MLB Transactions MLB Transactions: San Diego Padres sign Eric Hosmer 1B to 8-year $144-million dollar deal.

2018 MLB Transactions

Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Updated Daily.

February 17, 2018

San Diego Padres: Sign Eric Hosmer 1B to 8-year $144-million B Grade

I would have gave Hosmer an A grade for signing with any other team. Wil Myers has to make the transition from first base to outfield now plus the Padres won't be competitive until they get more pieces around Hosmer by building through the MLB Draft as well as Free Agency. While the Padres didn't fill a need they did get Hosmer to an excellent deal and avoided paying him $20-million a year which sort of amazes me so this is a C grade from a talent standpoint, but an A grade from a business standpoint rounding out to a B grade for the Padres.

Minnesota Twins: Sign Anibal Sanchez SP to 1-year 2.5 deal B+ Grade

Anibal Sanchez had one good rookie season and another solid season in 2009. Sanchez hasn't accomplished much since he turned 30-years-old and has been on a steady decline the last two seasons.

San Francisco Giants: Sign Tony Watson SU to 2-year deal A+ Grade

Tony Watson can be a middle reliever, set up pitcher, or closer. He played under Mark Melancon in Pittsburgh as a set up pitcher and the Dodgers got a lot out of Watson during their 2017 World Series run last year.

February 10, 2018

Chicago Cubs: Sign Yu Darvish SP to 6-year $126-million B+ Grade

Yu Darvish has moments where he can allow 0-2 runs and flashes brilliance. He also has injury history as well as games where he will alow 4 runs a game. Darvish and Arrieta are both 31-years-old. Arrieta has been way more consistent and reliable then Darvish. Arrieta wanted $150-$200-million. Chicago didn't want to pay that which is the main reason they got Darvish. Sure Darvish handed the Astros last years World Series in game 7, but he's capable of being a number one starter that can pitch a no hitter.

This signing warrants a C grade from a talent standpoint. It warrants an A grade from a business standpoint when you consider the Cubs didn't want to pay Arrieta $150-$200-million even though I feel they should just pay Arrieta after losing Wade Davis. If the Cubs don't want to overpay Arrieta you have to respect this signing so I'll meet the C grade and A grade halfway and hand Chicago a B grade for a good signing.

I'm moving this up to a B+ grade. It turns out Jake Arrieta got offered this exact same deal and turned it down. That's why I'm bumping this signing up from a B grade to a B+ grade.

February 5, 2018

New York Mets: Sign Todd Frazier 3B to 2-year $17-million C Grade

Todd Frazier deserves more than $17-million. I also gave the Mets a bad grade since they got a third baseman in David Wright. Now the Mets have a third base controversy. This would have been an A+ grade if Frazier re-signed with the Yankees.

January 26, 2018

Milwaukee Brewers: Sign Lorenzo Cain CF to 5-year $80-million A Grade

The 31-year old Lorenzo Cain brings a veteran presence that compliments 34-year-old right fielder Ryan Braun real well. Cain also was part of the Kansas City Royals team that won the 2015 World Series. The 23-year old Corey Ray hasn't made the jump to AA since being Milwaukee's 2016 first round pick out of Louisville. Adding Cain to compliment Braun allows you to keep Ray in the minors plus he gives Braun a calm veteran that's won a championship who can tame Braun's ruthless demeanor at the plate. Braun will still blast it, but he will be a lot more calculated with his swings now that Cain is his teammate. If Cain was 30 instead of 31-years-old, this would be an A+ grade for me because I love this signing and $16-million a year is exactly what Lorenzo Cain deserves.

Milwaukee Brewers: Trade for Christian Yellich LF A+ Grade

Milwaukee made an excellent move to get Yellich from the Marlins. Milwaukee now has one of the best outfields in Major Leeague Baseball with Yellich, Cain, and Braun. Plus the scary thing is Ray their 2016 first round pick has all the time in the world to develop and get better in the minor leagues. Fantastic job by the Brewers.

Miami Marlins: Trading Christian Yellich LF Le Be Tard Grade

Derek Jeter is cleaning house to clear up cap space. I'm literally asking myself if Dan Le Be Tard is helping Jeter sabotage this team. Le Be Tard got so pissed that he verbally abused the commissioner of MLB on his own talk show on ESPN. There's no question that Manfred is like the greedy savages that took our land from Native Americans who discovered America when it comes to the Chief Wahoo logo. I hate Manfred for that too. You still can't verbally abuse him on a talk show. Like if we interview Manfred on our podcast we have to ask why they got rid of the logo and why they told Cleveland's ownership it was racist. We can't yell or cuss at him. We'd have to speak in a clear vocal tonality.

