Biggest Offseason Moves- AL Edition
Updated: Feb 20
Toronto Blue Jays- OF George Springer
The Blue Jays had one of the best offseason of any team. They signed Marcus Semien and traded for Steven Matz, but their big splash was snagging George Springer from free agency. Springer has been one of the best leadoff hitters in the league and brings a strong veteran presence to one of the best up-and-coming teams. Look out for Toronto this year in the AL East.
Baltimore Orioles- SS Freddy Galvis
The O’s didn’t make any eye-catching moves this offseason, but signing veteran shortstop Freddy Galvis should help… at least a little. The Orioles are still in a rebuild, but with some of their biggest prospects set to join the league in 2021, they are focusing on growing the homegrown guys over signing big-time FAs.
New York Yankees- 2B DJ LeMahieu
It’s never a given what the Yanks will do during any offseason, but this year you had to believe their number one priority was getting DJ back in pinstripes. LeMahieu led the major leagues in BA, OBP, and OPS in 2020 and is an essential part of a potential World Series run in the Bronx this season.
Boston Red Sox- UTL Kiké Hernandez
The Red Sox didn’t trade away Mookie Betts this offseason, so I guess that’s good. All jokes aside adding Kiké Hernandez should help the Red Sox improve from a down 2020. Hernandez will be reunited with former teammate, and one of the key young players in the Red Sox bounce back, Alex Verdugo. He may not have been the best player on the Dodgers World Series teams, but what team doesn’t want a player who can play almost every position on their squad.
Tampa Bay Rays- SP Chris Archer/Michael Wacha
I had to go with two guys here for Tampa Bay. The biggest move for them this offseason was shipping Blake Snell to San Diego, but don’t overlook these two joining the rotation. Archer started his career with the Rays, and Michael Wacha, at one point, was one of the best prospects in baseball. Tampa is known for having magic power with some of their pitchers; let’s see how they get these two to bounce back in 2021.
Chicago White Sox- Manager Tony LaRussa/ RP Liam Hendricks
Perhaps the most interesting move in baseball this offseason, and quite honestly in a while, was the White Sox hiring Tony LaRussa as the team's manager. Not only is he an old-school baseball type of guy, but he has one of the youngest and flashiest teams to control. It can’t be that bad of an idea to hire a Hall of Famer, but it will be a story to follow in 2021. When it comes to players, Liam Hendricks joining the pen should help the White Sox complete in a year where the Central is wide open.
Cleveland Indians- RP Nick Wittgren
The Ind*ans had an offseason to remember. They lost their name to start off and then shipped away two of the franchise's most likable players in a trade with the Mets. The good news for Cleveland is that they avoided arbitration with Nick Wittgren! Yay!
Detroit Tigers- OF Nomar Mazara
Another team that is focusing more on this own prospects compared to spending money in free agency. Detroit has one hell of a rotation ready to take off and plenty of other prospects ready to join them, but in the meantime, Mazara is a solid, young outfielder that should be able to help through the back end of this rebuild.
Kansas City Royals- OF Andrew Benintendi
The Royals make not look like a contender, but they quietly are putting together a nice lineup. The offseason additions of Benintendi and Carlos Santana to go along with Jorge Soler, Whitt Merrifield, and Salvador Perez, and they might make some noise in a weak AL Central. A lot will depend on what they can get from their starting pitching in 2021.
Minnesota Twins- DH Nelson Cruz
Boomstick is back! Nelson Cruz is one of, if not the best, designated hitters in baseball today, and for a team that focuses on the long ball, he quite literally is the perfect fit. I would expect Cruz to be right back at near the top of the home run leader board by the end of the season.
Los Angeles Angels- SP Alex Cobb/Jose Quintana
It’s not quite Trevor Bauer, but at least the Angels made some moves to improve their pitching. Cobb and Quintana are both MLB veterans who can help a team that was and still is in desperate need of pitching. The world needs to see Mike Trout in the postseason, and this is at least a start.
Texas Rangers- P Kohei Arihara
The rangers went international this offseason and signed Japanese pitcher Kohei Arihara. In six seasons in Japan, he had a 3.65 ERA and won 61 games. Japanese pitchers usually are hit or miss in the league; for the Rangers, $6.2 over two years is worth the risk of finding out with Arihara.
Seattle Mariners- RP Ken Giles
The Mariners aren’t expected to compete in 2021, but it's never a bad idea to add another bullpen arm. Giles had a down year in 2020 but is a bounce-back candidate out of the Seattle pen this year.
Oakland Athletics- SS Elvis Andrus
The Athletics will always be a player in the American League playoff race. Matt Chapman and Matt Olson will help power the lineup, and the pitching always seems to get the job done. Adding Andrus to the mix brings a strong, likable veteran star to the team who has played in two different World Series.
Houston Astros- OF Michael Brantley
For a second, it looked like the Astros were going to lose both Springer and Brantley to Toronto, but I guess Deandre Jordan talked to Brantley, and he was back in Houston a day later. This was a move that needed to be made if the Astros want to continue to compete. With Correa on the verge of free agency and Justin Verlander coming off an injury, this may be the last shot Houston has at another title.
Check out the AL edition here.