By Tim Birkmeyer Finally! The Major League Baseball offseason has picked up a little bit recently and some big things have happened enough for me to write something. We are just a few weeks away from Pitchers and Catchers reporting, which only means more signings will happen. That’s actually one of the worst things about the baseball offseason: players don’t sign until the last minute. Which is fine for the players, they only need a week or two of Spring Training to get back in the groove. There are still some key free agents waiting to sign like Trevor Bauer and Marcell Ozuna, but let’s hop into some offseason highlights so far: The New York Mets Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Mets made some offseason splashes and will be a contender. Yup, time is a flat circle on this one. But maybe things are changing? To start with the Mets, they have new ownership from Steve Cohen, a guy with a lot of money and wants to spend. “Uncle Steve” as some Mets’ fans call him is ready to break the bank and bring back some winning baseball to New York, and the Mets have already made some signings with Pitchers Marcus Stroman and Trevor May in addition to Catcher James McCann. The Mets were also in talks with J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, DJ LeMahiew, and still working on Trevor Bauer. So, as you can see, the Mets are trying to sign the best free agents available with the money from Uncle Steve. Oh, the Mets also traded for FRANCISCO LINDOR, the best Shortstop in baseball. Uncle Steve has also expressed interest in signing Lindor to a long-term extension as well. Will this finally be a turning of the tides for the New York Mets? Time will tell, and stay tuned for my preseason predictions! The Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Padres making “All-in” Moves Three teams who made the playoffs last season (friendly reminder there were 8 teams, but the Padres/Cardinals would have been the Wild Card in a regular format) have made some huge splashes with free agent signings and trades. Let’s start off with the Blue Jays, the 8-seed in last season’s American League Playoffs. They still have the young core of Biggio, Bichette, and Vlad Jr., but have added George Springer, Marcus Semien, Kirby Yates, Robbie Ray, and Steven Matz in offseason moves. Their lineup is one of the best in baseball, their pitching staff needs some work in both the rotation and bullpen, but are manageable. The Blue Jays know they can compete with the Rays and Yankees in the division, and will stay for the next few seasons. The Cardinals have been recently added to this little section after trading for Third-Baseman Nolan Arenado the other day from the Colorado Rockies. Arenado is one of the best Third-Basemen in baseball averaging 30 HR and 100 RBI at the plate and winning 8 Gold Glove award defensively (he’s been in the league for 8 seasons). The Cardinals made the postseason last year with an injured pitching staff, and Arenado should be the piece (along with pitching) to put them over the top and be a serious contender in the National League. And America’s team in 2020, the Slam Diego Padres made two huge splashes trading for Rays’ Ace Blake Snell and Cubs Ace Yu Darvish. We all know the Padres have a fantastic lineup with Machado, Tatis Jr., Myers, and Pham, but pitching was their weakness and inevitable elimination from the postseason. Now, they have Snell and Darvish at the front of the rotation which is exactly what they needed. Like the Blue Jays, now the Padres can seriously compete with the Dodgers for the division title. Other Notable Signings The two biggest in this category are re-signings with Catcher JT Realmuto staying with the Phillies and DJ LeMahieu. JT Realmuto is the best hitting-catcher in the league, and if you play fantasy, one of the few catchers actually worth drafting and having on your team. The signing is not only big for the Phillies, but big for Bryce Harper. He was campaigning hard for a re-sign, and this is a nice message from ownership that they are serious in winning and giving Bryce some pieces around him. LeMahieu is a hitting machine and has won multiple batting titles in his career. I was actually shocked when the Yankees got him for so cheap after his time with the Rockies, and now upset they got him for the next few seasons as well. Keeping LeMahieu is what the Yankees need to be a title contender as it helps take pressure off of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Other than that, not too many “WOAH” signings in my eyes. The White Sox signed Liam Hendriks to bolster the bullpen, the Braves signed Charlie Morton to be a veteran in the rotation, Michael Brantley is staying in Houston after almost signing with the Blue Jays, the Yankees signed Corey Kluber to a “prove it, old man” deal, and the Orioles signed Freddy Galvis (World Series here we come! … Had to throw in my team somehow). And that will be it for this recap of some offseason highlights from Major League Baseball, and hopefully there will be some more splash signings and trades as Spring Training is starting up soon! Which move has been the best in your eyes, and has your team made any moves? Let me know in the comments!

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