As the whole entire baseball world knows - Giancarlo Stanton is now officially a member of the New York Yankees, after being traded from the Miami Marlins.
Many people critiqued the Marlins' organization for trading their generational star, including the team's CEO, Derek Jeter. Jeter, the former Yankees' superstar, is now receiving backlash by fans and members of the media for trading the team's star to the Yankees. Many believe this trade is considered to be "collusion", but what many critics are not aware of is that Jeter and Marlins had previously agreed to trade Stanton to the San Fransisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. Stanton, who has a full no-trade clause, was not fond of going those two organizations and vetoed the trade.
You can say whatever you want about this trade, but there is some negatives and positives from the Yankees' side of things.
From the Yankees' stand point, they are gaining even more power to their lineup filled with superstars such as Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorious, and Greg Bird. Many are comparing Judge and Stanton to Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle of today's era. Not only does Stanton add power to the Yankees' lineup, he has been nominated as a gold glove outfielder multiple times. If manager Aaron Boone decides to put Stanton in the outfield, instead as a designated hitter, Stanton's athleticism and distant throwing range.
Even though the addition of Stanton is huge for the Yankees' organization, there is some negatives about this deal. Stanton has an opt-out clause after the 2020 season. If he does not opt out of this deal with the Yankees, he will be owed at least $208 million until after the 2027 season, when he will be 38-years-old. If you take a look at some long-term deals with players who are 35 years old or later, it did not work out with the player's organization. Take a look at Alex Rodriguez for an example:
Rodriguez was earning $27.5 million a year until after the 2017 season. He played with injuries during the 2011-2013 seasons, where he played like an average player during this time. He did not even play the 2014 due to his third PED suspension. He was able to rebound in 2015, but he was such a disaster in 2016, that he was released mid-season. Even though he was not on the roster for most of 2016 and all of 2017, the Yankees still had to pay him as if he played.
Now back to Stanton, if he plays like A-rod did in his later years, the Yankees will have a huge mess on their hands. Do not forget that Stanton has a no-trade clause, so he can basically hold the Yankees' hostage.
The Marlins should be very happy a decade from now if the Yankees are dealing A-rod 2.0. Also, regarding their return, the Marlins are getting back RHP Jorge Guzman, who has reached 103 mph with his fastball, SS Jose Devers, who has the potential to be like his cousin Rafael who is a young superstar, and 2B Starlin Castro, who is an all-star and is easy to flip for prospects.
The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to sign Japanese Phenom pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani, per his agency CAA. The Angels have $2.135 million in their international spending money pool, and it is unclear on how much of that Ohtani will receive.
Ohtani was the most viewed free agent on the open market this offseason. Coming over from Japan, Ohtani will make a huge impact on the Angels' organization. The Angels plan to utilize Ohtani as a left-handed hitter and a right-handed pitcher.
As a pitcher, the 23-year-old can throw up to 102 mph and has other plus pitches, such as a slider and back door breaking ball. Ohtani immediately becomes the ace for the Angels.
As a hitter, Ohtani has above average power and bat for average. If Ohtani is the real deal in the MLB, look for Ohtani to possibly DH every game for the Angels, except the night he starts on the mound.
Ohtani played through 2017 with an injury, but he had a phenomenal season in 2016. The Japanese version of Babe Ruth hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 104 games. On the mound, Ohtani went 10-4 with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 104 innings pitched.
The Texas Rangers and relief pitcher Mike Minor have agreed to a multi-year deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The terms are not known yet and the deal is pending a physical.
Minor, who will be 30 on opening day, served as the Kansas City Royals' go-to reliever in the bullpen this past season. Minor had not played since 2014 due to shoulder problems. The former first rounder had pitched with the Atlanta Braves for five seasons, before injuries jeopardized his career.
The Rangers will likely utilize Minor in the starting rotation, even though Minor had strong numbers in the bullpen. The Rangers have been active on the pitchers' market early in the offseason, as they most recently picked up veteran starter Doug Fister. Like Fister, Minor's season in 2017 helped rebound his career.
In 2017, the left-hander had a 2.55 ERA in 65 relief appearances. Minor was 6-6 on the season, and struck out 88 batters in 77.2 innings. He also had a 2.62 FIP.
The Chicago White Sox and veteran catcher Wellington Castillo have agreed to a deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is for two years and includes a club option for the 2020 season. Castillo will earn $15 million and the club option is worth $8 million, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Castillo, 30, just finished his best offensive year since he made his debut during the 2010 season. He hit .282/.323/.490 last season with 20 home runs and 53 RBIs in 96 games with the Baltimore Orioles. He had one of the best offensive seasons for a catcher in major league baseball, so it was not a shocker that he was the first catcher to come off the free agency market.
Entering the 2017 season, Castillo had a poor reputation as a catcher. Castillo also turned around his defensive side of the game and his pitch framing numbers unexpectedly improved. He also lead the majors with a 49% caught stealing rate last season. The big question for Castillo entering the 2018 season is seeing if he can maintain his wonderful numbers from the 2017 season. The Orioles used Castillo as their number one catcher last season.
The White Sox who are in desperate need of a starting catcher are the first team this offseason to sign a non-pitcher. The Sox will utilize Castillo as their starting catcher next season. He will be their first reliable starting catcher since Tyler Flowers played in the south side of Chicago in 2015. The Baltimore Orioles declined Castillo's $7 million club option entering this offseason, which is how Castillo ended up on the free agency market.
The Los Angeles Angels have acquired veteran pitcher Jim Johnson and $1.21 million in international spending money from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitcher Justin Kelly, per a press release posted on twitter by the Braves.
