How the Winter Meetings Will Affect the Rest of the MLB Offseason
The MLB’s Winter Meetings took place this week. Several of the best MLB free agents in the sport agreed to contracts during the past week, including Aaron Judge, Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts among others.
As the offseason continues, the events at the Winter Meeting will impact the next few months dramatically. Teams’ offseason strategies have been affected significantly by the past few days.
Carlos Correa’s Free Agency
Entering this offseason, Carlos Correa was part of a group of four free agent shortstops that were among the best available players entering MLB free agency. After the Winter Meetings, Correa is arguably the best remaining available free agent.
After Turner and Bogaerts agreed to contracts earlier this week, Correa and Dansby Swanson are the two best free-agent shortstops. Meanwhile, shortstop is a position where several teams are attempting to improve this offseason.
The MLB San Francisco Giants nearly signed Judge this week, before he agreed to return to the New York Yankees. San Francisco is trying to improve their lineup this MLB offseason as they compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The Giants already agreed to a contract with Mitch Haniger earlier this week, and Correa would be another excellent signing.
After playing well in the second half of the season, the Chicago Cubs, similarly to the Giants, began this offseason with the goal of improving their offense. The Cubs met with Correa’s agent before he signed with the Twins last offseason, and this offseason, Chicago is reportedly one of the teams most interested in signing Correa.
Correa played for the Minnesota Twins last season, and the Twins are also interested in re-signing Correa. Correa’s season in Minnesota was successful, and it could lead to him continuing to play for the team in the future.
Additionally, the Boston Red Sox could attempt to sign Correa or Swanson after Bogaerts agreed to a contract with the Padres. Boston could choose to sign Correa after the departure of Bogaerts, an important part of their lineup.
Other teams have also met with Correa, and he will be able to choose where he plays next season from a large group of teams. Correa’s free agency decision will be one of the most important storylines after the Winter Meetings.
More Trades Are Likely to Take Place
The Winter Meetings often lead to teams discussing players who could be available in trades that could happen later in the offseason. These conversations can lead to trades being completed during the next few weeks after the end of the meetings.
This year, most teams were focused on free agency before the Winter Meetings. However, after several players agreed to contracts this week, trades could become more common over the next few weeks.
Sean Murphy is one of the best players available in a trade this offseason, and several teams are hoping to improve at catcher this offseason. During the next few weeks, the Oakland A’s could trade Murphy after discussions at the Winter Meetings.
Other players, such as Shane Bieber, have been discussed as players that could be traded this off-season. After Verlander and deGrom agreed to contracts last week, more teams will begin speaking to other organizations about trades that could improve their starting pitching.
Each year, the Winter Meetings include some of the most important events of the MLB offseason. Over the next few weeks, this season’s meetings will likely lead to more free agency signings and trades ahead of next season.