Early Offseason Predictions
Winter may be rapidly approaching, but that is not stopping the MLB from creating exciting news nearly every day. Every team in the league is looking to make a key free agent signing or trade that will propel them to greatness next season. These will be the five biggest moves made this offseason.
Braves Trade For Top Starting Pitcher
Despite already signing R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, the Atlanta Braves will still trade for a premiere starting pitcher. The Braves have already expressed their interest in Chris Sale, Sonny Gray and Chris Archer, so it should only be a matter of time before one of them gets sent to Atlanta. The Braves lost 93 games last season, but they were a much better team after the All-Star break. Adding another great starting pitcher will allow the Braves to contend for a playoff spot their first season in Sun Trust Park.
Red Sox Sign Blue Jays Slugger
The Red Sox desperately need a designated hitter after the retirement of David Ortiz, and they will get their slugger by signing one of the Toronto Blue Jays free agents. Since the Blue Jays have shown a lot more interest in resigning Edwin Encarnacion, it appears likely that the Red Sox will be adding Jose Bautista to their team in the near future. Bautista excels at hitting home runs in Fenway Park, and his production helps the Red Sox win the AL East again next year.
Kenley Jansen Goes to the Yankees
The Yankees know the importance of building a dominant bullpen. The team’s playoff hopes dwindled late in the season after Dellin Betances got exhausted from overuse. Since the Yankees likely do not have the money to bring Aroldis Chapman back to New York, they will go after the second-best closer on the free agent market. Signing Kenley Jansen will give the Yankees one of the best bullpens in the league, but they still come up short in their quest for the playoffs.
Cardinals Sign Dexter Fowler
One year after having the Chicago Cubs steal Jason Heyward away from them, the St. Louis Cardinals will return the favor by signing Dexter Fowler. After losing Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss, the Cardinals do not have a starting left fielder. Fowler is easily the best outfielder on the free agent market, and Randal Grichuk will have no problem transitioning to left field to make room for the great defensive center fielder. Fowler proves to be a much better signing than Jason Heyward, and he helps the Cardinals get back to the playoffs next year.
Dodgers Trade for All-Star Second Baseman
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in need of a second baseman since Chase Utley is better utilized as a bench player at this point in his career. The huge payroll and great farm system of the Dodgers allows them to trade for an All-Star second baseman before spring training. Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips and Brian Dozier are all on the trade block, so the Dodgers will have no problem finding the a deal that fits their needs. This upgrade at the second base position helps the Dodgers hold off the San Francisco Giants for another NL West title next year.