There’s a lot of things to look forward to this MLB offseason. The big thing is obviously free agency, but free agency also brings along trades, which can cause a bit of a frenzy, especially when offseason moves start coming quickly. However, my favorite part of the offseason is the calm before the storm, when rumors are flying around and everyone is predicting what they think will happen.

Since we are getting ever closer to the end of the regular season, I have decided to list five moves that I would like to see this offseason. I have listed these from most likely to least likely, but please note that these moves aren’t necessarily moves that I think will happen. These are moves I would like to see for different reasons, including team improvement, player success, or just the absolute craziness it would cause.

Red Sox Pass the Torch, Extend Rafael Devers and Let Bogaerts Walk

Red Sox Sign Rafael Devers To A 12 Year Contract Extension Worth $365 Million, Bogaerts Signs Massive Deal Elsewhere

The Red Sox have plenty of options heading into this offseason, but regardless of those options, the main priority should be re-signing Rafael Devers. I think the Red Sox can definitely get the Devers extension done, and I think they will want to get it done early in the offseason. I think a 12 year deal worth $365 million will get it done. This would give Devers $24 million for his last year of arbitration, and $31 million per year for the next 11 years. 12 years, $365 million also just happens to be the same deal that Mookie Betts got, and I’d be all for some fun trolling while getting the deal done.

After Devers, the next priority would be to bring back Xander Bogaerts, but as I said in my 2023 roster predictions, I have a bad feeling about another team offering Bogaerts a ridiculous amount of money; an amount of money that wouldn’t make sense for the Red sox to match. Re-signing Devers locks up the face of the franchise, and passes the torch from Bogaerts to Devers if Bogaerts does indeed leave in free agency.

The Rangers Continue their Spending Spree, Sign a Player to a Nine Digit Deal

The Rangers signing an unknown free agent to a deal worth $100 million or more may sound a little crazy, but the Rangers showed last year that they are willing to splash the cash to make things happen when they signed Marcus Semien and Corey Seager for a combined total of $500 million. The Rangers have a high powered offense led by Seager, Semien, and Adolis Garcia, but they could use some pitching help, especially with Martin Perez set to become a free agent. There are two ways for the Rangers to go about this.

They could either go after a starter, be it Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon, or even Nate Eovaldi. Or they could go after the best closer in baseball, and lock up Edwin Diaz. I think deGrom will definitely get $100 million, and I think Rodon and Eovaldi also could if the market is right. The only question mark for Edwin Diaz would be if teams are willing to offer him the nine digit deal that he will probably want. I think it will happen. Now the Rangers could go crazy and try to sign Aaron Judge or one of the big four shortstops, but I can’t see why they would do that unless they want to move Corey Seager to third, which feels illogical considering the premium shortstop contract they just gave him. I think the most likely target for the Rangers to acquire would be Rodon, but I wouldn’t rule out Eovaldi potentially wanting to play in his home state of Texas.

Diamondbacks Start their Playoff Push, Trade for Pablo Lopez

D-Backs Receive: Pablo Lopez

Marlins Receive: Geraldo Perdomo, Deyvison de los Santos (ARI #6 prospect), Landon Sims (ARI #7 prospect), and A.J. Vukovich (ARI #12 prospect)

The D-Backs have been a fun team to watch the last week or so, winning eight of their last ten, and they have a very bright future with a young core that includes Dalton Varsho, Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy, and newly called up Corbin Carroll to go with a veteran core including Ketel Marte, Josh Rojas, Christian Walker, and Carson Kelly. They also have three solid starters in Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and Zach Davies.

Even with the team getting hot, they still have some holes heading into 2023. Gallen, Kelly, and Davies have just 11 losses combined while playing on a sub-.500 team. However, Madison Bumgarner has 13 losses all by himself, Mark Melancon has ten out of the bullpen and the carousel of Arizona fifth starters have combined for 11. If the D-Backs add Pablo Lopez, they would have a 2023 rotation of Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Pablo Lopez, and Zach Davies, with Madison Bumgarner closing out the rotation if the D-Backs keep him. Another upside to getting Pablo Lopez … Mad Bum comes off the books by the time they have to pay him. Adding Lopez to this D-Backs team could allow them to push for the playoffs as soon as 2023, and they will only continue to get better as their young core improves.

