Title: The 2023-24 Hot Stove: Bold Predictions for the MLB Offseason
Date: 1:25 AM UTC
Welcome to the 2023-24 Hot Stove, otherwise known as the Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes! The discussion over the two-way superstar’s destination will dominate the narrative in the coming weeks, but there’s other talent available on the open market. Expect a lot of creativity in the trade department due to the high costs of premium pitching and the market being light on impact bats.
What’s going to happen this winter? No one can say for sure, but here are eight bold predictions:
1. Ohtani is going to the Mariners.
The safest prediction would be that Ohtani signs with the Dodgers, but let’s go bold. The Mariners, led by general manager Jerry Dipoto, have a strong nucleus and could offer Ohtani a place to be his unique and relatively reclusive self away from major media demands. They also desperately need a bat, and Ohtani fits the bill.
2. Yamamoto will land with the Red Sox.
Yamamoto, a 25-year-old right-hander who won Japan’s Cy Young equivalent each of the last three years, will be a target for more teams. The Red Sox, who made a big splash in the Japan market with the Masataka Yoshida signing, will likely pursue Yamamoto aggressively.
3. Juan Soto will be traded to the Yankees.
While reports suggest the Padres will pare their payroll, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Soto will be dealt. However, given the financial challenges of keeping Soto past 2024, the most sensible option for the Padres is to move him and recover as much trade capital as possible. The Yankees, in need of a left-handed power bat, should be highly motivated to acquire Soto.
4. Alex Bregman will be traded.
The Astros, facing difficult decisions to keep their championship window open, might consider trading Bregman, who is a year away from free agency. The Astros could improve their farm system and provide payroll flexibility by trading Bregman, while still remaining competitive. The Blue Jays, Mets, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers could be potential fits.
5. High school teammates Flaherty and Giolito will reunite in Atlanta.
The Braves, in need of quality starting pitching, could pursue former high school teammates Jack Flaherty and Lucas Giolito on lucrative one-year contracts. Both pitchers have the potential to return to form and could provide a much-needed upgrade to the Braves’ rotation.
6. The Orioles will add an ace starter and an ace closer.
With a young and talented team that demonstrated its potential in the playoffs, the Orioles have the means to aggressively add impact players. They have the financial resources to sign a top-end starter like Blake Snell or Aaron Nola and the trade assets to acquire pitchers like Corbin Burnes or Shane Bieber. Additionally, former Orioles prospect Josh Hader would make an excellent replacement for the injured Félix Bautista in the bullpen.
The 2023-24 Hot Stove is shaping up to be an exciting and unpredictable offseason. While the focus remains on Shohei Ohtani, there are several other intriguing storylines to follow. Stay tuned as teams make bold moves to improve their rosters and compete for the ultimate prize in the 2024 MLB season.
Welcome to the 2023-24 Hot Stove: Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes
What to Expect in the MLB Offseason
The MLB offseason is in full swing, and all eyes are on the highly anticipated Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes. While Ohtani’s destination remains uncertain, there are plenty of other talented players available on the open market. With a scarcity of impact bats and high costs for premium pitching, teams are expected to get creative in the trade department.
As we dive into the Hot Stove predictions, it’s important to note that the future is unpredictable. Just like the surprising World Series matchup between the Rangers and D-backs, anything can happen in the offseason.
Ohtani’s Bold Move: Joining the Mariners
While many expect Ohtani to sign with the Dodgers or return to the Angels, let’s explore a bolder prediction. The Seattle Mariners, led by general manager Jerry Dipoto, have expressed their goal of consistent success over a 10-year span. Despite their usual low-key approach to free agency, the Mariners could surprise everyone by landing Ohtani.
Ohtani has expressed his love for the city of Seattle, and the Mariners offer him a unique opportunity to be his true self away from major media demands. With a strong nucleus and a need for a power bat, the Mariners could be an ideal fit for Ohtani.
Yamamoto’s Rising Stock: Red Sox Bound
While Ohtani dominates the headlines, another Japanese pitcher, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, is generating excitement in the MLB