6. Baltimore signs Jacob deGrom
The Orioles had a magical 2022 and look poised to once again make some noise in 2023. Payroll is minimal heading into next season (under $10 million on the books right now), so there is plenty of room for Baltimore to make a splash. That includes signing deGrom to a big deal that could shake up how the AL East looks at the Orioles heading into the campaign.
With Baltimore declining the option for Jordan Lyles in 2023, adding a veteran pitcher at the front of the rotation makes sense. A team that has been linked to Carlos Correa (more about that below) many times could certainly use a big name as proof it isn’t going to just stand pat in a stacked division. If the Orioles are going to get to the postseason in 2023, it could well be on the arm of deGrom.
7. Kodai Senga lands with the Dodgers
As deGrom stays on the East Coast, the Dodgers will look outside the U.S. to boost their rotation in 2023. There will be plenty of competition to land Senga, who has become one of the most-talented pitchers in Nippon Professional Baseball and has posted as an international free agent. Some of that competition for the Dodgers will come from within the National League West, with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants already on the list of teams that are expressing interest in inking him to a deal.
With Clayton Kershaw’s ability to work deep into multiple games questionable, Walker Buehler out after Tommy John surgery, and Tyler Anderson exploring free agency as well, Los Angeles will need to find some answers for the rotation. The 30-year-old Senga could provide those answers, and Los Angeles would be a natural landing point for a Japanese superstar looking to prove himself in MLB (just ask Shohei Ohtani).