MLB’s 5 Key Offseason Additions and Losses
Key Offseason Additions
Francisco Lindor to Mets
The New York Mets were fresh off introducing new ownership to a franchise desperate to turn the page from the Wilpons. Steve Cohen was a Mets fan and loaded with cash. Instead of signing a big free agent, they did the next best thing and traded for one of the best shortshops in the game. Francisco Lindor, a career .310 hitter, is coming off a .370 campaign in 2020. He’s only 27 years old and about to hit his prime in the Big Apple.
George Springer to Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays have young talent like Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, and Cavan Biggio. They needed a veteran leader to show them how to win. Plus, they needed to spend a lot of cash to lure talent across the border. George Springer was happy to help them out and sign a massive 6 year / $150M deal. He is a World Series champion, a plus defender in CF and a strong bat. He makes a talented lineup deeper and should be able to get Toronto back to the playoffs.
Nolan Arenado to Cardinals
If you’re the St. Louis Cardinals, how do you improve on of the worst offenses in baseball? You add one of the best bats in the business. Nolan Arenado is one of the best 3B in the game. But after singing a big extension to remain in Colorado Rockies, the Rockies were looking to get from under that contract. A trade ensued and pairs him with 1B Paul Goldschmit to form one of the best 1-2 punches in baseball. The Cardinals are primes to win one of the weaker divisions in baseball.
Yu Darvish to Padres
The San Diego Padres shelled out big money to 3B Manny Machado last year and it propelled them into the Playoffs. But to be primed to challenge the defending World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers in their own division, pitching is the key. The Padres did just that but adding Yu Darvish in free agency. Darvish is a career 3.33 ERA pitcher who has playoff experience, experience that the Padres need. This move will help San Diego push the Dodgers to the limit.
Jackie Bradley Jr to Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers almost quietly sign OF Jackie Bradley Jr. from the Red Sox to a 2-year deal in March. He is a plus defender with a solid bat. His defense with Christian Yelch will make for one of the best outfields in baseball. Good luck stealing runs and challenging for doubles and triples against them. He has a solid bat, but the defense is where he will make an immediate impact.
Corey Kluber to Yankees, Kolten Wang to Brewers, Charlie Morton to Braves, Jameson Taillon to Yankees
Key Offseason Losses
Eddie Rosario from Twins
The Minnesota Twins are one of the better lineups in baseball, they are 2 years removed from setting the team single season home run record. But defense up the middle is what the Twins needed to focus on, especially after their disappointing playoff exit to the Houston Astros. Baseball economics spelled doom for Minnesota as they tendered SS Eddie Rosario. However, they could not offer him the big contract he coveted. He moved on and the Twins will try to replace him with a lower cost SS Andrelton Simmons.
Marcus Semien from Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are the inventors of Moneyball, where they try to find low-cost options to compete in the league. This was true when they let stars like Giambi, Damon, Tejada move on to larger contracts and greener pastures. This year is no different as they let star SS Marcus Semien walk and sign a 1 year / $18M contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. This is one of the problems with teams like Oakland, they can’t afford to hang on to their amazing talent. This will have long term effects and might make their reign on top shorter than leprechauns (ie. Notorious BIG)
James McCann from White Sox
While this may not have long-term effects to a very good Chicago White Sox team, it’s unfortunate they couldn’t keep C James McCann. McCann cashed in 2 career years to sign a 4-year / $40M deal with the Mets. The White Sox had a wealth of riches at the catcher position with McCann and Yasmani Grandal in the dugout. McCann flipped his production into a big deal and helped push a struggling Chicago franchise back into contention.
Blake Snell from Rays
Contention is something the Tampa Bay Rays stay in despite their mass exodus. They lost talent at an alarming rate, but still remain to put a great product on the field that no one comes to see (please blow Tropicana Field to hell and get them a real ballpark). Blake Snell was arguably their best pitcher last year for the Rays. If Kevin Cash went with his gut instead of analytics, they might be holding up their first trophy in franchise history. Instead, they trade away Snell to the Padres and continually show they can only afford low rental replacements instead of paying the home grown talent.
Trevor Bauer from Reds
Trevor Bauer took advantage of a weak free agent market, previous pitcher salaries and a strong 2020 campaign to get a massive 3 year / $102M contract with the Dodgers. It makes him one of the highest per season paid players ever, but also leaves the Reds with a massive hole to fill. Bauer in the Cincinnati Reds rotation that sports Luis Castillo and a resurgent Sonny Gray makes them division favorites in a weak NL Central. Now the Reds, a surprise playoff team in 2020, need to hope their 1-2 punch is enough to overtake the Cardinals and Brewers.
Joc Peterson from Dodgers, Kike Hernandez from Dodgers, Nolan Arenado from Rockies, Kyle Schwarber from Cubs