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Biggest offseason question for each MLB team: Dodgers’ list of free agents, Yankees’ shortstop opening, more

Is it time to commerce Marte? The Diamondbacks misplaced 110 video games in 2021 and the NL West is a brutal division. Arizona doesn’t appear poised for a fast turnaround even with high quality constructing blocks like Zac Gallen, Ketel Marte, and Daulton Varsho. The D-Backs resisted buying and selling Marte on the deadline they usually’ll be tempted once more this offseason. His commerce worth could by no means once more be as excessive as it’s proper now given his manufacturing and long-term management. With rivalry seemingly so distant, the D-Backs can be sensible to enter Marte commerce talks with an open thoughts. In any other case this group wants upgrades all around the subject and on the mound. They want extra assist than they may fairly get in a single offseason.   Will they re-sign Freeman? I’d wager the farm on the reply being “sure,” although St. Louis as soon as let Albert Pujols stroll proper after a World Collection win, so we will not etch it in stone. Because the Braves went via their rebuild within the mid-2010s, Freddie Freeman was the one core participant they refused to commerce and as a substitute constructed round, so it was becoming he recorded the ultimate put out within the World Collection clinching Sport 6. Freeman turned 32 in September and decline years are coming, however he is additionally in “retired quantity” territory for the Braves, and has constructed most of a robust Corridor of Fame case. A reunion alongside the traces of Paul Goldschmidt’s contract (5 years and $130 million, additionally signed at age 32) is smart sufficient. Now it simply has to occur. Will they commerce Mancini? Trey Mancini’s return from Stage 3 colon most cancers was the feel-good story of the season. Alas, this can be a enterprise, and Mancini turns 30 in spring coaching and is a yr away from free company. Baltimore remains to be so removed from rivalry within the deep AL East that it is tough to see Mancini as a part of the subsequent nice Orioles group. On one hand, buying and selling him this winter is the way in which to go from the cold-blooded “baseball determination” perspective. Then again, the Orioles have misplaced at the very least 108 video games of their final three 162-game seasons, and Mancini is among the few issues their followers can be ok with. I am unsure Mancini’s commerce worth is all that top as a result of he is good slightly than nice, and he has only one yr of management with a projected $8 million or so wage via arbitration. Conserving him and constructing some goodwill with the fan base slightly than flipping him for a Grade B prospect or two would not be a horrible thought.  How will they construct the rotation? Chris Sale will probably be additional away from Tommy John surgical procedure subsequent yr and he’ll be part of Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta within the rotation. Tanner Houck has earned an extended look subsequent season after using the shuttle between Triple-A and the massive leagues this summer time, leaving the No. 5 spot up for grabs. Stalwart Eduardo Rodriguez is a free agent and re-signing him can be sensible, although it is not a lock. The Red Sox may very well be tempted to maneuver Garrett Whitlock into the rotation, although his arsenal and points with lefties counsel the bullpen is the place he belongs. One other dependable, innings-eating arm to guard towards Houck’s (and Whitlock’s and Connor Seabold’s and whichever different younger pitchers the Purple Sox cycle via) workload limitations feels mandatory.    How a lot do they imagine within the second half offense? The Cubs have apparent questions on their rotation — claiming Wade Miley off waivers was fine work — although the extra fascinating query to me is the offense. Following the deadline purge Chicago acquired good work from fill-ins Frank Schwindel and Rafael Ortega (and Patrick Wisdom, who was round many of the yr). Adequate to pencil them into the lineup subsequent season? Or is that this a “thanks for these enjoyable few weeks, however we will search for somebody with an extended observe document” scenario? Schwindel’s promising mix of above-average contact charges and high-end exit velocities is price an extended look in 2022, I imagine. What occurs with Kimbrel? As anticipated, the White Sox picked up their $16 million club option for Craig Kimbrel prior to Sunday’s deadline. It is tough to see Kimbrel opening subsequent season with the ChiSox, nonetheless. He was ineffective and only a poor match after becoming a member of the membership on the commerce deadline, so a commerce appears seemingly. Kimbrel was an All-Star simply this season. You do not have to look again far in any respect to see the final time he was an elite nearer. That stated, he