MLB Winter Meetings Preview

Sep 28, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Theo Epstein uses his phone in the dugout before the Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

By Chandler Ragsdale

Winter Meetings Special
This winter, many people involved in the MLB will meet up to discuss America’s greatest game, baseball. At this meeting many topics will be discussed, one of which will be trades. I love the offseason because of the speculation and talk of free agent signings and trades around the league. With that being said, here are three potential moves I could see happening this winter that could definitely shake up the league.

1) Pittsburgh Pirates trade Andrew McCutchen to Washington Nationals
Andrew McCutchen trade rumors have really heated up over the last week. This all-star outfield has been the face of the Pirates for several years now. Still a great player, McCutchen had what many would consider a good 2016. However, not only are his dreads now gone, but also his production is starting to diminish as well. Power wise, he was around his average with 24 home runs. The problem is that his home run production was about the only thing that stayed at great levels like were used to seeing from McCutchen. His average, RBI’s, and on base percentage were all as low as they’ve been in a long time. Not to mention the fact that he’s not getting any younger. This has been showing with his stolen bases decreasing. His diminishing speed will also be critical the outfield. With the young talent that the Pirates have such as Starling Marte and Gregor Palanco, this trade makes a lot of sense.
2) Red Sox get a slugger
Yes, it’s true, Big Papi has officially retired. As a Red Sox fan, this has shocked me, but I knew that it was coming. This puts the Sox in the market for a big bat. With the free agents available I see this move coming before the start of the 2017 season. From a free agent standpoint, I could definitely see the Red Sox signing Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista. This would be very interesting being that both of these players were just with AL East rival Toronto last season. Trade wise, however, I feel that the Red Sox will choose other options because of the great young talent that they possess right now. With all of their great young players, who could blame them?
3) Chris Sale leaves Chicago
This one is very interesting. It’s not so much as interesting for the White Sox as it is for who I think they will trade him to, the Atlanta Braves. The Braves have picked up three pitchers already this offseason, and are eyeing one more, Chris Sale. They have a lot of draft picks and young talent available for trade due to their awful season last year. If this trade happens, the NL East better watch out. I like the Braves core of young players, such as Inciarte, Foltynewicz, and of course, the former #1 overall pick, Dansby Swanson. They have some good veterans who I think will come back into their own next season such as Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp, and Nick Markakis. All they lack truthfully now is just one dominating ace, and Chris Sale fits that role. Do not be surprised if the Braves find a way to make this move this winter and are a fierce contender in 2017.


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