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Cape League Alumni Free Agency Recap: Part 1

03/22/2022 8:20 AM

Article By: Kaley Brown

Cape League alumni are on the move and earning themselves big bucks amid Major League Baseball (MLB) free agency as Opening Day inches closer every day. Let’s look at some of the deals CCBL alumni have inked ahead of the 2022 season.

Kendall Graveman (2011 Cotuit Kettlers, 2012 Wareham Gatemen): Chicago White Sox - 3 years, $24 million

One of MLB’s heftiest bullpens was bolstered even more in late November of last year when the White Sox added Kendall Graveman to their barn of relief pitchers. The righty registered a 2.36 ERA in 2011 with the Kettleers through 13 games while striking out 18 batters.

In 2012 with the Gatemen, he logged similar numbers while possessing a 2.29 ERA in six games and a whopping 26 strikeouts. Graveman also started two playoff games for Wareham that summer, one of which he was awarded the win.

Prior to being traded to the Houston Astros last season, Graveman was lights-out for the Seattle Mariners at the end of ballgame. He owned an 0.82 ERA through 30 appearances and struck out 34 batters, plus held a 4-0 win-loss record.

Graveman joins a menacing Chicago bullpen alongside closer Aaron Bummer, Garrett Crochet, Liam Hendriks, Craig Kimbrel, and the recently-added Joe Kelly (2008 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox). The reigning American League (AL) Central champions possessed MLB’s second-best WAR (Wins Above Replacement) with 7.8 and look to go deeper into the postseason in 2022.

Joe Kelly (2008 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox): Chicago White Sox - 2 years, $17 million

The aforementioned Chicago White Sox and Joe Kelly agreed to a two-year deal, further fortifying the team’s group of relievers.

Kelly appeared in 14 games for Yarmouth Dennis in 2008, striking out 17 batters and registering four saves over the span of that summer.

The hard-throwing right-handed pitcher won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and again with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020 while owning a 1.80 ERA through 12 relief outings and struck out nine batters during the latter season. Kelly is coming off of a great 2021 season with Los Angeles where he possessed a 2.86 ERA in 48 appearances while collecting two saves, 50 strikeouts and a 0.977 WHIP.

The White Sox bring on the former two-time World Series champion in hopes of bouncing back from their disappointing second half of the 2021 season and their AL Divison Series loss to the Houston Astros.

Kevin Gausman (2011 Harwich Mariners): Toronto Blue Jays - 5 years, $110 million

One of MLB’s biggest free agents was quickly picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays in Kevin Gausman at the start of the free agency period in November.

The former Harwich Mariner, started two games for the team in 2011. He recorded the victory in his second appearance with Harwich, an outing in which he lasted 6.1 innings, allowed one run on seven hits and struck out four batters.

The right-hander excelled in his second season with the San Francisco Giants last year as the team’s ace. Gausman was selected to his first All-Star team, placed sixth in Cy Young Award and collected 14 wins in his ninth Major League season.

Gausman also possessed a 2.81 ERA through 33 starts, the highest number of starts made by any MLB pitcher in 2021. He tossed 192 innings, struck out 227 batters and collected a 1.042 WHIP in his stellar season.

The CCBL alumnus joins a Blue Jays rotation that already features José Berríos and Hyun Jin Ryu and a squad looking to bounce back from last year, a season in which Toronto narrowly missed the playoffs despite their 91-71 record.

Marcus Stroman (2010, 2011 Orleans Firebirds): Chicago Cubs - 3 years, $71 million

Former Cape Cod League All-Star Marcus Stroman inked a three-year deal with the Chicago Cubs at the end of 2021 and looks to turn the struggling North Side squad around this season.

The Firebirds alum appeared in 18 games for Orleans in 2010 and registered 11 saves for the team while recording 36 strikeouts over that span. That summer, Stroman was an All-Star, pitching one inning in the All-Star Game, and made two relief appearances in the postseason. Stroman came back to play for the Firebirds the following summer in 2011 and pitched twice more for them while collecting eight strikeouts.

The longtime Toronto Blue Jay spent the 2019 and 2021 seasons with the New York Mets, helping anchor an often depleted Big Apple starting rotation last year. Stroman owned a 3.02 ERA through a league-leading 33 starts, striking out 158 batters along the way while reaching the 10-win mark.

The right-handed pitcher joins a Cubs team that placed fourth in their division last season and a rotation in need of stability. Stroman joins fellow righty Kyle Hendricks and recently-signed Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki in Chicago as the 2016 World Series champs look to get back on the winning track in 2022.

Marcus Stroman (Orleans '10/'11) - Photo: SportsPix LLC