Winter Meetings returns to San Diego this week, the first time since 2019 that the event has been held in person.
We know the players who will be making headlines, namely Aaron Judge, Trea Turner and Carlos Correa. But which teams will be most active as the squad build for 2023 and beyond begins to take shape?
MLB.com takes a look at 11 teams that should move the needle as the baseball world comes together for the biggest week of the Hot Stove season.
As long as Aaron Judge remains in the free agent market, the Yankees will be the team to watch. New York made an offer of around $300 million over eight years, though the AL MVP is expected to command at least $40 million per season eventually. The Yankees remain favorites to retain Judge, but if he signs elsewhere, there will be immense pressure for general manager Brian Cashman to respond. Could that mean signing Carlos Correa?
San Francisco pulled out a ton of cash this winter, making the Giants one of the big spenders this offseason. Aaron Judge remains the club’s top target, but there are plenty of areas where President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi can improve his roster. Judge or no judge, the Giants are one of the busiest teams this week.
After making two big splashes last winter with the signings of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien for a total of $500 million, Rangers were back with the Friday acquisition of Jacob deGrom, who signed a $185 million deal. dollars over five years. Last year’s spending spree resulted in a 68-94 season, the firing of president of baseball operations Jon Daniels and the hiring of World Series champion manager Bruce Bochy. With deGrom on board, don’t be surprised to see Rangers follow up with another throwing move.
The Dodgers remain on the periphery of the Aaron Judge draw, but Los Angeles is in the roster for a number of top free agents. The club are reportedly interested in Xander Bogaerts, who could fill the void left by free agent Trea Turner. More than $100 million has been taken from the Dodgers payroll since the end of the season, giving president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman plenty of financial flexibility to do just about anything he wants.
As long as Steve Cohen owns the Mets, they will be a threat to any free agent they choose to pursue. Now that Jacob deGrom has left for Texas, the Mets responded Monday, agreeing to a two-year, $86 million deal with Justin Verlander, a source said. Are they finished? The club also spoke with Kodai Senga and Carlos Rodón. They won’t be in the shortstop market, but the Mets will have a say in the outfield and pitching markets as they begin to shake up San Diego.
It’s been four years since the Orioles have been a factor in that conversation, having not signed a free agent to a multi-year deal since 2018. General manager Mike Elias said in general manager meetings that he had a number of areas he hopes to address this offseason. , namely one or two starting pitchers and one or two sticks to fortify the alignment. Baltimore may not be ready to spend on the top echelon of free agents — think Trea Turner — but the Orioles will be in the mix for plenty of next-level players, setting them up for an eventful week.
Will Boston re-sign Xander Bogaerts? If not, will he pivot to another shortstop or slide Trevor Story and look for a backup at second base? What about first base? The Red Sox targeted José Abreu before he signed with the Astros, so what is Boston doing in that role? Other areas the Red Sox could look to address include catching, starting rotation and the bullpen.
Minnesota made a surprising move last winter with the signing of Carlos Correa, but the shortstop waived his contract to test free agency again this offseason. The Twins would love to bring Correa back — and will likely have to hand over the biggest contract in team history to do so — but if they can’t pull it off, Minnesota will have money to spend on meet other needs at receiver and in the starting rotation.
General manager AJ Preller made the biggest move at the trade deadline, acquiring Juan Soto and Josh Bell for a slew of prospects. Bell is a free agent, leaving a hole at first base, while the rotation lost free agents Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea. Preller is unpredictable, so expect the Padres to do something remarkable with winter meetings in their backyard.
Wait, Athletics? No, Oakland isn’t about to make any notable free agent signings in winter meetings, but general manager David Forst has one of the most attractive trade candidates out there: wide receiver Sean Murphy. . Several teams are looking for help behind the plate, making Murphy a huge asset to rebuilding the athletics. Expect this market to heat up as the baseball world gathers in San Diego.
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