We’re in to spring training now. Can’t you just smell the freshly cut grass and hear the crack of the bat? The 2017 Major League Baseball season is officially around the corner. I’ve taken the liberty of reminding you of the best MLB offseason moves made prior to the season. Some are obvious. Others were less publicized but equally effective.
Best MLB Offseason Moves
1. Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox
Trading for the American League’s premiere lefthanded pitcher was a signal that the Red Sox are all in this season – even without David Ortiz. They’ll now trot out a rotation that has three Cy Young Award winners in it. If pitching wins championships then Boston is right in the mix.
2. Edwin Encarnacion to the Indians
Cleveland was oh so close in winning it all last season. Many expected them to fall off slightly in 2017 – that is until they signed arguably one of the top 5 hitters in all of baseball. Not only does Edwin bring consistency and production to the lineup, but he also brings credibility.
3. Mike Napoli to the Rangers
Texas needed this. After losing Mitch Moreland to Boston in free agency, they needed a guy who could fill the void. They got that and then some with Mike Napoli. While he won’t be better defensively than Moreland, Napoli brings a history of winning and that fear factor to the lineup that Texas was missing.
4. Jose Bautisa to the Blue Jays
After losing Encarnacion to the Indians and not landing any meaningful pitcher upgrades, Toronto was in trouble this offseason. In bringing back fan favorite Bautista, they keep some of that swagger, attitude and identity that is sorely needed to compete in the ever tough AL East division.
5. Josh Reddick to the Astros
Houston added Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick to an already solid team. Watch out, American League. Reddick might be one of the most underrated players in all of baseball. He can virtually do it all. If Houston gets off to a better start than last year then they could ride the wave all season with their great talent.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.