2017 MLB Winter Meetings Begin In Orlando
2017 Winter Meetings
This is where hot stove got it's name. Each year a veritable who's-who in baseball (MLB and minor leagues) get together and do business. That means trades, transactions, contracts, so expect a lot to happen in the next few days. For the 2017 edition, the Winter Meetings will last until Dec. 13. The last day will be the Rule 5 draft, in which minor league prospects can be drafted to a major league club to play on their 40-man roster. Even before the meetings began though, there was big news.
Two huge players found new homes. The first is Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese phenom, who we profiled here. Destined for a West Coast team with enough of an international budget to afford him, the young two-way player ended up on the Los Angeles Angels, a team desperate for some starting pitching. The other player who caused a bang in the baseball world was Giancarlo Stanton, who was traded from the Marlins to play alongside fellow power hitter Aaron Judge on the New York Yankees.
Soon after the meetings officially began, two free agent relievers were signed. Sources say Luke Gregerson, formerly an Astro, signed a 2-year $11 million deal with the Cardinals. Brandon Morrow, most recently a Dodger, is said to be finalizing a contract with the Chicago Cubs, and would most likely be their closer after Wade Davis became a free agent.
Other free agent relievers of note are Greg Holland and Brandon Kintzler. Look for them to find homes soon. Steve Cishek, Tommy Hunter, Jake McGee, Pat Neshek, Juan Nicasio, and Tony Watson are among closers who we expect teams to gobble up. The reliever market is quite warm right now.
In terms of trades for relievers, Zach Britton does stand out. The Orioles do seem to be trying to make a push with their current squad. He has a year left and so does Buck Showalter, so don't expect too many changes this time around. The Yankees could deal Dellin Betances, but wouldn't really be getting any value out of it. In the AL East, it's the Tampa Bay Rays who are most likely going to deal Alex Colome to save some cash. The closer would make a great addition to a bullpen lacking team.
Starters include free agents Andrew Cashner, Jhoulys Chacin, Alex Cobb, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn, Chris Tillman, and Jason Vargas. With Ohtani settling into his new team, all other contenders need to move fast, lest be left high and dry. Former options like the Cubs, Dodgers, and Rangers, along with the Brewers and Twins will no doubt be looking at free agents Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish.
The hitters market is quite a bit different. With the Miami Marlins' deal with the Yanks, they aren't planning to stop the fire sale. Newly acquired Starlin Castro, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich are all reportedly on the market as part of the Marlins' long-term rebuild. It will be a slow grind, but with the Nationals dominating the NL East now, it's time they can use to grow stronger.
Along with the aforementioned Colome, the Rays could also be ready to deal pitchers Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi. Reports even suggest Evan Longoria might be on the outs. The Tigers are following a similar rebuild trend as the Marlins and Rays, and could be dealing Ian Kinsler.
For buyers, Jose Abreu (for trade), Yasmani Grandal, and Andrew McCutchen could all add some consistent hitting, while the power bats of free agents Eric Hosmer, J.D. Martinez, Mike Moustakas, and Carlos Santana are all available for the right price.
There's a lot of possibilities here, and luckily we don't have to wait a long time to find out what's going to happen during hot stove this year. Will Castro be flipped to a new team right away? Will a team lose one of their franchise players? Who do you think will be signed, and where? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to join us this whole week for every deal and move!
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