Braves Shock Everyone, Trade Ozzie Albies

Braves Receive: Gabriel Moreno (MLB #7 prospect, TOR #1 prospect), Sem Robberse (TOR #7 prospect), Hayden Juenger (TOR #8 prospect) and Nate Pearson

Blue Jays Receive: Ozzie Albies and A.J. Minter

OR

Braves Receive: Ricky Tidemann (MLB #34 prospect, TOR #2 prospect), Orelvis Martinez (MLB #73 prospect, TOR #3 prospect), Brandon Barreira (TOR #4 prospect), and Tucker Toman (TOR #5 prospect)

Blue Jays Receive: Ozzie Albies

This one may seem like a longshot, but the Braves are going to have a bunch of things to consider this offseason regarding their roster, especially on the position player side. Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Michael Harris III, and Ronald Acuna Jr. are the true locks for the 2023 Braves team, and you’d expect the Braves to continue rolling with the catcher pairing of Travis d’Arnaud and William Contreras. Eddie Rosario and Marcell Ozuna are both on the roster for 2023, so they would make sense for LF and DH. That only leaves 2B and SS left for the Braves to fill, but they have three players to fill those two spots.

There’s free agent-to-be Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, and rookie Vaughn Grissom, who has played well early on in his career. I do think Vaughn Grissom is putting himself in a good spot to claim one of the two spots in 2023, but the other spot will depend on Swanson’s free agency and the Braves’ trust in Albies. If Swanson returns, then Albies may be the odd man out. But Grissom’s play may allow the Braves to feel confident enough to let him replace Swanson at SS. If Swanson leaves, it would seem like Albies stays, but the Braves could still choose to target a different free agent SS or acquire a SS/2B in a trade. One example could be jettisoning a prospect in exchange for Santiago Espinal, leaving Grissom to play either SS or 2B and making Albies available to be dealt in another move. 

Rays Make A Statement, Trade for Shohei Ohtani

Rays Receive: Shohei Ohtani

Angels Receive: Vidal Brujan, Curtis Mead (MLB #38 prospect, TBR #2 prospect), Carson Williams (MLB #86 prospect, TBR #2 prospect), Jonathan Aranda (TBR #4 prospect), and Xavier Edwards (TBR #5 prospect)

OR

Rays Receive: Shohei Ohtani

Angels Receive: Taj Bradley (MLB #21 prospect, TBR #1 prospect), Curtis Mead (MLB #38 prospect, TBR #2 prospect), Mason Montgomery (TBR #7 prospect), and Carson Colmenarez (TBR #8 prospect)

The Rays are a team that always surprises you, and this would be one of the biggest surprises in baseball history. The Rays aren’t known for trading for star players, but if you get a chance at Ohtani I would think you have to pull the trigger. Also, the Rays have shown a willingness in recent years to get free agents on one-year deals, almost like a rental, including Michael Wacha and Charlie Morton (two-year deal for $30 million) in recent years. With Ohtani being a one-year rental, the price would be cheaper than ever, and it would probably be the Rays’ only chance at ever getting Ohtani, as they could never outbid anyone for him in free agency. 

It would still take a lot to get him, as the two options I’ve suggested are still a lot to give up for one year of one player, but that player may be the most talented player in MLB history. Ohtani would make the Rays the favorite to win the AL East in 2023. They would have a rotation of Shane McClanahan, Tyler Glasnow, Shane Baz, and Drew Rasmusson, plus Ohtani. That doesn’t even include guys like Jeffrey Springs, Luis Patino, Ryan Yarbrough, and Yonny Chirinos, who are all on the books for 2023 as of now.

On the offensive side, adding Ohtani to a Rays’ lineup featuring Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena, Brandon Lowe, Yandy Diaz, and Manuel Margot would be downright scary. If they could stay healthy, they would be my pick to represent the AL in the World Series.

The offseason is still very far away, and we aren’t even done with the regular season, so things could change from now to the offseason. But like I said, these aren’t necessarily things I think will happen, just things I would like to see.

Now I hand the baton to the readers. What would you like to see in the offseason? Head over to the Bleacher Brawls Twitter and let us know.

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