What a wild season it was in the MLB. It was one of those rare years in baseball where the best team from the beginning of the season to the end of the season wins it all. The Red Sox won 108 games then breezed by the Yankees and defending champion Astros, before making quick work of the Dodgers in the World Series. The Sox have about as complete a team as one could ask for so the real challenge for them will be keeping some of their players who are bound for free agency. But what about the other 29 MLB teams?
The other 29 teams are plotting for the 2019 season. The Red Sox, despite being World champions and basking in their brilliant season, are already starting to think about how they could repeat in 2019.
That means that all 30 clubs have their big boards ready, plotting out potential trade targets and players heading into free agency. Some teams like the New York Yankees are already planning on adding some big names to over-throne the Red Sox in the AL East for the first time since 2015. The Dodgers are trying to figure out how they can make it back to the World Series, and win it this time. But where does the rest of the league stand as far getting players from other teams? Let the debates begin! Let's take a look at 10 AL players and 10 NL players who will change teams this off-season, and where they might end up.
20 AL: Drew Pomeranz - San Diego Padres
The Red Sox made headlines with their dynamic offense and their pitching staff that pretty much dominated for most of the season. However, one pitcher that did not show up this season was Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz had a fluke season in 2017, going 17-6 while helping the Red Sox win their second straight AL East title before bowing out to Houston in the ALDS.
This season was a down one for Pomeranz as he was 2-6 with a 6.08 ERA.
Where will he end up next season? Look out for the San Diego Padres to pursue him. He was an All-Star with San Diego in 2016, he has familiarity with the organization, and he has pitched better consistently in the N.L. This would be a perfect fit for both sides.
19 NL: Hunter Pence - Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies were off to a great start and were even right in the thick of things with the Atlanta Braves for the National League East crown. They faded out at the end, but the future looks bright. One position that was weak was right field as the Phillies had a -2.9 WAR which was at the bottom among right fielders in the MLB.
One name that could be interesting is Hunter Pence. He is affordable, he has won World Series titles before and can still be productive for a contender. The Phillies could get a steal here if they ended up signing Hunter Pence.
18 AL: Joe Mauer - San Francisco Giants
This move would be very interesting given the circumstances. Joe Mauer grew up in Minnesota's backyard and then, everyone got to watch his MLB career in his home state of Minnesota with the Twins. It could appear that his career in Minnesota could be over. One place that could be interesting for Mauer to consider going to is San Francisco.
The Giants have had a few down seasons the last couple of years, but they have a good mix of veteran and youthful talent. They could very well make a playoff run next year if all goes well. Joe Mauer in the mix would give the San Francisco Giants veteran leadership and another good left handed bat in the lineup.
17 NL: Brian Dozier - Arizona Diamondbacks
Brian Dozier is in the middle of a playoff run with the Los Angeles Dodgers that has them one win away from a return to the World Series. After this season, Dozier is a free agent and one place that could be very interesting is the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks are in a position where they are good, but not quite good enough to qualify for the postseason.
Dozier would bring a good mix of a power bat at second base as well as good defense. Diamondbacks second basemen had a 0.8 WAR out of all MLB second basemen, which surprisingly was just outside the top 10 in the league. Brian Dozier would be a very interesting signing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
16 AL: J.A. Happ - Los Angeles Dodgers
The New York Yankees found themselves buying at the trade deadline and pulled one of the more underrated moves at the trade deadline and acquired J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays. With the Yankees, Happ was 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA. The Yankees still fell short in the postseason and Happ will certainly get a good contract elsewhere. One team that could be inquiring about Happ's services? The Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers could be losing guys like Brian Dozer and Manny Machado this offseason, so money will be available. Happ could be a solid middle of the rotation starter with guys like Kershaw, Hill, Ryu, and Maeda with him. J.A. Happ to the Dodgers could be fun to watch next season.
