The 10 Most Intriguing Storylines of the MLB Offseason
Baseball has one of the most exciting offseasons. There are usually many trades, big free agent signings and much movement. The Winter Meetings also give somewhat of a timeline for these deals to come to fruition.
So what can we expect to be intrigued with this offseason? There are many different storylines throughout the league and I am sure every team has at least one or two storylines of their own.
Here are the Top Ten storylines to follow this offseason as you try and cope with no baseball throughout the winter.
Will The Red Sox Rebound After One of their Worst Seasons in 50 years?
With the hiring of John Farrell, the Red Sox have a new life in their clubhouse. As a big fan of Farrell and what he did for the Blue Jays, I believe that the Red Sox will be rejuvenated getting the manager they want.
It will be interesting to see where the Red Sox put their money as they unloaded roughly one-quarter of billion dollars in contracts in the deal with the Dodgers.
Who will play first base? LaRoche? Youkilis?
It will be an interesting offseason.
Will the Upton brothers both be in different cities?
With B.J Upton being one of the top free agent outfielders and his brother Justin also being on the trade block for nearly a year, it is very likely that both will be in new uniforms come Opening Day.
But where will either land? I wrote how I’d love to see Justin Upton come to Toronto but it seems unlikely at this point. We could parade many rumors but at this point, depending on where the dominoes fall it is tough to predict.
Word as of yesterday is that the Phillies are making a pitch for B.J Upton.
Can the Nationals Make a Big Jump?
The Nats have many questions to answer, especially with Adam LaRoche and Edwin Jackson. Will they move Michael Morse to first base permanently and let LaRoche walk?
For a team on the precipice of greatness it will be an interesting winter.
The Expansion of Instant Replay?
This has been discussed many times, yet Bud Selig made it known that he is in favor of expanded replay.
As most sports have adopted new camera based system (tennis comes to mind), baseball should jump on board and adopt the new replay system.
Will it happen? I think it will but it remains an interesting storyline through the winter.
Will the Dodgers Continue to Spend?
Earlier in the week, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed reliever/closer Brandon League to a 3-year/$22.5 million contract.
With over $175 million committed to 17 players, we must wonder if the Dodgers will continue to spend and try to attract a starting pitcher. I think much of that depends on the health of Chad Billingsley.
Are the Dodgers the new look Florida Marlins who bought their championship?
Where Do All the Starters End Up?
Every season, there seem to be some excellent free agent options at the starting pitcher position. Although this season doesn't have a load of talent, there are still many decent pitchers to be had (Greinke, Haren, Lohse, Dempster, etc.)
So as always who gets the belle of the ball is always interesting to watch unfold.
Will the Giants Repeat? What Will They Do With Their FA’s?
The Giants have many free agents that are up for new contracts. Marco Scutaro, Melky Cabrera, Jeremy Affeldt and Angel Pagan are all up to make some serious bankroll increases (well... maybe not Melky).
Moreover, Hunter Pence is arbitration eligible in his final year before free agency.
So what do the Giants do? Most of these players played a significant part in the Giants winning the World Series; are they forced to re-sign them by default?
Let us wait and see.
Will a-Rod Last Entire Season as the Yankees Third Basemen?
It was difficult to watch one of the greatest hitters of my generation struggle so mightily in the postseason. A-Rod finished the postseason going 3-25 with 12 strikeouts.
You could tell he still wasn't anywhere close to 100 percent, yet it was like watching a car wreck.
So does A-Rod remain the team's 3B option all season? Does he get spelled by Eric Chavez on a regular basis?
Will he even remain with the Yankees to start the opener?
All things considered, it is interesting to watch a former number one player in the world slowly regress.
WWJHG: Where Will Josh Hamilton Go?
Probably the biggest story this offseason. The much talked about slugger is probably leaving Texas and reports indicate that he is seeking a seven year $175 million dollar contract.
With all the big deals that pitchers have received that doesn't seem too far fetched for someone who hit 43 HR 128 RBI over 100 runs (in 148 games no less) and have a career batting average over .300.
Milwaukee was the early favourite yet at this point Hamilton could go anywhere which makes this an excellent story to follow this offseason.
Will the Blue Jays Finally Get that Top Tier Pitcher To Lead Their Staff?
Yes, I am a little biased thinking that this gets league-wide coverage, but the Blue Jays (I believe) are ready to spend some big bucks on a top-tier starter. For more information on this, click here.
Can they attract a top-tier arm (Greinke) or trade for one that signs an extension (Lincecum)? The Blue Jays could really alter the balance of power in the AL East if they acquire a top pitcher.
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