One Bold Off-season Prediction for Each MLB Division.
AL East: The Yankees will sign two premier infielders this offseason.
It is no secret that the Yankees infield struggled this season, especially on defense. With a plethora of elite infielders available this offseason, don’t be surprised if the Yankees open up their wallet for one if not two. I believe that Corey Seager makes the most sense for the Yankees, but I could also see them being in the market for Carlos Correa, who will demand a lot of money which the Yankees have. This current Yankees regime has underachieved over the past decade and will be under a short leash to return to championship form.
NL East: The Marlins will be sneaky contenders for a lot of free agents.
The Marlins have a lot of issues. One of them is not starting pitching, which is something not a lot of teams can say. With the emergence of pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Trevor Rogers, I could see them trying to spend some money to build a better offense around them. I could see the Marlins being in play for bringing back Starling Marte or maybe some other veterans such as Kris Bryant or Chis Taylor. It will be interesting to see what Derek Jeter and GM Kim Ng will do.
AL Central: The Guardians will be huge sellers.
This might not come true this offseason, but the Guardians have some attractive pieces and a cheap ownership group which is a perfect recipe for a fire sale. Recent Cy Young winner Shane Bieber and (in my opinion) the best third baseman in baseball Jose Ramirez are due for huge paydays soon but could be traded for huge organizational cornerstones. As Cleveland changes its brand these will be two to keep an eye on through next summer as trade pieces.
NL Central: The Brewers trade Josh Hader.
The Brewers took a step forward this year by winning the NL Central but could not get it done in the playoffs again. Simply put, the Brewers need more offense. Additions like Eduardo Escobar and Willy Adames helped last year, but with the decline of Christian Yelich, they will likely be looking for some bats this offseason. Josh Hader was undoubtedly the best reliever in baseball last year and is due for a hefty payday next year once his arbitration years end. The former rookie of the year, Devin Williams, showed again that he is one of the top relievers in baseball and would be the perfect successor to Hader if the Brewers decided to move him for some more offense.
AL West: The Mariners make some waves.
The Mariners had an unexpectedly good season this past year, narrowly missing the playoffs. The Mariners also have a lot of financial flexibility this offseason, with many veteran contracts coming to an end. On top of all that, they have two highly touted prospects in Jared Kelecic and Julio Rodriguez, hopefully coming up next season. I think this offseason is a critical offseason for the Mariners to add some key pieces to go along with their exciting prospects. I could see them involved with Kris Bryant, Kevin Gausman, or even Marcus Semien. This is an exciting time to be a Mariners fan.
NL West: The Giants reset.
I don’t think they will blow up by any means, but with the oldest roster in the MLB and many key free agents this offseason, I think we will see a very different Giants team in 2022. With the news of long-time cornerstone Buster Posey retiring, I think we will see some significant changes. One factor, though, is the Giants have proven in the past that they are willing to spend, and this offseason will be no exception. If the Giants want to remain competitive with the Dodgers (who by far have the highest payroll in baseball), they will have to spend like the Dodgers.