MLB Free Agency Rumors: State Of California Not Considered Appealing

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MLB free agency has seen many notable players change teams this offseason, while others like Aaron Judge, Carlos Correa and Clayton Kershaw stayed with their original club.

The San Francisco Giants, after a disappointing 2022 season, were expected to be major spenders and reportedly had their sights on Judge, only to watch him re-sign with the New York Yankees.

The Giants then pivoted by agreeing to terms with Correa on a record-breaking contract, but backed out of the deal after expressing concerns over his physical. The team also lost their ace Carlos Rodón to the Yankees.

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, many free agents opted against signing with California teams this winter:

California wasn’t viewed as a destination by many players. One frustrated exec said, “I’m running into that a lot.”

While a reason wasn’t given, it can be presumed that California isn’t an appealing destination for free agents because of the state’s income tax rate of 13.3%. That’s the highest mark in the country, whereas other states like Texas don’t have an income tax.

Despite missing out on their top targets, the Giants have made some modest additions this winter, signing the likes of Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger and Ross Stripling, among others.

As for the other California teams, the San Diego Padres made the biggest splash by far with the signing of Xander Boagerts to an 11-year, $280 million contract.

The Los Angeles Angels also have been active, signing Tyler Anderson, Brandon Drury, Carlos Estévez and Brett Phillips, while acquiring Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela in trades.

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost several longtime contributors in free agency, but replenished their roster with the additions of J.D. Martinez, Miguel Rojas and Noah Syndergaard.

While the Dodgers remain focused on adding a center fielder, the team also reportedly is open to acquiring a corner outfielder. L.A. has been linked to some of the top options on the trade market, including Dylan Carlson, Jarred Kelenic, Bryan Reynolds and Alex Thomas.

If the Dodgers go the free agency route for an outfielder, some of the best remaining options are Jackie Bradley Jr., Trey Mancini and Jurickson Profar.

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