15 NL: Yasmani Grandal - Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves took a huge step forward in winning the National League East and getting to the first round of the playoffs. They are a little bit too young right now and need a little bit more help. One guy that could be in a Braves uniform next season is Yasmani Grandal. Grandal seems like he could be great for the Braves, especially for their pitching staff. He is a veteran who can handle a pitching staff and is in the upper tier category for offensive catchers in the MLB.
Pay attention to Atlanta Braves and Yasmani Grandal reports in the offseason.
14 AL: Nathan Eovaldi - Arizona Diamondbacks
The Red Sox found a diamond in the rough in the postseason as Nathan Eovaldi delivered quality starts. He is set to be a free agent this offseason and the Red Sox will probably try to keep him in Boston short-term. However, Eovaldi could end up with the Diamondbacks.
They need a right-handed starter that can go out and dominate any given night.
Eovaldi can do that. He throws up to 100 m.p.h. and has a very good cutter and slider to add to his pitching toolbox as well. The D'Backs are being very open to making different kinds of deals this off-season. So, why wouldn't Arizona take a chance on Nathan Eovaldi?
13 NL: Gio Gonzalez - Tampa Bay Rays
The Milwaukee Brewers are in a do or die situation currently, being down three games to two in the NLCS. They went out and got Gio Gonzalez to be that ace to help them get to the World Series. After this run is over, Gonzalez will more than likely be going elsewhere. One team to look at is the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays seem like a great fit here as they need another pitcher along with Blake Snell and Gonzalez will not break the bank with a deal. The Rays played well under Kevin Cash last season. So, a few signings here and there can make a huge difference in the AL East.
12 AL: Cody Allen - Milwaukee Brewers
Cody Allen has had three 30 save seasons in the last four years. He is an impending free agent and might not return to the Indians as they look to be at the end of their dominant run in the MLB. One team to look out for in the pursuit of Cody Allen is the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers need a lock-down closer that can be relied upon.
Jeremy Jeffress struggled mightily in the playoffs in the closer role and you can never have too many good relief pitchers on an MLB staff. Cody Allen to the Milwaukee Brewers could be a great move for both sides for the 2019 season.
11 NL: Daniel Murphy - Colorado Rockies
Daniel Murphy tried to help the Cubs contend for another World Series title like they did in 2016. That did not work out for either sides as the Cubs ended up losing in the Wild Card game. One team that could have their eyes glued on Murphy in the offseason is the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies are right on the brink of being a World Series contender and with D.J. LeMahieu potentially leaving, Murphy would be a great fill-in to keep the momentum going in Colorado. Plus, Daniel Murphy would probably love playing in Colorado 81 games a season with the amount of home runs hit in that stadium.
10 AL: Zach Britton - Chicago Cubs
Good closers are hard to come by. The fact that the Yankees were able to have Zach Britton as part of their bullpen for half of a season seemed to be unfair. Now, Britton is a free agent and he will certainly be getting offers. One team that could really use Zach Britton? The Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were very interested in the left-handed closer at the trade deadline in 2018 and now they see a chance to actually get him without having to give up any pieces. Zach Britton would fill the closer void that the Cubs have and give them that much more of a head start going into 2019.
9 NL: Brad Brach - Boston Red Sox
The only area that gave the Red Sox concern going into the 2018 playoffs was their bullpen. Their bullpen delivered when it mattered most, but they'll still be looking for upgrades if they want to repeat. They need to upgrade their bullpen this offseason in a big way. One name that the Red Sox should keep their eyes on? That would be Brad Brach.
Brach was huge for the Atlanta Braves in the second half of the season.
Brach had an ERA of 1.52 in 23 and 2/3 innings. If the Red Sox want to continue holding off the Yankees, they need to keep everything going and upgrade that bullpen. Brad Brach would be a phenomenal addition to the Sox bullpen.
8 AL: Evan Gattis - Detroit Tigers
Evan Gattis was a part of the Astros World Series run last year. This year, he was not being used as much and is seeing his Astros career coming to an end very soon. So who is one team that could be potentially be interested in bringing Evan Gattis on board? That would be the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are way past the Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander days where they were dominant.
