8 Biggest MLB Offseason Moves for 2014
The New York Yankees really don’t like missing the postseason, but that happened for only the second time since 1995 last year. Predictably, the empire flexed its financial muscle with $453 million worth of free agent signings ahead of the 2014 MLB season. Whether the Yankees can repeat the success of their pre-2009 spending spree, which led to their twenty-seventh title, remains to be seen.
In fact, the Yankees weren’t the only ones making big roster moves in hopes of turning championship aspirations into a reality last offseason. The Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals top the list of other contenders looking to get over the hump. Here are the biggest free-agent signings and trades leading into the 2014 MLB season.
1. Brian McCann, New York Yankees
Of the many holes plaguing the Yankees in 2013, the gaping chasm at the catcher position was among the most damaging for the Bronx Bombers. Things went from bad to worse when projected starter Francisco Cervelli ended his season in April. Chris Stewart and Austin Romine led an absurdly inept charge from the position, posting a .213 batting average and .293 on-base percentage.
Enter Brian McCann, the rock behind the plate for the Atlanta Braves since his 2005 debut. The Yankees added defensive chops and a much bigger bat to shore up the position for years to come. It cost the Bronx Bombers $85 million for five years of McCann’s services, but it’s easy to envision many of the brawny catcher’s laser beams soaring over the right field fence at Yankee Stadium. This signing singlehandedly turned New York’s prospects around. A few more round-trippers — or any level of slugging out of the catcher position — would have likely put the Yankees in the playoffs in 2013.