After Friday’s seven-player commerce between the Dodgers and the Reds, you would be forgiven should you’re anticipating what else the holiday may carry by means of transaction motion whereas ready for Santa to arrive. With that in thoughts, we turned to 4 of ESPN.com’s writers to see what they give thought to the preliminary strikes which were made this winter, and what the following week — and 2019 — may carry.
We begin off by asking in regards to the two greatest free brokers nonetheless obtainable.
1. Which group will discover Bryce Harper/Manny Machado beneath its tree?
It seems to be just like the Philadelphia Phillies are going to find yourself with an enormous lump of coal of their stocking as a result of I am going with Manny Machado to the New York Yankees and Bryce Harper to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sure, it might be extra attention-grabbing if there have been a shock group in there just like the White Sox or the Rockies or the Twins, however this is baseball for the big-boy spenders. — David Schoenfield
The Dodgers for Bryce Harper and the Yankees for Manny Machado, although the sphere is extra doubtless in each circumstances. — Sam Miller
The Dodgers have supplied readability within the Harper chase, and at this level, I would be very shocked if he does not find yourself taking part in in entrance of his agent at Dodger Stadium. The Machado sweepstakes nonetheless feels fairly open although I’ve to default to the concept if the Yankees actually need him, the Yankees could have him. — Bradford Doolittle
Though Philly followers as soon as booed Santa Claus, all might be forgiven after he delivers Machado down via the chimney at Residents Financial institution Park. As soon as that is carried out, St. Nick will pilot his sleigh out west to Chavez Ravine, the place Dodgers followers — who’ve been dreaming of a blue Brycemas — will get their want. — Eddie Matz
2. Which group has made the most effective transfer — or non-move — of the winter to date?
You possibly can argue in regards to the reasoning behind the Seattle Mariners breaking apart an 89-win group — it was unlikely to win 89 video games once more — however the truth that they had been in a position to package deal Robinson Cano and many of the $120 million left on his contract is strictly the type of wage dump a rebuilding group wants to execute. Sure, that they had to embody stud nearer Edwin Diaz and it is a do-or-die package deal of prospects, but it surely provides them payroll flexibility down the highway. (And it wasn’t essentially a nasty deal for the Mets both.) — Schoenfield
It is just one man and it is for just one yr, however Paul Goldschmidt might be the most effective participant any group will purchase this winter and the St. Louis Cardinals did not surrender anyone who is probably going to trigger them lifelong regrets. The Playing cards had been a very good group that has been simply off the tempo three years in a row, and now they in all probability won’t be. — Miller
The Cardinals moved what was for them a few spare elements for Paul Goldschmidt, precisely the participant they wanted to crystallize their roster. Now, if Andrew Miller can strategy his pre-2018 type, I see St. Louis as the favourite within the NL Central. — Doolittle
Mike Elias is simply what the physician ordered for the ailing Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore’s new GM earned his stripes working Houston’s worldwide scouting division, which is strictly the place the Birds want probably the most assist. — Matz
three. Which group has made the worst transfer — or non-move — of the winter to date?
The Milwaukee Brewers won 96 video games, so perhaps they do not want to do a lot, however I believe they want to do one thing. They might use an improve at catcher and they want a second baseman — except they’re relying on prospect Keston Hiura — and one other beginning pitcher can be good. — Schoenfield
The Phillies, Yankees and White Sox have emerged as front-runners to land Manny Machado, however who’s the most effective match?
L.A. avoids big long-term offers, however their options after the Reds commerce, Harper may very well be the free agent they lastly break the financial institution for.
From the free brokers set to money in to the big-name stars positive to come up in commerce rumors all winter lengthy, sustain with all the newest motion.
I won’t say any are dangerous strikes, however I believe it has been the toughest winter for Seattle Mariners followers. For months this summer season they had been advised to imagine in that roster; now they have to watch it get blown up for a worse season forward. Perhaps it’s a necessity. Nonetheless onerous to get enthusiastic about. — Miller
Technically, the Dodgers are within the non-move class since they’ve principally behaved like a rebuilding membership to this point. It won’t final. Past that, whereas the opposite elite groups in baseball have been lively, the Chicago Cubs haven’t, apparently as a result of they’re counting coppers or one thing. Their standing is slipping. — Doolittle
He is nearer to 40 than 30. He is coming off a PED suspension. He is due $120 million over the following 5 years. However aside from that, Robinson Cano is the proper acquisition. Approach to go, Mets. — Matz
four. Total, which group is profitable the winter to this point?
The New York Yankees have not even signed Machado or Harper but, however they traded for James Paxton and re-signed J.A. Happ. That is an enormous win proper there. And who is aware of, perhaps they will play the last word heel and signal each Machado and Harper. — Schoenfield
It is actually simply not possible to say with out figuring out what all these items are in the end being moved round for. However the Houston Astros (getting Michael Brantley) and the Yankees (getting James Paxton) are each closing in on good rosters. — Miller
It is the Cardinals, and they’ve the flexibleness to hold including. — Doolittle
The Miami Marlins, in fact. In any case, they have the sport’s most coveted commerce goal (J.T. Realmuto), and a brand-new emblem. What’s extra, Miami has the very best common temperature of any MLB metropolis this December (78 levels). If that is not profitable winter, I do not know what’s. — Matz
5. Which is the group to watch heading into the brand new yr?
I am actually excited in regards to the Tampa Bay Rays. No, critically. I do know the division is more durable than Grandma’s fruitcake, however I like the Charlie Morton signing and the Mike Zunino commerce helps behind the plate. They’ve depth and versatility up and down the 40-man roster and the reigning Cy Younger winner in Blake Snell. They want an enormous hitter: Perhaps it is Nelson Cruz, perhaps it is J.T. Realmuto. In a dream situation, perhaps each and we get a three-way race within the AL East. — Schoenfield
Do not overthink it. The Boston Pink Sox ought to be fairly attention-grabbing. — Miller
Till Harper does or does not signal, it is the Dodgers. After that, the Indians have the power — maybe greater than the desire — to transfer a top-10 starter. In the event that they did so, somebody’s title outlook may very well be dramatically altered. — Doolittle
Philadelphia Phillies proprietor John Middleton talked about spending “silly” cash this offseason, however to this point he has dropped solely mildly moronic moolah ($50 million on Andrew McCutchen). If Middleton and the Phils get full-on silly, it’s going to be enjoyable to watch. — Matz