Yanks trade for Stanton, Angels sign Ohtani, Astros add Cole
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One major transaction made this offseason was the blockbuster deal that sent Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. The slugger smashed a league-leading 59 home runs last year.
After an offseason to forget, Major League Baseball has returned. Pitchers and catchers reported for Spring Training last Wednesday for most teams, and the rest of the teams reported earlier this week.
The biggest story this offseason was the lack of free agent signings and general roster moves, but there were still two major stories to note.
One was a blockbuster deal that sent reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins to the New York Yankees.
Stanton, who hit 59 home runs, will join a lineup that already features two of the better power hitters in baseball: Aaron Judge, who hit 52 home runs as a rookie last season, and Gary Sanchez, who hit 33 home runs.
They were among the best power duos already, but adding Stanton makes this possibly the most powerful trio in a long time.
The Yankees had a successful year last season, falling one win short of a World Series appearance.
The team that beat them, and won the World Series, also made a big trade this winter.
The Houston Astros traded for pitcher Gerrit Cole, formerly of the Pirates. Cole had a down season in 2017, but many still believe he has ace- caliber potential.
Joining a rotation that already has Cy Young contenders Dallas Kuechel and Justin Verlander, and possibly the best No. 4 starter in baseball in Lance McCullers Jr., the Astros look poised to repeat as American League Champions.
The Los Angeles Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Otani and Zack Cozart in an attempt to bolster their roster as well.
Otani is projected to both pitch and hit in the majors and should give the Angels another star player next to Mike Trout.
Outside of this, not much else happened this offseason, roster-wise.
The Marlins traded other top players in Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, and there were minor free agent signings, but big names such as Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer went unsigned much longer than they normally would have.
Darvish remained unsigned until the second week of February, while Martinez and Hosmer didn’t sign deals until earlier this week.
In addition to the lack of roster moves, commissioner Rob Manfred attempted to enact “pace of play” rules such as a pitch clock, reduced time between innings and a limited number of mound visits. This was a point of contention between the MLB and the MLBPA.
It was announced earlier this week that a pitch clock would not be implemented this season, but there will be limited mounds visits and less time between innings.
Now that Spring Training is here, the MLB can move on from this offseason, and hopefully, the coming season will continue to build on the momentum of the last two.
By: Donnie Menke ~Staff Writer~