The recent Winter Meetings in Nashville left baseball fans hungry for a blockbuster trade or major free agent signing, but the offseason has remained relatively quiet so far. However, on Wednesday, the mega-trade of the Dominican Juan Soto, which sent the 25-year-old outfielder from the Padres to the Yankees, could be a sign that things are about to escalate.
The most notable free agents still available include superstar Shohei Ohtani, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, and Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Other notable free agents include reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, center fielder Cody Bellinger, and closer Josh Hader among others.
As for potential trade candidates, Dylan Cease (White Sox), Corbin Burnes (Brewers), Tyler Glasnow (Rays), and Shane Bieber (Guardians) are all attractive options. There’s also the possibility of a trade involving Cuban outfielder Randy Arozarena (Rays).
Several storylines to watch out for in the coming weeks include whether Ohtani will sign and where he will end up, the ripple effect in the market once Ohtani has signed, how far the bidding for Yamamoto will go, and which teams are ready to act in the trade market. The Dodgers, Blue Jays, Giants, Angels, and Cubs are believed to be the finalists to land Ohtani, and it has been speculated that the offer could potentially reach up to $600 million.
With the top tier free agents and potential trade candidates still up for grabs, the offseason outlook is full of excitement as teams look to make a big move prior to the start of the 2024 season.