did battle following the commerce, and the $16 million price ticket will not be simple to maneuver. Contenders with a transparent opening within the ninth inning (i.e. groups keen to let Kimbrel nearer slightly than strive him as a setup man just like the White Sox) and cash to spend determine to be essentially the most aggressive commerce suitors. How way more will they minimize payroll? The primary few days of the offseason have been ominous, The Reds traded the perfectly cromulent Tucker Barnhart to the Tigers for a non-prospect, then let Wade Miley go on waivers. Each strikes have been clearly designed to chop payroll, which isn’t one thing a group that was within the postseason race a lot of the yr needs to be doing. They need to be including to Barnhart and Miley, not subtracting them. If the cost-cutting continues, Sonny Gray is an obvious trade candidate. If it ends right here, the Reds can salvage a tough first week of the offseason and put a contending roster collectively for 2022. How can they enhance the outfield? Actually, the query is how a lot can the entrance workplace spend, as a result of Cleveland has aggressively minimize payroll the final two offseasons. Choosing up heart fielder Myles Straw on the commerce deadline was a nifty little transfer. Now the membership must improve the outfield corners, the place they’ve struggled to subject even common large leaguers since letting Michael Brantley depart as a free agent. If they’ll add even a reasonable quantity of payroll, discovering high quality outfield bats will not be too tough. If the entrance workplace can solely spend a bit of (or under no circumstances), then Cleveland could once more battle to generate offense and contend in 2022. What’s going to occur behind the scenes? Look, there’s little or no probability the Rockies will contend within the NL West subsequent yr. The division is simply too robust even when the D-Backs throw within the towel and fully rebuild. Realistically, there isn’t any sequence of strikes that may make Colorado a contender in 2022. In that case, the main target must be on the behind the scenes work. Interim GM Bill Schmidt was given the job permanently a few weeks ago. What’s he doing to enhance the membership’s entrance workplace infrastructure? The notion throughout the recreation is the Rockies are behind the instances analytically. It is time to rise up to hurry, and in addition modernize the scouting and participant growth techniques. That is the precedence this winter. Any questions in regards to the group on the sphere are secondary. Can they land a giant shortstop? The Tigers are a sleeper group this offseason. They don’t have any cash on the books long-term aside from Miguel Cabrera, and their high prospects are both within the large leagues (Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal) or are knocking on the door (Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, and so forth.). Detroit took some good steps ahead this yr and the group has already made one wise, low-cost improve in catcher Tucker Barnhart. The query now could be can they land one of many large free agent shortstops to be the veteran centerpiece as they transition from rebuilder to contender, just like the Nationals signing Jayson Werth? The Carlos Correa-A.J. Hinch connection is tough to disregard. Will they re-sign Correa? They clearly ought to. Carlos Correa is a franchise participant and he turned solely 27 in September, so he nonetheless has an terrible lot of peak years forward of him, plus he is a beloved homegrown participant. I imply, if you are going to tank so you may draft this man No. 1 total after which not signal him long-term, why would followers count on you to signal anybody long-term? I am not saying re-signing Correa will probably be low cost — he is made the Astros excess of cash than they’ve paid him, and now it is his flip to money in — but it surely needs to be a no brainer. The Astros are superb and their window to win a title will stay open in 2022. Let Correa stroll and that window does not shut fully, but it surely undoubtedly closes fairly a bit. How will they kind out the infield? The Royals have drawback on their arms. Their center infield is stacked: Nicky Lopez had a breakout season at shortstop, Whit Merrifield was an All-Star at second base, and Adalberto Mondesi is among the most bodily gifted gamers within the sport. Kansas Metropolis additionally has an elite shortstop prospect knocking on the door in Bobby Witt Jr. Maybe this query has a straightforward resolution: Lopez and Witt because the double play mixture, Merrifield strikes again to the outfield, and Mondesi assumes a part-time tremendous utility function given his incapability to keep away from the injured checklist. That stated, it may very well be time to place Merrifield and Mondesi on the commerce market and look to deal with different wants (pitching, largely) that approach.  