The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings are upon us, as they will occur from December 4 to 8. This oftentimes is when blockbuster trades commence. In previous years, top stars of the league have been swapped like the Rick Porcello and Yoenis Cespedes trade. Top free agents commonly sign during this time as well. There are a lot of teams that can make or break the 2017 season during this week. Here are my predictions for the 2016 Winter Meetings.
1) Yoenis Cespedes will resign with the Mets.
Cespedes is one of the top free agents available in this free agency period. The 31 year-old is in his prime and ready to cash in with a team. Last offseason, Cespedes was very close to coming to a deal with the Nationals before the Mets offered him a contract that he could opt out of after just one year. He will entertain contract offers from the Nationals and others to resign with the New York Mets.
2) There will be lots of talk surrounding Mike Trout, but the Angels will not pull the trigger
The Angels are not in a good position right now. Their team is full of aging veterans with large contracts to their names. They still owe Jared Weaver, Ricky Nolasco, and C.J. Wilson a combined 46 million dollars next season, along with the monstrous contract that Albert Pujols is earning. The Angels also do not have much of a farm system to lean back on either. In reality, they have two options: they can either trade Trout and receive a plethora of prospects, or they can wait it out and hope he re-signs with them and can build a team around him. Trout will not be a free agent until the winter of 2021, but the longer the Angels wait, the less value they will get from him. The Angels will receive some hefty offers, but they will continue to hold off on losing the best player in baseball.
3) The Detroit Tigers will be sellers
The Tigers are coming off of two straight years of missing the playoffs and some big changes are coming their way. Standing still has not worked for them and this winter there are some big names that could be dropped. There has even been some discussion of former MVPs Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. While I don’t think they will be in a deal, there is a definite possibility J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez, and Anibal Sanchez could all be moved by the end of the offseason. The Tigers are trying to shed money and GM Al Avila has already shown he is not afraid to pull the trigger on deals after Cameron Maybin was acquired by the Angels. Expect a lot of movement from the Tigers, if not in the Winter Meetings, then across the offseason.
4) The Dodgers will be among the most active teams.
The Dodgers lost to the Cubs in the NLCS, and they want to try and nab a World Series while trying to decrease payroll. The Dodgers have already expressed interest in upgrading at second base and starting pitching, and will more than likely not be able to retain both Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. They have also been active sellers of Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers could also look into moving Adrian Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, and Scott Kazmir to help with the financial books. They have also expressed interest in some big names like Chris Sale and Aroldis Chapman. No one knows what they are up to, but expect a big splash to come from LA.
The Winter Meetings could be a make it or break it part of the offseason for MLB clubs. There are surely rumors that will fly around, the big fish in the market will be signed, and teams will make trades that will either help or haunt them for years to come. There is sure to be a lot of hype coming into the 2016 meetings, and with good reason. All 30 teams are looking to get back on top, hoping to parade through their city with the World Series trophy. It all starts here and now, be sure pay close attention to your team during the 2016 Winter Meetings.