A Refresher on MLB’south Tiptop Offseason Storylines Amid Free-Amanuensis Frenzy

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    Richard West. Rodriguez/Associated Press

    Later on 99 days of lockout that brought the MLB offseason to a standstill, it’s piece of cake to forget just how busy the free-agent market was in the days leading up to the shutdown.

    With another flurry of activity expected in the coming days, at present is the perfect time for a quick recap of everything that went down earlier the lockout was implemented.

    From the Texas Rangers spending $500 one thousand thousand on two players to the New York Mets going all-in afterward a disappointing 2021 flavour, we’ve cleaved down the 10 biggest storylines from the first month of the MLB offseason as a quick refresher.

Last Year’s AL Playoff Teams Accept Been Eerily Serenity

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    Rich Hill

    Rich Hill
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Boston Scarlet Sox, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays fabricated up the American League postseason field in 2021.

    Here’s a look at who those v teams have added to their twoscore-man rosters then far this offseason:

    • BOS:
      SP Rich Hill, SP Michael Wacha, CF Jackie Bradley Jr., SP James Paxton
    • CWS:
      RP Kendall Graveman
    • HOU:
      RP Hector Neris
    • NYY:
    • TBR:
      SP Corey Kluber, RP Brooks Raley

    Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers (Javier Baez, Eduardo Rodriguez), Los Angeles Angels (Noah Syndergaard, Michael Lorenzen), Seattle Mariners (Robbie Ray, Adam Frazier), Texas Rangers (Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Grey) and Toronto Blue Jays (Kevin Gausman) have all added affect talent to their rosters.

    At that place’s withal plenty of time for those five teams to make a splash, but for now, it feels like the gap has closed a bit between the contenders and the also-rans in the American League.

Two Huge Nether-the-Radar Additions for the San Diego Padres

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    Nick Martinez

    Nick Martinez
    Steph Chambers/Getty Images

    The San Diego Padres signing right-hander Nick Martinez to a four-year, $20 million contract in November did not exactly dominate the headlines, just information technology has a hazard to be ane of the all-time under-the-radar moves of the offseason.

    Little more than organizational depth shuttling betwixt Triple-A and the minors during his time with the Texas Rangers, Martinez has spent the past iv years pitching in Nippon. Final year, he was one of the most dominant starters in the Japanese League.

    The 31-year-old went 10-v with a 1.62 ERA, i.03 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 149.2 innings, and he besides pitched for Squad USA in the Olympics, posting a 1.64 ERA with 16 strikeouts in eleven innings.

    Nosotros’ve seen pitchers like Miles Mikolas, Merrill Kelly and Josh Lindblom return from stints in the Japanese League to varying levels of MLB success. Slotted into the No. five spot in the San Diego rotation, Martinez has a take a chance to exceed expectations in his MLB improvement.

    Beyond additions to their roster, the Padres take also added a new manager, poaching Bob Melvin from the Oakland Athletics. Afterward erstwhile manager Jayce Tingler seemingly lost the locker room during the team’s second-one-half swoon last year, Melvin is the type of steadying presence that could help them take that next footstep.

The Seattle Mariners Take Institute Their Staff Ace

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    Robbie Ray

    Robbie Ray
    Mark Blinch/Getty Images

    With a v-twelvemonth, $115 million deal from the Seattle Mariners, left-hander Robbie Ray joined an exclusive group of pitchers who joined a new team the year after winning the Cy Young Award.

    Catfish Hunter (OAK to NYY), Mark Davis (KC to SD), Greg Maddux (CHC to ATL), Trevor Bauer (CIN to LAD) all jumped ship in complimentary agency, while David Cone (KC to TOR), Pedro Martinez (MON to BOS), Roger Clemens (TOR to NYY) and R.A. Dickey (NYM to TOR) were moved in blockbuster trades.

    Ray, xxx, rebounded from a disastrous 2020 season to lead the AL in ERA (2.84), WHIP (one.05), strikeouts (248) and innings pitched (193.1).

    Meanwhile, the Mariners finished 19th in the majors with a 4.61 ERA from the starting rotation. They used xv different starters and just had three pitchers eclipse 120 innings on the year.

