The MLB season may be over but there’s plenty of activity still happening out there. Management from 30 MLB teams get together every winter to try to shed that bothersome contract or to add that piece or those pieces that may take their team to the playoffs or further. This winter has already provided some memorable moves and here is a look at some of the most important ones.
Chris Sale Traded to Boston
In what will probably go down as the biggest blockbuster deal of the winter (and probably
in recent memory) Chris Sale was traded to the Red Sox for a handful of prospects, including Yoan Moncada, the no. 1 ranked prospect in all of baseball.
Sale was one of the most sought after commodities this off-season. There are still three years of club control left on his contract at a very affordable total of $33M. This is a steal for a pitcher who’s had the dominance that Sale has had. Up until the last minute, it seemed like Nationals were ready to land the southpaw. This undoubtedly drove up the
asking price for Boston. While the Red Sox did land the coveted lefty, it cost them their prized prospect. Moncada had an oustanding year between Class A and AA hitting 15 homers and stealing 45 bases in 106 games. With his move to Chicago he is thought to be the team’s second baseman of the future.
Dexter Fowler Signs Deal With St. Louis
While most of the north side is still coming down off of the high of being World Series champions, their hearts were broken just a little bit. Dexter Fowler signed a 5 year $82.5M
deal with the hated rival St. Louis Cardinals.
Fowler won big after betting on himself last season. He was a free agent before last season as well but didn’t see too many lucrative offers. He turned down a 3 year $35M deal with the Orioles to come back to Chicago with the option to become a free agent again for the 2017 season. The switch-hitting center fielder is coming off of his best season and he was rewarded for it.
Matt Holliday and Aroldis Chapman Sign Deals with NYY
The Yankees, who made no free agent signings last off-season, have already handed out two deals this December. They signed veteran Matt Holliday to a one year $13M deal. The
36-year-old will likely be the everyday DH for the Bombers after they traded Brian McCann to Houston. It’s a good deal for the Yankees. While Holliday is definitely near the end of his career, his bat does provide the lineup with some needed right-handed power.
The other deal made this off-season was bringing back closer Aroldis Chapman from the Cubs. They signed the lefty to a 5 year $86M deal, the most ever given to a relief pitcher. The Yankees will paying him roughly $240K per inning based on last year’s numbers (factoring in last year’s 30-game suspension as well). This is a pretty bad deal, in my opinion. The Yankees have not had any issues with the back end of their bullpen in recent memory. The problem has been lack of offense and lack of quality starting
pitching. To put that much money into what was probably already the strongest part of the team doesn’t make sense. Maybe Cashman sees some of the prospects they received at the trade deadline making an impact offensively in 2017, but that seems like a risky play considering the wealth of proven talent that’s already available in free agency.