Off-season trades made to improve upcoming MLB season

Blake Rutenberg, Staff Writer

With spring training approaching and pitchers and catchers preparing to report to their teams starting on February 13, the Major League Baseball (MLB) off-season is coming to a close. However, with trades and free agent signings peppering the league, the off months kept fans busy despite a lack of games to watch.
The New York Yankees directed their focus this offseason on Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese prospect who drew interest from a large number of major league teams. However, with Ohtani signing with the Los Angeles Angels, the Yankees were able to sign Giancarlo Stanton to a $265 million dollar contract after trading for the All-Star in December. With the addition of Stanton, the Yankees now have the 2017 home run leaders from both the American League and the National League in their lineup with Aaron Judge currently on their roster.
Ohtani being signed by the Angels was another event that garnered public attention from fans of the league. Ohtani plans on both batting and pitching in the majors. In the Nippon Professional Baseball League, Ohtani maintained a .327 batting average over the last two seasons and a 2.52 earned run average. After 30 MLB teams prepared presentations to pitch to Ohtani, he eventually selected the Angels. To compliment Ohtani, the Angels also have sluggers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
The San Francisco Giants made several decisions for the future of their club this year, bringing in Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates and Evan Longoria from the Rays through two separate trades. The Giants are planning on making another run at the World Series and hope that the decisions they’ve made during this year’s off-season will help guide them to another championship.
The Miami Marlins were another team that made moves during the off-season for the future of the organization. The Marlins sold four of the bigger names in the franchise in Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich,Dee Gordon, and Marcell Ozuna, receiving prospects in return to bolster their system of prospective players to help prepare the club for future years.
The Dodgers also made some moves over the off-season, acquiring left fielder Matt Kemp in return for giving up Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves. Starting pitcher Yu Darvish is still listed as a free agent as questions arise if he will resign with the Dodgers. After reaching the World Series during the 2017 season, the Dodgers will look to utilize their new acquisition in Kemp to return to the championship in 2018.
Following their World Series victory in 2017, the Houston Astros continued to work throughout the off-season by trading for Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. The right-hander had an earned run average of 4.26 in the previous season and moves into an Astros pitching rotation with Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel.
With Opening Day approachingon March 29, fans of the MLB have almost reached the end of the off-season. However, there is still time for players such as Darvish to make headlines and sign with the team they plan on joining for the 2018 season.