If you would have told me four months ago that there would be notable free agents available on the week that pitchers and catchers report, I would have thought you were crazy.
Now, here we are just one month away from the start of the season and there are still several notable names like Eric Hosmer, J.D. Martinez, Mike Moustakas and Jake Arrieta are still waiting to cash in on, long-term contracts.
This offseason has left a lot of fans and players in limbo and has provided very little excitement going into the upcoming season. Over the weekend, we got some hot stove action with Yu Darvish signing a 6-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs.
Hopefully, this will heat up this cold stove and the pieces will start falling into place for other big-name players. Here are some of my predictions for this season’s “cold” stove.
Mike Moustakas: New York Yankees
Former Kansas City Royal third baseman Mike Moustakas is coming off of a very good contract year, but time may be passing on the 29-year-old World Champion to cash in on it. The 2017 Home Run Derby participant broke the Royals home run record and was just two shy of becoming the first Royal to have 40 home runs.
Moustakas has proved that he can be a force not only at the hot corner, but also at the plate. He was one of the big targets at the start of the offseason, but many teams passed over him and opted to save money by signing players to shorter and cheaper contracts.
As the season rapidly approaches I think that he may have to take a pay cut to remain relevant in the player market.
His home run hitting ability is built for the likes of the American League East and could possibly sign a short-term deal with the Yankees in the coming weeks.
Eric Hosmer: San Diego Padres
I think that Eric Hosmer will be signed by the Padres before spring training. He has proven that he is very solid at first base and is a real force at the plate. He is no stranger to a rebuilding team and knows what it takes to win.
He would be a quality leader in the clubhouse and could be a crucial piece to the Padres in the rebuilding phase. I think Hosmer could be headed west soon.
J.D. Martinez: Arizona Diamondbacks
J.D. Martinez was a big mid-season trade for the Diamondbacks last season and was crucial in their playoff run in 2017. I think that the Diamondbacks will re-sign him to a huge contract because of the competitiveness and power of the National League West. If the D-Backs want to continue their success in this tough division, they have to keep J.D. Martinez.
Jake Arrieta: Minnesota Twins
Jake Arrieta has shown that he is one of the best starting pitchers in the league, but the Cubs are moving on from Arrieta with signing Darvish. I think that the Twins may try to snag Arrieta off the market. The Twins are looking to continue their recent success and will look to Arrieta to lead them into another playoff push.
Hopefully, as the players head for warmer weather, the hot stove will heat up too.