New York Mets: Re-sign Jose Reyes SS 1-year deal B Grade

This is a solid re-signing for the Mets. I'll give it a B grade.

January 26, 2018

Oakland Athletics: Trade for Brandon Moss 1B B Grade

Oakland gave up cash considerations for a reliable starting first baseman who was a backup to Eric Hosmer in Kansas City down the stretch. I think they made a good trade here.

Kansas City Royals: Trading Brandon Moss 1B C Grade

Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas their two corner infielders on their 2015 World Series team are both Free Agents. Kansas City strictly made this trade to give themselves enough cap space to outbid the Padres for Eric Hosmer. If both of those infielders leave the Royals then I'll adjust Oakland's grade to an A and Kansas City's to a C.

January 15, 2018

Pittsburgh Pirates: Re-sign Filipe Rivero CL 4-year $22.5-million B Grade

Pittsburgh absolutely had to do this. The reason I'm not giving the Pirates an A+ grade was because they traded Gerritt Cole and Andrew McCutchen in consecutive days while pissing off their fanbase prior to the Steelers playoff loss to Jacksonvile.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Trade for Kyle Crook SP and Bryan Reynolds LF B+ Grade

Kyle Crook was a 2011 first round pick that finally made it past the minor leagues in 2017. The 25-year old Crook may be due for a breakout season in 2018. I was also high on Bryan Reynolds coming out of Vanderbilt as I had him going sixteenth overall to the Angels in the first round of my 2016 MLB Mock Draft. In fact I'll re-post that writeup right now.

Bryan Reynolds had a .338 batting average and 14 stolen bases as a 6-2 210 lb batter in 2014. Reynolds continued to dominate with a .318 batting average as a sophomore in 2015. Reynolds has a .330 batting average, 13 home runs, and 57 RBI's in 2016.

Reynolds is a pretty complete prospect. His weak arm strength in the outfield when firing balls to force outs will force him into a left field role where he'll have less responsibilities than someone at center field or right field.

I think Pittsburgh actually won this trade from a long-term standpoint. Crook can start in Pittsburgh's rotation and emerge into a number one starter potentially. Austin Meadows still needs one more year before he can make the jump to MLB and if Meadows can't make the Pirates by 2020 then its time to move on with Reynolds.

San Francisco Giants: Trade for Andrew McCutchen OF B Grade

Andrew McCutchen played center fielder two years ago and moved to left field in his final season with the Pirates. Now he's making another transition to right fielder with the Giants. McCutchen is a difference maker plus a plug-in-play outfielder. He was the face of the Pirates batting lineup for years so San Francisco should get something out of him right now.

January 14, 2018

Pittsburgh Pirates: Trade for Colin Moran 3B Argh Grade

Pittsburgh traded their number one overall pick and number one starting pitcher and got nothing in return outside of Moran. This is easily gets an Argh grade which is my F grade for the Pirates.

Bryan Reynolds had a .338 batting average and 14 stolen bases as a 6-2 210 lb batter in 2014. Reynolds continued to dominate with a .318 batting average as a sophomore in 2015. Reynolds has a .330 batting average, 13 home runs, and 57 RBI's in 2016.

Reynolds is a pretty complete prospect. His weak arm strength in the outfield when firing balls to force outs will force him into a left field role where he'll have less responsibilities than someone at center field or right field.

I think Pittsburgh actually won this trade from a long-term standpoint. Crook can start in Pittsburgh's rotation and emerge into a number one starter potentially. Austin Meadows still needs one more year before he can make the jump to MLB and if Meadows can't make the Pirates by 2020 then its time to move on with Reynolds.

Houston Astros: Trade for Gerritt Cole SP A Grade

The Houston Astros obtained the top overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft out of UCLA via trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates the team that drafted Cole that year. Gerritt Cole plays like a Number three or number four starter for most teams. He thrived in that role when he was with the Pirates early in his career.

In 2016 and 2017, Pittsburgh finally moved on from other starters like Charlie Morton, Francisco Lirano, J.A. Happ, and A.J. Burnett. Even then Cole still was able to beat those guys out when he posted his best season in 2015 at 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA. Cole had to earn the number one spot heading into 2015 with that core of veterans, and did even after the Pirates finally broke their playoff drought in 2014.

