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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Ranking the best moves of the MLB offseason so far

Marcell Ozuna

6) Cardinals acquire Marcell Ozuna

The Cardinals gave up a quality piece in Sandy Alcantara to get Ozuna, but it’s a move that should have some short-term rewards for St. Louis. Ozuna is coming off a huge season, one where he hit .312 with 37 home runs and won a Gold Glove award. He could immediately become their best hitter and fill a need in the outfield. Better yet, they’ll have him for two years under arbitration control. If the Cardinals come close to making the playoffs and Ozuna has a similar season, he could well be an MVP candidate. That will be well worth what St. Louis gave up for him.

5) Yankees retain CC Sabathia

Bringing Sabathia back is a slightly under-the-radar move, but on such a young team, it could be a huge one. The one-year deal brings back Sabathia’s 3.69 ERA and 14 wins, but importantly, it brings back his leadership and veteran knowledge. Sabathia is one of the few links to the Yankees’ last championship in 2009. On a team that’s so young and talented, that could prove invaluable — and well worth the $10 million salary.

4) Cubs add Brandon Morrow

Morrow became a key reliever in the Dodger bullpen in 2017. He was the most reliable option to get the ball to Kenley Jansen at the end of games. It’s no surprise that the Cubs would be interested in him. Morrow was excellent all season long, posting a 2.06 ERA and faltering in the World Series only due to overuse. The Cubs are losing closer Wade Davis, and while it’s unclear whether Morrow is a replacement or a complement, he’s a great add for them at two years and $21 million.

3) Dodgers take back Matt Kemp for salary relief

This is a move that has no real player repercussions for 2017. It does not make the Dodgers significantly better or worse, no matter what they do with Kemp. What this does is get them under the luxury tax threshold, setting them up for a potentially bigger move in 2018, when the likes of Bryce Harper become free agents. If Harper or someone of his caliber ends up signing for the Dodgers a year from now, this move will be a big reason why it was possible.

2) Angels sign Shohei Ohtani

Will Ohtani pitch? Health permitting, the Angels certainly seem to want him to, and if he proves successful at that, this will prove to be an amazing move for the Angels. They need pitching most of all. If Ohtani’s billing as the Japanese Babe Ruth is grounded in truth at all, well, the Angels will have a superstar on their hands. He’ll excite the fanbase and provide a boost to a team that has been floundering. If he performs, the Angels could take a huge leap forward in 2018.

1) Yankees acquire Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

There was a big degree of luck involved in the Yankees landing Stanton the way they did. The Marlins were desperate, as most of their leverage had dried up due to Stanton’s no-trade clause. Making their situation worse was their insistence that the acquiring team take on pretty much all of Stanton’s contract. That meant the Yankees hardly had to dent their farm system, and they get the game’s elite power hitter to pair with Aaron Judge, one of the game’s other elite power hitters. They can absorb the financial hit. In return, they may have just become the AL favorite to get to and win the World Series.

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