Smedley: Offseason ‘Hot Stove’ can be more exciting than the regular season at times

<p>Nationals Park played host to the longest game in Major League Baseball history Oct. 4 2014. In Game 2 of the National League Division Series, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals 2-1. The Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers make up the remaining four teams in the 2021 MLB playoffs. <strong><em>Geoff Livingston</em></strong></p>

Nationals Park played host to the longest game in Major League Baseball history Oct. 4 2014. In Game 2 of the National League Division Series, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals 2-1. The Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers make up the remaining four teams in the 2021 MLB playoffs. Geoff Livingston

Kyle Smedley is a freshman journalism and telecommunications major and writes for The Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

For many, baseball is a sport that is hard to get invested in. 

A lot of people believe baseball is too slow and the season is too long for them to get invested in. However, there is a lot about baseball to like, starting with how exciting the offseason can be. 

Most sports fans are interested in the offseason. Fans can see players either sign or get traded to other teams and how the next season the league may look completely different. 

Some offseasons have more movement than others, including the 2021-22 offseason which is poised for some major shifting. 

What makes the MLB offseason great is it can be predictable when a lot of big moves will be made because of an event that takes place every year: the Winter Meetings. 

This event takes place every offseason in early December and is a weekend where all MLB general managers meet at a resort — this year in Orlando, Florida  —  to discuss the offseason and moves their clubs could potentially make. This is where a lot of major trades and signing take place. 

An example of this is in the 2017-18 offseason, newly crowned NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton was traded from the Miami Marlins to the New York Yankees. 

Huge, unexpected trades can not only happen at the Winter Meetings, but throughout the entire offseason, making it entertaining even when there are no games to be played. The same can be said for the NFL and NBA, to a lesser degree. 

This year’s Winter Meetings are from Dec. 6-9, and fans can expect many big moves as this offseason’s free agent class is loaded. 

While not all these predictions will be correct, after doing some research and leaving out a lot of key free agents since this list was narrowed down to 10, these are my predictions for the biggest free-agent signings of the 2021-22 offseason. 

Robbie Ray: Signs with the Los Angeles Angels on a five-year deal. 

While the name Robbie Ray may not be as recognizable as some of the others on this list, he is the reigning AL Cy Young, and will command a big market in free agency. Mike Trout is pushing for a big starter, and Ray can fill the role easily. 

Freddie Freeman: Re-signs with the Atlanta Braves on a six-year deal. 

Freeman has been with the Braves since he was drafted in 2007, and he just won a World Series with the team, as long as they pay him, he’s staying. 

Marcus Semien: Re-signs with the Toronto Blue Jays on a three-year deal. 

Semien just finished 3rd in the AL MVP voting, yet he will stay with the team he spent last season with, mostly because they will be the strongest contenders out of all teams interested, and will be willing to pay him more. 

Max Scherzer: Re-signs with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a three-year deal. 

The Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox are likely to make huge pushes for the former three-time Cy Young Award Winner, but the Dodgers have the money and the contending roster. 

Nicholas Castellanos: Signs with the San Francisco Giants on a six-year deal.

Former Cincinnati Reds All-Star Castellanos will likely sign with the team willing to pay him the most, and are in a prime spot to contend, with the New York Mets being other potential suitors, I see the Giants out-bidding the Mets, looking to fill the void left by Buster Posey’s retirement. 

Carlos Correa: Signs with the Detroit Tigers on a seven-year deal. 

A somewhat baffling decision to predict Correa signing with a franchise who has not been able to find success for the better part of a decade, what they have found is young pieces through their farm system and enough money in their wallet to pay the All-Star shortstop. 

Trevor Story: Signs with the Texas Rangers on a six-year deal. 

Another move similar to Correa signing with the Tigers, the Rangers have some young pieces but have been struggling, although their main priority this offseason is a shortstop, and Story is one they would be willing to pay big money. 

Corey Seager: Signs with the Houston Astros on a six-year deal. 

At first, I had Seager going to the Yankees, but with rumors swirling of New York not being active in the market for big-name shortstops, I have Seager replacing Correa in Houston, looking to compete immediately. 

Kevin Gausman: Signs with the Toronto Blue Jays on a four-year deal. 

The Blue Jays will lose their Cy Young Winner Robbie Ray according to my predictions and they will need to replace him, doing so with a Cy Young Candidate for 2021 in Gausman. 

Carlos Rodón: Signs with the Boston Red Sox on a five-year deal. 

The Red Sox reached the ALCS this past postseason, and they have already lost a key starting pitcher in Eduardo Rodriguez to the Tigers. Rodón would fill that lefty pitcher gap very well for a team looking to contend. 

BOLD TRADE PREDICTION: All-Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds is traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the New York Yankees.

Contact Kyle Smedley on Twitter @smedley1932 or via email at kmsmedley213@gmail.com







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