As the offseason progresses along, the winter meetings are done, free agency and the trade market are expected to pick up some traction before teams report for Spring Training in February. Meanwhile, I’ll highlight the top 10 moves that were made this offseason.
1. Giancarlo Stanton Is Headed to Big Apple
Stanton forced his way out of the South Beach fire sale and will be bringing his home run power to a very strong lineup that includes all stars outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez with the Yankees. The Marlins acquired four prospects for Stanton. Stanton is will be splitting time throughout the season in the lineup between the designated hitter spot and the outfield.
2. Shohei Ohtani Signs With The Los Angeles Angels
Japanese sensation star Ohtani officially makes the move across the ocean to the MLB to join Mike Trout and the Angels. Ohtani is expected to be in the pitching rotation and hit in the designated hitter spot on days he doesn’t pitch.
3. Big Salary Dumps Between Atlanta and Los Angeles
The Braves and the Dodgers exchanged salary dump numbers with the Dodgers sending $47 million worth in pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and utility man, Charlie Culberson, to Atlanta for $43 million outfielder Matt Kemp. Gonzalez waived his no trade clause so he could be released by the Braves and become a free agent. Kemp’s second stint in Dodgers uniform is expected to be cut short as he is expected to be traded or released. Culberson is the winner in this trade as he gets a chance to come home and play in front of his family.
4. The Marlins Fire Sale Continues With Marcell Ozuna Shipped to St. Louis
The Cardinals get their man in All Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins with three prospects going to Miami in return. Ozuna is expected to start everyday in an outfield that includes Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler. Ozuna will play in left, Pham in center and Fowler in right.
5. Carlos Santana Is In The Mood For Philly Cheesesteaks
Free agent first baseman Carlos Santana is leaving Cleveland after eight years with the Indians for the Philadelphia Phillies. Santana will be joining a very young team that will be run by new manager Gabe Kapler, who previously was with the Dodgers as the player development director. Santana will be looked upon for veteran leadership and provide the offense in the heart of the lineup.
6. Evan Longoria Is Headed to Bay Area
After 10 years playing in the only place he knew, third baseman Evan Longoria will be moving to a new home in the Bay Area with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants sent veteran outfielder Denard Span, top prospect third baseman Christian Arroyo and two other prospects to Tampa. Longoria, 32, has five more years left on his contract and is expected to be paid a remaining $81 million and has a team option worth $13 million in 2023. He will be 38 by then.
7. Brandon Morrow Is Rewarded By The Cubs For His Playoff Run in LA
After pitching a fantastic season in the bullpen for the Dodgers and pitching in every single game in the playoffs this year, Morrow has earned his first real contract, just not with the Dodgers. The Chicago Cubs will be paying Morrow $22 million for two years to potentially be the new closer.
8. Dee Gordon To Play Center Field in Seattle
Longtime infielder Dee Gordon was traded to the Mariners as part of New Marlins’ owner Derek Jeter’s fire sale. Gordon has been asked by the Mariners if he was willing to learn and play a new position in center field as the team already have franchise player Robinson Cano at second base and Jean Segura, who recently signed his five year, $70 million, deal in June, at shortstop. It will take some time for Gordon to adjust to his new position, so we will see how this will pan out by all star break.
9. The Cardinals Make A Classy Move, Reuniting Stephen Piscotty With His Mother
The Oakland Athletics acquired outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the St. Louis Cardinals after the Cardinals acquired Ozuna. There was no room for Piscotty in St. Louis. So what do the Cards do? They sent Piscotty home to Oakland so he could take care of his mother, who was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, back in May. This move continues to show what kind of an organization the Cardinals are. I look at them as the San Antonio Spurs of the MLB for their all around personality as an organization and will always have my respect.
10. Mitch Moreland Returns To Boston
First baseman Mitch Moreland will be extending his stay in Boston for two more years. The Red Sox will be spending $13 million for Moreland to continue playing first base. Which takes the team out of the Eric Hosmer sweepstakes. This allows the Red Sox all the flexibility to go after the free agent prize in outfielder J.D. Martinez.
More moves are expected to be all the way to the start of Spring Training. January is the prime month to seeing moves being made. As it is one month closer to starting Spring Training in February when players report. Where will prized free agents like pitchers Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish, first baseman Eric Hosmer, outfielder J.D. Martinez and many more go?