The problem is Cole has declined since those pitchers left and you're not going to get the most out of him unless you have other pitchers that can push him. Houston has that with Verlander and Keuchel who is in a contract year. In fact, I think Cole and Keuchel will both dominate next season while Verlander struggles after balling out with the Astros despite earning the number one starter role this season down the stretch for Houston.

The final point I'd like to make is that Cole was in a bad situation with Pittsburgh. Houston is a team that will play to his strengths and treat him like a premier number three starter that he is. Not only is this an excellent pickup by Houston to keep the former number one pick who was drafted in the late first round out of High School from going to the Yankees the same team that took him in the first round before he went to UCLA. This move also makes Houston the undisputed favorite to win the AL next season.

I'm a Cleveland Indians fan, and even I believe the Houston Astros now have a better overall starting rotation than the Tribe simply due to this one move. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm extremely I feel grim like during the 2016 World Series when it was Corey Kluber versus four quality starters on the Cubs in their prime. I wanted my team to win, but knew we didn't have a chance even though Cleveland pushed Chicago to the limit that year taking a 3-1 series lead in the 2016 World Series.

If I had to make a 2018 World Series Prediction at this point I'd go with the Houston Astros over the Washington Nationals. Largely due to this signing. David Washington will be the replacement to Dusty Baker that this team needs plus Bryce Harper is in a contract year.

December 29, 2017

Colorado Rockies: Sign Wade Davis CL to 3-year $52-million A+ Grade

Colorado has a lot of good batters. Their starting rotation finally did well last year until down the stretch. Now they got Wade Davis from the Cubs and Bryan Shaw from the Indians as their two aces in the bullpen. Jonathan Gray finally started to play like the highly touted pitcher people thought he would be. Colorado is gonna get to the NLDS in 2018. In fact, I think they can win a game unlike the Diamondbacks.

December 20, 2017

Cleveland Indians: Sign Yonder Alonso 1B to 2-year $16-million A+ Grade

Yonder Alonso hit 28 home runs and batted .265 in 2017. Carlos Santana hit 23 home runs and batted .259 in 2017. I gave the Phillies an A+ grade for stealing Santana since he brings a presence to any team he's selfless a team first guy. Cleveland got someone that did more than Santana in 2017 and they saved $20-million dollars by not re-signing Santana and adding Alonso so they deserve an A+ grade here.

San Francisco Giants: Trade for Evan Longoria 3B B Grade

The Giants made a good trade here. The reason they got a B grade is because they gave up a former first round shortstop in Christian Arroyo plus they traded Matt Krook out of Oregon who can be a great starter if he stays healthy and continues to develop.

Tampa Bay Rays: Trade for 4 prospecta B- Grade

The Rays got great prospects in this trade. They lost the heart and soul of their team, but they got great return on this trade to the point where I can't give them anything worse than a B- grade.

December 16, 2017

New York Yankees: Re-Sign C.C. Sabathia SP to 1-year $10-million B+ Grade

C.C. Sabathia has had a shaky regular season ERA for the past few years, but put everything together in 2017 going 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA. He also beat his former team in game 5 of the 2017 ALDS. He's earned this one year extension.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Trade for Matt Kemp OF C Grade

The Dodgers gave up 4 players and part of their payroll to the Braves for Matt Kemp. This gets a C grade because that's irresponsible management. One reason I won't bash this trade is because Kemp batted .276 with 64 RBI's and 19 home runs with Atlanta in 2017. Trading everyone gave the Dodgers more room to go after a Free Agent.

Atlanta Braves: Trade for 4 players and payroll C+ Grade

The Braves get a C+ grade. Atlanta certainly got a ton in return. They didn't exactly secure a kings ransom. Adrian Gonzalez is basically a depth player at this point in his career after being replaced by Cody Bellinger in 2017. Freddie Freeman dealt with injuries in 2017 and if that happens again Gonzalez may be an asset. Scott Kazmir was once a great #2 starter behind Sonny Gray in Oakland. He struggled with the Astros after being traded to Houston in the 2015 ALDS versus the Royals. He also struggled with the Dodgers in 2016 before missing the 2017 season. He provides a veteran presence, but I'm not sure he's the answer. McCarthy gives Atlanta a solid relief pitcher to bolster the bullpen. Charlie Culberson is a local from Rome, GA and he batted .154 last year despite being 28-years-old. The extra cash also helps. If Atlanta hits on just one of these four players this will be a great trade for them, but there is no question Kemp is the better player. Neither team blew me away and there is a chance all of these 4 players flop with the Braves so they get a C+ grade.

