Here are three things we’re watching around baseball as 2024 kicks into gear…
1. Offseason set to ramp up?
There have been some massive news stories this offseason, such as the record-setting deals for Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, as well as the Juan Soto trade, but it has undoubtedly been slow on the whole. 28 of MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agents are still unattached, including big names like Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery and Josh Hader. There’s also plenty of notable guys in the lower tiers still out there, a handful of expected trades that have to be finished and a batch of arbitration salaries that need to be sorted out. Many of the top spenders were focused on Ohtani for a long time and then pivoted to Yamamoto, but by the time both agreed to terms with the Dodgers, it was almost time for the holiday break. With those holidays now over, there’s just six weeks until players start reporting for Spring Training and a lot of work to do, meaning the ice has to crack soon.
2. What’s next for the Boston rotation?
The Red Sox have had upgrading their rotation as a priority all winter. They finally made a move by signing Lucas Giolito last week, but then traded Chris Sale to Atlanta the very next day. That leaves them with Giolito, followed by options like Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock. Is there another move coming in the next few weeks?
3. Will the Cubs finally leap into action?
The Cubs have arguably been the least active club this winter, at least in terms of results. Yesterday, MLBTR’s Anthony Franco took a look at each club’s free agent spending thus far this offseason and the Cubs were one of four yet to spend any money at all. The other three have been active in different ways, with the Yankees trading for Soto, Trent Grisham and Alex Verdugo, the Marlins acquiring Christian Bethancourt and Vidal Bruján, and the Rockies having traded for Cal Quantrill. The Cubs have been connected to many big names, both in free agency and the trade market, but haven’t been able to land anything yet.