2024 MLB Offseason Biggest Winners

by Chad Simpson
2024 MLB Offseason Biggest Winners

The 2024 MLB offseason is in the home stretch. There have been winners and losers, monster contracts and puzzling signings. In this article, we are going to focus on the biggest winners. But, before we do that let's look at some of the noteworthy happenings so far this offseason.

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.
  • Chicago 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.
  • Braves and Red Sox surprised us to end the year by trading Vaughn Grissom and Chris Sale for each other.
  • Phillies shelled out big money to keep their ace Aaron Nola.
  • Reds decided they didn't have enough infielders and gave Jeimer Candelario $45 million.
  • 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 winners of FA this offseason.

2024 MLB Offseason Biggest Winners

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1. Juan Soto, OF, New York Yankees

A dynamic superstar, Soto was acquired by the Yankees for Michael King and prospects from the Padres. Right from the start this is a win all around for Soto who hit .275/.410//519 with 35 HR 109 RBI and 12 SB.

  • He moves from a pitcher's park to arguably the friendliest park for left-handed power
  • He doesn't have any fall off in talent surrounding him in the lineup that could impact run and rbi totals
  • While still being a star and a big deal after the trade he gets to focus on baseball while Aaron Judge continues to be the face of the Yankees

A 40 HR, 125 RBI season seems possible for Soto as he enters his age-25 season and those numbers could climb even further as he cements himself as a perennial top 5 fantasy option.

2. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

It's not every day an international talent comes in and breaks in at the top of the pay scale. Yoshinobu Yamamoto did just that, passing Gerrit Cole atop the pitching scale. Something his new teammate Shohei Ohtani didn't even do when he entered the league.

Yamamoto signed a massive 12-year, $325 million deal with the Dodgers aided by the aforementioned Ohtani's contract deferments. The 25-year-old sensation enters the league coming off a season in the NPB where he went 17-6 with a microscopic 1.21 ERA and 176 strikeouts to just 28 walks in 171 innings.

While there is some concern about his ability to strike batters out in MLB, the upside is palpable with Yamamoto frequently going 1.01 in Dynasty FYPD. It will be interesting where he is taken in single-season drafts and will be fascinating to watch all year long.

3. Chris Sale, SP, Atlanta Braves

Sale, who was traded by the Boston Red Sox for Vaughn Grissom recently, was in dire need of a reset with the Red Sox incapable of choosing a direction between buyers and sellers the last couple of seasons. Not only did he get a reset, but he got the knowledge of his new team's faith in him by receiving a contract extension that provided an extra year of security.

Coming off a season where he went 6-5 with a 4.30 ERA,120 strikeouts, 29 walks in just 102 innings, it is clear Sale's best years are behind him. The notion that his best has come and gone doesn't mean there isn't still good to be had. Surrounded by a new cast capable of providing run support and changing the dynamics of a game on a dime, Sale could be in line for his first double-digit win season in five years.

4. Shohei Ohtani, UTIL/SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

What more can be said about Shohei Ohtani, quite possibly the greatest modern athlete ever?

The two-way sensation signed a $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He now goes to the other LA to play alongside Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Tyler Glasnow, Freddie Freeman, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Walker Buehler. He did all this despite almost certainly not pitching again until 2025.

While 2024 is a bit of a mystery as to what his performance could look like due mostly to health reasons, I firmly believe Shohei Ohtani could very well win both the Cy Young and the batting title in future seasons. I also wouldn't be shocked if he comes within striking distance of being the first hitting or pitching triple-crown winner since Miguel Cabrera (hitting) and Shane Bieber (pitching) in 2012 and 2020 respectively.

5. Kansas City Royals and their fans

The Royals never known to be big spenders(their largest ever FA contract was just four years and $72 million to Alex Gordon) have done a nice job of spending smart as they bring themselves off the salary floor for draft concerns.

They have done so by bringing in Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha to eat innings and provide a veteran presence to a young and underperforming rotation. They also brought in Hunter Renfroe which should provide some much-needed pop to an offense that failed to scare any opposing pitcher all year even with Bobby Witt Jr.

On the pitching side, they are bringing in yearly World Series Champion Will Smith to the closer role of a bullpen that was led by Aroldis Chapman before he was traded. Lastly, they brought in an intriguing name via the Rule 5 draft in Yankees pitcher Matt Sauer that could pay dividends down the road.

These moves aren't those of a big market team nor are they the moves typical of a cheap owner trying to do the bare minimum. but rather the moves of a franchise that is looking to slowly build up before their window to compete becomes wide open.

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