MLB News/Rumors: Some wild and not so wild predictions for Winter Meetings week

William Parlee
New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu
Feb 20, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees infielder DJ leMahieu (26) catches a ball thrown from home plate in a steal drill during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

For the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams, an extraordinary Winter Meetings week will start tomorrow. The event for owners, general managers, and field managers, this is a week that is normally as much social as it is filled with serious baseball meetings. This year there will not be deals done in the bar over a Martini, no late-night talks between GMs in posh hotel rooms. No, this year, the whole event is going to be done virtually. The talks will start tomorrow and go on until December 10th.

Nevertheless, you can count on more acquisitions and trades made this week than the whole time since the World Series ended. However, don’t expect as much activity as in a normal offseason set of meetings. Teams don’t have the money this year than they normally have after huge losses caused by the coronavirus and do not have the revenue stream they usually have from fan-generated funds.

New York Yankees:

The New York Yankees may be one of the hardest teams to predict for two reasons. They have many needs, but owner Hal Steinbrenner has already said he wants to keep the payroll below the luxury tax threshold. You probably won’t see much action from the Yankees during this entire week until they have some idea what’s happening with star second baseman DJ LeMahieu. The Yankees want DJ back for sure, but they have continued to wait to see how much interest develops for his service. I guess that if the Yankees don’t act, the Toronto Blue Jays will swoop in and offer him the money he can’t refuse.

Everything with LeMahieu is contract length; he is fixated on security and will not accept a short contract unless it’s in an amount equivalent to what he would like to earn for five years. The Yankees won’t do that; they might compromise and give him four years with an option based on performance. Regardless they will do everything they can the keep the baseball batting champ in pinstripes.

Prediction: DJ LeMahieu remains a New York Yankee.

New York Mets:

New New York Mets owner Steve Cohen will make a name for himself this week, like outspending any other MLB team. Cohen wants to be in the spotlight and wants to be seen as a winner, and he has the money to do it and do it big. I guess Cohen will try to rebuild the team in just one season to become the predominant New York team.

Predictions: The Mets, unlike the Yankees, have made a bevy of moves already; they haven’t wasted any time signing no less than 15 signed players, including minor league signings. They will make a lot more this week.

  • J.T Realmuto will become the Mets starting catcher.
  • George Springer of Jackie Bradley Jr to the Mets.
  • James Paxton and Taijuan Walker bolster the Mets rotation.

The Los Angeles Angels:

The Los Angeles Angels are tired of losing with a big name like Mike Trout on the team. They paid big for Trout and basically have wasted all that money by not giving him around him to win.

Prediction: Coveted pitcher Trevor Bauer signs with the Angels.

Philadelphia Phillies:

The Phillies is a sad story this year. Even with new manager Joe Girardi, the team will do little to improve their place in the NL East. The Phillies lost a lot of money this past season, not as much as the Yankees, but they also don’t have the Yankees’ resources. They will cost cut at every turn; they have already said they don’t have the money to re-sign J.T. Realmuto. They will somehow find the money to resign Didi Gregorius to a three or four-year deal.

The Toronto Blue Jays:

The Toronto Blue Jays are on the cusp of greatness with all their young, energetic players. They will definitely make a play for DJ LeMahieu but will fall short to the Yankees.

  • Yoenis Cespedes will go to the Blue Jays a small risk one year deal for about $10 million with a team option.
  • If Taijuan Walker doesn’t go with the Mets, the Blue Jays are next inline for the quality pitcher.
  • Shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Jays
  • Brad Hand the new Jays closer

The Tampa Bay Rays:

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the pants off the New York Yankees this past season and went on to complete in the MLB World Series but fell short to the Dodgers. The Rays have a pretty good team as it is. But they have holes to fill. Primarily to bolster and already excellent pitching rotation of Blake Snell, Ryan Yarborough, and Tyler Glasnow. But they have lost Charlie Morton to the Braves after refusing his 2021 option. They also are in dire need of a catcher. The Rays don’t spend big to don’t look for them to make a play for Realmuto.

  • Willson Contreras the Rays new catcher.
  • Kevin Kieirmaier will be traded off to save money.
  • Left-hand pitcher Matt Moore to the Rays


The Los Angeles Dodgers:

The MLB World Series Champion Dodgers won’t do much to fix a team that doesn’t have much to fix. But also don’t look for them to sit on their hands.

  • Dodgers sign Mookie Betts to a record 8-10 deal.