Some offseasons drag on with very few transactions until the New Year celebration headaches have abated, but this year we have had so much action, it’s difficult to keep on top of all of the deals.
Don’t worry, Bat Flips & Nerds have you covered. First off, our AL WEST transaction rundown.
World Series champions parted company with Yuli Gurriel, Christian Vázquez, Aledmys Díaz, and reliever Will Smith. They also bid farewell to AL Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander who declined his option.
The biggest new name arriving in Houston is former White Sox RBI-machine, Jose Abreu. The Astros also re-signed Rafael Montero and Michael Brantley.
Apart from a potential weakness in centre field and behind the plate, Houston looks like a roster worthy of a World Series appearance in 2023.
Los Angeles Angels
New to Anaheim are two 30-year-old, 30-homer sluggers. Brandon Drury, a surprise reclamation project from 2022, was signed as a free agent on a two-year deal. Unloved Hunter Renfroe is on his fifth team in five years after the Angels traded three pitchers to Milwaukee for his services.
The Angels had previously given up another pitching prospect to acquire Gio Urshela from the Twins. Whether Urshela has a starting job will be one of the many interesting storylines to follow during Spring Training.
Leaving the SoCal sunshine are Archie Bradley, Matt Duffy, Michael Lorenzen, Kurt Suzuki and former top pitching prospect, Touki Toussaint.
Offseason in Oakland is always full of interesting moves. Chad Pinder and an emotional Stephen Vogt elected free agency, but the biggest departure was that of superstar catcher, Sean Murphy to Atlanta. The A’s received three pitching prospects and veteran catcher, Manny Pina, in the three-team trade with Milwaukee. The jewel of the deal could be Esteury Ruiz. The love-him or hate-him prospect splits opinions, with most suggesting he is not as good as his 2022 numbers suggest: .332/.447/.526 with 16 home runs and 85 stolen bases.
Under-the-radar moves included the DFA of Vimael Machin, the claiming of Brent Rooker off the Royals, and the free-agent signings of Jace Peterson and World Series winner Alemdys Diaz. Also, joining the A’s, and becoming their highest-paid player, is friend of the podcast, Trevor May.
Departing the West coast by electing free agency were Matt Boyd, Curt Casali, superstar outfielder Mitch Haniger and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana. Also leaving are pitchers Adam Macko and Erik Swanson who were shipped off to Toronto in exchange for All-Star outfield slugger, Teoscar Hernandez.
To make room in the outfield, Seattle shipped Kyle Lewis to Arizona for catcher Cooper Hummel.
Adam Frazier was another to elect free agency. His spot at second base will be filled by Kolten Wong who came over from Milwaukee. Abraham Toro and one of my favourite players, Jesse Winker, went in the other direction.
The biggest statement in the AL West was made by Texas with the signing of starting pitching ace, Andrew Heaney. In addition, the Rangers acquired the services of the best player on the planet/constant injury risk (delete as appropriate) Jacob deGrom.
Texas said goodbye to free agents Kohei Arihara, Kole Calhoun, Charlie Culberson, Matt Moore and Kevin Plawecki.
Jake Odorizzi joins the new-look rotation with Kolby Allard moving across the state to Houston. Another trade saw underperforming Nick Solak taken by Cincinnati for cash considerations, and knowing the Reds’ ownership that will be a 2-for-1 voucher for Skyline Chili.
Despite the obvious upgrade in the rotation by acquiring the best pitcher in the American League, the Rangers still feel like a stars and scrubs outfit.
However, we still have 100ish days until Opening Day, so there are plenty more moves to come.
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