With the 2018 MLB Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues set to begin February 23, it’s time to start thinking about major league baseball. Over the past few weeks, including the winter meetings, the MLB offseason has picked up full speed and teams are starting to reach out to sign free agents and make trades in anticipation of building championship rosters for the 2018 season.
Yankees Crush One Out Of Park With Giancarlo Stanton Signing
Probably the biggest signing in the offseason was a blockbuster trade that sent shockwaves around the American League. The Miami Marlins traded All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and an undisclosed amount of cash to the New York Yankees for 2nd baseman Starlin Castro, right-handed pitcher Jorge Guzman and shortstop José Devers.
The Yankees projected lineup for 2018 now appears to be one of the best in the majors. Stanton is expected to fill in the cleanup spot and it would be nearly impossible to pitch around him with Aaron Judge, last year’s rookie of the year, hitting in the 3 spot and Gary Sanchez hitting in the 5 spot. This lineup has some serious pop in it now they could set some records for home runs at Yankee Stadium.
Angels Sign Japanese Sensation Shohei Ohtani and Zack Cozart To Play Third Base?
The Los Angeles Angels boosted their lineup by signing free agent Zack Cozart to a three-year deal worth $38 million dollars. Cozart was brought in under the understanding that he will most likely be moved over to play 3rd base, as the Angels will keep Gold glove award winning shortstop Andrelton Simmons in the middle. Cozart hit 24 home runs last year with a .297 batting average.
The Angels also for a jaw-dropping surprise on the major-league world when they signed Japanese two-way player Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani has been clocked at over 100 mph and has Aaron Judge type power. That being said, there is now an ongoing investigation by major league baseball about Ohtani covering up an injury to his elbow that could affect him playing in the major leagues.
Baltimore Orioles Moving on Towards the Future
The Baltimore Orioles catcher Wellington Castillo signed with the Chicago White Sox and have also placed their All-Star 3rd baseman Manny Machado on the trading block. Machado will be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season and it appears that the Baltimore Orioles will not re-sign him so they are trying to shop him now in exchange for 2 pitchers that the Orioles can sign long-term.
Machado has been the face of the Orioles organization for the past several years and many Baltimore Orioles fans are not happy with the potential movement. Some potential landing spots for Machado are the Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals ……. and none other than the New York Yankees. The Orioles organization has stated that they will not trade Machado to the Yankees but the Evil Empire has plenty to spend so it remains to be seen what happens with Machado and the Baltimore Orioles.
Cardinals Sign Big Bat But Want More
The St. Louis Cardinals may end up having the biggest steal of the 2018 off-season in major league baseball. The Cardinals sent right-handed pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara, outfielder Magneuris Sierra, right-handed pitcher Zac Gallen and left-hander Daniel Castano to the Miami Marlins for All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna.
Ozuna is coming off a great year in 2017 hitting .312 batting average, 37 home runs and 124 RBIs. Ozuna is a great bat in the Cardinals lineup but they aren’t done and they want more! The Cardinals, in addition to be in the talks with the Baltimore Orioles for Machado, have also been talked about with signing Toronto Blue Jays 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson. The problem with Machado and Donaldson is they will both be one year deals as both will be free agents at the end of the year.
A much stronger option to kill 2 birds with one stone is to work out a trade with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for closer Alex Colome and 3rd baseman Evan Longoria.
Philadelphia Phillies Sign a Big Bat for their Lacking Lineup
The Phillies went out and sign free-agent Carlos Santana to a three-year $60 million contract. Santana is 31 years old and hit 23 home runs and 37 doubles while batting .259 average for the Cleveland Indians last year. Santana is expected to be the every day 1st baseman for the Phillies.