Which MLB teams have shot up the power rankings with their moves so far this offseason?
The MLB landscape looks drastically different two months removed from the World Series. Giancarlo Stanton is now a New York Yankee, Shohei Ohtani picked the Los Angeles Angels over the rest of the league and the Tampa Bay Rays moved franchise icon Evan Longoria to the San Francisco Giants. Those are far from the only big moves to shake up MLB rosters.
The Miami Marlins are working on a full-scale liquidation and have already traded Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon. It’s a terrible time to be a Marlins fan, but a great time to be in a front office circling around to pick off their assets one by one. Middle relievers also had a great run at the Winter Meetings, scooping up some of the biggest contracts ever for non-closers. Winning the Ohtani Sweepstakes also set the Angels off on an aggressive trajectory, and they look to have finally built a potential contender around Mike Trout.
The league is still waiting on the biggest free agents — Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain to sign — to sign. It’s a continuing trend of front offices waiting out the biggest names. Scott Boras also controls a majority of the players potentially seeking $100-million contracts this winter, so the market could drag into mid-January. The Baltimore Orioles still have to determine how best to handle Manny Machado’s impending free agency after pulling him off the block for now, the Pittsburgh Pirates have several trade chips that could bring back a massive prospect haul and the Boston Red Sox still need to make a move to counter the aggressive moves of the Yankees.
There are still plenty of big dominoes left to fall, but the MLB Hot Stove is taking a break to reset itself over the holidays. While we wait for the rest of the pieces to fall into place, let’s break down the current state of the league with an offseason edition of the Power Rankings.
30. Miami Marlins
After winning the 1997 World Series, the Florida Marlins kicked off a firesale of epic proportions. The 1998 Marlins lost 108 games and were outscored by 256 runs. The 2018 Miami Marlins have the potential to be even worse. Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon are already gone, while Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto could follow in short order, especially if they force the issue with management.
The problem with holding a firesale, as opposed to a total rebuild like the Chicago White Sox, is that it leaves the Marlins with little to no leverage in trade talks. Everyone knew they had to trade Stanton and only wanted to shed his salary. Second baseman Starlin Castro was the headliner in the trade that sent Stanton to the New York Yankees, and he will probably never play a game for the Marlins. Ozuna’s trade to the St. Louis Cardinals was forced quickly, and he’s not even owed a substantial amount of money.
After their 1997 teardown, the Marlins were actually able to return to the World Series in five years. It’s not going to be that easy this time around. The farm system was bare to begin with, and the trades have not done much to bring in prospects that can help in the near future. Yelich and Realmuto would conceivably bring a bigger return, but not if their desire to be traded is so well known by the rest of the league.