December 15, 2017

Philadelphia Phillies: Sign Carlos Santana 1B to 3-year $60-million A+ Grade

The Phillies have a lot of young veteran batters prepared to come up from the minors. Santana gives Philadelphia a veteran to rally around. Cleveland only offered $36-million before the signing deadline to keep Santana. Philadelphia deserves a lot of credit for raising the bar.

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim: Sign Zack Cozart SS to 3-year $38-million A+ Grade

Zack Cozart was a stop in gap in Cincinnati until Nick Senzel developed. The Reds are happy with Senzel's progress and getting Zack Cozart at shortstop and pairing him with Ian Kinsler at second base makes the Angels so much more lethal.

San Diego Padres: Trade AA Pitcher for Freddy Galvis SS A+ Grade

The Padres deserve a lot of credit for hustling Philadelphia on this deal. I'm not criticizing the Phillies because 2013 first round pick J.P. Crawford is ready to be the full-time starter on the Phillies.

Houston Astros: Sign Hector Rondon RP to 2-year $8.5-million C+ Grade

The Astros got a pitcher with an ERA of over 4.00 last year. Rondon helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series and he's getting hardly anything which is why Houston got a C+ grade.

Minnesota Twins: Sign Fernando Rodney RP to 1-year $4.5-million B- Grade

The Twins get Arizona's closer who had an ERA of over 4.00. Rodney also had 39 saves as the Diamondbacks closer in 2017.

December 14, 2017

Colorado Rockies: Trade two mediocre prospects for Stephen Piscotty RF A+ Grade

Oakland deserves a lot of credit for pulling off this trade with the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only did they keep Khris Davis they got another outfielder in Piscotty who compliments him well.

December 13, 2017

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim: Trade two mediocre prospects for Ian Kinsler 2B A+ Grade

First Ohtani and now Ian Kinsler. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are having an awesome offseason.

December 12, 2017

Colorado Rockies: Sign Bryan Shaw RP to 3-year $27-million A+ Grade

Bryan Shaw can play long reliever, middle reliever, set up pitcher, or closer. He can solve so many problems in the bullpen. I am a Cleveland Indians fan and I already miss this guy so yeah easily an A+ grade for the Rockies.

December 11, 2017

Chicago Cubs: Sign Brandon Morrow RP to 2-year $21-million A Grade

Brandon Morrow was awesome as a set up pitcher on the Dodgers. This is a great signing by the Cubs to secure the 33-year old reliever for the short-term. At the same time, if the Cubs plan on making him a closer and let Wade Davis walk this signing could backfire. If Davis comes back I'll bump this up to an A+ grade and if Davis walks and Morrow has to be the closer than I'll probably bump this down to an A- grade.

St. Louis Cardinals: Sign Luke Gregerson RP C Grade

Luke Gregerson was once an effective closer for the Athletics and Astros. Age caught up to him as he struggled on the Astros World Series team. St. Louis plans on using Grgerson as a middle reliever.

December 9, 2017

New York Yankees: Trade for Giancarlo Stanton LF and $30-million A+ Grade

The Yankees get an A+ grade for this. Giancarlo Stanton led the MLB with 59 home runs. That's 7 more home runs than Aaron Judge had. Only two players in the MLB hit over 50 home runs in 2017 and the Yankees have both with Stanton at 59 and Judge at 52 with those two batter alone providing 101 home runs in 2017. If either Stanton or Judge exceeds 50 home runs again, the Yankees have a chance to be a lethal force and this is excluding the 33 home runs their catcher Gary Sanchez hit since many consider Sanchez the top catcher in the MLB outside of Buster Posey.

Miami Marlins: Trade for Starlin Castro 2B and 2 minor league prospects F Grade

Derek Jeter buys the Marlins and trades the MLB's leading home run hitter to the Yankees. He got Starlin Castro and sure maybe this team will be good when Trevor Rodgers arrives. That doesn't change the fact that this was a completely irresponsible trade on his end.

December 8, 2017

Colorado Rockies: Sign Chris Iannetta C B Grade

The Rockies need an upgrade over their current starting catcher. Ianetta hit 17 home runs in 82 games. He's not an upgrade, but provides solid depth at catcher and enough to warrant a B grade.

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim: Sign Shohei Ohtani SP A+ Grade

Shohei Ohtani is the first two way player from Japan that can both hit as a designated hitter and pitch since Babe Ruth. He's even called Japan's version of Babe Ruth. Ohtani can bat every day as a designated hitter and start out of the rotation giving the Angels a #1 starter that they desperately need. With Ohtani, this Angels team can win a 1-game wild card just by signing Ohtani. The Angels still need more arms, but this may end up being the best signing for the 2018 MLB Free Agent Signing period. His 2.52 career ERA with the Nippon Ham Fighters is phenomenal and now he will get the chance to be the ace for the Angeles. Easily an A+ grade love this signing as both a pitcher and batter since they only have to pay him $545,000 dollars this year as well as the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20-million dollar loan.

