Thursday marked the end of MLB’s Winter Meetings, when each team’s top brass converge on a hotel and jam pack a bunch of offseason trades into one week.Â
For baseball fans, it’s heaven, the first major MLB event since the World Series. But it also tends to be heavy on conjecture and rumor â a lot of “X team talking to X players about a deal.” If you’re not a big baseball fan, it’s easy for the big takeaways to get lost in the clutter.Â
So, here are the MLB teams that left the winter meetings as big winners.Â
1. The Boston Red Sox pitching staff is insane
Boston made arguably the biggest splash this week, trading for five-time All-Star starting pitcher Chris Sale, who was widely considered the top ace up for grabs.Â
Sale will front a rotation that already includes Cy Young Award-winners David Price and Rick Porcello. Boston also added shutdown reliever Tyler Thornburg, so yeah, the Red Sox pitching staff just got really, really good.Â
But, the Sale deal came at a big cost. Which leads us to our next big winner.Â
2. The Chicago White Sox are about to be terrifying
By trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox, Chicago got a huge return. Most notably, the White Sox acquired 21-year-old shortstop Yoan Moncada, the No. 1 prospect in Major League Baseball. The kid is a stud, and has all the tools to be an MVP for years to come.
But the White Sox didn’t stop there.
They also traded outfielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals, and got Lucas Giolito, MLB’s No. 1 pitching prospect, in return.
Two trades gave Chicago the two best prospects in baseball. It may take a couple years, but the White Sox are going to be a scary team one day.Â
3. The Cubs are talented and smart, it turns out
On the north side of Chicago, there’s that other baseball team. You know, the one that just won its first World Series since 1908.Â
The Cubs could have tried to get the gang back together and reassemble the squad that helped them win it all last month. Instead, the Cubs were smart, choosing not to overpay for players like closer Aroldis Chapman â who became the highest paid relief pitcher in history when he signed with the Yankees this week â and Dexter Fowler, who took a five-year, $82 million deal with the Cardinals.
Instead, the Cubs traded someone they didn’t need for closer Wade Davis â who replaces Chapman â and signed centerfielder Jon Jay to replace Fowler.Â
The Cubs will pay Davis $10 million, while the Yankees owe Chapman $21 million in 2017, including his signing bonus. Fowler will make $16.5 million next year with the Cardinals, compared to Jay’s $8 million deal with Chicago (that’s an average savings of $8.5 million per year if you’re counting at home).Â
By picking up Davis and Jay âÂ instead of keeping Chapman and Fowler â the Cubs saved $19.5 million in 2017.
Frugality at its finest.Â
And in case you’re wondering, the Cubs still have the best odds of winning the 2017 World Series. With 15/4 odds, they beat out the Red Sox, who now have 11/2 odds.Â
The offseason isn’t over yet. Teams can still make deals, but the Winter Meetings proved to be action-packed this year.Â