphonso George, SS – $6,700,000 (2 years, $13,400,000 total)
Kyle Cahill, P – $19,400,000 (4 years, $77,600,000 total)
Roberto Villeneuva, P – $890,000 (2 years, $1,970,000 total)

Milwaukee Hops
(Formerly Louisville Sluggers)

Joe Street, LF – $10,200,000 (2 years, $20,400,000 total)
Elias Huerta, 2B – $2,720,000 (1 year)
Phil Shanks, P – $2,720,000 (3 years, $8,160,000 total)
Jose Gonzales, SS – $780,000 (1 year, arbitration eligible)
Koji Kondo, LF – $920,000 (1 year)

Minneapolis Ravens

Pete Sharpe, P – $10,645,000 (7 years, $74,515,000 total)
Lan-quing Siew, 2B – $15,145,000 (7 years, $106,015,000 total)

Montreal Metros

Gula Kareem, C – $14,830,000 (4 years, $59,320,000 total)
Corrosive Joseph, SS – $1,800,000 (4 years, $7,200,000 total)

Nevada Speeders

Jonas Reyes, P – $2,800,000 (1 year)

New York Dragons

Ian Ion, P – $1,800,000 (1 year)
Joe Lund, P – $3,480,000 (1 year)
Mark Dominey, P – $2,360,000 (2 years, $4,920,000 total)
Sjaak Mills, P – $1,040,000 (1 year)
Alejandro Reyna, 3B – $1,540,000 (1 year)
Section Attack, 2B – $4,360,000 (7 years, $30,520,000 total)
Francisco Erazo, LF – $3,400,000 (1 year)

Norfolk Sharks

Alfonso Gutierrez, P – $1,300,000 (3 years, $5,900,000 total)

Philadelphia Liberty Warriors
(formerly Denver Danger)

Carlos Mendoza, RF – $8,100,000 (1 year)
Arturo Salazar, C – $860,000 (2 years, $1,770,000 total)

Pittsburgh Iron Pigs
(formerly Rimouski Fighting Moose)

Chris Lough, P – $690,000 (1 year, not free agent eligible)
Mokuo Kajioka, C – $4,320,000 (2 years, $8,200,000 total)
Tomoo Fujihara, P – $800,000 (1 year)

Seattle Salts

Bob Hays, P – $950,000 (1 year)
Salvatore Resendiz, P – $1,060,000 (1 year)
Jack Lavigne, P – $1,480,000 (1 year, not free agent eligible)
Aaron Reed, P – $5,200,000 (2 years, $10,400,000 total)
Chris Ferguson, P – $870,000 (1 year)

St. Petersburg Admirals

Shigenobu Takahashi, P – $10,000,000 (3 years, $30,000,000 total)
Young-lau Weng, P – $4,400,000 (5 years, $24,400,000 total)

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