Will they land top-tier pitching? The query is identical because it ever was with the Angels. Shohei Ohtani pitches at an ace degree when he begins, although he solely began 23 video games this yr as a result of the membership should restrict his workload as a two-way participant. Patrick Sandoval had a breakout yr, perhaps José Suarez too, in any other case the rotation is a multitude. There isn’t any Gerrit Cole sitting in free company, that in-his-prime ace, although guys like Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, and Marcus Stroman characterize important upgrades to a pitching employees that wants important upgrades. The well being of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon is a query too, although that is not likely one thing the Angels can reply within the offseason. What occurs with all their free brokers? There’s an opportunity the Dodgers will look very completely different when spring coaching rolls round in just a few months. Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, and Chris Taylor are all free brokers after serving as cornerstone gamers the final six-plus years, and different short-term Dodgers like Corey Knebel and Max Scherzer are free brokers as effectively. I’ve a tough time seeing Jansen or Kershaw in numerous uniforms, however gosh, who actually is aware of at this level? Even when they re-sign these two, it looks like Los Angeles is heading for an offseason of serious change. Will they commerce a pitcher? The Marlins have constructed enviable rotation depth. Sandy Alcantara is a respectable ace and perhaps the least talked about nice pitcher within the sport. Trevor Rogers and Pablo López are above-average starters as effectively, Sixto Sánchez and Jesús Luzardo (and Edward Cabrera) deliver large upside, and others like Braxton Garrett, Elieser Hernandez, and Nick Neidert function depth. Miami is loaded with pitching however quick on offense, and buying and selling a pitcher for a bat is price contemplating. Assuming Alcantara is off-limits, López makes essentially the most sense as a commerce chip. He is into his money-making arbitration years and would deliver a hefty return, and the Marlins can substitute him internally.  Will they lastly commerce Hader? Josh Hader isn’t any stranger to the commerce rumor mill. He is been on the block for just a few years now, but he stays with the Brewers, and he simply had his greatest season. On the identical time, Hader is just two years away from free company and his 2022 wage will probably be within the $10 million vary via arbitration. That is expensive for a small-market group that churns out high quality relievers seemingly at will. If the Brewers are going to commerce Hader, that is the time to do it, as a result of an damage or a subpar season would sink his worth (and perhaps even flip him right into a non-tender candidate subsequent offseason). Flipping Hader for a package deal constructed round a younger first or third baseman can be supreme, although once you’re buying and selling a participant like this, get as a lot expertise again as potential no matter place, and kind it out later. Who’s pitching for this group in 2022? José Berríos was traded on the deadline, Kenta Maeda had Tommy John surgical procedure in September, and Michael Pineda is a free agent. So, proper now, the Twins rotation is Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, and I assume Randy Dobnak? Others like Griffin Jax and Drew Strotman should not be Opening Day rotation locks, and high prospects Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran have 5 profession video games at Triple-A mixed (all by Duran). The AL Central is hardly a powerhouse division and you do not have to strive too arduous to see Minnesota making a run in 2022. They badly want rotation assist although. A minimum of two starters, I might say. Possibly even three, and ideally they add at the very least one frontline man who would not look misplaced beginning Sport 1 of a postseason sequence. Will they discover somebody to take over their baseball operations? This could — ought to — be essentially the most fascinating entrance workplace job in baseball, perhaps even in all of sports activities. The Mets are a big-market membership with a ravishing ballpark, an proprietor keen to spend, a devoted fan base, they usually have expertise on the roster (Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jacob deGrom, and so forth.) and within the farm system (Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and so forth.). And but, the Mets keep getting turned away by their top candidates, several of whom have straight up declined to interview. That is … troubling. How unhealthy should the franchise’s repute be for candidates to go on this chance? Ultimately somebody will be part of the Mets as their normal supervisor. There are solely 30 of those jobs, in any case. Clearly although, the