Major League Baseball Off-Season Recap


Mason Collins, Sports Editor

The 2020 MLB season is now officially less than one month away and with spring training   already beginning, teams are looking forward to opening day. With all the attention towards the Houston Astros and their scandal, people in general have forgotten about all the big signings and free agent pickups that have gone down the past couple of months. In what was an overshadowed off season, here are the top moves made starting with a blockbuster trade made by two of the biggest franchises. 


February 10th, 2020: Boston Red Sox trade OF Mookie Betts and SP David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers for OF Alex Verdugo. In the biggest trade that happened this off season, Los Angeles has made themselves the favorites in the National League by signing one of the best players in the game and a solid veteran pitcher. 


 Betts partnered with Cody Bellinger gives them maybe the best duo in baseball with plenty of other talent around them. As for the Red Sox, they gain OF Alex Verdugo who will have to fill in a big role and other prospects such as Connor Wong and Jeter Downs. With money issues coming back to bite the Red Sox front office, it was a trade that the Red Sox didn’t want to do, but had no other choice. 


January 27th, 2020: OF Nicholas Castellanos signs with the Cincinnati Reds. The Cincinnati Reds are in win now-mode and with other signings this summer like Mike Moustakas, Wade Miley and Trevor Bauer, they made another big move by signing Nicholas Castellanos. Castellanos spent all of his career with the Detroit Tigers but was traded to the Chicago Cubs during last year’s trade deadline. 


Castellanos now is under contract by the Reds for four years-64 million dollars with opt outs after this year and the next. He will provide the team with a little bit of everything, hitting for an average of .289 with 27 home runs and 73 RBI’s during his 2019 season. 


January 21th, 2020: Atlanta Braves sign OF Marcell Ozuna. After falling short in the NLDS, the Braves went out to the market and signed OF Ozuna to a one year-18 million dollar deal. The deal would have been bigger but with all of the young talent down in the minor league, Atlanta didn’t need Ozuna for anything long term. Ozuna had an up and down year but ended on a high note finishing with an average of .324 during the 2019 postseason. 


January 14th, 2020: 3B Josh Donaldson signs with the Minnesota Twins. After playing one season for the Atlanta Braves, Donaldson signed a four year-84 million dollar deal with an 8 million dollar buyout of a 2024 team option. 


Donaldson brings a lot of power hitting, as he brings 37 home runs (2019) to a team who hit for the most home runs ever in a single season. Donaldson, after being bitten by the injury bug in 2018, played in 155 games in 2019, which was the most by any player on the Braves. He will join a lineup with other big players such as Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver. 


December 11th, 2019: 3B Anthony Rendon signs with the Los Angeles Angels. After winning the 2019 World Series with the Washington Nationals, Rendon has decided to join Mike Trout signing a seven year-245 million dollar contract. 


Rendon over the past four seasons has been the fourth most valuable position player in the game. Last season, Rendon walked 80 times and struck out just 86 times, which was the best walk to strikeout ratio in the MLB. Rendon also posted a 1.010 OPS in the regular season and a 1.003 OPS in the postseason. 


December 10th, 2019: P Gerrit Cole signs with the New York Yankees. After finishing his two year career with the Houston Astros, Cole decided to sign a nine year-324 million dollar deal with a player opt-out after 2024. Growing up in New York, Cole was always a big Yankee fan and dreamed of playing with them one day. 


This was the pitcher the Yankees desperately needed with players such as Luis Severino and James Paxton constantly on the IL and an 82 game suspension given to Domingo German in the 2019 off-season. Cole will turn 30 years old in September and he just set the record for highest strikeout rate (39.9% ). Cole also won a season high 20 wins and struck out 326 batters last year.