What follows now after the Meetings? Complete winter guide

Winter really got red hot at this year’s Winter Meetings, during which we saw a series of mega-deals led by Aaron Judge’s $360 million deal with the Yankees, according to various reports.

But the offseason is far from over.

Pitchers and catchers still have two months to report to their respective workouts, and a lot can happen until then.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the offseason landscape now that the Winter Meetings are over, including notable free agents yet to sign, key issues to watch, teams that need to make moves and potential trade candidates.

Who are the best free agents left on the market?

Reviewing Anthony Castrovince’s list of the top 20 free agents this offseason, 14 of the 20 are no longer available.

Puerto Rican star shortstop Carlos Correa (No. 4) tops the list of best remaining free agents, followed by fellow shortstop Dansby Swanson (No. 7) and pitchers Carlos Rodón (No. 8), Chris Bassitt (No. 9 ), Kodai Senga (No. 11) and Nathan Eovaldi (No. 18).

What other notable players are still available?

Teams in need of a corner outfielder have several options open, including Michael Conforto, Michael Brantley, Andrew Benintendi and Joey Gallo, while three-time Gold Glove winner Kevin Kiermaier is an alternative in the outfield. Central for those teams that could not agree with Brandon Nimmo.

Other notable free agents among starting pitchers include Sean Manaea, Michael Wacha, Noah Syndergaard, Corey Kluber, Wade Miley, Ross Stripling, Zack Greinke and Rich Hill.

The reliever market isn’t as mixed, with Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Taylor Rogers, Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton among the best remaining options.

Clubs in need of receivers that were left without Venezuelan Willson Contreras (five years with the Cardinals) could focus on Puerto Rican Christian Vázquez, probably the best option among the remaining masks on the market. There’s also Mike Zunino, Gary Sánchez and Omar Narváez, but none of the three is coming off a particularly strong season.

Designated hitter JD Martinez, first baseman Brandon Belt, second baseman Jean Segura, third baseman Justin Turner and infielder Brandon Drury are also up for grabs.

What are the issues that should not be lost sight of?

Here are four of the most exciting topics to follow in the coming months after the Winter Meetings…

1. What will happen to the shortstop market?

And then there were two. Trea Turner (11-year, $300 million deal with the Phillies) and Xander Bogaerts (11-year, $280 million deal with the Padres) left the board, leaving Correa and Swanson as the best pieces on the shortstop market. .

Correa is still looking for a contract of $300 million or more, and one has to think that he and agent Scott Boras are looking to top Turner’s deal, or even fellow Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor’s $341 million deal with the Mets that made him a the highest paid shortstop in history.

The Giants and Twins appear to be the main contenders for Correa, while the Cubs are more focused on Swanson. One of those teams is going to be left without a chair once the music stops.

The Dodgers and Braves also have holes at shortstop from the departure of Turner and Swanson, respectively, in free agency, but they are said to be comfortable with their inside options. After not getting anywhere near–according to reports–to the offer the Padres made to Bogaerts, the Red Sox will likely decide to move Trevor Story back to the No. 6 spot and focus on getting help at second base, instead to enter the bid for Correa or Swanson.

2. The Red Sox are under pressure to sign Devers to an extension

Speaking of the Red Sox, they’ve now lost two franchise cornerstones — Mookie Betts and Bogaerts — in less than three years. At the same time, Boston fans have just seen the Yankees do what it takes to retain Judge.

Boston could have opted out of Bogaerts’ contract before 2022, but the team’s purported offer to add a year and $30 million to his current deal — guaranteeing him $110 million from 2022 to 2026 — fell far short of what the shortstop was seeking. .

The Red Sox are at risk of losing another star, Rafael Devers, in free agency next winter, so pressure is mounting for Boston to extend the 26-year-old third baseman. The Red Sox reportedly made Devers an initial offer similar to Matt Olson’s eight-year, $168 million offer with the Braves, before increasing the amount to more than $200 million in October, but at the time, the parties were far from reaching an agreement.

Devers isn’t the only concern for the Red Soxes after they finished in the cellar in 2022. Boston has been active, reaching deals with Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida and relievers Chris Martin, Curaçao’s Kenley Jansen and Joely Rodríguez, But the club also has huge holes at catching, second base and designated hitter, as well as in the rotation.

3. Where will Rodon end up, and for how long?

Rodón seems to be in a great position with the way the starting market has evolved. Two other aces, Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom, are off the market and there’s a considerable drawdown between Rodon/Senga and the other available starters.

As the winter began, the contracts of Zack Wheeler with the Phillies (five years, $118 million), Robbie Ray with the Mariners (five years, $115 million) and Kevin Gausman with the Blue Jays (five years, $110 million) looked as good comparisons for Rodon. However, the lefty could be in a position to surpass those deals, perhaps even surpassing the six-year, $140 million deal with the Nationals.’s Brendan Kuty has heard that Rodón has been asking for six years and $30 million a year in his talks with teams.

