Since the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series, many teams have made moves to try and make their teams better. The first task of many teams in the offseason is try and get that big-name free agent. This year, that would be either Toronto’s first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion or Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman. Both changed teams and both received huge contracts.
Encarnacion signed a three year, $60 million deal with the Cleveland Indians, the Cubs’ Series opponent. This is a player that many teams had interest in, including the Red Sox because of the hole left by the retirement of David Ortiz. But the Sox were unable to get a deal done. This addition will really help the Indians, adding more power to their roster and keeping them in World Series contention next season.
Chapman signed with the Yankees for five years worth $86 million. After being a mid-season trade to the Cubs to help them win their first World Series since 1908, Chapman decided to go back to the Yankees because he loves playing in the city. The Yankees are a young team with a lot of talent and could be very good in a few years. This deal is massive for a closer — I think the Yankees paid too much for him — but, then again, he’s the best closer in baseball. He throws the ball harder than anyone in the league and it’s almost an automatic save for him every time he enters the game.
But I think the biggest offseason move was the Red Sox trading for starting pitcher Chris Sale. Boston, who lost in the first round of the playoffs to Cleveland, was missing that third starting pitcher that can dominate a game and help them win. Sale was on the the Sox radar all of last year but Boston was unwilling to give up its top prospect Yoan Moncada for Sale during the season. In early December, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski agreed to give up Moncado and other players to close the deal. Adding Sale to the Red Sox rotation will be very good. The trio of Price, Porcello and Sale will be tough on opposing teams. Along with Boston’s high-powered offense, this team could be early World Series contenders.
With spring training right around the corner, things should start to get more interesting in the baseball world.