MLB: Two Winners And Two Losers Of Winter Meetings
During Winter Meetings for the MLB, there were quite a few big names that were on the move and will have new teams in 2023. Who was a winner, and who was a loser of the Winter Meetings?
Winner: New York Mets
Spending money at an unprecedented rate, New York Mets’ owner Steve Cohen has shown that he will do whatever it takes to win a championship. At the Winter Meetings, he certainly did not shy from a big deal, and the Mets are better due to it.
After seeing ace Jacob deGrom leave for Texas, the Mets signed a future Hall-of-Famer in reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. Signed to a two-year, $86.6 million deal, Verlander is coming off a year where he went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA en route to a World Series title with Houston.
The Mets weren’t done there. They also signed starting pitcher Jose Quintana (two years, $26 million), reliever David Robertson (one year, $10 million), and re-signed outfielder Brandon Nimmo (eight years, $162 million).
Since the meetings, the Mets have also signed Japanese hurler Kodai Senga to a five-year, $75 million deal. New York is tied for the fourth-best odds of winning the World Series at (+1000).
To make things better, it appears the Mets are going to be able to still snag superstar Carlos Correa, despite his debacle with his physical.
While it looks like some of the physical issues are happening again with his new contract with the Mets, they should still be able to finalize it.
With the addition of Correa, the Mets now have one of the most deadly lineups in all of baseball, as well as one of, if not the best infields in the entire game.
Winner: Philadelphia Phillies
After making it to the World Series, the Phillies were not content to stand pat as they competed in arguably the best division in baseball in the NL East.
At the Winter Meetings, Philadelphia signed one of the best free agents on the market in shortstop Trea Turner. Signed to an 11-year, $300 million deal, the Phillies added to an offense that already ranked seventh in scoring, averaging 4.59 runs per game.
Last season, Turner hit .298/.343/.466 with 21 home runs, 100 runs batted in, 101 runs scored, and 27 stolen bases for the Dodgers.
Philadelphia also added starter Taillon Walker (four years, $72 million) and reliever Matt Strahm (two years, $15 million) to the mix.
Loser: Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox made a couple of acquisitions during the Winter Meetings, including signing Japanese outfielder Masatake Yoshida (five years, $90 million) and closer Kenley Jansen (two years, $32 million), but this is more about who they lost.
Seen as a cornerstone of the franchise over the last several years, it was shocking to Red Sox fans to see shortstop Xander Bogaerts head to the other side of the country as he signed a mega deal with the San Diego Padres.
If that wasn’t bad enough, reports since the meetings have indicated that Boston and Rafael Devers remain far apart on a contract extension.
After finishing dead last in the AL East, 21 games behind the Yankees, the Red Sox needed to close the gap in their division, especially after New York re-signed Aaron Judge and brought in starter Carlos Rodon.
Loser: Chicago White Sox
After finishing 81-81 last season, 11 games behind the Cleveland Guardians, many Chicago fans had hoped that the White Sox would make some noise at the Winter Meetings, whether it be via free agent signings or trade.
Fans were frustrated after the only deal the White Sox made was to sign Mike Clevinger to a one-year deal. Nothing against Clevinger, but as a back-of-the-rotation starter, he didn’t do much to move the needle.
Meanwhile, before the Winter Meetings, the White Sox lost their franchise icon Jose Abreu to the Houston Astros, and they also saw the Guardians make a savvy deal in acquiring Josh Bell to help solidify their offense.
Since the meetings, the White Sox have signed Andrew Benintendi to a five-year, $75 million deal, but that might not be enough to close the gap on the Guardians in the AL Central.
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