2021-2022 OFFSEASON ANALYSIS
The newest transactions are on top. I only analyzed the important ones.
Big trade between Boston and Milwaukee. Boston sold high on Hunter Renfroe and Milwaukee filled their need for a power bat in RF, while dumping Jackie Bradley Jr. and his bad contract. Bradley is likely back in CF in Boston, with Enrique Hernandez moving to 2B. Who will be Boston’s new RF? Milwaukee won the trade at this point.
Boston keeps signing question mark candudates for the rotation to 1 year deals. Michael Wacha, James Paxton and now Rich Hill. There’s upside there with Paxton and maybe Hill, but none of them will give them 200 innings or stability. I think that the resources would’ve been better spent on someone like Stroman, though maybe he just wasn’t interested in signing with them. 1 year deals aren’t bad and this gives them depth, I’m just not sure that this is the best way to go.
Really bizarre move by the Chicago Cubs. They’re not going to the playoffs in the next few seasons, so why spend big money on SP Marcus Stroman? Why didn’t any contending team beat 3 years/$71 million for him?! The New York Mets now almost certainly got worse, losing more WAR then they’re getting back.
Solid move for Arizona, as they have a new closer that they can flip at the trading deadline. Mark Melancon gets $6 million a year for the next 2 years with a $5 million player option for a third. San Diego won’t have much of a problem replacing Melancon however.
Good move by Philly. Corey Knebel should improve their bullpen and it’s a 1 year/$10 million deal so the risk is minimal, while the Los Angeles Dodgers take another hit. LA needs good relievers. Speaking of LA, good move by them as they re-signed Chris Taylor. He will likely finally get to be a full-time starter, at 2B.
Great move by Atlanta. They picked up manager Brian Shirker’s option for next season.
Questionable signing for Detroit. Javier Baez has terrible OBP’s and strikes out too much, so paying him premium money for 7 years is crazy. Baez returns to bring a SS, after being a 2B with The New York Mets, who are right not to re-sign him, though losing him also means that they basically lose as much WAR as they gain with all of their big moves. Detroit are still not a playoff team and will regret this contract. Baez
Good move by Texas, as they bring in Corey Seager for 10 years/$325 million. Seager is a good foundational piece and should improve the team. He still seems overpaid by a bit and they still need a lot more to make the playoffs. This also means that either Semien stays as a second baseman, or Seager finally moves to a different position, in this case second base. The Los Angeles Dodgers take a sustainable hit, as they have a better SS replacement in Trea Turner. They still have a good lineup, though they also get a bit worse.
Good trade for both Miami and Pittsburgh. Jacob Stallings is 32 and won’t be a key part of Pittsburgh’s next contending team, so they may as well get prospects for him now. They replaced him the next day with Roberto Perez for 1 year/$5 million in a good deal. They can sign a cheap replacement for now. Miami get a solid catching upgrade for a low return. He seems a bit old for them, but he’s still an upgrade and they’re closer to contention than Pittsburgh. Miami later moved on from bust C Jorge Alfaro in a good move.
Good move by Seattle. Or is it? They finally have an ace, as they signed Robbie Ray for 5 years/$175 million. I do think that they overpaid and his FIP being more of a mid-rotation starter along with his track record worry me.
The New York Mets continue being themselves. Looks like “Lol Mets” is their way of business. They made a 38 year old SP who couldn’t pitch in the playoffs due to a “dead arm” the highest paid player in history in average annual value. Yea it’s Max Scherzer, but 3 years/$130 million?! $43 million annually?! It’s one of the worst contracts ever given out in the game’s history. Scherzer’s fastball velocity has been in decline for years and Mother Nature remains undefeated, The chances of Scherzer remaining an ace for the length of this deal are highly unlinkely. Worse, they’re still not necessarily the favorites in their division. The Los Angeles Dodgers take a hit to their rotation, but we’re smart in not matching or exceeding that contract. Will LA replace Scherzer well? I could see a decline coming for LA with all of their free agents. They were however contenders and won the World Series last season without him.
Texas made a gamble. SP Jon Gray is either going to be a bargain or a decently priced mid-rotation starter. Colorado are still missing the playoffs next season, but now need a new SP and are worse. I still don’t see Texas going to the playoffs next season. As usual Colorado made an idiotic mistake not issuing him a QO.