Mets will not be getting certainly one of their high candidates. They won’t even get certainly one of their second-tier candidates. How will they tackle shortstop? The Yankees pulled the plug on Gleyber Torres at shortstop in August and can now look to fill the place this winter. Opening the pockets and spending on Carlos Correa or Corey Seager can be the best, most Yankee-like transfer. They want a shortstop and there are two 27-year-old franchise shortstops sitting in free company, so signal one. That stated, there are different viable choices (Javier Báez, Marcus Semien, Trevor Story), and it is unclear whether or not the Yankees will even spend large after ducking beneath the luxury-tax threshold in 2021. Freddy Galvis, José Iglesias, and Andrelton Simmons characterize the free agent cut price bin. Nick Ahmed and Paul DeJong look to be the most effective the commerce market has to supply. How deep will the cost-cutting get? The early indicators are troubling. The Athletics let Bob Melvin, arguably the most effective supervisor within the recreation, go to the Padres for no compensation although he had a yr remaining on his contract. They then declined the very cheap $4 million membership choice in Jake Diekman’s contract. It is not a query of will the A’s minimize payroll, however how a lot will they minimize it? A lot that stalwarts like Chris Bassitt, Matt Chapman, Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea, and Matt Olson discover themselves on the commerce block? All besides Montas are projected to earn north of $8 million via arbitration in 2021. That is shaping as much as be a painful offseason for A’s followers because the membership continues to haggle over a brand new ballpark. What occurs on the left facet of the infield? The Phillies even have wants in heart subject and within the bullpen, although the left facet of the infield stands out as the largest weak spot. Shortstop Didi Gregorius is one yr right into a two-year contract, however he was one of many least productive gamers in baseball in 2021, and third baseman Alec Bohm is perhaps greatest fitted to left subject. Transferring Jean Segura to 3rd base, the place he performed 24 video games in 2020, is one choice, however that simply strikes the query from third to second. My guess is Gregorius will get one other crack on the shortstop job in 2022. Even then, they nonetheless want to determine third base. In an ideal world, the Phillies would improve each positions on the left facet of the infield this winter slightly than take a “we hope issues will probably be higher in 2022” strategy. Will they commerce Reynolds? The Pirates are nonetheless pretty early of their rebuild, so it is no shock they acquired calls about All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds on the commerce deadline. That they had a excessive asking worth — Pittsburgh reportedly needed high prospect Julio Rodríguez from the Mariners — and understandably so. Reynolds is a soon-to-be 27-year-old All-Star who will not develop into a free agent till after 2025. Conserving him and constructing round him can be supreme. That stated, the Pirates will once more be bombarded with commerce calls this winter. Will any gives be ok to noticeably contemplate buying and selling Reynolds? At this level within the rebuild, nothing will be off the desk, although it must be a Godfather package deal to get me to half with this man. You’ll be able to’t simply preserve buying and selling your good gamers away and rebuilding perpetually. Will they signal a high free agent? Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are returning for another season and it might make sense for the Cardinals to go all-in on 2022 and attempt to get them one other ring. You could possibly envision them signing one of many high shortstops (Paul DeJong has fallen out of favor and Edmundo Sosa is a pleasant participant who should not stand in the way in which of an improve) or a high beginning pitcher (whats up St. Louis native Max Scherzer). Heck, why not each? The sheer numbers point out a type of high free agent shortstops will get squeezed right into a one-year contract. How about reuniting Trevor Story with Nolan Arenado on a one-year “show your self” contract, and bringing Scherzer dwelling as effectively? That might be enjoyable.  