The Boston Red Sox have officially gotten the ball rolling in Orlando by signing the top position player on the MLB free agent market, Carl Crawford. Thursday morning, the two sides agreed on a seven year contract worth $142 million.
Boston's colossal signing should cause a domino effect of signings and trades in the last day of the 2010 Winter Meetings and beyond. Here are 10 moves that we could see happen in the coming days of the MLB offseason.
The Atlanta Braves have already lit the burner in the MLB Hot Stove this offseason with their acquisition of second baseman Dan Uggla.
The Braves' recent signings of relievers Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill have filled the gaping hole that Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito left in the Atlanta bullpen and the only remaining flaw on the Braves' roster sits in center field.
With the addition of Crawford to the Red Sox outfield, Boston has an overflow of outfielders and trading Ellsbury for pitching prospects does not seem like too far of a stretch.
Before Boston signed Crawford, they were rumored to be the only team interested in acquiring superstar Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets. Now that the Bo Sox have found their angel in the outfield, it seems as if Beltran will remain a Met at least until the July 31st trade deadline.
Everyone in Queens just sighed in relief.
Rumors have been swirling around the windy city for the past few days about a possible trade that would send 15-game winner Matt Garza to the Cubs.
Little is known about who the Rays would receive in return for Garza, but due to their recent unloading of young offensive talent, my guess would be offense.
The Red Sox gave the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim an old fashioned butt-wuppin' at this year's Winter Meetings.
After countless steak dinners and late night phone calls, the Angels failed to acquire the best position player on the market. If the Angels want any shot at improving their below-average offense, they must go after the next best position player, Adrian Beltre.
The Angels were so embarrassed by Boston at the Winter Meetings, they need to make a much bigger splash and go after more than just one offensive player to feel good about their offseason.
Rays closer Rafael Soriano would be a perfect fit in LA, Anaheim, or wherever those Angels play and they just became the favorites to sign the veteran flamethrower.
With Carl Crawford now in a Red Sox uniform, Magglio Ordonez becomes the best outfielder left on the market. Before today's blockbuster signing, the Red Sox were the favorites to acquire Maggs, but now, there is no obvious favorite to sign Ordonez.
The Philadelphia Phillies just cut ties with the bearded Jayson Werth and there is no way they can depend on rookie Domonic Brown to fill the caveman's shoes.
If the Phillies want to keep pace with the Atlanta Braves next season, they need to add another bat to the lineup, because the .210 batting Brown is not the answer to their Philly prayers.
The Nationals are desperate for starting pitching, but they will likely not be able to acquire a pitcher as high on the food chain as Cliff Lee or Zack Greinke this offseason.
However, if the Nats can make a huge offer to Cliff Lee, they can make a very tasty one to the greatest mustache in sports, Carl Pavano.
Pavano posted great numbers last year and he has been on just about every other team in baseball, so why not join the recovering Stephen Strasburg and the rebuilding Nationals in 2011?
Yes, you read that right.
The Nationals just lost big man Adam Dunn in free agency and with their signing of Jayson Werth and talks of them making colossal offers for Cliff Lee's services, we have learned that the Washington Nationals are for real.
Ever since they were born, the Nats have been the doormats of the NL East, but they have enough money and young talent to become contenders in the next couple of years. Do not be surprised if the 270 pound slugger ends up in our nation's capitol.
Assuming that Texas can not land Cliff Lee, it is absolutely necessary that they go for the next best option in Zack Greinke.
The reason that the Rangers ended up in the 2010 World Series was the presence of Lee in their starting rotation and if Texas wants to return to the Fall Classic in 2011, they will need to find another ace to anchor the rotation.
Zack Greinke is the perfect fit.
Let's face it, what the New York Yankees want, the New York Yankees get.
After Boston's two major acquisitions of Crawford and Gonzalez, they become the AL East favorites in 2011. The Yankees do not want that to happen.
New York has not forgotten when Lee and the Rangers killed the Yankees in last year's postseason and as the late George Steinbrenner once said*, "If you can't beat em', buy em'."
*Steinbrenner never said that