2021-2022 OFFSEASON ANALYSIS
The newest transactions are on top. I only analyzed the important ones.
Big trade between Minnesota and San Diego. SD add to their rotation with Chris Paddack, who slightly improved an already weak staff, but weaken their bullpen. San Diego improves their bullpen by getting a new closer in Taylor Rogers, in a major upgrade.
Detroit add to their lineup. Austin Meadows should help their lineup and they got him for basically nothing, but Tampa Bay rarely lose trades and Meadows was looking as if he was becoming a platoon bat.
Big trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. LA got rid of A.J. Pollock’s bad contract by moving him to Chicago, who are now stuck with a bad co tract but an improvement in RF. LA now potentially have a new closer in Craig Kimbrel, who Chicago didn’t need.
Toronto extended manager Charlie Montoyo for 2 more years in a solid move for the team.
Kansas City picked up their option on manager Mike Matheny. We‘ll see if it works out well.
Los Angeles extended manager Dave Roberts for 3 years. I don’t think he’s worth it as he cost them the 2017 World Series and Greyson despite him.
Colorado and Toronto made a trade. Toronto got rid of DH Randal Grichuk‘s bad contract and will now likely rotate their DH, while adding a lefty bat to a righty heavy lineup in OF Raimel Tapia. Colorado added a power bathroom either RF or DH. Toronto added IF prospect Adrian Pinto and money. Toronto won this trade.
Boston have a new 2B and potential SS of the future in Trevor Story. Good move for both sides.
In a shocker, Minnesota signed SS Carlos Correa for 3 years/$105.3 million. Why couldn’t Correa get more? Why couldn’t Houston top that? Minnesota still won’t make the playoffs and need to fix their starting pitching. Correa moving to a pitcher’s park is going to affect his offensive production. Houston are still the favorites in their division even without him.
Atlanta improved their bullpen by signing Kenley Jansen to be their new closer for 1 year/$16 million. It was a good move based on the length and Jansen’s decline. The Los Angeles Dodgers won’t miss him that much.
New York traded Luke Voit to San Diego for minor league RHP Justin Lange. New York had to move on from Voit, who is now San Diego’s new DH. Voit is a big question mark and is now in a pitcher’s park. Lange has a lot of upside. I think that the Bronx Bombers won this trade.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Freddie Freeman to a 6 year/$150 million deal. I’m calling it now: this is going to be a repeat of what happened with Albert Pujols when he signed with the Los Angeles Angels. Freeman’s struggles in early 2021 weren’t a fluke, he’s about to start declining, and he’s moving to a pitcher’s park.
Colorado improved their lineup by signing Kris Bryant to a 7 year deal worth $26 million a year with a full no-trade clause. It’s not going to send them to the playoffs and will likely not work out. San Francisco shouldn’t have given him that contract, but badly need offense.
Kansas City added rotation depth by signing Zack Greinke to a 1 year deal for up to $15 million. They way overpaid.
Good gamble by the Chicago Cubs as they signed RF Seiya Suzuki for 5 years/$85 million.
New York re-signed Anthony Rizzo for 2 years/$16 million a year. This is a solid move if Rizzo bounces back to his pre-2020 form, this also means that LeMahieu is now a backup, or Donaldson moves to DH and the OF is re-shuffled with Giancarlo Stanton in LF and Joey Gallo in CF.
Embarrassing sell-offs continue. Cincinnati traded breakout LF Jesse Winker to Seattle. They did get a replacement in the trade for him in OF Jake Fraley, a replacement for the previously traded SP Sonny Gray in Justin Dunn and added a pitching prospect Brandon Williamson. Perhaps more importantly they got rid of a bad contract in 3B Eugenio Suarez. In a more detailed look it may not be too bad, if Winker proves to be overrated and Fraley, Dunn and /or Williamson work out well, they did also get rid of a bad contract. Cincinnati will also receive another prospect. I’m not really seeing it from Seattle’s perspective though, Fraley was expendable with their glut of OF’s, but Winker now needs to somehow fit in the mix. I’m guessing that Mitch Haniger moves to DH now to make room for Winker in RF, or Winker is in LF though it affects their top prospect OF’s. They did need to fill DH so either Suarez or Haniger has to be there now. The alternative is Suarez at 3B and Abraham Toro no longer starting. I don’t think that this really does much for Seattle.
