Which MLB Offseason Moves Will Work Out
This past winter has been headlined by MLB teams swapping, signing and re-signing players, in hopes of enhancing their roster and getting an advantage. While some transactions make sense, or are even brilliant, others…not so much so. Here is a list of the good, the bad, and the “who cares?” baseball moves, and my prediction on how that will affect the team.
Ian Desmond (Signed with Colorado Rockies)
This is a great move for Ian Desmond and the Colorado Rockies. Desmond is coming off a stellar season in Texas. The shortstop-turned left fielder, became a member of the 20–20 club, smacking 22 home runs and swiping 21 bases, along with a .285 batting average en route to his second All Star appearance. This past winter, Desmond signed a 5 year/$70 million contract with the Colorado Rockies. Colorado has quietly assembled an excellent line up featuring a MVP candidate Nolan Arenado, versatile Charlie Blackmon, veteran Carlos Gonzalez, young sensations Trevor Story and David Dahl, and now Ian Desmond. While Desmond will likely switch positions (probably first base), again, he’s proven that he can play anywhere. Look for Desmond’s numbers to soar as high as Colorado’s altitude and for the Rockies’ batting to be one of the best.
Aroldis Chapman (Signed with the New York Yankees)
I don’t care if the Cubs won the World Series last year, or whoever wins this upcoming World Series. Brian Cashman won the free agency. Plain and simple. Last summer, Cashman dealt hard throwing closer, Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for top prospect, Gleyber Torres. Torres wrapped up his 2016 minor league campaign with 21 stolen bases, a .270 batting average, while collecting 129 hits to place himself as the 17th best prospect. After Chapman’s 5 month vacation in Chicago, that included a dominating second half of the season, shut down postseason and a ring, he signed back with the Yankees in December for 5 years/$86 million. Chapman was the head lifeguard in the Bronx, saving 20 games with a stellar 2.01 ERA. There’s no secret to his success: his lightning-fast fastball generally speeds in the triple digits. During his 31 games in NY, Chapman struck out 44 batters in only 31.1 innings! Look out for a dominating bullpen, and with their team on the rise, Chapman should get more save opportunities.
Adam Eaton (Traded to the Washington Nationals from the Chicago White Sox)
For the past few months, the Nationals have been desperate for an outfielder. After heated discussions with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Andrew McCutchen broke down, they settled by trading for outfielder Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. The acquisition of Eaton is a head scratcher itself, he hit a respectable .284 and showed little signs of power with only 14 home runs and 59 RBI’s. Eaton has some speed, stealing 14 bags and rounding 9 triples. However, they paid a heavy price for the 27 year old who has never hit above .300. Lucas Giolito was the 1st overall pick in the 2012 draft, and is currently the 3rd best prospect throughout the league. Giolito flourished in the minors, flashing a 6–5 record with a muffled 2.97 ERA. He shows great promise to be a star in the bigs, as he struck out 116 batters in only 115 innings. In addition to Giolito, the White Sox also obtained prized prospect, Reynaldo Lopez. The hard throwing 23 year old shows great command of the strike zone (126 strikeouts in only 109.1 innings), while stifling batters to a .220 batting average. Scouts say he has the potential to be a great reliever, or possible starter. Either way, you may want to look out for them two over the next few years, while you’ll have to look up Adam Eaton.
Chris Sale (Traded to the Boston Red Sox from the Chicago White Sox)
This past offseason, the Boston Red Sox solidified their World Series roster with an amazing trade Chris Sale. By unleashing a few prospects, the BoSox receivers the All Star southpaw. Lead by Ace (and former Cy Young winner), David Price, Sale fits right in the all star pitching squad that includes the reigning Cy Young winner, Rick Porcello, All Star Starter Steven Wright, and Drew Pomeranz. This acquisition is a win-win for Sale and the Red Sox. Boston’s pitching will for sure enhance, making them an even scarier team than last year’s 93 win season. Sale will receive a huge boost with a strong bullpen and an offensive lineup that features stars Mookie Betts, Xander Boegarts, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. Look out for the Red Sox to make a run another playoff run, and Sale’s first exposure to October baseball. This is going to be scary.
Edwin Encarnacion (signed with the Cleveland Indians)
After losing to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, the Cleveland Indians went right to the market to enhance their roster. They waisted no time signing All Star outfielder/DH Edwin Encarnacion. The former Blue Jay has hit 35 home runs or more in the past five seasons, topping 40 twice including this past season when he hit 42. He’s a power hitter that will for sure make the Indians a playoff contender, again.
Wilson Ramos (signed with the Tampa Bay Rays)
After a breakout season for the National catcher that included career highs in batting average (.307), home run (22), RBI’s (80), and hits (148) and an All Star trip, Ramos ended his season early when he tore his ACL. The Rays jumped on this great opportunity to sign the All Star, signing him to a 2-year deal. The Rays will ease Ramos into playing again, giving him an ETA of May, where he will serve as the DH before hitting the field. Ramos’ bat will help a lowly Rays lineup.
Jose De Leon (Traded to the Tampa Bay Rays from the Los Angeles Dodgers)
In addition to the Eaton trade, this one kinda confuses the everyday MLB fan. The LA Dodgers swapped one of their top prospects, Jose De Leon to the Tampa Bay Rays for utility infielder Logan Forsythe. Forsythe shows no real promise for the Dodgers. After a weak season that saw a .264 batting average, 135 hits, 76 runs, Forsythe has little power- just 20 home runs and 52 RBI’s. The Rays, on the other hand, received a great pitching prospect in De Leon. The quick right hander from Puerto Rico is a top MLB prospect, and has shown promising signs in the minors. Last year, he went 7–1 with a 2.61 ERA in just 16 games. Scouts have high hopes for him, and this trade may convince ace Chris Archer to stay in Tampa.
Mark Trumbo- resigned with the Baltimore Orioles to a 3 year/$37.5 million dollar contract
Manny Ramirez- signed with the Kochi Fighting Dogs in the Japan league. In addition to gray pubes and dentures, the Fighting Dogs get a lot out of the 44 year old vet. Ramirez provides entertainment, humor, and fun. Something the Fighting Dogs could use.