With snow flying in parts of the United States and Christmas music floating around the air, it’s hard to focus on Major League Baseball. However, with a laundry list of huge offseason moves, it’s impossible to ignore how big of an impact this offseason is going to have on the 2014 campaign.
Let’s run down a few of the big transactions that have gone down in the last couple of months.
Perhaps the biggest, some may say shocking, move was a deal struck between the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers. The Tigers dealt one of their biggest bats in Prince Fielder in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Fielder was heading into only the third year of his nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers and the move gives them a little more financial flexibility. Fielder teamed up with Miguel Cabrera to form probably the most potent one-two punches in the league. While Fielder managed 55 home runs in his two years with the Tigers, he was a no-factor in the playoffs both years, which was a huge disappointment.
Now, the Tigers can move Cabrera back to first base where he belongs and the team can use some of that extra cash to retain fire power in its stellar pitching rotation, which will be without Doug Fister after a trade with the Washington Nationals.
It wouldn’t be the offseason without the New York Yankees tossing around money like it was nothing. The Yankees continued to show that they will spare no expense in order to stay in the upper echelon of the Big Leagues. They picked up both Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury.
In typical Yankees fashion, the team signed Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million contract, which is the third biggest contract in the Major Leagues. But, with the loss of Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano, this offseason might have just been a push for the Yanks. It’s hard to tell if they gained anything.
Speaking of those two, Granderson signed with the New York Mets, so at least he only has to move across town instead of across the entire country.
Cano made headlines by signing with the Seattle Mariners. Cano was a hot commodity this year, and the fact that his agent is none other than rapper Jay-Z made the storyline that much more appealing.
The deal, however, was a bit odd. Cano signed with the Mariners for a whopping 10 years to the tune of $240 million. There is also a full no-trade clause on his contract. While Cano is plenty young, will the Mariners really find him useful for 10 whole years?
Finally, former Baltimore Oriole Nate McClouth also found a new home for the coming year after signing with the Washington Nationals. The Nats inked the outfielder for two years and $10.75 million.
While McClouth joins an already capable outfielding corps, the Nationals might not be done dealing, which will make this move a little more sensible.
And, it’s still just December people. The offseason moves are not done and just maybe the biggest deal is still coming up. Can you say David Price?