Massive blow for San Francisco & a great signing for Toronto. Kevin Gausman is an ace that Toronto needed, and 5 years/$110 million is fair. San Francisco now badly need an ace, while Toronto can let Robbie Ray walk as they have a replacement. Overall Gausman should pitch worse than Ray did for them in 2021, but they needed an ace if Ray signed elsewhere and now they did.
Miami improved their lineup. They probably overpaid for Avisail Garcia to be their new RF and it won’t move the needle much, but at least it’s some consistency. Milwaukee badly needs to add bats, as they already lost two so far this off-season.
Texas gave out a questionable contract. Marcus Semien has been an above average but nothing more of a player except for 2019 (inflated BABIP and juiced ball) and 2021 (contract year). I don’t think that he’ll come anywhere close to living up to his 7 year/$175 million deal and Texas won’t be contending for a few years, making signing a 31 year old to that type of deal even worse. Toront will miss Semien’s 2021 production, but avoided a bad contract.
Very risky extension for Minnesota. Byron Buxton is a very good player when healthy, but the key word is “healthy”. 7 years/$100 million is a lot and it’s hard for me to say that it’s a good deal. At the same time he’s good enough based on talent.
Tampa Bay added rotation help. I’m not sure how much Corey Kluber can still help, but we’ll see. New York won’t miss him and should bring in someone more reliable. It’s a solid 1 year deal for Tampa Bay though.
Underwhelming solution for Seattle at second base. Adam Frazier is just barely passable as a starter and he has no power. Seattle overachieved in 2021 and they’re only getting worse. Frazier basically replaces Kyle Seager in the lineup, which is a downgrade. Abraham Toro now moves to third base, so Seattle fans shouldn’t expect any big additions to the lineup in free agency. San Diego sold high, cleared up their logjam and saved money.
The New York Mets added a new 3B. Eduardo Escobar is a solid addition for them and someone that Milwaukee will need to replace, as they badly need hitting help. I do think that they overpaid for him. Luckily for Milwaukee it shouldn’t be hard. They then added LF Mark Canha. They’re spending $26 annually for these two, I guess they improve their lineup, but seems as if they overpaid a bit to me and didn’t bring in enough certainty. They lived up to their reputation by signing CF Starling Marte to a bad contract. A player going deep into his 30’s, whose value is in defense and speed, two attributes that decline early. They also said goodbye to Michael Conforto, though that’s not likely to affect them. Not a good day for the New York Mets, as none of these players are big upgrades and they overpaid for each of them.
The Chicago White Sox heavily improved their bullpen. It’s an expected blow for Houston, but they should still be fine. Kendall Graveman is going to improve Chicago’s bullpen.
Good move for San Francisco. They needed to fill rotation spots and they got Anthony DeSclafani at the right price. They also did a good job by filling another spot by bringing back Alex Wood. The price is too high for him however.
Solid move by Texas. Chris Woodward might be a good manager.
The New York Mets finally have a GM. I‘m not optimistic but let’s see how Billy Eppler does in his new role.
Houston made a costly mistake. Will Justin Verlander still dominate in his late 30‘s after missing 2 seasons (minus a terrible start innings in 20201)?I wouldn’t bet on it and neither should’ve they. He won’t even come close to 200 innings in 2022. The fact that they’re paying him $25 million next season and that there’s a PLAYER option for that same salary for 2023 is stupidity at its finest. This means that if he’s as bad as should be expected, they’re stuck overpaying him for another season.
Just plain stupid move by the Los Angeles Angels. $21 million and a draft pick for SP Noah Syndergaard. He’s unlikely to handle a full starter’s workload next season and who knows how he’ll do. The last thing they needed is more question marks in the rotation. The price tag also makes it unlikely that they get more significant help. The New York Mets will hopefully for them use their savings wisely.
Detroit overpaid for an innings eater. Eduardo Rodriguez only had a top of the rotation FIP and xFIP in his contract year. Boston can easily replace him and received a draft pick as compensation, easily winning this transaction.
Cincinnati save money and Detroit improve at catcher. Tucker Barnhart might help Detroit’s starting pitchers and Cincinnati actually got something back for him, instead of just declining his option, and can now give Tyler Stephenson a shot as a starter.
San Diego gets a new manager. This is a good move and we’ll see how Bob Melvin does there.