Five Bold Predictions for the 2023 MLB Offseason

by John Pagnotta | Nov 22, 2023 | General | 0 comments

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The 2023 MLB offseason has begun after the Texas Rangers won their first World Series in franchise history. The talk will obviously revolve around superstar Shohei Ohtani as he looks to become the first MLB player to sign a $500 million deal, but there is lots of other talent on the market. Josh Hader, Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery, and Matt Chapman are all coming off solid seasons looking to lock up a long-term deal. Superstar 25 year old pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is coming from Japan, and he may sign a deal for over $200M. To add on that, there is speculation that Juan Soto and Corbin Burnes may be traded in the offseason. With that in mind, here are 5 bold predictions for the offseason…

1. Shohei Ohtani goes to the Cubs on a short-term deal

Shohei Ohtani is the most intriguing free agent in MLB history. He is a dynamic two-way player who is amazing at pitching and hitting, and immediately makes a team a World Series contender. He can go to the West Coast and sign with the Dodgers, but Ohtani has had enough of L.A. So, he picks the Chicago Cubs as his team to ride with for the next few years. Yes, this won’t be a huge 10 year, $500 million deal. Ohtani will be going to the Cubs on a shorter deal. The Cubs are coming off a season where they have the money to spend around Ohtani to compete for a championship. In addition, Ohtani can be looking for a triple crown since he isn’t pitching anytime this season. He would get to play in Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Wrigley more than other ballparks (these 3 parks are the most expected home runs by park for Ohtani). Chicago also just signed manager Craig Counsell to a 5 year deal, which indicates that they intend to go on a playoff run with him as their manager. Ohtani will sign with Chicago for a 3 year $155 million contract with an opt-out clause.
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2. Yoshinobu Yamamoto signs with the Mets for $150 million

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is seen as a pitching prodigy throughout the game of baseball. He posted a 50-16 record, 1.42 ERA, and 586 SO over the last 3 seasons in Japan. The New York Mets have been considered the favorites to land the pitcher as owner Steve Cohen is expected to pay him heavy money. The Mets dealt with ineffectiveness from most of their starters last season, as Max Scherzer, David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Carlos Carrasco struggled mightily. They took a shot on Kodai Senga last offseason, and it was a massive success as he had a 2.98 ERA, 202 SO, and finished 2nd in NL ROY voting. Why not take another chance on another budding star from Japan? The Mets will sign Yamamoto for 6 years and $150 million to pair up with Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana.
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3. Cody Bellinger travels to the Bronx

Coming into the 2023 season, there were no expectations for Cody Bellinger when he signed a 1 year deal with the Cubs. He never discovered that 2019 MVP form when he hit 47 home runs for the Dodgers. A hot start lasted through June and carried through the 2nd half to lead the Cubs to the postseason. Bellinger hit .307 with 26 HR, 97 RBI, 20 SB, and a 4.1 fWAR. These numbers were a huge surprise from 2020-22 when he hit under .239 and less than 20 HR in each of the 3 seasons. Bellinger’s looking for a team that needs an outfield spot and a way to show that his 2023 year wasn’t a fluke. That team is the New York Yankees. The Yankees are in need of 2 outfielders with rookie OF Jasson Dominguez rehabbing and rookies Oswaldo Cabrera and Everson Pereira struggling. They can cut that number in half by going for the star OF. The short porch can also lead to big numbers from Bellinger as his lefty power will be helpful for a productive year for the Yankees.

4. Juan Soto doesn’t get traded

There have been rumors of the Padres wanting to lower their payroll by around $50 to $60 million this offseason. Soto’s name has been brought up since he is a free agent next offseason and he will be worth lots of money this offseason for arbitration. The Yankees, Giants, Mets, and Mariners have been linked to the Padres in a potential offseason trade. However, the Padres will wait until the trade deadline to trade Soto. Instead of trading him in the offseason, they can move less important players and find ways to maintain their payroll with Soto on the team. This could also lead to a trade at the deadline if the Padres are sellers.

5. The Reds will sign 2 starters to strengthen their rotation

The Reds were a big surprise during the 2023 season, going 82-80 and barely missing the postseason. However, they had a very big weakness that led to them missing the playoffs: Starting pitching. Their starters posted a 5.43 ERA and were one of the worst rotations in the MLB. It doesn’t help that the Reds play in a hitters’ park, but those numbers are unacceptable. Andrew Abbott and Hunter Greene are a good start for a rotation, but the Reds have to add at least 1 starting pitcher and build around them. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them take a shot at ace-level pitchers such as Aaron Nola or Blake Snell. Reuniting with Sonny Gray or signing Eduardo Rodriguez are very acceptable options for a team that needs the pitching to be successful next season.
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My name is John Pagnotta and I live in Queens, NY. I am a sophomore at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School. I am a huge fan of the Jets, Mets, Islanders, and Knicks. I started following sports when I was around 7 years old and I have not lost love for it ever since!


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