What’s subsequent for Tatis? First issues first: Fernando Tatis Jr. won’t have shoulder surgical procedure this offseason, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He’ll as a substitute undergo a rehab program designed to strengthen the shoulder. That solutions one main query. The second: the place will Tatis play in 2022? He has spent most of his profession at shortstop, however he did play a couple of month within the outfield this previous season to guard the shoulder. Both approach, shortstop or the outfield, the Padres need to decide about Tatis’ defensive dwelling, and that call will assist form their offseason. How will they spend all that cash? It is not typically a franchise participant like Buster Posey can retire and the group’s greatest offseason query is not “how will they substitute him?” but top prospect Joey Bart softens the blow for San Francisco. As a substitute, we’ll ask how the Giants are planning to spend all that cash. Posey, Brandon Belt, Johnny Cueto, and Kevin Gausman are all free brokers after making a mixed $77.3 million in 2021. Belt and Gausman should be changed (Cueto too), although that’s nonetheless a ton — a ton — of cash to play with this winter, and that is even earlier than we contemplate a potential payroll improve after a 107-win season and a division title. The Giants are sensible they usually have cash to spend. All indicators level to this group having an extremely impactful offseason. How a lot will payroll improve? That needs to be the query, not “will payroll improve?” The Mariners ran a payroll within the $140 million to $160 million vary yearly from 2016-19, then chopped it all the way down to $73 million in 2021. With younger expertise all around the roster (Jarred Kelenic, Logan Gilbert, and so forth.) and extra coming (Julio Rodríguez, Emerson Hancock, and so forth.), and the membership staying within the postseason race proper all the way down to the ultimate day of the common season, Seattle needs to be a serious participant this offseason. They need assistance at second and third base, behind the plate, and within the rotation. Possession has no good purpose to pinch pennies this offseason after the yr the group simply had (and given their current demonstrated payroll capability). Which veteran will probably be traded? Final offseason it was Blake Snell, the offseason earlier than that it was Tommy Pham, and two offseasons earlier than that’s was Evan Longoria. Buying and selling veterans for prospects to maintain payroll down and replenish the pipeline is on the heart of the Rays‘ team-building course of, they usually’re superb at it, though it may be painful for followers to see their favourite gamers shipped out continuously. This offseason’s trade candidates include Kevin Kiermaier and the injured Tyler Glasnow, plus others like Austin Meadows, Joey Wendle, and Yandy Díaz. Given the whole lot we find out about how Tampa operates, the query shouldn’t be will they commerce a veteran, however which one(s) will they commerce. Will they open their wallets for a giant free agent? Trevor Story grew up in Dallas and he is been speculated as a possible goal for the Rangers for that purpose for over a yr now. Fact be advised, Texas wants assist in all places, so they are a potential match for nearly each large free agent. Beginning pitcher? Outfielder? Shortstop? Certain. The Rangers may make all of it work. This group misplaced 102 video games in 2021, so they are not one large free agent away from rivalry, however just a few high prospects ought to debut in 2022 (Josh Jung, Cole Winn, perhaps even Jack Leiter) and the money-printing new ballpark is 2 years previous. Signing a high in-his-prime free agent is never a foul thought. How will they substitute Ray and Semien? The reply may very effectively be “by re-signing Robbie Ray and Marcus Semien.” That might be the way in which to go, although I do not assume saying thanks for the MVP-caliber season, then letting Semien stroll and taking the compensation draft decide can be fully insane. It actually relies upon what occurs subsequent after that. If the Blue Jays pivot and signal, say, Corey Seager or Trevor Story, then yeah, letting Semien go can be defensible. Both approach, changing Ray atop the rotation and Semien in the midst of the lineup are the largest questions in Toronto this offseason. It is a group on the rise and they need to have cash to spend. Will they lock up Soto? The Nationals acknowledged they have been going nowhere quick this summer time, then shipped Max Scherzer and Trea Turner (and Yan Gomes, Brad Hand, Josh Harrison, Daniel Hudson, Jon Lester, and Kyle Schwarber) away on the commerce deadline. This isn’t a full blown rebuild, although Washington doesn’t seem like a group that may be a transfer or two away from rivalry. So, the largest query this offseason is whether or not they’ll lock up franchise participant Juan Soto. That is the franchise that didn’t lock up Turner, Bryce Harper, or Anthony Rendon, however gosh, not making Soto a Nationwide for all times looks like it might be a colossal mistake. Soto turned solely 23 (!) in October and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s 14-year, $330 million contract is the apparent benchmark. Have in mind Soto is just three years away from free company although. Tatis was 4 years away from free company when he signed his deal, so Soto has a bit of extra leverage and might thus command a bigger payday.



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