Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball: Post Winter Meetings Breakdown– AL East

You could probably break the MLB offseason into two halves. The period from the end of the World Series through the end of the Winter Meetings would be the first half. The period between the Winter Meetings and the beginning of Spring Training would be the second half. This offseason has seen more major decisions tabled than probably anyone in recent memory. So, what follows is a look at what each team has done and any major decisions that will come before Spring Training.

Baltimore Orioles

2017 Record: 75-87 (5th)

Significant Free Agents: SS J.J. Hardy, OF Seth Smith, SP Jeremy Hellickson, SP Ubaldo Jimenez, SP Wade Miley, SP Chris Tillman

Signifcant Additions: None

Significant Losses: C Welington Castillo

You could argue that while the Orioles have some significant free agents on that list, they won’t exactly miss any of them. Four starting pitchers seems like a lot, but the club rotated in three or four additional starters throughout the season and none of those four were all that good. At this point, they would seem to be in shrink mode, so cutting those salaries are worth a whole lot more than any of them could give them individually.

Major Move on the Horizon

Rumors were rampant during the Winter Meetings that they were shopping Manny Machado. Obviouslys, they have also been shopping Zach Britton as well, but Machado is one of those cornerstone pieces that shake up the balance of power. As many as ten teams sent proposals to the Orioles. The issue is that he has one year remaining before free agency. If they granted a team a 72 hour window then they could likely command a whole lot more.

Boston Red Sox

2017 Record: 93-69 (1st)

Significant Free Agents: 1B Mitch Moreland, INF Eduardo Nunez, OF Rajai Davis, RP Addison Reed

Significant Additions: None

Significant Losses: SP Doug Fister

The arrow is somewhat pointed up depending on what the Sox do from here. Getting David Price back and healthy for a full season will do wonders for that rotation. Losing Dustin Pedroia for a couple of months likely offsets that completely. Carson Smith and Tyler Thronburg also return to health, so overall they could be a better team without doing anything.

Major Move on the Horizon

The loss of Moreland is actually a godsend. It means they either can sign a first baseman like Eric Hosmer, trade for one like Jose Abreu, or sign a designated hitter and move Hanley Ramirez to DH. If they can find a taker for Ramirez and his contract they may actually be able to do both. They actually suffered from a lack of firepower in the postseason, so a couple of strong additions would be warranted at this point.

New York Yankees

2017 Record: 91-71 (2nd)

Significant Free Agents: OF Matt Holliday, 3B Todd Frazier, SP Jaime Garcia

Significant Additions: OF Giancarlo Stanton

Significant Losses: 2B Starlin Castro, 3B Chase Headley

Combine the losses of those two players with the impending loss of Matt Holliday and you almost offset Stanton’s salary completely. We’ve seen dynamic duos before and they rarely ever work out as much as people think they will. Still, having the AL MVP runner up and the NL MVP in the same lineup is tantelizing to think about. They have a loaded pen and top heavy rotation to go along with it for now.

Major Move on the Horizon

Trading away Headley’s contract was a smart move, but it leaves the Yankees without an established third basemen. They liked Frazier last year and his presence in the clubhouse. Seeing him back in pinstripes makes sense, but they have a few competitors for his services. Adding one more established starter makes sense. At the time of this writing there is a rumor that the Yankees will acquire Gerrit Cole from the Pirates. That deal might go down by press time.

Tampa Bay Rays

2017 Record: 80-82 (3rd)

Significant Free Agents: 1B Lucas Duda, 1B Logan Morrison, SP Alex Cobb, RP Sergio Romo

Significant Additions: None

Significant Losses: RP Steve Cishek, RP Tommy Hunter

The Rays are in the worst place you can be as a franchise. They don’t have much money and they aren’t quite bad enough to tank and not quite good enough to make that one addition that will get them over the top. They will have to pick a side and hope everything works out for the best. Otherwise, they can continue to straddle the fence and be in contention until they fall by the wayside.

Major Move on the Horizon

The list of sellable assets usually begins with Chris Archer. Archer would command a king’s ransom because he is under club control until 2021. Then again, he is fairly cheap until 2021. Jake Odorrizi and Evan Longoria are the two other tradable assets most focus on. Jesus Colome would be a fourth name to consider. If you traded all of those pieces would likely net ten to twelve good prospects in return. Of course, would anyone show up to Tropicana Field at that point?

Toronto Blue Jays

2017 Record: 76-86 (4th)

Significant Free Agents: OF Jose Bautista, SP Brett Anderson

Significant Additions: SS/2B Aledmys Diaz

Significant Losses: None

The Blue Jays are in a little better shape than the Rays because they have more financial resources, but they also have some big time decisions to make. Do you ride it out with Josh Donaldson and hope you have the cash to pay him next season or do you trade him now and get something for him? At any rate, it appears the end of an era has already come with the impending departure of Bautista.

Major Move on the Horizon

The hype around Machado didn’t make its way to Donaldson over the course of the Winter Meetings. It probably has something to do with their ages, but otherwise they are very similar players. Both are superlative defenders and dangerous hitters. They could probably get a lot for him and if they ever put Marcus Stroman up on the block they could get a lot for him too.

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