2024 MLB Offseason Biggest Losers

by Chad Simpson
2024 MLB Offseason Biggest Losers

The MLB offseason leading up to the 2024 season has been dynamic. We have broken records, tracked planes, traded prospects and so many other things that we will talk further in-depth about in this article along with who the biggest losers are.

Let's run down a quick list here of what has happened so far.

  • We saw the Evil Empire, New York Yankees, return with a massive trade for superstar Juan Soto.
  • The Cubs bought a new manager for $40 million.
  • Shohei Ohtani will be getting millions from the Dodgers long past the end of the Earth.
  • Cody Bellinger stands on an island as he waits for a massive new contract that might not be coming.
  • International stars were all the rage with Japanese sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing with the Dodgers, Korean outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee signing with the Giants, relievers Yuki Matsui and Woo-Suk Go signing with the Padres and Shota Imanaga still to sign.
  • The Braves and Red Sox surprised us to end the year by trading Vaughn Grissom and Chris Sale for each other.
  • The Phillies shelled out big money to keep their ace Aaron Nola.
  • The Reds decided they didn't have enough infielders and gave Jeimer Candelario $45 million.
  • Lastly, the Royals made some nice moves as they tried to come up off the salary floor bolstering their rotation with Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha.

With all that in mind let us dive into some of the biggest losers of FA this offseason.

2024 MLB Offseason Biggest Losers

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1. Andy Pages, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

A dynamic power-hitting outfielder in the Dodgers minors, Pages was nearing the majors while hitting for a .277 AVG with a .425 OBP through 112 AB when he suffered a torn labrum requiring surgery that prematurely ended his 2023.

With the addition of Ohtani as well as Manuel Margot and the reunion with Jason Heyward there seems to be very little chance Pages returns and immediately ascends to the majors in 2024 as he would have otherwise.

2. Michael King, SP/RP, San Diego Padres

King was seen as a much-needed answer to the Yankees rotation woes at the end of 2023. Closing the season with one earned run or fewer in six of his last seven games. The Yankees rewarded that salvation by trading him to the Padres as part of the Soto deal.

On paper, one might assume going to Petco would be a massive upgrade but there is one unsettling issue that firmly puts King in the losers column. A.J. Preller is addicted to signing and trading for pitchers. There is a high percentage chance that at the time you read this article whether it is the day it comes out or three months from now, Preller has just acquired or is rumored to acquire another pitcher.

For someone with such a small sample size, there is just no job security for King with such a GM. Of the next few names, King is the one that has the best chance of thriving because of his convertibility to a high-leverage reliever ala Drew Pomeranz.

3. Randy Vasquez, SP, San Diego Padres

Vasquez was one of the bigger surprises for the Yankees in 2023. Debuting with 11 games (5 starts), compiling 2.87 ERA and 33 K's in 37.2 IP. He profiles as more of a long relief/spot starter option. In the long run, Vasquez faces many of the same issues King faces but without any of the security of being a former high-leverage reliever.

4.  Jhony Brito, SP, San Diego Padres

Like Vasquez, Brito came roaring on the scene out of nowhere for the depleted Yankees in 2023. Brito didn't quite have the same success coming in with a 4.25 ERA and 72 K's in 90.1 IP(25 G 13 Starts). Brito has a wide range of outcomes on many teams but with Preller all I can project Brito to be is organizational depth.

5. Michael Busch, UTIL, Los Angeles Dodgers

Busch is a rising talent in the Dodgers organization who saw sporadic play last year without much success at the MLB level compiling a .167/.247/.292 slash with two home runs, seven RBI and a steal in 27 games. He had far better success at the AAA level with an eye-popping line of .323/.431/.618 with 27 HR, 90 RBI and four SB in just 98 games.

This disproportionate display of talent led to an outcry of fantasy analysts begging for the Dodgers to give Busch a real chance down the stretch when injuries had piled up to no avail.

Now this offseason has seen the Dodgers bring in Shohei Ohtani and Manuel Margot, while also managing to re-sign veteran outfielder Jason Heyward. As it stands right now, there is simply no spot in the Dodgers lineup for Busch and barring a trade he will have to spend most of the year wasting his talent at AAA Oklahoma City.

6. Julio Urias, SP, FA

I don't want to linger on Urias, who is dealing with the ramifications of ongoing domestic violence matters. So much as he doesn't deserve a spotlight right now.

There might not be a bigger loser in FA this year than him though. Set to be the top backup option for those who offered big money but lost out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Urias and his career 3.11 ERA lost out on a career payday and now may never make his way back to the MLB due to his own misdeeds.

7. Toronto Blue Jays fans

Frontrunner on Shohei Ohtani: Check

Frontrunner on Yoshinobu Yamamoto: Check

Frontrunner on Juan Soto: Check

After all of that, what do the Blue Jays and their fans have to show for it?

Bringing back Kevin Kiermaier on a one-year $10.5 million deal. That just isn't going to cut it for that team or the fan base and is another in the yearly pattern of the Blue Jays being in on all of the elite free agents and coming out of it with none of them.

8. Chicago Cubs Fans

The Chicago Cubs as of January 3rd are the only team to not add a major league player this offseason. That wouldn't cut it even if nothing changed in the last six months after their surprising resurgence. It will never cut it when you give Craig Counsell $40 million and fire David Ross.

I can't fathom what Jed Hoyer is aiming to do after spending that money on a new manager and doing nothing to address losing Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman before we even discuss the other holes that were already an issue last season.

This has the potential to be a tenure-ending season for Hoyer who continues to look like a leech who feeds off the vestiges of Theo Epstein

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