Pitch Clocks and Ban on Shifts Could Affect MLB Roster Construction
As the first winter meetings of free agency begin, teams find themselves with a significant roster deficit, after all, with every roster spot filled, it’s a daunting task to fill an entire roster. It’s not like teams are lining up to sign free agents, however, the biggest player available at the moment is closer Craig Kimbrel, who, for obvious reasons, is unavailable to be signed. He’s on the disabled list.
With the free agent market starting to narrow, it begs the question: “What players are available at the major league level that we can sign?”
This question comes up from time to time, and there are certainly a few teams that fill their needs that fill the need in every possible way. There’s no shortage of candidates out there, but let’s go through each team to see what needs to be addressed before the start of the season:
1) The Rays have a glaring hole at a critical position, which is closer. If they’re going to win the World Series, they need someone of the caliber of Craig Kimbrel. That said, they’re going to be looking to do something along the lines of Jonny Venters or Brad Boxberger.
2) The White Sox have one of the most loaded farm systems in the majors. They do not need to sign any free agents, as they have three or four solid prospects waiting in the wings. The big question: if they do not sign someone today, are they going to be able to fill their needs in time for Opening Day?
3) The Blue Jays need the best closer on the market, but they have not had one in three seasons. They’ve had to go through pitchers such as Koji Uehara, Drew Hutchison and others to get the job done. One thing they need in the bullpen is someone who can shut it down when necessary.
4) The Royals have to replace their starter, who had been the best pitcher in the game, when he was traded to the Red Sox. They need to do something that will give them a solid bullpen if they need to do anything about it.
5) The Yankees need a closer, but there isn’t one on