The Cubs found their shortstop in Dansby Swanson. The White Sox added an All-Star to their outfield in Andrew Benintendi. That’s just some of the activity during Major League Baseball’s offseason.
The chatter and deals were missing for a portion of the lead-up to the 2022 season, with the lockout dominating discussion. This offseason has witnessed a return of hot-stove staples such as speculation, trades and signings.
Here are some of the moves for teams in the American League and National League Central divisions.
Chicago White Sox
The Sox addressed their most immediate need when they introduced Pedro Grifol as manager on Nov. 3. Grifol spent the previous 10 seasons in various roles with the Kansas City Royals, including serving as the bench coach from 2020-22.
He’ll try to lead the Sox to a rebound after they missed the playoffs and finished second in the division with an 81-81 record.
And Grifol has a player he coached in Kansas City to help him after Benintendi agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal on Dec. 16. It’s the largest contract in franchise history. The outfielder slashed .304/.373/.399 with 23 doubles, five homers and 51 RBIs in 126 games for the Royals and New York Yankees during an All-Star season in 2022.
Change is coming to the infield after longtime first baseman José Abreu signed a three-year deal with the Houston Astros. Abreu ranks in the top 10 in several of the team’s all-time offensive categories.
The Sox acquired reliever Gregory Santos from the San Francisco Giants for minor-league pitcher Kade McClure on Dec. 22. Santos allowed two runs on three hits with two strikeouts in 3⅔ innings in 2022.
The Sox announced the signing of starter Mike Clevinger to a one-year, $12 million contract on Dec. 4. Major League Baseball is investigating Clevinger after allegations of domestic violence and child abuse, according to a Jan. 24 story by The Athletic. The Sox, as part of a statement, said they “were not aware of the allegations or the investigation at the time of his signing” and would “refrain from comment until MLB’s investigative process has reached its conclusion.”
The Guardians were reportedly one of the teams pursuing Abreu, but they found their answer at first base by signing Josh Bell to a two-year deal — which includes a player opt-out after 2023 — on Dec. 12.
Bell hit a combined .266 with 29 doubles, 17 home runs and 71 RBIs in 156 games for the Washington Nationals and Padres. He earned a Silver Slugger Award at designated hitter.
He’ll try to help the Guardians return to the postseason. They won the division in 2022, finishing 11 games ahead of the second-place Sox at 92-70. The Guardians defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in an AL wild-card series before falling to the Yankees in a division series.
The Guardians reportedly were among the teams interested in catcher Sean Murphy, whom the Oakland Athletics dealt to …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment