I’m not sure if you realize it, but we’re well into the baseball offseason. The Cubs World Series win is old news at this point. But it seems like nothing has happened yet. That’s because almost nothing has.
It’s typical for MLB’s offseason to start slow, unlike the NFL and NBA. Most of the big deals occur during the winter meetings, which are set for next week. But this offseason still seems slower than usual and don’t expect it to heat up much.
What’s Happened So Far
The Braves signed a couple of old pitchers. Atlanta isn’t expected to do anything next season but they still need someone to throw out there. So they signed the 40+ year olds Bartolo Colon and RA Dickey. Just thinking about the continued existence of Bartolo is funny but there’s not much else to get excited with this transaction.
The top free agent, Yoenis Cespedes, is already off the market. He’s going back to the Mets for three years. Not unexpected. Doesn’t change anything. Another top ten free agent, outfielder Josh Reddick, left the Dodgers for the Astros. Yes, Josh Reddick is a top ten free agent. That should tell you about the quality of this year’s free agent class.
So what else? Astros catcher Jason Castro is going to the Twins, Edison Volquez to the Marlins, Andrew Cashner to the Rangers, Jon Jay to the Cubs. None of these really change the balance of power in the league.
Who’s Out There
With the top guy already off the market, what are the biggest names out there? Recent world champion Dexter Fowler is almost definitely not coming back, with the Cubs signing Jon Jay. The Dodgers’ Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, and Rich Hill are all worthy signings but you have to think at least two of them are going back to LA.
So who else? Blue Jays sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are available, but both are well into their 30’s and Encarnacion can’t play the field. The Nationals’ Wilson Ramos was having a great season but then he got hurt. Mark Trumbo led the league in home runs but he doesn’t provide much else. Aroldis Chapman, Ian Desmond, and Matt Wieters make up the best of the rest.
Barring some massive trades, this offseason shouldn’t shake things up too much and that’s a shame. The offseason is usually so much more fun.