It has been two months since the World Series ended, and right around now is when it starts to feel like the offseason will drag on forever. The good news is that pitchers and catchers report to spring training in six weeks (February 13th). It can be difficult to keep track of what is going on in the baseball world during the holidays, so here’s a recap of what the AL East teams have been up to since the season ended.
It has been a quiet offseason in Toronto so far. Jose Bautista left as a free agent, and the Blue Jays don’t seem to have any plans to bring him back. The Jays have acquired infielder Aledmys Diaz from the Cardinals for J.B. Woodman. They have also signed pitcher Deck McGuire to a minor-league deal, and acquired infielder Gift Ngoepe from the Pirates.
The most interesting thing to happen in Baltimore has been the news that the Orioles are fielding offers for Manny Machado. The White Sox, Red Sox, and Yankees are among some of the teams that have shown an interest, but the Orioles have made it clear that they won’t trade with the Yankees (or any team that will flip him to the Yankees). They haven’t been happy with any of the offers they have received so far, so Machado might be stuck in Baltimore for another year. The only trade the Orioles have actually completed is a deal with Oakland that sent outfielder Jaycob Brugman to Baltimore in exchange for Jake Bray.
After somehow besting both the Orioles and Blue Jays last season, the Rays have been busy making trades. In November, they traded Brad Boxberger to the Diamondbacks for pitching prospect Curtis Taylor. They also traded Jonah Heim to Oakland in exchange for second baseman Joey Wendle. Of course, the Rays’ biggest move so far has been the one that sent Evan Longoria and cash to the Giants. I don’t think many Yankees fans will be sad to see Longoria in a different league, since he has always had the Yankees’ number. The Rays received Matt Krook, Stephen Woods, Denard Span, and Christian Arroyo from San Francisco in return.
The Red Sox started the offseason down a manager, just like the Yankees. They have replaced John Farrell with Alex Cora, but they haven’t done too much to improve their roster so far. In mid-December, the Red Sox re-signed Mitch Moreland to a two-year deal worth $13 million. They have been connected to free agent J.D. Martinez for a few weeks, but nothing has come of that yet.
It’s safe to say that the Yankees are winning the offseason, and that isn’t just Yankee bias. The trade for Giancarlo Stanton is one of the best deals Brian Cashman has put together. The Yankees also found new homes for Starlin Castro and Chase Headley, and have re-signed CC Sabathia. Who knows what else Cashman might have up his sleeve.
There is plenty of time for the other teams in the AL East to make a splash before the offseason ends. However, as of right now, it looks like the rest of the AL East has a lot of work to do if they want to compete with the Yankees this year.