September 1, 2017

Houston Astros: Acquire Justin Verlander SP A+ Grade

Justin Verlander is capable of pitching at a high level. This is a huge acquisition for the Houston Astros. With Dallas Kuechel, Lance McCullers Jr., and now Justin Verlander, the Astros have a rotation with the chance to do something special in October. Houston sent Detroit minor league prospects Daz Cameron and Jake Rodgers two really good MLB Draft prospects that the Tigers can develop.

August 13, 2017

Milwaukee Brewers: Acquire Neil Walker 2B A+ Grade

I like this trade for Milwaukee. The Mets aren't going anywhere so the Brewers gave up future considerations to get Neil Walker who was once the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates at second base.

Baltimore Orioles 2018 Free Agents

Chris Tillman, SP, Baltimore Orioles

Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Baltimore Orioles

Wade Miley, SP, Baltimore Orioles

Hyun Soo Kim, LF, Baltimore Orioles

Seth Smith, RF, Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles 2018 Offseason Outlook: Baltimore has $92-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Orioles lose their #1, #4, and #5 starters in their rotation plus both corner outfielders at left field and right field. That is not good for the Orioles when you consider they are 14th in payroll.

Boston Red Sox 2018 Free Agents

Boston Red Sox 2018 Offseason Outlook: Boston has $158-million for 2018 on their payroll. They brought back Moreland even though I really believe they can upgrade over him. They also got the Houston Astros batting coach/bench coach to be their new manager. With everyone back it's hard not to see Boston contending in the AL East. Right now Boston is my wild card one.

New York Yankees 2018 Free Agents

Matt Holliday, DH, New York Yankees

Chris Carter, DH, New York Yankees

New York Yankees 2018 Offseason Outlook: New York has $98-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, and New York has pretty much everyone back. They made it to game 7 of the ALCS exceeding expectations before firing their manager. They hired former player Aaron Boone to be the new skipper and brought Giancarlo Stanton the leading home run hitter in 2017 to pair with Aaron Judge. Stanton led the NL with 59 home runs and Judge led the AL with 52. Now New York has the top two home run hitters and if their pitchers play as well as they did last postseason then they can easily make the 2018 World Series despite how inconsistent their pitching can be. There is no question that the Yankees and Red Sox are the two best teams in this division and whoever doesn't win this division should be one of the two wild cards for 2018.

Tampa Bay Rays 2018 Free Agents

Colby Rasmus, LF, Tampa Bay Rays

Alex Cobb, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

Logan Morrison, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays 2018 Offseason Outlook: Tampa Bay has $35-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Rays lose three players that appeared to be expendable before exceeding expectatins in 2017. Logan Morrison is really the only player that I could see teams showing any interest in and he's someone that I think teams will look at during the 2017 MLB Trade Deadline. I think Tampa Bay and Baltimore are both pretenders in the AL East.

Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Free Agents

J.P. Howell, RP, Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Offseason Outlook: Toronto has $92-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Blue Jays lose their starting left fielder along with their #4 and #5 starters. Their bullpen is also extremely depleted. Curtis Granderson fills one of these holes though.

Chicago White Sox 2018 Free Agents

Melky Cabrera, LF, Chicago White Sox

Brett Lawrie, 2B, Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox 2018 Offseason Outlook: Chicago has $36-million for 2018 on their payroll. Chicago has drafted well the past few years. Their 2015 first round pick Carson Fulmer ended the season 3-1 and beat Corey Kluber heads up to end the 2017 Season. Carlos Rodon is expected to miss 6-8 months and looks like a bust after dominating as a college pitcher at North Carolina State before going third overall. Even though Chicago is still in a rebuild, my bold prediction is that I believe Fulmer is capable of having the lowest ERA among every AL Central starting pitcher. I think he could break out and potentially do better than Kluber in 2018.

