MLB Offseason Update
by: Caleb Posner
The MLB offseason is at its climax. With winter meetings over now, the big signings people anxiously await like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado seem not far away. Besides those two surprises yet to come, the MLB offseason has already yielded a lot of big moves that will shape league expectations for next year.
Possibly the biggest trade of this offseason to date, is the Paul Goldschmidt trade to the St. Louis Cardinals. In one move, two teams have defined their mentality for 2019. The Diamondbacks have decided to sell after a poor performance in the last third of last season that resulted in them missing the playoffs. They are choosing to rebuild by giving up their franchise cornerstone for a handful of players including catching prospect Carson Kelly.. The Cardinals on the other hand, decided that them barely missing the playoffs was a sign that they could still compete. Seeing the threats that the Brewers and Cubs pose, they made a huge move and brought in arguably the best first basemen in baseball. These two teams have changed the composition of their divisions. The NL West is now a two team race while the NL Central is now wide open. The Marines were a team that decided to jump ship on their current roster as well. They made four very interesting trades in order to reshape their roster after the disappointment of missing the playoffs again. They shipped ace James paxton to the Yankees, .300 hitting shortstop Jean Segura to the Phillies, 8 time all-star second baseman Robinson Cano and 2018 saves leader Edwin Diaz to the Mets, and were involved in a three team deal that had them give up Carlos Santana (who they had just acquired from the Phillies in the Segura deal) in exchange for veteran power hitter Edwin Encarnacion). With all those moves, it is very apparent the Mariners have given up on competing and are now transitioning into rebuilding mode.
Many teams opted not to utilize the trade tool to improve their teams, and instead tap into the extremely deep pool of free agents that this offseason has to offer. The Phillies went out and signed Andrew McCutchen to a 3 year/$50 million contract. Paired with their trade for Segura, the Phillies could contend this year. The Rays were a team in a similar situation to the Phillies. They were a team on the cusp of the playoffs, but the big difference was the Rays have the unfortunate task of playing the Red Sox and Yankees about 20 times a year each. Despite that, they put up 90 wins behind Cy Young winner Blake Snell. To improve their rotation, they added Charlie Morton for 2 years/$30 million. This move could prove to give the Rays the extra push they need to fight for a wild card spot. Those have been the biggest signings so far, but the excitement has just begun. Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Marwin Gonzalez, and JT Realmuto (via trade block) are all still on the market and their are many hungry GMs that hope to turn their franchises around or add the extra piece needed to win the Commissioner's Trophy.