Blockbuster trade between Atlanta and Oakland. A lot to unpack here so let’s begin, first off Oakland is definitely rebuilding/retooling, which is a shame as it is entirely based on the team’s financial situation and not their inability to contend for the playoffs with their current roster. Matt Olson is an elite 1B and will be heavily missed. They will now likely sigh someone cheap to replace him at the position. They did acquire some good prospects: RHP’s Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes and C Shea Langeliers along with Major League OF Cristian Pache, who will likely be their new CF, thus keeping Ramon Laureano in RF. If they had to trade Olson, this was a good return. It’s a bigger deal for Atlanta however, they won’t miss the prospects that they traded due to a deep farm system and Pache struggled in his time in the Majors. They also now bring in a hometown boy to be their new middle of the order 1B. The big story here is that it basically closes the door on Freddie Freeman‘s time in Atlanta. Freeman was just recently the best 1B in the game, however at 32 and after a slow start to the 2021 season, a likely 6 year deal with an annual salary of close to $30 million isn’t a good idea. Atlanta’s fans will be upset, but I suspect that it won’t be long until they realize that they dodged a bullet as Freeman becomes another team’s bad contract. Atlanta then signed Olson to a fair extension. Great move by Atlanta.
Blockbuster Trade between New York and Minnesota. The Bronx Bombers finally moved on from Gary Sanchez as their Catcher, now likely going with Kyle Higashioka and new arrival Ben Rortvedt. Sanchez is a defensive liability with contact issues so the Bronx Bombers improve in that regard, while Minnesota is expected to trade him further. Gio Urshela was set to be an expensive backup coming off a down year, but is now headed to Minnesota where he‘s likely to be their new Third Baseman in a questionable move for them. Josh Donaldson is suddenly a New York Yankee and almost certainly the new 3B, in another questionable move based on his health though with upside, but a great one for Minnesota who are free from his contract. This means that DJ LeMahieu moves to 1B or becomes an expensive backup. New York also get a new SS in Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, which closes out their pursuit of more expensive options but gets them a cost-controlled defensive improvement at the position. New York‘s defense has vastly improved. That makes sense with their top prospects. Strange for Minnedota to go back to needing a SS. New York look like winners at the moment.
Minnesota finally got their ace. Sonny Gray is more of a #2-#3 starter and they still don’t look like a playoff team. They sent minor league RHP’s Chase Petty and Francis Peguero to Cincinnati in return. It’s shameful that even with more playoff teams, Cincinnati still sell-off. They need new ownership at this point.
Oakland begin their sell-off and the New York Mets add to their rotation. Chris Bassitt overachieved in 2021, but should be a solid #3-4 type arm for the New York Mets. J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller are solid right-handed pitching prospects going to Oakland in return. Good trade for both sides.
Trade between Texas and Minnesota. Isiah Kiner-Falefa seemed to not have a starting position in Texas anymore, but will be Minnesota’s new SS. That’s not really a difference-maker, but fills a position for them. They do take a hit at C, with Ryan Jeffers taking over for Mitch Garver, who is a significant upgrade at C for Texas.
San Francisco filled out their rotation with a risky sighting of. for $21.5 million in 2022 and $22.5 million in 2023. Carlos Rodon is injury prone and wasn’t even offered a QO by his former team. This is a very risky move and it can go either way.
The Chicago Cubs extended manager David Ross for 3 years and an option.
Oakland has a new manager. We’ll see how Mark Kotsay does as their manager.
The New York Mets made the right choice for their new manager. I think that Buck Showalter is as good as they can get.
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.