Cleveland Indians 2018 Free Agents

Cleveland Indians 2018 Offseason Outlook: Cleveland has $91-million for 2018 on their payroll. Cleveland lost their two biggest Free Agents both Bryan Shaw and Carlos Santana. They got Yonder Alonso to replace Santana. They also got Melvin Upton on a minor league deal to replace Jay Bruce. Cleveland lost pitching coach Mickey Calloway to the New York Mets. Cleveland has one more year where they should own this division in 2018 barring injuries, but the question remains what happens after that. Can Cleveland step up in October? With Boston and New York both having new managers I can see the Indians returning to the ALCS in 2018, two years after making the World Series. I don't think my team will get back to the World Series if they draw one of the teams from last years ALCS as their opponent. At the same time, this team has enough star power to return to the ALCS next season. With Cody Allen set to be a free Agent next season, Cleveland's window of opportunity to rule this division will pass at some point.

Cleveland is getting rid of the Wahoo logo after this season, but you'll continue to see it in our mock drafts and MLB transactions until my team wins one World Series. Manfred burned the World Series t-shirts instead of sending them to Africa after the Cubs broke their 108-year drought and he kept continuing to push this agenda until the Tribe took action. He's also a Yankees fan according to Wikipedia and even Goodell doesn't have a favorite NFL team. Even though the Tribe has a good team, Rob Manfred hates the Cleveland Indians about as much as David Stern hated the 2001 Sacramento Kings. Manfred is the kind of commissioner that makes me want to give Roger Goodell a recommendation on LinkedIn so clearly he sucks. I won't retract this statement until we win it all and break the drought. This is me being generous. I have a lot worse things to say about Manfred dislikes Cleveland off the record, but am not going to comment on Manfred because we need to get through the rest of the MLB team outlooks for 2018.

Detroit Tigers 2018 Free Agents

Detroit Tigers 2018 Offseason Outlook: Detroit has $154-million for 2018 on their payroll. Detroit traded J.D. Martinez, Justin Verlander, and Ian Kinsler. This team is going through a complete rebuild and with Ron Gardenhire being the new manager for the Tigers I can see this team being a bottom five team until he's fired with the complete lack of starpower both on the plate and at the mound. The good news is Detroit has three really good draft picks in their farm system and by the time Gardenhire is fired those guys should be ready to make the jump to the majors.

Kansas City Royals 2018 Free Agents

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals

Jason Vargas, SP, Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals 2018 Offseason Outlook: Kansas City has $120-million for 2018 on their payroll. Lorenzo Cain is a Brewer and Eric Hosmer the teams leading batter left Kansas City to sign with the Padres. Mike Moustakas are still Free Agents as Spring Training approaches. Without Hosmer, I expect Kansas City to enter a rebuild now. Minnesota should finish second to Cleveland in the AL Central once again.

Minnesota Twins 2018 Free Agents

Hector Santiago, SP, Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins 2018 Offseason Outlook: Minnesota has $76-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Twins have a nice core of veteran batters returning. They also have a number one starter in Ervin Santana. This team is right on the bubble of pushing for an AL Wild Card spot once again. The problem with picking the Twins to return to the wild card is that they have done nothing to put themselves over the top.

Houston Astros 2018 Free Agents

Houston Astros 2018 Offseason Outlook: Houston has $65-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Astros finally won a World Series for this city after Hurricane Harvey. Houston has everyone except Luke Gregerson back and even he got replaced with Hector Rodon who the Astros got in Free Agency. Houston also got Gerritt Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Astros are in an excellent position to repeat. Even I feel nervous about facing this team next season. Houston has to be the favorite to come out of the AL. If they don't repeat it will be due to the batting coach losing.

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim 2018 Free Agents

Cameron Maybin, LF, Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Yunel Escobar, 3B, Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Jesse Chavez, SP, Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim 2018 Offseason Outlook: Los Angeles has $100-million for 2018 on their payroll. Los Angeles got Ohtani in Free Agency along with Ian Kinsler to replace their current second baseman. I think the Angels have done enough to beat out a team like the Twins for that second wild card in the AL.

Oakland Athletics 2018 Free Agents

Rajai Davis, CF, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics 2018 Offseason Outlook: Oakland has $30-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Athletics brought in a lot of veterans to one-year prove it deals. Oakland has been very proactive in the 2018 MLB Offseason. It's hard to see the Athletics finishing in last place again. The MLB needs this team to be competitive if they want Oakland fans to provide funding for the new stadium set to open in the future. They have arguably the best minor league farm system in the entire MLB at the moment. Things are going to start working in their favor.

Seattle Mariners 2018 Free Agents

Jarrod Dyson, LF, Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners 2018 Offseason Outlook: Seattle has $112-million for 2018 on their payroll. Seattle like Oakland is another team that will do better than people think. If this team can stay healthy and avoid injuries entirely then they can be a team that leads the AL West after April or May only to collapse once injuries catch up.

