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Off Season Moves To Look Out For

The MLB offseason only started a few weeks ago and already there have been some big trades, and many trade rumors. The offseason is a great time to build a competitive roster for the season to come, or to put the finishing touches on an already talent filled roster. As the off season continues here are 3 players to look for in trade talks, and free agent signings.

1) Giancarlo Stanton - The now reigning NL MVP has been the center of many trade talks in the past few months, especially more recently. Many teams are looking to acquire the big slugger, but it won't be easy for any one team to get him. Stanton has a full no trade clause and has seemed to be picky about where he wants to go. Stanton is owed on average $25 dollars until 2029. Stanton also has a player opt out after the 2020 season, and has a $10 million club buyout in 2028. The final bump in trade talks is the Marlins wanting a huge return for their key player. The very talent Stanton will not be traded at a discount to any team as the Marlins feel they can make a competitive team around Stanton, so any team that wants Giancarlo better be prepared to part ways with a lot of talent to get him. So, what teams are in on Stanton? Many teams have had minor talks to the Marlins about the availability of Stanton, but the 3 most serious teams are the Dodgers, cardinals, and the Red Sox. Out of those teams the dodgers are right now the front runners for several reasons. The Dodgers have a lot of money they can spend on Stanton, as they’ve had one of the largest payrolls every year in recent history. The Dodgers also have a lot of talent in their organization that the Marlins could be interested in. Finally Stanton has expressed interest in heading to the Dodgers, and more importantly his unwillingness to go to Boston and St. Louis, at least for the time being. If Stanton were to be traded it would be a blockbuster deal, but one that could very likely happen.

2) J.D. Martinez - When the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired JD Martinez at the trade deadline last season no one could have expected what happened. The move to Arizona led Martinez to have an offensive explosion and have an outstanding second half. In just 62 games Martinez hit 29 home runs and drove in 65 runs helping the team to a playoff berth. Now Martinez is a free agent and several teams are interested in the slugger and are willing to pay up to get him. The main team interested are the Red Sox and they’re making a strong case to get him. The Red Sox have a decent sum of money to spend in free agency this off season and are looking to capitalize on the vast amount of young talent they have right now. Martinez would be a great fit in Boston, especially when Fenway Park heavily favors right handed hitters. Martinez would most likely see a lot of time at DH with the Red Sox, but to play on a team fighting for their division is more than enough incentive for Martinez to head to Boston.

3) Shohei Ohtani - Although this player has never played a single game in American professional baseball, Shohei Ohtani has been the center of a lot of conversations this offseason. Ohtani, a player for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters is a 23 year old player from Japan and looks as if he will be allowed to sign with Major League teams this offseason. Ohtani is a very talented player with a quirky play style that the MLB hasn’t seen in a long time. Ohtani is a right handed pitcher who has a career 2.52 ERA in Japan, with a 42-15 win/ loss record. What separates Ohtani from other pitchers in the league is Ohtani has almost 300 career hits, 48 career home runs, and 166 RBI’s career. Although his career has only been 5 years in Japan, Ohtani has incredible stats on both sides of the ball, pitching and hitting. The big piece with Ohtani is that he’s not just a pitcher, he’s a fielder too. The way Ohtani plays is that he is a part of the teams 5 man rotation. Whenever his turn in the rotation comes up he pitches like a regular starter would. On the other days however Ohtani can switch between being an outfielder, and a DH. Ohtani is a 2 way player, one day he’ll pitch, and the next day he’ll be in right field. The best part is, this talent could be coming to the MLB as soon as 2018! Now who are the front runners to get this player? Well the way international signing is weird but without going into super technical the front runner is the Yankees. The Yankees have a lot of international money available to spend, giving them the ability to be the highest bidder, giving them the most likely chance to land Ohtani. Now such a strange player is tough to fit into a team's game plan, and a team like the Yankees doesn’t seem like a good fit for Ohtani. So what team would he fit best with? My vote goes to the Angels. The Angels are in a weird spot right now. They have a lot of talent in the forms of Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and the veteran Albert Pujols. Despite this however the Angels haven’t fared well in the standings the past few years, missing the postseason every year from 2015 to now. The Angels do not have a solid amount of pitching depth, and their outfield could use an upgrade as well. I believe that the Angels have the team that Ohtani can do his thing with while not interfering, and the Angels seem like the perfect team to take a risk on a player like this. A few years back the Angels signed free agent pitcher Tim Lincecum in hopes of him returning to his old form when he won 2 Cy Young Awards with the Giants. Although this risk didn’t pay off for the Angels and Lincecum struggled, the Angels are willing to take a risk on a player, especially one with so much upside. This is why I believe the best fit for Ohtani is the Angels. Financially the Yankees are the front runners to land the Japanese phenom, but the team Ohtani fits with the best is the Angels.

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