The season just ended and I’m already looking forward to the next one with these reckless predictions for the offseason.
The trophy has been hoisted and the improbable has happened, the Washington Nationals are World Series champions. If you’re not a Nationals fan, you probably feel a bit disappointed and you’re aching for next season and the optimism that being 0-0 brings. That eternal spirit of optimism is what brings me here today with my relatively un-researched but incredibly ridiculous bold predictions for this offseason.
Gerrit Cole signs with the Washington Nationals
Look, I don’t like it either, but of all of my predictions, this one makes the most sense poetically. It seems like every offseason we all say, “the Nationals are good on pitching, they won’t sign anyone” and then they sign one of the biggest arms on the open market and enrage everyone on the planet. Cole is without a doubt the best arm available this summer and with his incredible strikeout rate, he would fit in perfectly with the Nationals staff.
This prediction hinges on Stephen Strasburg walking this offseason and signing with a division rival, The Phillies. That’s right! Two bold predictions under one header. Bet you didn’t see that coming? Cole would incidentally make the Nationals arguably the most dangerous NL team next season, a defending champ with a real shot of repeating, provided they add a power bat to replace Rendon, who is 100% walking (BOOM three bold predictions).
Anthony Rendon signs with the Los Angeles Angels
This is easily the most bonkers of all of my predictions but the signs are all there if you really think about it. Rendon got his hardware with the Nats this season and earned every penny of the monster deal he is sure to sign this offseason. The Angels, on the other hand, recently signed Joe Maddon as their manager and are desperate to do something with these 12 years of Mike Trout.
Their farm system isn’t deep enough to swing a true impact trade so it makes more sense for them to be active in free agency. The Angels proved that they’re willing spend with the Trout deal, and now they better do something to back him up. A bonus in signing Rendon to a long-term deal is that once his exceptional fielding starts to go, he will easily slot in at DH where his bat will always have significant pop.
The New York Yankees trade Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton for Starting Pitching
Stay with me here.
Stanton and Andujar did virtually nothing for the Yanks this past season because of injury and they were still a remarkable power-hitting team. For an organization that got such important contributions from low-salary players, don’t be surprised to see and organizational shift this winter in which they try to shed some contracts and beef up their rotation. Didi is going to walk as well, meaning that a contract dump could be on the horizon. CC Sabathia is retiring and their rotation has showed its age this season with durability and consistency issues. For a team that will be as championship hungry as the Yankees, it makes sense to do whatever they can to beef up the rotation to try to match the likes of the Astros.
The New York Mets Sign Moustakas, Didi, and Grandal.
Ya gotta believe.
Look, I’m a Phillies fan and even I love this Mets team. As someone who lives in NYC, their energy is infectious. If they don’t do something to give Petey the Polar Bear a WS ring in the next three years, Queens will riot.
Enter this offseason.
Callaway is gone. Beltran is in. The organization decides to believe in their young players by being aggressive on the open market. I think they aggressively pursue Didi Gregorius on a short-term contract and sign Mike Moustakas to a two-year, incentive heavy deal so they can move JD and Jeff to the outfield full-time while adding another lefty power bat to feed on their short (W)right-field wall, with Nimmo playing off the bench extensively until Cano eventually gets hurt.
At that point, they slide Jeff to 2B and Nimmo becomes an everyday outfielder. Catcher will still be an issue as long as pitchers don’t want to throw to Wilson Ramos, but if they can muster up the courage to throw money at that problem as well, Yasmani Grandal would be an ideal fit in this lineup in the 6 or 7 hole. Their bullpen is still an issue but reliever Will Smith would look really nice in Mets blue pinstripes closing out games while Diaz takes a less-stressful position as a premier set-up man. Even if they don’t address the pen, adding these three pieces to their lineup would ensure them at least a playoff spot.