Texas Rangers 2018 Free Agents

Carlos Gomez, CF, Texas Rangers

Andrew Cashner, SP, Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers 2018 Offseason Outlook: Texas has $103-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Rangers lose quite a bit. I think the Rangers will be the door mat team when you consider all they are losing.

Top 5 AL Teams heading Into 2018 Spring Training 1. Houston Astros, 2. New York Yankees, 3. Cleveland Indians, 4. Boston Red Sox, 5. Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim.

Atlanta Braves 2018 Free Agents

Brandon Phillips, 2B, Atlanta Braves

Jaime Garcia, SP, Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves 2018 Offseason Outlook: Atlanta has $82-million for 2018 on their payroll. The Braves have done a good job building through the MLB Draft. They could be a dark horse in 2018.

Miami Marlins 2018 Free Agents

Miami Marlins 2018 Offseason Outlook: Miami has $78-million for 2018 thanks to Derek Jeter slashing $60-million in the teams payroll due to trading star players. Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rodgers are future aces on this team if they can develop in the minors. Right now the Marlins are a total rebuild are my pick to finish last in the NL East.

New York Mets 2018 Free Agents

New York Mets 2018 Offseason Outlook: New York has $71-million for 2018 on their payroll. They hired Mickey Callaway a very good pitching coach from the Cleveland Indians to be their new manager. Callaway was someone who should have been hired after the 2016 World Series to be completely honest as I feel this hire is long overdue. This is a good hire and if the Mets pitchers come together under Callaway then New York is gonna be the sleeper in the National League this season.

Philadelphia Phillies 2018 Free Agents

Clay Bucholtz, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies 2018 Offseason Outlook: Philadelphia has $16-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Phillies lose two players that are expendable. They hired a new GM and signed Carlos Santana despite having the MLB's lowest payroll. Santana gives the Phillies a veteran bat they desperately need and with other first round draft picks like J.P. Crawford finally ready to break into the MLB, Philadelphia can win with their batters. They don't have any good pitchers outside of Aaron Nola. The future has to be bright for Philadelphia if their batters get things going. I think Philadelphia will actually start strong in 2018 before collapsing because they may feel inspired by the Eagles.

Washington Nationals 2018 Free Agents

Jayson Werth, LF, Washington Nationals

Oliver Perez, RP, Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals 2018 Offseason Outlook: Washington has $95-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Nationals lose their starting left fielder along with one of their best middle relievers in Oliver Perez. David Washington is taking over for Dusty Baker. Washington has a lot of components to finally end their playoff drought and become a World Series team in place. Washington even guaranteed that the World Series would go to Washington this year in his first year as Manager. The 2018 MLB All Star Game is in Washington. Bryce Harper their top batter is in a contract year. The other thing is I get a really good vibe with Washington. The Dodgers have more talent returning than any other NL Team, but I get a World Series vibe with the Nationals. The NL East will go through Washington once again, but their road to the World Series will be much harder as I think the other NL East teams have done enough to close the gap.

Chicago Cubs 2018 Free Agents

Jake Arrieta, SP, Chicago Cubs

John Lackey, SP, Chicago Cubs

Koji Uehara, RP, Chicago Cubs

Jon Jay, CF, Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs 2018 Offseason Outlook: Chicago has $79-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Cubs lose two starters and four relievers to Free Agency. Its hard to recover when you lose that many pitchers. Chicago replaced Jake Arrieta with Yu Darvish. Right now Chicago has Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana. This rotation may be good enough to win the NL Central and return to the NLCS again, but this is not a World Series team right now even if they play consistent again and reach their ceiling. If the Cubs can get one or two more arms in their starting rotation for youth than a window of opportunity will present itself with lots of young batters under contract along with incredible stability.

Cincinnati Reds 2018 Free Agents

Drew Storen, RP, Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds 2018 Offseason Outlook: Cincinnati has $64-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Reds have nobody outside of Joey Votto. I thought the Reds had the best MLB Draft of every team in both 2016 and 2017. As it stands the Reds have 17 premium prospects in their farm system that have MLB potential among their top 30. If they hit on all of those players they will be set for years to come. Right now they are probably the worst NL Central team still.

Milwaukee Brewers 2018 Free Agents

Matt Garza, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers 2018 Offseason Outlook: Milwaukee has $25-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Brewers lost their #5 starter and their closer. Milwaukee made up for it by signing Lorenzo Cain and trading for Christian Yellich. The Brewers starting rotation did a lot better than I thought last season until their ace Jimmy Nelson suffered a torn labrum. Nelson is ahead of schedule in his rehab. He was not expected to start until August of 2018. He's already throwing again in rehab and could be back as early as May. If Milwaukee can get Alex Cobb or Jake Arrieta before Spring Training, they have the potential to supplant the Cubs and Cardinals as the top team in the NL Central. Milwaukee wants to win now and is much closer to contending than people realize.

