The MLB offseason is in full swing as baseball fans prepare for spring training. The offseason is a time where teams address weaknesses and learn from what happened last season. It is also a time where teams have to decide which players to keep and which players have to test free agency.

Every team possesses a different offseason approach when it comes to free agents. Some teams like to sign players with team-friendly contracts. However, other teams love to take risks and sign players to enormous contracts. The Cleveland Indians are one team that are taking a risk, signing Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $65 million contract with an option for 2020. Coming off of a tough World Series loss, the Indians did not shy away from spending some money on the slugger. However, it will be tough for the 34-year-old to repeat what he did last year, belting 42 home runs with 127 runs batted in.

The  New York fan bases are also happy this offseason with the Mets and Yankees bringing in key pieces to their respective teams. The Metropolitans re-signed Yoenis Cespedes on a four-year, $110 million contract, which makes him the highest paid Mets’ free agent ever.

The Bronx Bombers brought back Aroldis Chapman surprisingly even after the Pinstripes dealt him to the Cubs at the trade deadline this past August. The flamethrower signed to a five-year, $86 million contract which makes him the number one paid relief pitcher in the MLB. The Mets and Yankees both retained their respective playmakers for the future, which makes both teams’ futures bright.

Additionally during the offseason, the new Hall of Fame class is revealed in January and later enshrined in July. The notable inductees are Tim Raines, receiving 86 percent of the votes, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, receiving 76 percent of the votes and Jeff Bagwell, receiving 86.2 percent of the votes. It was his first year on the ballot for Ivan Rodriguez, seventh for Bagwell and tenth for Tim Raines.

One big surprise for this year’s ballot was Vladimir Guerrero not being selected to the Hall of Fame. He was 3.3 percent shy of joining Bagwell, “Pudge” and Raines, which is seen as a disappointment to many since he was such a dominant hitter while being a consistent defender. He posted a career .385 average while hitting 449 career home runs during his 16-year career. He also had eight seasons with 30-plus home runs and 10 seasons with 100-plus runs batted in. Amazingly, he hit over .300 for 13 out of the 16 years he played in the Major Leagues.

Despite these overwhelming statistics, Guerrero was denied the Hall of Fame this year and Rodriguez entered first ballot despite steroid allegations during his career. Even though Vlad did not get into the hall this year, he will for sure be inducted next year for the 2018 class. He will just have to wait for his second year on the ballot to achieve the majority or 75 percent needed to be enshrined.


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