MLB Offseason Catchup Big Names Sign Big Deals: New York Yankees Make Biggest Move

Michael Tom, Maroon-News Staff

The 2017 MLB season ended with the Houston Astros celebrating their first championship title in franchise history. It was a magical and emotional moment for a team representing a city that had been devastated just weeks prior by Hurricane Harvey. However, with that victory in the rearview mirror, every team’s focus is now on what they can do to get themselves ready for March 29, the start of the 2018 MLB season. Here are some notable moves made during this offseason.

The New York Yankees started this year’s offseason with a bang, trading for outfielder Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. As part of the deal, the team takes on the remaining $295 million of his current contract, which lasts through 2028. This was undoubtedly a pricey move, but it has now made the Yankees’ lineup the most potent offense in all of baseball.

The Houston Astros also made strategic moves in the offseason, landing starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. While Cole struggled this past season with an ERA above four, he performed well over the past four years, coming one victory shy of a 20-win season in 2015. If Cole is able to return to form, the Astros will no doubt again be a title contender in 2019.

Rounding out the American League, the Los Angeles Angels signed Shohei Ohtani. This is not your average signing: Ohtani is a one-of-a-kind player who dominates both as a pitcher and hitter. In his five years in the Japanese Pacific League he posted a record of 42-15 on the mound and hit for a .286 average. It remains to be seen how his game will translate to the MLB, but the acquisition has brought optimism to a team that finished under .500 this past season.

On the other side of the league, the San Diego Padres were able to sign their top target, Eric Hosmer. The deal is the largest in franchise history as the Padres will owe Hosmer $144 million over the next eight years. The Padres hope this signing will re-energize its team which finished twenty games under .500 and fourth in the NL West in 2018.

Elsewhere in the NL West, the last-place Giants made two big moves, acquiring Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. Both are veteran players at age 32 and 31, respectively, but remain strong contributors. The Giants will need the boost in offense after finishing second to last in team batting last season.

Finally, the Philadelphia Phillies signed catcher Carlos Santana. He is a productive hitter but whether he will help a 66-win team and 27th ranked offense become a title contender is questionable. It’s been a rough stretch for the Phillies who have not made the playoffs in six years.

The end goal is always a championship, and clubs are simply trying to find the right group to achieve it… except the Marlins. No one knows what’s going on in Miami, not even Pitbull.

Since Derek Jeter has taken over the team, the Marlins have been giving up assests left and right. Having moved Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, the team is completely cleaning house.

“From talking to the guys there – the guys who got traded and some of the guys who are still there – the consensus from our clubhouse is that everything changed after the tragedy with Jose. I think everybody figured our window to win was with him,” said Yelich per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

Many more deals will be made between now and the trade deadline in late July as teams continuously adapt to their weaknesses and other teams’ strengths.

Contact Michael Tom at [email protected].