The five best non-Shohei Ohtani moves in the MLB offseason – and four that should be done before Opening Day.

five best non-Shohei Ohtani moves in the MLB offseason

Spring training games start this week, but many top free agents are still looking for a team.

This offseason, baseball has seen it all. After the Texas Rangers won the World Series, there was a period of relative calm, with the odd transaction every few weeks.

This was partly because we were waiting on arguably the most highly anticipated signing in the sport’s history — until Shohei Ahtani signed a 10-year, $700-million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking all kinds of records.

Spring has arrived, and players are getting ready for the 2024 season. But even though the winter is over, there’s still a problem. With spring now underway, full-squad training has begun, and players are getting ready for the 2024 baseball season, but there is a problem. Spring training games begin this week, but several top free agents are still available.

1. Aaron Nola signs a new contract with the Phillies

It’s possible that you should have remembered this deal was made this offseason, as it occurred before Thanksgiving. Nola has re-signed a contract with the Phillies for a 7-year $172 million contract. This keeps him in the City of Brotherly Love, the team’s longest-serving player until 2030.

Two things make this deal stand out. The Phillies retained a pitcher they had developed into one the most reliable arms in the major leagues. Nola got long-term stability and cash from a prolonged market. He also got to stay where he was comfortable and wanted. It was a win for both Nola and the Phillies.

2. Yoshinobu yamamoto makes it big in L.A.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the first player to have played in the major leagues and command such a high level of attention. He has the opportunity to become one of baseball’s best pitchers after signing a 12-year, $325 million contract. Dodgers’ camp has already started to rave about Yamamoto’s elite arsenal.

Yamamoto is a player who has an excellent base, having performed well in the World Baseball Classic and Nippon Professional Baseball. He also projects being a pitcher who will continue improving. Considering that Yamamoto is only 25, this deal could be an excellent bargain for the Dodgers.

3. Juan Soto has a new home in the Bronx

Juan Soto pic

Juan Soto, only 25, is on his way to Cooperstown. He’s also on his third team within three seasons. Soto is now in the Bronx one year before free agency. He will join forces with Yankees star Aaron Judge for arguably the best baseball duo.

Soto rebounded from a disappointing 2022 with a strong year in ’23. He finished the season with an OPS of.930 and 35 home runs, a new career high. It wouldn’t surprise me if Soto had the best season of his life in 2024, now that he is in New York with Judge protecting him and the city’s lights. If this is the case, then the 400 million dollar payday Soto and his agent Scott Boras may come true.

4. Royals retain a young star in K.C.

It’s common knowledge that baseball teams in small markets draft and develop superstars only to see them move on to more significant markets where they can earn more. Regarding Bobby Witt Jr., the Royals wanted to retain their prized possession, so they signed him to an 11-year, $ 288.7 million extension.

The AL Central is the weakest baseball division, and the Royals have realized this, as they are more active than ever. Signing a top-25-ranked player to a multi-year extension was almost too obvious for K.C., especially with a winnable division. Who knows? Who knows?

5. Orioles Corbin Burnes

Orioles Corbin Burnes picture

It was only a question until the Brewers moved away from their ace. Corbin Burnes was the result of that move. He is now leading a young team that needs his leadership. Burnes is one of baseball’s best pitchers and won the NL Cy Young Award in 2021. While trading for a player a full year before free agent is always a gamble, the Orioles had to take it if they wanted to be the favorites in the A.L. East heading into 2024.

The O’s would have been wise to acquire one of the best-starting pitchers in the league, even without extenuating circumstances. The trade for Burnes is even more significant now that right-hander Kyle Bradish, who finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting last year’s season, has already been shut out due to a sprain of his right UCL. And lefty John Means is a month behind due to elbow pain.

Four moves that should still be made

Cody Bellinger Reunites with the Cubs

Cody 2023 stats

After a few disappointing seasons in Los Angeles, Cody Bellinger found his old form during his first season with Chicago. Cody Bellinger had his best season since winning the 2019 NL MVP Award. He led the Cubs to win the N.L. Comeback player of the year. Bellinger and Cubs seemed like the perfect match when they entered free agency. As time went on, the pairing became less confident.

Bellinger’s departure would result in the Cubs losing their best players (4,1 fWAR), and without Bellinger as a replacement, they would lose their best player. The Cubs would lose their best player if Bellinger left, as they would have lost their best position players (4.1 fWAR). Without Bellinger to replace him, the Cubs will also lose their most successful player

Bellinger moved to the North Side of Chicago last year and looked as comfortable as ever. Both parties should work together to make this happen.

Tim Anderson makes his way to South Beach.

Tim Anderson 2023 stats

The 2023 season was one to forget for shortstop Tim Anderson. He dealt with an ongoing injury for the second year and saw his production drop, leading to an MLB-worst OPS of.582. White Sox then declined his option.

Anderson’s OPS was above 800 in four previous seasons, including two All-Stars, the Silver Slugger Award, and an A.L. Batting Title. Yahoo Sports sources say that the Giants are in the running for the two-time All-Star, along with the Angels and Marlins, and the decision could come within the next week. Miami checked Anderson’s availability during last summer’s deadline for trades.

The Marlins are the only team with a realistic chance of running for a postseason spot. While Anderson could play daily with the Giants or Angels, they did not make the playoffs last year. Anderson played in two winning seasons during his seven-year tenure in Chicago. Playing for a contender team may be essential to Anderson’s decision

Giants land premium free agent Matt Chapman.

Matt Chapman is one of the most enigmatic free agents this year. Matt Chapman is one of the best defensive third basemen of this generation. However, his offensive performance could have been better since he played for Oakland. Chapman started the season with a 1.152 OPS. After May 1, he went into a slump that lasted the rest of the season, posting a.659 OPS.

The Giants have needed help bringing in free agents of note, including Ohtani, Yamamoto, and Bryce Harper. The Giants are now in an excellent position to make a successful offseason with Chapman’s addition.

Chapman is a free agent who has the perfect skills. He could be better, but his Gold Glove-caliber defense could make him a worthwhile risk for San Francisco.

Blake Snell, the Yankees, and find common ground

Blake Snell mlb stats 2023

At the Winter Meetings, the Soto deal was the Yankees’ most significant move this offseason. The Yankees are still looking to add more starting pitching, even though spring training has begun. Snell was on the Yankees wish list even after they signed right-hander Marcus Stroman. This is especially true since they missed out on Yamamoto. While they’ve stayed in discussions about White Sox DylanCease at this time, Snell may be more achievable.

The list of possible suitors for the 2023 NL Cy Young Award recipient could be an excellent advantage for the Yankees. The industry has heard that Snell’s remarkable season of ’23 was not met with any offers. Snell may have to decide if teams want to wait for him to mature. He can either sign a one-year contract, which is highly unlikely or find the perfect team. This team could be The Yankees.