    There’s a lot of immature pitching talent in the Seattle arrangement, but the Ray signing gives them a bona fide ace to ballast the staff and take some of the force per unit area off those upward-and-comers.

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Don’t Sleep on the Detroit Tigers

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    Javier Baez

    Javier Baez
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Detroit Tigers were perennial contenders in the early 2010s, only they’ve struggled through five direct losing seasons following a 77-85 finish in 2021.

    The tide finally seems to be turning.

    Jeimer Candelario, Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Rule 5 detect Akil Baddoo expect like potential long-term pieces, and at that place’s more than homegrown help on the fashion with uber-prospects Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene both expected to debut at some point in 2022.

    The front role has taken an aggressive approach this offseason to building around a young core that is still taking shape, starting with the high-profile addition of dynamic shortstop Javier Baez on a six-year, $140 million deal.

    Veteran catcher Tucker Barnhart was acquired to lend his Gilded Glove receiving skills to a young pitching staff, while former Boston Carmine Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will slot in alongside Mize at the superlative of the rotation after like-minded to a 5-yr, $77 meg contract.

    This is a team that could surprise some people in 2022, and that volition only be the start.

The Los Angeles Angels Are Betting on Noah Syndergaard

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    Noah Syndergaard

    Noah Syndergaard
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    A lack of consistent starting pitching has been the Los Angeles Angels’ undoing throughout the Mike Trout era. Year-in and twelvemonth-out, the front role has attempted to patch a bullet hole with a Rough-and-tumble, signing guys like Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill to i-year deals and hoping for the all-time.

    They have once again taken the brusque-term fix arroyo this winter only at a much higher cost point.

    Noah Syndergaard signed a ane-twelvemonth, $21 1000000 contract after declining a qualifying offer from the New York Mets, and he’ll wait to rebuild his value later missing most of the past two years recovering from Tommy John surgery.

    The 29-year-old volition slot in aslope Shohei Ohtani at the height of a rotation that volition also include some combination of Patrick Sandoval, Jose Suarez, Griffin Canning, Reid Detmers, Janson Junk and beau gratuitous-amanuensis signing Michael Lorenzen.

    Is that plenty starting pitching talent to make the Angels viable contenders?

Cedric Mullins, Bryan Reynolds Both Available, but at a Toll

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    Cedric Mullins

    Cedric Mullins
    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    With Mike Trout, Byron Buxton and Luis Robert all missing significant fourth dimension, at that place’due south a legitimate case to exist made that Bryan Reynolds and Cedric Mullins were the best eye fielders in baseball in 2021.

    Reynolds, 27, rebounded for an ugly 2020 flavour to hit .302/.390/.522 with 35 doubles, 24 home runs and xc RBI in a half-dozen.0-War season for a 101-loss Pittsburgh Pirates squad.

    Mullins, too 27, became the starting time thirty-homer, 30-steal histrion in Baltimore Orioles history, hitting .291/.360/.518 for a 135 OPS+ with 37 doubles, 91 runs scored and v.7 WAR on a 110-loss team.

    Both players are controllable through the 2025 flavour, so they could conceivably exist building blocks rather than trade candidates, but it sounds like both teams are at to the lowest degree willing to hear offers for the best histrion on their roster.

    Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported in Nov that the Orioles are listening to offers for Mullins, though the asking price is “extremely high” as expected, while the Pirates entertained trade proposals from a number of teams on Reynolds at the borderline last yr before ultimately belongings onto him.

    Will anyone pay the steep prospect cost information technology will have to pry one of them loose?

The Oakland Athletics Are Open for Business on the Trade Market

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    Matt Olson

    Matt Olson
    Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

    Last month, MLB Trade Rumors put together their list of the fourteen players near likely to be traded once the lockout was lifted, and more than a tertiary of that list was made up of Oakland Athletics players.

    It all comes down to money for the small-scale-market Athletics, and here’s what the v players included on that listing are projected to earn in arbitration:

    • 1B Matt Olson:
      $12 million
    • SP Sean Manaea:
      $ten.2 million
    • 3B Matt Chapman:
      $9.5 meg
    • SP Chris Bassitt:
      $8.8 one thousand thousand
    • RP Lou Trivino:
      $2.nine 1000000

    Afterwards posting a 153 OPS+ with 39 home runs and 111 RBI in a 5.viii-WAR flavor, Olson would exist a game-changing addition to whatsoever squad, and he’s more than than just a rental with club control through the 2023 season.