Pittsburgh Pirates 2018 Free Agents

Pittsburgh Pirates 2018 Offseason Outlook: Pittsburgh has $70-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but they traded McCutchen and Cole their best batter and best pitcher only to extend their new closer to save face. Pittsburgh has good batters that will keep them in games if they score early and they will be motivated with Clint Hurdle fighting for his job. Pittsburgh is still capable of winning 69-74 games, but they won't make the playoffs simply due to a lack of talent. They got 25 prospects who have the potential to be on this roster by 2019 so I expect them to turn things around next season, not this upcoming one, but Pittsburgh is a year away from contending again at this point, the reality is its not as bad of a situation as people think it is. That's assuming they keep Hurdle too.

St. Louis Cardinals 2018 Free Agents

Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals 2018 Offseason Outlook: St. Louis has $112-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Cardinals lose a couple of players to Free Agency. Their starting rotation did better than expected last season. With Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson both set to make the jump from AAA to the MLB this team is my pick to win the NL Central. People are continuing to give the Cubs credit. Yes Chicago has young batters, but I value pitching way more. St. Louis has young pitchers that compliment their batters well. I think St. Louis has 5 quality starters now while the Cubs only have three. The media is downplaying that with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant still on the Cubs.

Arizona Diamondbacks 2018 Free Agents

Arizona Diamondbacks 2018 Offseason Outlook: Arizona has $62-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Diamondbacks didn't do anything to replace Fernando Rodney. Outside of Greinke, I'm not sold on the pitchers. Plus watching them get swept by the Dodgers makes me think they will stumble psychologically in 2018.

Colorado Rockies 2018 Free Agents

Carlos Gonzalez, RF, Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies 2018 Offseason Outlook: Colorado has $68-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Rockies have a lot of continuity for an emerging NL West team. Colorado had a weak bullpen. They fixed that by getting Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw. Colorado is now my second best team in the NL West. The crazy thing is I can see them upsetting the Dodgers and losing the NLCS to the Washington Nationals with those two additions.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2018 Free Agents

Los Angeles Dodgers 2018 Offseason Outlook: Los Angeles has $168-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Dodgers managed to get everyone back. With every key starter and reliever under contract until at least 2019 expect the Dodgers to contend for a World Series after losing game 7. Home field will go through Los Angeles once again, but I'm expecting either the Rockies in the NLDS or Nationals in the NLCS to represent the NL. Yes, this team has the best overall roster and deserves to be the 2018 World Series favorite solely based on continuity. At the same time, I can also see why the MLB would be bored by an Astros VS Dodgers rematch. Since Houston is my pick to repeat, I'm expecting someone to knock off the Dodgers. On the other hand, I can see why the Dodgers would be the favorite to win the 2018 World Series and could see them beating Houston in a rematch of last years World Series.

San Francisco Giants 2018 Free Agents

San Francisco Giants 2018 Offseason Outlook: San Francisco has $180-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Giants like the Dodgers don't lose any key players to the Dodgers in 2018. San Francisco was also very aggressive and got both Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. The Giants are a team that could be in the running for the final wild card in the NL this season.

San Diego Padres 2018 Free Agents

Clayton Richard, SP, San Diego Padres

Jhoulys Chacin, SP, San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres 2018 Offseason Preview: San Diego has $22-million for 2018 on their payroll. Their is no salary cap limit, but the Padres lose both of their projected starters to Free Agency in 2018. The Padres have to find a way to build around first baseman Wil Myers.

Top 5 NL Teams heading Into 2018 Spring Training 1. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2. Washington Nationals, 3. St. Louis Cardinals, 4. Colorado Rockies, 5. San Francisco Giants.

You can honestly make a case for four teams at 5 in the National League New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Francisco Giants. The Giants don't lose any Free Agents plus they added Longoria and McCutchen. Meanwhile the Cubs lost a lot of pitchers which is my reasoning for picking the Giants to rebound in 2018. You also got teams like the Braves and Phillies that could be sleepers. Both the AL and NL were pretty stagnant after the 2017 MLB Trade Deadline as far as competition goes. The AL isn't very competitive you now who the top 5 teams are. The NL on the other hand is a lot closer in each of the three divisions then most people realize.

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