Yu Darvish's reported six-year deal with the Cubs helped jolt the free-agent market, but many high-profile players remain available.Plenty of clubs could benefit from adding one of those potential difference-makers, so they may become more aggressive in their pursuit as the season draws closer. Below are five signings I'd like
Yu Darvish's reported six-year deal with the Cubs helped jolt the free-agent market, but many high-profile players remain available.
Plenty of clubs could benefit from adding one of those potential difference-makers, so they may become more aggressive in their pursuit as the season draws closer. Below are five signings I'd like to see by the time Spring Training gets underway.
1. J.D. Martinez to the D-backs
The National League West may be the most competitive division in baseball, especially with the Giants and Rockies staying active this offseason. Martinez was the perfect fit for the D-backs last July and suits the team just as well now. With an offense featuring Martinez and Paul Goldschmidt and arguably one of the deepest starting staffs in the game, Arizona would be the most likely contender to wrest the NL West crown from the Dodgers. Moreover, signing Martinez would give the D-backs protection in case Goldschmidt leaves as a free agent after the 2018 season.
2. Jacob Arrieta to the Phillies
With a crop of youngsters that includes Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, Scott Kingery and Jorge Alfaro, the Phillies appear to be on the cusp of a revival. Although the club has already added Carlos Santana on a three-year deal to bolster the lineup, Philadelphia still needs to stabilize its rotation. Adding Arrieta could accomplish that goal and help the Phils contend even sooner than expected. The Cubs made a similar move by signing Jonathan Lester after going 73-89 in 2014, and the veteran lefty was a key part of the team surprisingly winning 97 games and making the NL Championship Series the following season.
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3. Greg Holland to the Cardinals
Signing Holland is a logical next step for the Cardinals, who improved their offense with the addition of Marcell Ozuna but still have some areas to address to keep pace with the Cubs and Brewers. St. Louis had trouble finding a stable closing option in 2017, bouncing from Seunghwan Oh to Trevor Rosenthal to Tyler Lyons to Juan Nicasio. True, the club has already added free agent Luke Gregerson to its relief corps and will eventually have youngster Alex Reyes back from Tommy John surgery. But acquiring Holland would make Reyes more of a luxury than a necessity and allow Gregerson, Brett Cecil and Matt Bowman to settle into defined setup roles.
4. Mike Moustakas to the Yankees
Although general manager Brian Cashman has publicly said the Yankees are comfortable with their infield options -- which include prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar -- adding Moustakas on a one-year pillow contract makes sense. This way, the club won't be too heavily reliant on unproven players and will have insurance at first base in case Greg Bird struggles to stay healthy again. Moose could take advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium as he looks to build on last year's career-high 38 homers, make a run at another World Series title and then re-enter the free-agent market next offseason.
5. Lance Lynn to the Giants
The Giants have been one of the Majors' most active teams this offseason, trading for Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen and signing Austin Jackson. Having improved their offense and defense with those moves, the club should now look to strengthen its pitching staff. Lynn is exactly the type of innings eater San Francisico needs, as he's posted a lifetime 3.64 ERA and tossed at least 175 frames in five of the past six years. With Lynn in the fold, the Giants would be better protected if Johnny Cueto deals with injuries again or Chris Stratton and Tyler Beede don't pan out.
Jim Duquette, who was the Mets' GM in 2004, offers his opinions as a studio analyst and columnist for MLB.com.