The Yankees have “strong interest” in Rodon, according to’s Mark Feinsand, and the lefty has also been linked with the Dodgers, Giants, Twins and Orioles.

4. Will the Dodgers rock the market again at the last minute?

The Padres re-signed Nick Martinez and Robert Suarez, before giving Bogaerts an incredible contract. The Giants were in the fight for Judge and are looking for another “big shot” after running out of the slugger. San Francisco also re-signed Joc Pederson and signed Mitch Haniger before Judge’s decision was made.

For their part, the Dodgers have been low-key as their rivals in the National League West have grabbed headlines. Los Angeles re-signed Clayton Kershaw, but Turner, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney and Cody Bellinger all left, and the club has done nothing to replace them.

In recent years, the Dodgers have had to wait until the end of winter to make a hit. The trade for Betts occurred in February 2020. They signed Trevor Bauer 12 months later, and added Freddie Freeman in March of this year.

Will history repeat itself? Or will the Dodgers be content to lay low and wait for Shohei Ohtani to become a free agent next winter?

Which teams still have an impact move pending?

The Dodgers went 111-51 last season and finished 22 games ahead of the second-place Padres. They still have plenty of talent on their major league roster and have proven capable of finding hidden treasures and summoning unexpected contributors from their farms. The point is, even though they’ve been pretty quiet this winter, they don’t need to do anything flashy.

The same cannot be said of other clubs.

We already analyzed the situation of the Red Sox. The Yankees won the Judge bid, but this team looks a lot like the one that got swept by the Astros in the ALCS. The Bronx Bombers need to do more.

Still in the AL East, the Orioles were supposed to be very active in the free market this offseason after surprising with an 83-79 mark in 2022, but their biggest reinforcement thus far has been the right-hander. 35-year-old Kyle Gibson, who posted a 5.05 ERA in 2022. For their part, the Blue Jays still need a ranger and a starter.

Giants fans couldn’t wait for Judge’s arrival. If Pederson and Haniger turn out to be San Francisco’s biggest hires, a lot of people in the Bay Area will be upset.

The Cubs signed Bellinger and Jameson Taillon, but if their focus on the shortstop market doesn’t pay off, they don’t look any better than the team that finished third in the NL Central. The same would be the case for the Twins in the AL Central without a leash.

And of course, we can’t forget about the Angels, who haven’t qualified for the postseason since 2014, despite having two of the best players in all of baseball, Mike Trout and Ohtani. The Los Angeles-Anaheim team signed Anderson and completed trades to acquire Colombian infielder Gio Urshela and outfielder Hunter Renfroe, but in a division with the Astros, Mariners and Rangers, that wouldn’t be enough.

Who are the possible candidates to be traded?

Now that the top free agents are no longer on the board, we could see some activity on the trade market. Here, five possible names that could be bargaining chips in the coming weeks.

RHP Pablo Lopez, Marlins: Due to the huge prices of starters on the open market, the Venezuelan could attract the attention of several squads looking to bolster their rotation, but prefer not to spend big to add a free agent. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.52 ERA and a 3.48 FIP since the start of 2020 and will be under contract control through the end of 2024. Other starters who are headed for free agency in a year or two have emerged Trade rumors include Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Lucas Giolito, Shane Bieber and Blake Snell, but they aren’t as likely to be traded as Lopez.

C Sean Murphy, Athletics: Oakland during the Winter Meetings had been reported to be close to completing a transaction involving the catcher, but it fell through. As one of the best defensive players behind the plate, Murphy could find more suitors after Vázquez finds a home. The 28-year-old mask will be under contractual control until the end of 2025.

OF Bryan Reynolds, Pirates: The ranger (under contractual control until the end of 2025) requested to be traded before the Winter Meetings. The Buccaneers have said they look forward to having Reynolds in 2023 and beyond. But he’ll be 28 on Opening Day and close to becoming a free agent before Pittsburgh can be a real contender.

RHP Liam Hendriks, White Sox: According to Feinsand, the Palelegs were in talks with several squads to complete a trade for Hendriks during the Winter Meetings. The Australian closer is one of the best in baseball, but Chicago has an excellent bullpen and could take advantage of a market without as many relievers available to trade Hendriks. His $15 million club option for 2024 could be guaranteed if he moves on to another team.

SS Willy Adames, Brewers: One or more teams will be left empty-handed after Correa and Swanson sign. It’s unlikely that Adames will be traded, but it’s not out of the question for a Milwaukee club that traded Josh Hader, Kolten Wong and Renfroe in the past five months. If there is a team willing to give anything for the Dominican (under contractual control until the end of 2024), the Brewers would take offers.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button