With all the big names out in free agency it was a slow week for us baseball fans. Having guys like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel and many more why wouldn't team want to add them to their team. This is the Week when every organization is in the same hotel together to get shit accomplished for their team. Yet, there were hardly any big moves made.
Best Relief Pitcher Signed: Joe Kelly (Dodgers)
This was a great power move by the Los Angeles Dodger to go and sign this Joe Kelly. The Dodgers in 2018 was lacking in the bullpen area the whole year. Kelly struggled with the era in 2018 with a 4.39 in 73 games. But besides all of that he can control the game, with only giving up 4 homeruns the entire season. He had a 1.355 WHIP in 2018 with a batting average against being .234. The look what he did against them in the World Series. Pitching in every World Series, showing that he wants the ball. Joe Kelly had 10 strikeouts, a .667 WHIP, .182 BAA and a 0 era.
Best Starting Pitcher Signed: Charlie Morton (Rays)
Coming off an Allstar season, this was a great move for the Tampa Bay Rays. Having traded away their ace in Chris Archer, this was a team without an veteran pitcher. The Rays already and a good year in pitching with the leagues 6th best era with a 3.74. In his age 34 season, Charlie Morton had a 3.13 era, with a 1.62 WHIP. He has pitched in the postseason, he pitched in the World Series and won. Morton was incredible in the 2017 World Series. He pitched a 1.74 era and a .581 WHIP in 2 games during the Fall Class.
Best Hitter Signed: Andrew McCutchen (Phillies)
Now Andrew McCutchen has not been near himself since he cut his hair with MVP numbers. But, he is still a consistent bat to have in the lineup. When he went to San Francisco in 2018, McCutchen batting average was .255 with a .415 slugging percentage and a .712 OPS in 130 games. Towards the end of the season McCutchen was sent to the Bronx. There he had a .253 batting average, .471 slugging and a .892 OPS in 25 games. This is a good safety bat for the outfield, but not the outfield bat everyone thought they would sign. In 2018 the Phillies had the worst team batting average with .234. With the addition of Andrew McCutchen is fills a gap the team had in the outfield.
Sneaky Signing: Billy Hamilton (Royals)
I did not see this one coming at all. I didn't even know he was a free agent. But I like what the Kansas City Royals did. Back in 2015 when the Royals won the World Series, their big thing was pressure on the defense. In the 16 games the Royals played in the 2015 postseason, they had the most stole bags with 14, the most doubles with 26 and the most triple with 3. Billy Hamilton gives the Royals that "speed demon" back. In 2018, this was the first year Hamilton didn't post 50+ stolen base season. Now on the down side of this, Billy Hamilton is not a consistent offensive threat. Last season his had a .236 batting average with a .299 OBP. The Royals need to fix his swing in order to use him how they'd like.
What Should have happened: Marcus Stroman (Trade)/Bryce Harper (Signing)
To start with Marcus Stroman, he is on a team going no where. Stroman is a pitcher that can help a team right now. In 2018 he dealt with shoulder injury and fatigue. So I'm gonna bring up the 2017 stats when he was healthy. There he had a 3.04 era with a 1.30 WHIP to go along with it. Marcus Stroman can be the guy who can pitch your big game, like a wild card game or game one division series. I think back to the World Baseball Classic where he won MVP for Team U.S.A. In 15.1 innings he gave up only 4 runs, 9 strikeouts, and 12 hits. The teams that should go for Marcus Stroman; Oakland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, San Diego.
And now on to the #1 free agent in Bryce Harper. Yes he had a down year, but set aside his first half numbers and he is a MVP candidate. In 66 games Bryce Harper had a .300 batting average, a .583 slugging and .972 OPS. This compared to his first half numbers with .214 batting average, a .468 slugging and .833 OPS.
With the holidays coming up next week we baseball fans would have liked to see where is home would be for the next 6-10 years. It is a damn shame that the Nationals didn't win with Harper in their lineup. And the fact that they couldn't get passed the first round is unbearable. The team that he ends up going to will win a World Series when he is there. Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles (NL), St. Louis and Chicago (AL) are the teams that he will end up next season.
Best Team: Miami Marlins
Even though the Marlins didn't make a deal during the Winter Meetings, they ran the table with J.T Realmuto. The best hitting catcher from this past season with .277 batting average, a .484 slugging and a .825 OPS. J.T had his first all-star game appearance in 2018. With a struggle organization and a team going into a rebuilding team, the return on him will be more than enough. In todays day it is hard to find a hitting catcher and one that is on the market. The whole week, the Marlins listened on what teams would give up to acquire J.T Realmuto and now they hold all the cards in their hands.
Worst Team: Colorado Rockies
I didn't hear from the Rockies at all during the Winter Meetings. You would have thought that they came in last in the NL West. I mean the Rockies lost D.J LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzales, Drew Butera, Gerardo Parra due to free agency. This is a team that played a game 163 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A team that went to Wrigley and beat the Cubs in the Wild Card game last year. But, yet they haven't been heard from and no rumors are coming from them. They are in a position where they can win the NL West.