MLB Offseason Rundown: Big Money Galore

Baseball's Offseason Has Been A Wild One

After a couple of disappointing offseasons in which it felt all too obvious that most MLB teams were more focused on payroll flexibility than on talent maximization, the 2022 MLB offseason has been a refreshing sign that maybe some owners are willing to break the bank in order to beef up contending teams.

From the New York Mets replacing one multi-time Cy Young winner with another to the Philadelphia Phillies scooping up Trea Turner and from the New York Yankees keeping Aaron Judge in the Big Apple to the San Diego Padres adding Xander Bogaerts to a loaded lineup (and more), this winter has been a very active one on the transactions front. The baseball betting trends have rewarded teams that have been active during the offseason, as evidenced by the Mets, Phillies, Yankees and Padres.

Let’s take a look at the teams that made the biggest splashes since free agency began with an eye toward how their additions improved their World Series odds:

NYMNew York Mets: +750 to win the World Series

It’s impossible to talk about the 2022 baseball offseason without focusing on the Mets who, despite losing 3/5 of their starting rotation including Jacob deGrom, managed to revamp their contending roster on the fly. Retaining Edwin Díaz and signing three-time Cy Young Award winner — and defending World Series champion — Justin Verlander were the opening moves that general manager Billy Eppler made before he brought Brandon Nimmo back, added prized Japanese starter Kodai Senga and scooped up reliable veteran pitchers David Robertson and José Quintana (as well as others).

Giants physical, Correa (and super-agent Scott Boras) turned to Steve Cohen and the Mets, who jumped at the chance to add another big power bat to a formidable lineup.

But, New York’s biggest acquisition was the most surprising one: Carlos Correa. New York swooped in at the last minute to add the multi-time All-Star on a 12-year deal, merely hours after Correa’s introductory press conference with the San Francisco Giants was supposed to begin. After an issue popped up on his Giants physical, Correa (and super-agent Scott Boras) turned to Steve Cohen and the Mets, who jumped at the chance to add another big power bat to a formidable lineup.

New York has committed a shocking amount of money during free agency and while that spending doesn’t guarantee anything, the Mets have certainly turned an offseason that could have been a devastatingly bad one into a huge triumph. These definitely are not the Mets from the Wilpon era, that’s for sure, and that has been reflected by the baseball spreads which give New York the third-best World Series odds.

PHIPhiladelphia Phillies: +1200 to win the World Series

The Mets aren’t the only NL East team to have made big splashes over the past few weeks, however. The defending NL champion Phillies, who made a magical run to the World Series this past fall only to fall to Verlander’s Astros, filled their hole at shortstop by signing Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300 million deal. Turner adds some much-needed speed and defense to the Phillies’ infield as well as solidifying Philadelphia’s great top of the lineup. They also added Taijuan Walker as a nice middle-of-the-rotation piece.

So, maybe the Phillies didn’t make as many moves as the Mets did but they managed to add one of the biggest free agent prizes who is a perfect fit for what Philadelphia needs. Vegas doesn’t seem to love the Phillies’ odds at winning the pennant again, and possibly taking home a World Series title, but Philadelphia should be in the mix in the NL with such a strong rotation and so much offensive firepower.

NYYNew York Yankees: +900 to win the World Series

While they have really only made three major moves of note so far during the winter, the Yankees have made the most out of their signings. They re-signed both Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge to lock in a very productive first baseman/DH in Rizzo and the reigning AL MVP in Judge. Then, this past week, the Yankees nabbed electric lefty starter Carlos Rodón to give them a nice southpaw complement to Gerrit Cole.

So, maybe the Yankees haven’t really been in the mix on the top infielders but they did manage to lock up two of their most important hitters and add to an already really good rotation. It does feel like a somewhat-disappointing offseason for New York; however, which didn’t address the woes on the left side on the infield or in center field. Brandon Nimmo would have been a great pickup.

SDSan Diego Padres: +1000 to win the World Series

The Padres’ A.J. Preller loves grabbing headlines and he did just that by signing longtime Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year deal, giving San Diego yet another top-of-the-lineup superstar to go along with Manny Machado, Fernando Tatís Jr. and Juan Soto.

There are significant questions about Bogaerts’ power and his ability to stay at shortstop (he turned 30 years old in October) but, for now, he fits perfectly with a high-powered San Diego offense that is going to be torture for opposing pitchers to get through.

San Diego also did a good job on the pitching front, bringing back bullpen standouts Nick Martinez and Robert Suárez and adding Seth Lugo, who was a reliable reliever for the Mets but will be given a chance to return to the rotation as a starter (where he started his MLB career).

Honorable Mention: TEXTexas Rangers(+3000)

The Rangers (+3000) continued their interesting theme from last offseason of funneling most of their financial resources into stars, as they signed two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom to lead a pretty shaky rotation. But, without doing a whole lot else, Texas still is going to have a hard time competing with the Houston Astros (+650) and Seattle Mariners (+1600) in the difficult AL West.

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