The MLB Winter Meetings will be starting on Sunday in Las Vegas. They are a five-day event where all the important personnel of the MLB will gather to discuss free agent signings, rule changes and trades. With major names like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Corey Kluber being thrown around, it is likely that the ground works for deals will be set.
Here are five predictions for the Winter Meetings:
1. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado don’t sign
Agents will be very busy during these meetings, especially the representation of Scott Boras and Dan Lozano. Boras is the biggest name in the MLB when it comes to agents and Lozano is no small deal either. Both of them will be using their words and negotiation skills to set up their clients (and themselves) for big paydays.
As for Harper and Machado, unless they get an overwhelming offer that no one else will match it is likely that they will play the waiting game to get the deals they feel they deserve.
2. The Braves sign A.J. Pollock
Atlanta surprised everyone last year by winning the National League East. While they did not fair well in the playoffs they showed everyone that their young talent was ready to roll. It is no secret that they are looking to add outfield help and Pollock is the best option on the market.
They will likely overpay a bit for him, something to the tune of 6 years, $82 million.
3. Craig Kimbrel goes to the Phillies
The Phillies are also looking to improve again this winter and by adding Jean Segura they already have. But, to beat out Atlanta they will have to do some more adding. Their bullpen was in the bottom half of the league last season and adding one of the best closers of all-time should help to shore it up.
He won’t come cheap and will most likely want to be the highest paid reliever in the game. Expect his contract to look like, five years, $87.5 million.
4. The Yankees trade for Klubot
In case you didn’t know, the Yankees are really good again and they have some money to spend. That being said they are not the Yankees of old. After losing out on Patrick Corbin, due to not wishing to overpay for him, the Yankees will more than likely look to the plethora of young talent to help them get the starting pitching they so desperately need. With Kluber being on the trading block and the oddity that is the amount that the Indians and Yankees trade with each other, it seems like a match made in heaven.
The deal might look like, Clint Fraizer (going back to Cleveland), Chance Adams and Thairo Estrada to the Indians for Corey Kluber.
5. Rob Manfred either seriously considers two expansion teams or DH in the NL
While this is sort of a cop-out, it is likely that one of these is strongly considered. For many fans, the topic of the DH in the National League is one of contention. Does it help the game or is it unnecessary? Most baseball fans have very strong opinions either way and it is said that Manfred may pull the trigger on making the DH universal.
As for the expansion, an argument has been made that if Oakland, Miami, and Tampa Bay are struggling to bring people in and the common conception is that baseball is struggling with the fans it already has, is it worth bringing in any more franchises? Well, the folks in Portland seem to want a team. Either way Manfred’s goals as Commissioner seemed to be focusing on advancing baseball and if he feels like expansion is the way to go then you can expect to hear about it.
Hopefully, Vegas will bring everyone good luck
When the Rule 5 draft concludes on Thursday one can expect to have heard a lot of news. While it is unlikely that we will see the holdouts from last year, it is still possible. All baseball fans should make sure that they bookmark their teams beat writers on Twitter as they will be the busiest people of all.
What moves do you think your team will make? Make sure to let us know!
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