Offseason trades to note
The offseason is always an exciting time for baseball fans, namely because of the offseason trades and transfers that can make or break a baseball team in the following season.
Here are some of the most notable trades so far, be sure to keep an eye on them, whether they’re an addition to your team, or a rival one.
Giants Sign P: Alex Cobb from Angels
Angels fans may be sad to learn that Alex Cobb will be going to the Giants next season. Despite the Giants coming off of a solid 107 wins, they still needed to staff 80% of a rotation for 2022, especially now that they have four players heading into free agency. Cobb is the final piece in a solid looking top four, led by newly appointed star Logan Webb. Cobb has the potential to become a critical new addition to this team, especially if his strikeout percentages continue to jump following a 9% increase from his time in Baltimore to his last season with the Angels. Cobb signed for two years at $20 million with a clb option for 2024.
Tigers Sign SS: Javier Baez
This might very well be one of the most divisive contracts this offseason, and with a 6 year $140 million with an opt-out after 2023, it is also one of the most expensive so far. Detroit very much needed some talent in the shortstop department, and Baez’s 113 OPS+, in addition to his overall better defense, will be a solid replacement for Niko Goodrum’s 90. Baez is also relatively young, and this contract will only take him through 34 years old, making this an all around win for the Tigers, especially if Baez can continue his good run of form.
Rangers Sign SS: Marcus Semien, P: Jon Gray, and OF: Kole Calhoun
This triple signing may have potentially been the most consequential day in Rangers history that didn’t involve the World Series. As one of the weakest AL teams last season, the Rangers needed to bring in some talent. That being said, they are probably a few seasons away from truly being a competitive top team as things stand. However, none of that should take away from the fact that these are some very solid signings. Semien is one of the truly elite players in baseball at the moment, and has led position players in WAR since 2019. Jon Gray was the number 3 pick in the 2013 draft, and he immediately comes in as the ace of this Rangers team. Kole Calhoun had an unfortunately injury plagued season, and will most likely serve as a platoon bat for a predominantly right-handed team. The signings arrive for 175 million, 56 million, and 5.2 million respectively.
Mets sign OF: Starling Marte, OF: Mark Canha, and IF: Eduardo Escobar
In a matter of a few hours, the Mets completely remade their lineup for 2022. This extremely left heavy team has now added in two rightys and a switch hitter, as well as a promising mix of depth and talent too. Not only this, but a team that was notoriously bad at getting on base just acquired Starling Marte, who was the most valuable baserunner last season, stealing 47 bases in 2021. The only potential problem with these signings? Their age. Canha, the youngest, turns 33 in February, and the other two will soon be (January) or already are (October) 33. There is also a minor question of consistency, but overall these all seem like solid deals, and none of them were unreasonably priced. The three players come in for four years at $78 million, two years at $26.5 million, and two years at $20 million.
Angels Sign P: Aaron Loup
Aaron Loup comes to the Angels after having an incredible season with the Mets, boasting a .095 ERA, earning him this new deal worth some actual money. This is also an extremely beneficial signing for the Angels, who have been in desperate need of a new pitching rotation. Loup, along with the recent addition of fellow ex-Met Noah Syndergaard, make two happy acquisitions for Angels fans to see their team improve on their dismal 4.68 ERA. While chances are Loup won’t put up the same numbers in 2022, his and Syndergaard’s contribution will be a much needed boost to a fairly weak bullpen. Loup signed a two year, $17 million contract, and Syndergaard came in for one year at $21 million.-
Mets Sign P: Max Sherzer
Scherzer’s $43.3 million annual value is not just a new record, it beats the runner up by an incredible 20%. Despite this, the Mets showed little to no hesitation when it came to signing the pitcher, and all evidence points to this being a good call for the team. Although coming up on his 38th birthday in July of 2022, Sherzer has shown no discernable decline in his play. His fastball velocity remains steady, and his strikeout rate in 2021 (34.1%) is pretty much what it has been since 2017 (34.3%). Pair this future Hall of Famer with an up and coming ace in Jacob deGrom, and you have the current best duo in baseball, as long as they stay healthy. Sherzer’s contract is a three year, $130 million contract, with an opt out after 2023.
Yankees Sign 1B: Anthony Rizzo
The Yankees seem very excited to have secured Anthony Rizzo, and why wouldn’t they be? The 32 year old first baseman is a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Winner who was instrumental in the Cubs 2016 World Series championship run. Last season Rizzo batted .248/.346/.446 (115 wRC+) with 16 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and 40 RBIs in 92 games, only striking out in 15.7% of appearances. Rizzo signed for $16.5 million, as well as the trading of Kevin Alcantra, a 19 year old outfielder and Alexander Vizcaino, a 24 year old right handed class A pitcher.
The above signings are of course nowhere near the full scope of what every team has been doing over the transfer window, but these are most certainly some players that are worthy of recognition, and could very well make or break the new teams they find themselves in next season. Regardless, if this last season was any indication, nobody will truly be able to predict who will stand at the top of the pile this time next year, the only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.