Baseball’s working partnership has been broken, and any hunt for rings will have to wait until players and owners throw their differences into the lake of fire and come to terms.
But just because it will take a while for the two sides to come to some kind of resolution, that doesn’t mean we have to stop arguing about what could / should happen when the sport finally resumes.
Because when you do, and teams can sign free agents and trade again, you’ll see a flurry of activity. It’s probably going to be a lot of fun, honestly, to watch free agents sign contracts and watch teams trade one after another. After all, what else are the main office guys going to do during the lockout besides planning their reassembly strategy?
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So we’re looking at division by division what’s on the record for all 30 teams. Today, it is the East of the Americana.
Tampa Bay Rays
Summary prior to blocking: The offseason starter, it really doesn’t matter what happens next, will be the addition of Wander Franco to the massive extension that should benefit both the player and the team. It’s a staple that posted 3.5 bWARs in just 70 games in its 20-year season. They also signed starter Corey Kluber and reliever Brooks Raley.
The first thing to do: Add a bat. The Rays were pretty blunt that that was a priority this offseason. Does that mean Nelson Cruz is coming back as a designated hitter? We’ll see what the outfields look like in 2022. Trading long-time center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is an option. If he goes, that opens up a spot in the outfield for an increase in offensive production.
Also on the list: Ace Tyler Glasnow is out for 2022 after Tommy John surgery and then a free agent after the 2023 season. Knowing the Rays, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them trade him now, and avoid paying his 2022 salary while injured, in exchange. of prospects. Glasnow is good enough that teams almost certainly feel a player of his type is worth acquiring for a 2023 World Series boost.
Boston Red Sox
Summary prior to blocking: The Sox traded Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers for his old friend Jackie Bradley Jr. and a couple of prospects. They also signed recovery candidate James Paxton, along with veterans Rich Hill and Michael Wacha to the rotation mix. All four acquisitions – JBJ, Paxton, Hill and Wacha – could become key contributors, or all four could be left out of the equation for the All-Star Game. Neither would be shocking. They also lost Eduardo Rodríguez, who signed a long-term contract with the Tigers; he had made at least 20 starts in every full season since 2015.
The first thing to do: The JBJ for Renfroe trade is a HUGE success for Boston’s lineup; Renfroe hit 31 home runs with an OPS of .816, while Bradley hit just six home runs with an OPS of .497. So yeah, the Red Sox need to flex that budget muscle and land a lineup hit. Nick Castellanos makes a lot of sense; He can play in the outfield until JD Martinez’s contract runs out, then take his place as All-Star-caliber designated hitter.
Also on the list: Launching, still. Rotation options and bullpen support. Second base, maybe?
POST-BLOCK PRIORITIES: NL East | NL Central | NL West
New York Yankees
Summary prior to blocking: Yankees fans are delighted with the huge free agent deal for Carlos Correa and the aggressive trade for Matt Olson… oh wait. The Yankees basically did nothing while many other teams busied themselves spending, trading and improving their rosters.
The first thing to do: Something. Anything. Buehler? If the Yankees don’t announce a trade or make a big signing in the first few days after the lockout ends, you’ll see a lot of angry Yankees fans. And no, signing Andrelton Simmons to play shortstop doesn’t count. Carlos Correa still makes sense, although it will be expensive. Trevor Story could also join his friend and former Rockies teammate DJ LeMahieu in the Bronx as shortstop.
Also on the list: Brian Cashman made it pretty clear that he’s willing to find a center fielder. And it appears the club is not targeting Luke Voit at first base; Bringing in Anthony Rizzo is an option, and so is trading for Oakland’s Matt Olson.
Toronto Blue Jays
Summary prior to blocking: The Blue Jays lost free agents Marcus Semien (third in the AL MVP voting) and Robbie Ray (won the AL Cy Young), but signed Kevin Gausman and signed José Berríos with an extension. long-term. Reliever Yimi Garcia is also a solid addition to the bullpen.
The first thing to do: Replacing Semien’s bat seems pretty important, huh? They could sign Kris Bryant to third base and slide Cavan Biggio back to second, hoping to bounce back in the season of the Hall of Fame son. They could try to trade for third baseman Matt Chapman, a defensive stalwart who struggled at the plate in 2021. Some Blue Jays fans want the team to trade for Jose Ramirez, but that might be an overstatement. Maybe bring in Kyle Seager on a one-year deal?
Also on the list: The bullpen always needs weapons. The rotation is solid right now – Gausman, Berrios, Alex Manoah, Hyun Jin Ryu and Nate Pearson – but starting depth is always needed.
Summary prior to blocking: The first month of the offseason for the Orioles was a lot like their last three full 162-game seasons – not much to get excited about. In those three years, the O’s have lost 110, 108 and 115 games. In the first month of the offseason, they signed a pitcher who allowed the most home runs in the majors last year (Jordan Lyles) and an infielder with an OPS + of 78 and a bWAR of minus-0.5 in the majors. last three years (rough odor). .
The first thing to do: Maybe, and we’re just playing here, sign a couple of players who will help the team not lose 110 games? At the moment, the O’s projected payroll for 2022 is $ 40.4 million, based on Cot’s Baseball Contracts. That’s lowest in the American League (Cleveland is next, at $ 46.6) ahead of Pittsburgh ($ 34.4) and basically half of the Rays ($ 79.8).
Also on the list: And then sign a few more.