The MLB regular season has the drama front and center on the field for the players. While the offseason is the battlefield among the GM’s. And the wars waged aren’t ones that we see clearly. That is until the fruits of labor have nearly come to fruition. And this offseason has been no different. Aside from Josh Donaldson, none of the major named free agents have signed. And aside from James Paxton, no big names had been moved. That was until this past weekend, when Robinson Cano and his 5 years $120 Million deal, and Edwin Diaz got moved to Flushing, New York. So the stove is heating up.
This MLB offseason is one that has been arguably the most anticipated free agent class in the history of free agency. Players like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have been watched, studied, and prepared for since they made their Major League debuts in 2012. And as I discussed in a bit more length in the first episode of the Laracuente Ledger Podcast (available now) more moves are coming. And soon. Jean Segura to the Phillies in exchange for Carlos Santana and JP Crawford. But the offseason isn’t just about trades and signings (although that us the bulk of it.) It’s also about seeing the direction that your favorite club is going.
For instance, let’s stay with the two teams we just mentioned the Seattle Mariners and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are going for it. They want to make a big splashy move so that they can compete and try to bring a championship back to Philly since 2008.
The Seattle Mariners, on the other hand, are looking towards their future. They are stockpiling talented young players to “reimagine” (Seattle GM Jerry DiPoto’s slogan for the rebuild) what the Mariners can be. By acquiring talented players Seattle gives themselves time to develop and mature their team. While the fanbase can see a real and clear direction now. The Mariners are bringing in talented players who may still need time to develop. Or players who have fallen from grace with their current organization. Or even players who just cost too much at the moment. Seattle is doing a great job of preparing their future.
On the first episode of the Laracuente Ledger Podcast we also discussed the top four free agents on the market. Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, and Dallas Keuchel. These four players I believe are going to end up on two teams the aforementioned Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. While many take the Yankees early public statements about not pursuing Bryce Harper to mean they are out of the running on Harper. I view them as the opposite. As I recount a similar process a decade ago with another top position player on the market.
Now no matter where these four men are going to be difference makers. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper will both command record setting deals. While Corbin and Keuchel will get longer offers than expected because of being pursued by many teams. And no matter where they end up this offseason, while it started slow is undoubted about to heat up.