The last pitch has been thrown, but more pitches are on the way...free agency pitches, that is.
With the hot stove lit and piping hot, what can we expect from the upcoming frenzy?
The Yankees Will Go Back to Being the Yankees
The Bronx Bombers just finished off a decade that many teams in MLB would give their right arm for: they continued a streak of winning seasons dating back to the original Jurassic Park release, reached the league championship series for the second time in three years, and are armed with one of the new faces of baseball in Aaron Judge. But, this being the New York Yankees and all, this ten-year period ends with the sheer humiliation of never reaching the World Series. Their downfall has been a lack of consistent pitching, opting instead to boost their batting arsenal with names like Edwin Encarnación (whose 2020 option was already declined). With Gerrit Cole already visibly annoyed with the Houston Astros and notable throwers like Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu up for grabs, the Yankees have a perfect opportunity to rectify past wrongs and purchase the missing ingredient...just like old times.
It's Good to Be in DC
Is Washington on the verge of creating the new baseball Nirvana? A lot will depend on keeping their champions, namely Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon. But the potential to keep things rolling is there. The team is reasonably young, and play in a relatively manageable National League that's open for postseason business. Our nation's capital is slowly becoming a sports Nirvana, as area has played host to the Commissioner's Trophy, Stanley Cup, and WNBA Finals over the past two calendar years. If they add a bit of power-- JD Martinez is a good fit and could be available, while Nick Castellanos is on the open market-- there's no telling what they can do.
Small Teams, Big Money
It's an ideal time to be a small-time team in MLB. Just last season, we saw a playoff series between Milwaukee and Colorado, and one of those teams was the top seed. More recently, the Minnesota Twins became a home run juggernaut armed with triple-digit victories. The common trope is that small teams' superstars are either traded or forced to move on to the big cities like New York or Los Angeles when their time comes, but the time is right for them to start spending. Eric Thames, Jake Odorizzi, Homer Bailey, and Kyle Gibson are the notable small-town names up for grabs after making their name with a contender. Of course, as AC/DC once famously sang, money talks. But this time, it could be the little guys doing the chit-chat.