This Week in the MLB Offseason: Award Season

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This Week in the MLB Offseason: Award Season

MLB

This Week in the MLB Offseason: Award Season

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We have gone another week through the offseason for Major League Baseball, and it was a busy one. Many people didn’t think there would be many major moves before the collective bargaining agreement negotiations were finished, but there have been some big names that are signing right now.

The deadline for the current CBA is creeping up. There could be a lockout when it expires on December 1, and there doesn’t seem to be any public movement on a deal from either side. With that awful feeling looming over our heads, let’s get into it.

Here’s what happened this week in the MLB offseason:

Awards

AL Rookie of the Year 

Randy Arozarena – Tampa Bay Rays

NL Rookie of the Year

Jonathan India – Cincinnati Reds

AL Manager of the Year

Kevin Cash – Tampa Bay Rays

NL Manager of the Year

Gabe Kapler – San Francisco Giants

AL Cy Young

Robbie Ray – Toronto Blue Jays

NL Cy Young

Corbin Burnes – Milwaukee Brewers

AL MVP

Shohei Ohtani -Los Angeles Angels

NL MVP

Bryce Harper – Philadelphia Phillies

This is the second time both Kevin Cash and Bryce Harper won their respective awards. Everyone else was a first-time winner. Shohei Ohtani won MVP by a landslide, which everyone expected.

The most surprising results may have been Corbin Burnes winning the NL Cy Young. It was the closest race of any of them. Both Burnes and Wheeler received 12 first-place votes, but the 14-second place votes that Burnes got pushed him over the edge. Robbie Ray and Gerrit Cole’s stats were close, but Ray led in almost every category, enough to make him the obvious winner if you ask me.

As for Rookie of the Year Awards, India and Arozarena were both expected to win as well. Arozarena may have won the award over Franco, but Franco will still be the better player over his career.

Free Agent Signings

Detroit Tigers sign P Eduardo Rodriguez

5 years, $77 million

This is an exciting time for Tigers fans who have watched a team sit around the bottom of their division for over half a decade now. The team is showing that they believe they are ready to turn the corner and try to compete again. Rodriguez is a very solid pitcher who will be able to give them a good amount of work. This seems to be the first of many possible free-agent signings this offseason. The Tigers look to be aggressive in the market.

Atlanta Braves sign C Manny Piña

2 years, $8 million

The catching free agent market is not particularly deep this year, so the Braves tried to get this done early. Piña is a very good catcher defensively and the Braves are hoping he can give them a good number of innings behind the plate. He has been good defensively most of his career so that more than likely won’t change now.

Houston Astros re-sign Justin Verlander

2 years, $50 million

This deal has an opt-out after the first year which could have been a big reason why Verlander took this over the Yankees offer which was only a one-year $25 million offer. Verlander hasn’t pitched since the beginning of the 2020 season, and he is going into his age 38 season, so who knows how good he will be when he returns to the mound.

However, last time he did pitch he was still one of the top arms in the game, and Verlander has said that he would like to pitch into his mid-forties. He hasn’t shown any signs of decline, but coming back from Tommy John surgery at this age will not be an easy task.

Los Angeles Angels sign Noah Syndergaard

1 year. $21 million

The Angels pitching other than Shohei Ohtani was not what they were hoping for to say the least. Syndergaard is another guy coming off a long-term injury, so where he will be as a pitcher is a little unknown. The one-year deal makes it low risk, high reward for the Angels though. They will need to make more pitcher signings this offseason. Look for them to be in the running with some safer arms that don’t have injury history.

Brandon Belt accepts qualifying offer from San Francisco Giants

Belt was the only person to accept the qualifying offer of $18.4 million. He is getting older but had a career year in 2021. He likely wants to stay in San Francisco where he has been his whole career.

More Free Agent News

Nick Castellanos is receiving interest from the San Francisco Giants and the Miami Marlins. He is from the Miami area so a return to home could be somewhat enticing. He also has not ruled out a return to Cincinnati, but the Reds don’t seem to be trying to build a team that is going to win next year.

There is a lot of interest for Starling Marte with the Yankees, Phillies, Marlins, Rangers, Astros, and Mets being some of the teams that have been reported. He is the best centerfielder on the market so he should get a nice deal. It won’t likely be a very long deal given that Marte is 33 years old right now. He was very good in 2021 though, so he will be a great addition for whoever gets him.

The Texas Rangers are seemingly looking to spend big this offseason. They are showing interest in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Trevor Story as long as some other big free agent names as well. 

The Boston Red Sox are showing interest in former Cubs, Kyle Schwarber and Javier Báez. The Red Sox were somewhat of a surprise in the AL East last year, and they’re looking to remain a contender in the very deep division.

Extensions

Jose Berríos signed a 7-year, $131 million extension with the Blue Jays. He would have been a free agent after the 2022 season, but he seems to like what Toronto is putting together and didn’t want to wait and test the market. He has been very durable and will be a good pitcher for years to come.

Elías Díaz signed a 3-year, $14.5 million extension with the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies won’t compete next year again if everything remains how it is now in the NL West. Díaz gives them a good defensive backstop, and security so they won’t have to try to fill the spot in other ways.

Trades

The Tampa Bay Rays traded infielder Mike Brosseau to the Milwaukee Brewers for RHP Evan Reifert. This deal isn’t a major one by any means, but Brosseau can play all over the infield and has four years of team control remaining so he could be an important depth piece for the Brewers who won the division in 2021. Reifert is a young, low-level minor league arm who showed some promise this year and the Rays are willing to take a chance on him.

The Oakland Athletics acquired P Brent Honeywell from the Rays for cash considerations. Honeywell has a significant injury history, but he was a promising prospect at one point. The A’s are possibly selling this season, so they are hoping Honeywell can find his potential in the next few years.

Other News

Billy Eppler was hired as the general manager of the New York Mets. He has been in New York before as the assistant GM for the Yankees. Eppler was also with the Angels for a while and was willing to spend. The Mets have not been able to figure out their dysfunctional front office yet, and they are thinking Eppler could be the answer they have been searching for. Eppler has somewhat of a relationship with Brad Ausmus after hiring him in Los Angeles, so he is a candidate for the Mets manager spot now.

The Cleveland Guardians name is now official for 2022. The rollerblade derby team lawsuit has been settled, and both teams will be allowed to use the name going forward.

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