The 2019 Winter Meetings were exciting. A big jump from last year as fans were let down in an offseason filled with big name free agents. Last offseason it wasn’t only the winter meetings that let the fans down but the offseason as a whole. Machado, Harper, Kimbrel, and Keuchel all waited a very long time to sign, some longer than others.
The offseason became such a let down that many believed this was a trend to stay. No longer would the big free agents sign during the winter meeting or even in the months of December and January. However, this offseason became a flip of the script as all of the big free agents signed during the winter meetings. Strasburg, Cole, and Rendon are all off the board. Some major free agents do still remain though including Bumgarner, Donaldson, and Ryu among several others. But in comparison to last season, this one has been a dream come true for baseball fans.
So with some much happening during the winter meetings, let’s evaluate the big moves that took place and how it’s going to impact the 2020 season.
New York Yankees
It’s no doubt that the Yankees won the winter meetings. They went out and got themselves the ace they needed. Now it looks like the evil empire is back and here to stay for quite a while. They have their ace for years to come and have put themselves well ahead of every other team in the league. I don’t see any team that is going to stand in their way next season and even in the next few after that. They are gonna be an exciting team to watch and they are about to absolutely dominate the entire league.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels came up short on Cole by a lot. They saw themselves as contenders in signing him but the Yankees offer far exceeded what they offered him. However, they still went out and signed Rendon who is arguably the best third baseman in the league. The Angels are finally building around Mike Trout and I don’t think that they’re done this offseason. Look for them to sign a starting pitcher soon. The Angels may have come up short on Cole but they still went out and got themselves an elite free agent.
The Nationals could have done a little bit better but they showed up to the winter meetings and took care of business. They resigned Strasburg so their rotation still sits amongst the best in the league. Now they have to fill Rendon’s spot at third base who was such a huge part of their lineup. With Donaldson still on the market, I think he would be a perfect fit in DC. The Nationals took care of business at the winter meetings but if they want to defend their title then they will need to fill that hole at third base.
The Phillies did sign some noteworthy players but I question if they chose the right players to sign. Zack Wheeler is going to make an Average Annual Value (AAV) of $23.6 million per year over the next five years with the Phillies. He will not be worth the money. Wheeler is the type of pitcher that belongs in the third spot in a rotation but you don’t pay that pitcher $23.6 million per year. However, the Phillies did go out and sign Didi Gregorius to a one year deal worth $14 million dollars. That is a deal that will be well worth the Phillies money. I’m surprised that he only signed a one year deal and for such a low amount. Gregorius is among the best shortstops in the game and deserves to get paid. The Phillies should have tried to lock him up longer but they will still get great value out of him in 2020.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers didn’t do much at the winter meetings but what can they do to boost their roster? They have one of the best teams in baseball but their biggest weakness in their bullpen. So, they signed Blake Treinen to a one year deal worth $10 million dollars. They definitely haven’t fixed their bullpen yet but they’re taking steps in the right direction.
With all of the reports of the cheating scandal surrounding the Astros, they failed the winter meetings. They didn’t make any notable acquisitions besides loosing Cole in free agency but the real focus needs to be placed on the cheating scandal. It will be interesting to see the repercussions they face for their actions as they certainly deserve some form of punishment for their actions.