    Chapman is likewise a costless agent later 2023, while Manaea and Bassitt are set to hitting the open market side by side winter. Trivino has the most control of the group with arbitration eligibility through 2024.

    Don’t be surprised if more than ane of those guys is playing elsewhere when Opening Mean solar day rolls around in a matter of weeks.

The Chicago Cubs Might Not Be Rebuilding Afterwards All

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    Marcus Stroman

    Marcus Stroman
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    After trading away Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez at the borderline along with another secondary pieces, it certainly looked like the Chicago Cubs were headed for some other long, painful rebuild.

    Then over again, perchance not.

    Merely before the lockout, Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 one thousand thousand deal with the Cubs that includes an opt-out after ii seasons. That certainly doesn’t experience like the type of movement a team would make if it doesn’t call back it can contend in the short-term.

    They also made a sneaky good waiver claim of veteran starter Wade Miley, took intriguing fliers on Clint Frazier and Harold Ramirez, and added veteran Yan Gomes to accept some of the force per unit area off Willson Contreras behind the plate.

    The time and money are in that location for the Northward Siders to make another large splash in the coming days, and calculation someone like Carlos Correa or Trevor Story to the mix would erase any doubtfulness about this team’s intention to argue.

In that location’s a New $500 MIllion Middle Infield in Texas

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    Corey Seager

    Corey Seager
    Richard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

    Despite selling off many of their veteran pieces over the past few years, including offseason trades of Lance Lynn and Elvis Andrus last winter and a summer borderline deal that sent Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees in substitution for prospects, the Texas Rangers accept been one of the offseason’due south loudest teams.

    On December. i, they signed ii of the gratuitous-agent marketplace’south biggest stars, inking shortstop Corey Seager to a 10-year, $325 million deal and second baseman Marcus Semien to a seven-twelvemonth, $175 million pact.

    The pair combined for xi.0 War in 2021, with Seager posting a 145 OPS+ in an injury-shortened 95 games  and Semien launching 45 dwelling runs and winning Golden Glove honors in a season that netted him a 3rd-place end in AL MVP balloting.

    On a smaller scale, the Rangers have also signed right-hander Jon Grayness to serve as the de facto ace of the staff and veteran outfielder Kole Calhoun to serve as the starting right fielder.

    They might not currently have the pitching to be serious contenders in 2022, only this Rangers team put the pedal to the metallic on their rebuild this winter.

Max Scherzer Headlines an Impressive List of New York Mets Newcomers

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    Max Scherzer

    Max Scherzer
    Thearon Due west. Henderson/Getty Images

    If you lot thought terminal winter’due south blockbuster deal to acquire Francisco Lindor and his subsequent x-year, $341 million extension qualified every bit a flashy offseason, well, that was just the appetizer.

    After a disappointing 77-85 finish in Steve Cohen’southward showtime twelvemonth as the team’southward owner, the New York Mets appeared to be taking an all-in approach in the early stages of free bureau.

    Futurity Hall of Famer Max Scherzer became baseball’south highest-paid player when he inked a three-year, $130 1000000 deal, and assuming Jacob deGrom is dorsum to 100 pct after dealing with arm issues last year, the Mets could avowal one of the greatest one-two punches in MLB history.

    Outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha were too signed to join Brandon Nimmo in the grass. Marte will give the top of the lineup a new dynamic afterwards hit .310/.383/.458 with 47 steals last year, while Canha has long been an underrated source of on-base of operations ability and power.

    Third baseman Eduardo Escobar rounds out New York’due south early offseason haul on the heels of a 28-homer, ninety-RBI flavor, and he also provides some defensive versatility with the ability to play second base on a regular ground if needed.

    That would exist quite the offseason for almost teams, simply information technology feels similar there’s more to come.

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.

Source: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2954239-a-refresher-guide-on-mlbs-top-offseason-storylines-amid-free-agent-frenzy