Over the Winter Meetings, the Yankees’ front office was able to make the one game-changing improvement a 103-win club could need. Acquiring an ace in Gerrit Cole and a healthy Luis Severino makes for good odds to surpass that total, but the Bombers haven’t been the only team looking to upgrade throughout the offseason.
Super-teams like the Yankees have taken over the last few years with fewer clubs competing, but multiple organization are looking to add themselves into contention in hopes of changing the landscape of their division. Here are a few teams using the trade market or free agency to increase competition over both leagues.
With a new ballpark set to open in 2020, the Rangers have been busy adding arms to their starting rotation. Their annual three-year deal for a starting pitcher was issued to Kyle Gibson, shortly after committing to Jordan Lyles for two seasons.That gave them four veteran pitchers to work with considering Lance Lynn and Mike Minor, but they didn’t stop there.
Hitting the trade block, Texas acquired two-time Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. With the addition of three starting pitchers the Rangers have solidified their staff but still need to work on offense. However, with the potential Kluber has and the pitching depth they brought in, they might be able to finds themselves closer to the Astros and Athletics than in recent years.
After watching the Cleveland Indians win the division for three consecutive seasons, the Twins finally put an end to their reign in 2019. However, this coming season, the White Sox look to make their mark on the AL Central. They are in heavy need of starting pitchers in contrast to Texas, but they have made some moves offensively.
Signing Yasmani Grandal proved their aspirations for contention, as he will not only improve the rotation with his abilities behind the plate, but plugs in as a middle-of-the-order bat. Texas has already done enough favors for the White Sox by signing away Kyle Gibson from Minnesota and acquiring Kluber from Cleveland. Then, the two teams got together for their own deal, as the White Sox look to be the team that unlocks 24-year-old Nomar Mazara going forward. Pitching needs to be their focus for the rest of the offseason, but luckily for them, there are still some options available.
Last offseason the Phillies traded for J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura, then turned around to sign Bryce Harper, Andrew McCuthchen, and David Robertson. In other words, the front office formed the top half of their lineup and added a closer within a few months, but things didn’t work out as planned because of major injuries to McCuthchen and Robertson. With the expected return of these veterans, and the additions of Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius, the Phillies are candidates to enter into the top of the NL East.
Aaron Nola receives some help in the rotation, while Gregorius lengthens their lineup and brings superior defense over Jean Segura at short. We can’t forget they also added Joe Girardi, coming in as a veteran manager hoping to reach the playoffs with an eastern division team once again.