The prior week in MLB was about an iconic player passing away and pair of outfielders sign multi-year deals with American League teams.
It is with great sadness we share the passing of our home run king, Hank Aaron. pic.twitter.com/ZdRuhqIaet
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 22, 2021
Iconic Player Hank Aaron Dies at 86
The baseball world lost an outstanding player and better person several days ago when Hank Aaron died at 86.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 22, 2021
The Atlanta Braves said in a press release that Aaron died peacefully in his sleep.
Aaron is arguably one of the best players the sport has ever seen.
The outfielder had an illustrious 23-year career with the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.
He tallied 755 home runs, earned 25 All-Star selections, and was named the National League MVP in 1957.
Aaron is most remembered for what transpired on April 8, 1974, against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing.
He crushed a 1-0 pitch into the left-field stands at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to break Babe Ruth’s home run record.
Hank Aaron. Legendary figure, and a hero to so many.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) January 22, 2021
The 715th home run of his career was a great moment in the history of baseball.
Aaron was a terrific hitter in his career, and two numbers stand out when mentioning his greatness on the baseball diamond.
They are 2,297 and 6,856, the first is career RBIs, and the second is total bases.
Andrew Simon of MLB.com provides the context of how magnificent Aaron’s record of total bases.
If a rookie debuted in 2021, tied Babe Ruth's 100-year-old record for total bases in a season (457) and then did that 14 more times, he'd have 6,855.
Hank Aaron had 6,856.
On that unchallenged all-time record and more Aaron greatness: https://t.co/C32QR3DyAL
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) January 23, 2021
Both of those are the all-time record in each category.
Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
He was an accomplished player, but he earned more respect for enduring racial injustice throughout his career.
Aaron will be significantly missed due to his impact on and off the field.
Toronto Blue Jays Sign Outfielder George Springer to Six-Year Deal
OFFICIAL: We’ve signed 3x All-Star, 2x Silver Slugger, and World Series MVP George Springer to a 6-year contract.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 23, 2021
The Toronto Blue Jays have a new outfielder as they have agreed to a deal with outfielder George Springer, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.
Outfielder George Springer and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a deal, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.
Springer is headed to Dunedin for a physical. And if all goes according to plan, Toronto will get the star it’s been looking for all winter.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 20, 2021
The contract will pay Springer $150 million over six years, Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Springer and Jays agree at $150M for 6 years
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 20, 2021
The contract structure is front-loaded as he gets a $10 million signing bonus, including $50 million during the first two years of the deal, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
Structure of George Springer's deal with #BlueJays, per source: $10m signing bonus; $22m in 2021; $28m in 2022; $22.5m in 2023-26; $150K for MVP; $50K each for all-star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, WS MVP; 8-team no trade.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 23, 2021
This is the largest contract the Blue Jays have given a player, besting the seven-year, $126-million extension they gave to outfielder Vernon Wells in 2006, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
The reported $150 million for George Springer would be the largest contract by total value in Blue Jays history
Prior largest: Vernon Wells' $126M extension (7 years)
Prior largest free agent deal, specifically: Russell Martin's $82M contract (5 years)
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) January 20, 2021
The Blue Jays edged out the New York Mets to sign Springer.
They were the two teams who had the most interest in the outfielder.
The Mets shifted their interest in Springer after acquiring shortstop Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians, per Andy Martino of SNY.
Mets’ once-aggressive pursuit of Springer downshifted significantly after Lindor trade, as previously reported. https://t.co/2MDMZO4uNo
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) January 20, 2021
Springer was a key player during his seven years with the Houston Astros as he helped them achieve success during that timeframe.
Springer is an excellent hitter who has power to all fields and plays stellar defense in center field.
He is an excellent addition to the Blue Jays, who have a strong nucleus of young talent.
Houston Astros Re-Sign Outfielder Michael Brantley to Two-Year Contract
The Houston Astros have re-signed outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32-million contract, per Mark Berman of KRIV Houston.
MLB source: #Astros reach an agreement with Michael Brantley on a two-year deal worth $32 million.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 20, 2021
There were reports that Brantley had agreed to a three-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays last week, but a club official refuted the report, per Hazel Mae of Sportsnet.
Brantley has been fantastic the past two years with the Astros, as indicated by a .309 batting average and .867 OPS in 194 games with 55 doubles, 27 home runs, and 112 RBIs over that period.
The Astros re-signing Brantley was a smart move as he can hit for power and is superb at making contact.
- Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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