Gattis is a big bat that can provide some pop needed in the Tigers lineup so it isn't just all about Miguel Cabrera. A Gattis to the Tigers deal could be very fun for Detroit Tigers fans.
7 NL: Nick Markakis - St. Louis Cardinals
The Braves had the young stars this season that helped them. However, Nick Markakis also had a great season. He was an All-Star for the Braves along with Freddie Freeman. But, he is due for a good contract based on his past season. One team that could be very interested in pursuing Markakis? The St. Louis Cardinals would be that team. The Cardinals are a team that love proven veterans in their lineup.
Markakis would be a great fit as he has proven he can excel in the National League and the Cardinals could use an upgrade in the outfield. This would be a great signing for both sides involved and for baseball.
6 AL: Dallas Keuchel - Los Angeles Angels
Dallas Keuchel was a big part of the Astros' recent surge to the top of baseball, but the Astros still aren't quite a franchise who spends a ton of money. Who should Keuchel go to next season? One team that he should consider strongly is the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels need pitching as Shohei Otani is scheduled to not be back on the mound until 2020, leaving them essentially without an ace.
Keuchel is perfect as he is a ground ball specialist and he gets better as the game goes on. He is a proven pitcher and give the Angels a big boost to their lacking rotation as of now.
5 NL: Bryce Harper - Chicago Cubs
One name that everyone will be keeping an eye on is Bryce Harper. Will he be returning to the Nationals? It doesn't look likely. He has carried the Nationals for years and now, he is ready to cash in on a big contract and have a shot at making a deep postseason run. One team he could end up with is the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs will be aggressive this offseason and Harper is very good friends with Kris Bryant. That along with their money situation and recent spending spree of the team could be enough to entice Bryce to put on a Chicago Cubs uniform.
4 AL: Nelson Cruz - Washington Nationals
With Bryce Harper more than likely leaving, that leaves a huge hole in the middle of the lineup for the Washington Nationals. One guy they could potentially go after is Nelson Cruz. This might not make sense at first as Cruz is a DH and the National League doesn't have the DH spot. But, the Nationals can put Cruz in right field and live with the occasional mistake. He has had 37 home runs or more in each of his past five seasons. The Nationals would be smart to take a chance on Cruz to get his power in there.
3 NL: Manny Machado - New York Yankees
Manny Machado is another name that will be talked about a lot once the winter meetings begin. He already has a list of teams looking at him to sign him to a long-term contract. One team that he should strongly consider and probably go to is the New York Yankees.
The Yankees can give him a large contract and he could play shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovers from a shoulder issues that will keep him out for a portion of next season.
Machado would enjoy playing in Yankee Stadium, considering how short it is and he also hates the Red Sox; which is perfect for the rivalry to become even more intense than it has been recently. Machado to the Yankees just makes too much sense.
2 AL: Josh Donaldson - St. Louis Cardinals
Josh Donaldson is one of the premier third basemen in the MLB who unfortunately was sidelined most of last season with an injury. Now, he is set to test the free agency market and one team that could be calling his agent immediately is the St. Louis Cardinals. Like we said before, the Cardinals like their veteran players and Donaldson is a proven veteran. He is a former AL MVP with playoff experience as well. He may not be exactly what what he was a few seasons ago. But, he can still be very good for a Cardinals team looking to go back to the postseason for the first time in a few years.
1 NL: Patrick Corbin - New York Yankees
One interesting pitcher hitting the free agency market this offseason is Patrick Corbin. Corbin was the number two in Arizona this season behind Zach Greinke. Corbin is a free agent and the team that seems to have the most connection to the left-handed pitcher is the New York Yankees. The Yankees will more than likely be losing C.C. Sabathia and parting ways with a guy like Brett Gardner. That would help open up the money for the Yankees to sign Corbin and help bolster their starting rotation. Severino, Tanaka, and Corbin next season would be tough for teams to face and might help make the Yankees instant favorites to win the 2019 World Series.