By Anthony Cardone
We have officially entered the offseason of Major League Baseball. In what seems to be one of the biggest and possibly most insane offseasons to come for baseball, some of the biggest names in the game could be wearing different uniforms come this spring. Every baseball fan has been waiting for this offseason to see where teams can get better and what contracts can be signed; it should be very fun and intense to see what goes down.
The free agents that stand out are former MVP Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Clayton Kershaw, Michael Brantley, Craig Kimbrel, Dallas Keuchel, Nelson Cruz and Patrick Corbin. The amount of money that may pour in this offseason could be record-setting from all the talent that is unemployed right now. Bryce Harper has already turned down a $300 million contract from the Nationals, and almost every free agent has declined the qualifying offer that their former team has given them.
Harper has been linked to the Phillies, Yankees, Giants and White Sox. Originally, he requested a $400 million contract, but from his down year and injury woes, he could be looking at something a little further south than that, but could still break Giancarlo Stanton’s top contract of $325 million.
Machado has been linked to the Yankees, White Sox and Phillies. It’s the same teams for the bigger free agents because they have the most money to spend and the most easily fillable holes on their rosters. Machado, who was traded to the Dodgers last trade deadline, had some on-field issues that could result in a lighter contract than he was expecting.
The big bats like Donaldson, Cruz and others will definitely be getting their wishes when it comes to their contracts, as the game of baseball has changed towards a more home run-heavy game.
Additionally, the bullpen has been such a valuable piece to any team that goes far in the postseason that relief pitchers are definitely going to get paid. Keep an eye on players like Kimbrel, David Robertson, Zach Britton and Cody Allen, who could see huge paydays. The value of this position and big names in this bullpen group really can immediately set teams on a path for postseason success by shoring up their bullpens.
Over offseason history we have seen blockbuster trades, huge contract extensions, teams that rebuild a whole team in one winter and teams that start from scratch. The teams that might buy big this offseason are the Yankees, Phillies, Giants, Cubs, Braves and Indians. Teams that could be big sellers are Nationals, Mets, Mariners and Diamondbacks.
So this offseason will definitely go down as one of the most memorable and intensified offseasons in the history of baseball. Anything can happen at any time, and teams could surprise their fans with any move. Whatever happens this offseason will only make the upcoming 2019 regular season and the future of Major League Baseball even better.