MLB Offseason Preview

 

Every year, experts and fans alike wait patiently and anxiously for their team to sign or trade
for the top guy out there. Last year, huge names such as David Price, Zack Greinke,
Johnny Cueto, Justin Upton, and Jason Heyward hit the free agent market.
Some guys had a larger impact than others, but the 2015 class was one of the more talented
free agent classes in recent years. Now we move on to the 2016 free agent market.

Looking to the bullpen, arguably the game’s two most talented closers are free agents:
Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Chapman, a former Yankee, has already been linked
to re-signing with New York, as they have the money to land him, and the new young talent
they now have will be a lure for the Cuban star. Jansen, though not as electrifying as
Chapman, is equally, if not more, dominant. Re-signing with the Dodgers is a strong possibility,
but the Cubs, Rangers, or Yankees could all make their pitch for Jansen.

On the offensive side of the ball, Edwin Encarnacion, Justin Turner, Dexter Fowler, and
Yoenis Cespedes will all get big money. Encarnacion is most closely linked with Boston,
as David Ortiz has publicly suggested him as his replacement as designated hitter. If he
doesn’t sign with Boston, he’s likely going to stay in the American League as a DH.
Dodgers 3B Justin Turner had an impressive 2016 campaign that will certainly earn him
a nice payday. It would make sense for him to re-sign with the Dodgers, especially if they
lose both Hill and Jansen and have more money to throw at him. At 32 years old, he’ll be
looking for a long-term deal on a talented, young team so that he will have both job
security and a chance to win the World Series. Flying slightly under the radar is Orioles
slugger Mark Trumbo. Leading the bigs with 47 home runs, Trumbo will get a huge deal,
but given his home run or bust reputation, his contract could be limited. Trumbo’s sheer
strength will make him an asset wherever he ends up, but he will need to learn to hit the
ball for more than just power to truly become one of the league’s top players. With so many
solid players entering the market this year, it’s almost impossible to predict where everyone
will end up. However, these next couple of months will be one of the most important and
exciting times in baseball, as we find out who will be contenders, and who will be
pretenders come next spring.