Zach Jezioro: MLB offseason predictions

With the Nationals winning the 2019 World Series, the offseason is underway and there have been some big transactions already. Let’s start with 2019 World Series champion pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who just opted out of his contract with the Nationals. He still had four more years remaining, with him making $100 million on the contract he opted out of. One thing is for sure, he is going to get payed big time with a new team. Along with Gerrit Cole, Strasburg will likely be heading to a new team.

Let’s start with Strasburg. According to thescore.com, the seven possible teams that can land the star pitcher include the Houston Astros, LA Angels, LA Dodgers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres. The website also mentioned that the Washington Nationals could keep Strasburg. If you ask me, I think he will end up with the Yankees. As a Red Sox fan, I hate it but it makes sense because if they can land a pitcher like Strasburg, then they are one of the favorites to win the World Series.

Next up is Gerrit Cole. Just like Strasburg, Cole is expected to cash in big time. After doing some research, the landing spots for Cole are pretty much the same as Strasburg, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering that each franchise needs an elite pitcher on their roster. I think Cole will end up with the Angels. The Angels are still a team building for the future but with the likes of Mike Trout and some young talented players, they are a team on the rise. Adding Cole would be an immediate upgrade and will make their pitching rotation somewhat better. Star shortstop Manny Machado was a free agent last year and signed with the San Diego Padres, which shocked people. The Padres are just like the Angels, building for the future and have some good young players in the minors. Don’t be surprised if Cole signs with a young and upcoming team. The same goes for Strasburg.

Red Sox star outfielder Mookie Betts could also be on the move in the offseason. With only one year left on his contract, Boston could look to move the former AL MVP. While I would hate it if Boston moved on with Mookie, it could be a good thing for them. Yes, you are letting the face of your franchise go but if you can get a good player and some decent prospects, then it’s not bad. If Boston doesn’t trade Mookie, then they can play the year out and try to extend him next season, when he will be an unrestricted free agent. According to nbcsports.com, the San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Brewers could be all potential suitors for Betts. I think the Red Sox will keep him and try to work something out next season, especially since outfielder JD Martinez did not opt out of his contract. If he did, I’m sure Boston could use that money for Mookie.

There are many free agents that should be mentioned on here and for good reason, but the last player I will talk about is Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon. According to radio.com, the Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, LA Dodgers, and staying with the Nationals were all possible destinations for Rendon. Coming off a strong season and postseason, it is very possible that he will get Nolan Arenado money. Arenado is Colorado’s third baseman and much like Rendon, he is very good. I have a feeling that he will stick with Washington but we will see.

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