Johnson, 34, will help bulk up the Angels' bullpen as they look to be contenders next season. Johnson has played the closer role in the past, and will likely be a late-inning reliever for the Halos. The righty has shown that he has a consistent fastball, which hits 93-95 mph on the radar gun.
Johnson had a tough year in his first season of a two-year, $10 million deal. He struggled with a 5.56 ERA in 61 relief appearances. Since joining the Braves in 2015, the veteran had a 3.67 ERA and 51 saves in 175 games. Johnson has not been able to pitch like his glory days with the Baltimore Orioles, when he was the American League saves leader twice.
In exchange for Johnson, the Braves will receive 2016 first-rounder, Justin Kelly. Kelly, 24, pitched in five levels within the Angels' organization last season. In 63 2/3 innings, Kelly had a 6-4 record with a 3.53 ERA, in 25 games.
The Angels will likely use the international spending money they will receive to pursue Japenese pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani.
The Oakland Athletics and veteran pitcher Yusmeiro Petit have agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal also includes a club option for the 2020 season and is pending a physical.
The deal's financial terms come out to $3.5 million in 2018, $5.5 million in 2019, and a $5.5 million club option in 2020 with a $1 million buyout.
Petit, 33, will come in handy for the Athletics because he is a versatile pitcher. He can come into a game early on and give a team at least three-four innings, he can be used as a spot starter, and he can be used as a late-inning reliever, given his dominant 2016 with the Los Angeles Angels. Petit will also serve as a mentor for the A's young pitching staff.
During the 2016 season, Petit was one of the Angels' most reliable pitchers. In 91 1/3 innings pitched, Petit struck out 101 batters and had a 2.76 ERA. Petit impressed with a minimal walk rate, as he walked just 1.8 hitters per every nine innings.
Petit has been around the majors for a while. He debuted with the Florida Marlins in 2006, and has also played with the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Fransisco Giants, Washington Nationals, and the LA Angels. During his ten year career, Petit has a career ERA of 4.31 and a record of 28-34.
The Minnesota Twins and veteran catcher Bobby Wilson have agreed to a minor league deal, a source confirmed to Strike3baseball.com. "@RosterRoundup" on Twitter was first to report that the two sides have agreed to a deal.
Wilson, 34, will enter spring training with a shot to make the Twins' opening day roster. The Twins currently have veteran Jason Castro starting at the catcher position, with newcomer Mitch Garver backing him up. If the Twins look for a more veteran presence with their young team next season, it is very possible that Wilson could be Castro's backup in late March.
Wilson has bounced around the league since he made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2008. Wilson has played in five different uniforms throughout his eight year career. Those teams are the Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and Detroit Tigers.
In those eight seasons, Wilson has hit .214 with 16 home runs and 84 RBIs. Regarding Wilson's defensive side he has only committed 12 errors in over 2100 innings in the big leagues. Even though he is an excellent fielder and great pitch-framer, he is a little slow to throw runners out. In 165 stolen base attempts, Wilson has only thrown out 37% of those runners.
The Texas Rangers and veteran right hander Doug Fister have agreed to terms, pending a physical, per Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. The deal is a one-year deal, worth $4 million, and can escalate to $7 million, due to incentives, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The deal also includes a team option for the 2019 season.
Fister, 33, spent his 2017 season playing with the Boston Red Sox. Fister was claimed off waivers in the middle of the season by Boston, and helped surge them to win the American League East Division. Fister pitched 90 1/3 innings and had a 4.88 ERA.
Fister will help the Rangers solve their starting pitching needs. The Rangers seem to lack durable starters, after Yu Darvish was traded to the Dodgers and Andrew Cashner hit the free agency market. Fister will pitch alongside veteran Cole Hamels and Martin Perez with the Rangers, as they look to overtake the reigning world champion, Houston Astros, in the AL West division.
Fister has played with the Washington Nationals, Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros over a span of nine seasons. He owns a record of 82-85, and a 3.68 ERA in the big leagues.
Veteran Outfielder Andre Either is not planning to retire, despite Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reporting that he is. Murray mentioned that Either had told friends and family that he is set to retire from Major League Baseball. Either and agent, Nez Bazelo, have come out and said that Either will play in 2018, as multiple teams have shown interest in signing him.
Either has not been able to play like his all-star self over the past two seasons. The 35 year old has played only 38 games since the start of the 2016 season.
Either was bought out by his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, earlier this offseason. His buyout was worth $2.5 million. He had one year left on his deal, which would have been worth $17.5 million, had he not been bought out.
Either has played a total of 12 seasons in the big leagues, with all of them wearing Dodger blue. He has hit 162 home runs and 687 RBIs, while hitting .285.
His best years came during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He was selected to play in the all star game both years, when he hit .292 in consecutive seasons. He hit 23 dingers, then 11 in respective seasons.
Assuming Either does play in 2018, he will be healthy and will be able to produce like his golden days.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and as a baseball fan, there are a ton of things I should be thankful for on this special holiday.
The Winter Meetings is a special time of year for the baseball community. Executives get to discuss trades and free agency amongst other members of the executive world during this four day period. Baseball fans are extremely attentive to MLB Network during this time of year in December. For example, last season's big question at the meetings was will Chris Sale be traded? He was and the baseball world flipped upside down.
This is the time of year fans should be most thankful for. After a long four month offseason, fans get to see their team up close and see the team's new players. Also, it is another step closer to opening day. Especially kids should be excited for spring training because it is also known to be autograph season.
Opening day is so huge to some baseball fans, that there was a petition a few years ago to make it a national holiday. Next season's opening day is on March 31st, with the Marlins hosting the Cubs at 12:30 pm ET, so fans will have to wait four months for this day to occur. Fans should be very thankful for this day because each team starts the season in first place and the chase for the pennant begins!