MLB Hot Stove: Has the 2017-18 offseason been slower than the last few offseasons?
No, you're not imagining things. This MLB offseason has been very slow compared to the last few years
The Hot Stove League has been abuzz with rumors and speculation, but very little action this offseason. Justin Upton signed a $105 million extension with the Angels, the Athletics shipped Ryon Healy to the Mariners for Emilio Pagan, and that's about it. Just some minor-league signings. That's all.
The offseason is still young, but even to this point, the day before Thanksgiving, there have been very few transactions compared to past offseasons. The first few weeks of the winter are usually busy with smaller trades and free-agent signings as teams look for quick-strike bargains. We haven't seen that this year. Here's a look back at the pre-Thanksgiving activity the past few offseasons.
- Trades (7): Cameron Maybin to the Angels; Pat Neshek to the Phillies; Vidal Nuno for Carlos Ruiz; Howie Kendrick to the Phillies; Danny Valencia to the Mariners; Brian McCann to the Astros; Jean Segura for Taijuan Walker (plus others)
- Free agent signings (10): Angels sign Andrew Bailey and Jesse Chavez; Braves sign R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon; Blue Jays sign Kendrys Morales; Astros sign Charlie Morton and Josh Reddick; Cardinals sign Brett Cecil; Rangers sign Andrew Cashner; Twins sign Jason Castro
The now-defending World Series champion Astros were quite busy early last offseason. They signed both Morton and Reddick as free agents, and sent two prospects to the Yankees for McCann before everyone sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. The biggest pre-Thanksgiving trade came on Turkey Day eve -- the Diamondbacks sent Segura, Mitch Haniger, and Zac Curtis to the Mariners for Walker and Ketel Marte. If you like trades, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto is your man.
- Trades (11): Logan Morrison for Nate Karns (and more); Aaron Hicks for John Ryan Murphy; Andrelton Simmons to the Angels; Joaquin Benoit to the Mariners; Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox; Jeremy Hellickson to the Phillies; Leonys Martin to the Mariners; Jonathan Villar to the Brewers; Jesse Chavez for Liam Hendriks; Cameron Maybin to the Tigers; Jed Lowrie to the Athletics
- Free agent signings (8): Braves sign A.J. Pierzynski and Bud Norris; Mariners sign Franklin Gutierrez and Chris Iannetta; Athletics sign Rich Hill; Angels sign Cliff Pennington and Geovany Soto; White Sox sign Alex Avila
Two blockbusters before Thanksgiving! The first sent Simmons to the Angels for a package of prospects that included lefty Sean Newcomb. The second sent Kimbrel to Boston for a four-prospect package, including center fielder Manuel Margot. The Hicks-for-Murphy deal was a sneaky-fun trade at the time. The Yankees and Twins swapped promising players in what was essentially a challenge deal. The Yankees got the better of that one.
- Trades (7): Adam Lind for Marco Estrada; Hank Conger to the Astros; Devon Travis for Anthony Gose; Francisco Cervelli for Justin Wilson; Jeremy Hellickson to the D-Backs; Tommy La Stella for Arodys Vizcaino; Jason Heyward for Shelby Miller and Jordan Walden
- Free agent signings (11): Cubs sign Tsuyoshi Wada; Yankees sign Chris Young; Mets sign Michael Cuddyer; Pirates sign A.J, Burnett; Tigers sign Victor Martinez; Blue Jays sign Russell Martin; White Sox sign Zach Duke and Adam LaRoche; Athletics sign Billy Butler; Red Sox sign Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez
The first few weeks of the 2014-15 offseason were pretty exciting, huh? There were some fun one-for-one challenge trades and some big free agent signings. Martinez signed for $68 million. Martin signed for $82 million. Sandoval and Hanley signed for $183 million combined. (Ouch.)
The biggest pre-Thanksgiving transaction of the 2014-15 offseason isn't even listed here. It was Giancarlo Stanton's massive 13-year, $325 million contract extension with the Marlins, the very contract the Marlins are trying to trade right now. Not because Stanton is no longer productive -- he was just named NL MVP, after all -- but because the team can't really afford him. His seemingly inevitable trade figures to be the biggest story of this offseason.
My guess is nothing has really happened this offseason because teams were waiting to see whether Shohei Ohtani would actually come over.earlier this week, paving the way for Ohtani to join a big-league team. Now that teams know he'll be posted, they can proceed accordingly. At least I hope so. I think I speak for everyone when I say it would be nice for something to happen this offseason.
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