Major League Baseball has been very busy this off-season, with multiple moves and big trades. Teams are off to the races competing against time and one another to build up their version of an elite team. Despite the busy off-season market, about six teams in the National League are in a state of rebuilding and acquiring young prospects to advance their franchise years ahead. Less competition in these games means a decrease in fans’ participation, and therefore a loss of money for the 2016 season. There are eight or nine teams most likely to be battling for playoff spots, such as the Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, and Cardinals. The six teams expecting another losing record in 2016 are the Phillies, Reds, Brewers, Braves, Rockies, and Padres, all coming from the National League. If these six teams all end with losing records it will be the first time in baseball history that all losing teams came from one league instead of both.
Many analyses are predicting what the outcome of this year’s baseball season will be. Others are preparing themselves for an uneasy, nerve-wracking, and frustrating pennant races. There is little optimism that any of these teams can rise up with strong potential. The following player names listed are the most recent trades made this off-season. The hot stove has been cooking some tasty surprises for 2016:
Chicago White Sox acquired 3B Todd Frazier from the Los Angeles Dodgers, and 3B Brett Lawrie from the Oakland Athletics.
Philadelphia Phillies acquired P Charlie Morton from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Houston Astros acquired P Ken Giles and SS Jonathan from the Philadelphia Phillies.
Los Angeles Angels acquired INF Yunel Escobar plus cash from the Washington Nationals, and SS Andrelton Simmons, C Jose Briceno from the Atlanta Braves.
New York Mets acquired 2B Neil Walker from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Detroit Tigers acquired P Justin Wilson from the New York Yankees, OF Cameron Maybin from the Atlanta Braves, and P Francisco Rodriguez from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Seattle Mariners acquired 1B Adam Lind from the Milwaukee Brewers, OF Leonys Martin, P Anthony Bass from the Texas Rangers, and P Joaquin Benoit from the San Diego Padres.
Arizona Diamondbacks acquired P Shelby Miller and P Gabe Speier from the Atlanta Braves.
New York Yankees acquired INF Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs, and P Aroldis Chapman from the Reds.
Washington Nationals acquired CF Ben Revere for RHP Drew Storen plus cash to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Detroit Tigers signed free agent OF Justin Upton to a six-year, $132.75 million deal from the San Diego Padres.
Things to be looking out for this 2016 season: two major deals, acquiring Aroldis Chapman to the Yankees bullpen, and Justin Upton’s bat power to the Tigers. One standout of the 2015 season we cannot undermine is the development and growth of the Chicago Cubs, a team that has gone constantly through rebuild mode and endured turmoil to reach the point of success they’re at now. The Cubs consists of many young and experienced veterans with incredible talent. I predict the Cubs to be the NL 2016 version of the Houston Astros, for they share the common narrative of improvement from worst to first.