It’s Thanksgiving weekend and there are plenty of MLB teams that need to show how thankful they are for their players and resign them. There are big free agents in every division that can change the landscape of the American League. The New York Yankees have Aaron Judge. The Boston Red Sox have Xander Bogaerts. The Minnesota Twins have Carlos Correa and the Houston Astros need to retain Justin Verlander.
What these MLB teams need to do to be even more thankful heading into the New Year
New York Yankees
Outfielder Aaron Judge is the biggest free agent, literally and figuratively. The Yankees must do whatever it takes to keep this man in pinstripes. The 62 home runs speak for themselves, but his all-around game and leadership intangibles speak even further. Judge means so much to the city, fan base, and locker room. Removing number 99 would not only cause an uproar, but lose production that they can’t replace. Without Judge, it’s possible that the Bronx Bombers would even be a non-playoff team. Let that sink in for a minute.
Boston Red Sox
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been a critical part of the Red Sox success. He’s won two World Series, five Silver Sluggers, and is a four-time All-Star. He’s become a staple and they can’t afford to lose him. His offensive production is incredible and he has a WAR near six last season. He hits for average and power, with a career batting average of .292 and 156 home runs. Bogaerts’ defense can improve, but he’s still vital to this Red Sox team. Replacing him would be tough. It’s doubtful they would sign another shortstop, and probably just move Trevor Story back to his natural position.
Shortstop Carlos Correa had a good first year with the Twins with 22 home runs and an OPS+ of 141. Correa’s defense was as good as ever and provided great leadership. Correa wants to be back, the Twins just need to be prepared to spend heavily on him. He could help them turn it around after they fell short of the AL Central title. Correa’s return would signal that the Twins are serious. Correa could also entice other free agents to sign with them.
Starting pitcher Justin Verlander just won the Cy Young Award and, at age 40, can still get it done. Verlander will have a high price tag for his age, but it’s worth it for the Astros. He sets the tone for their entire pitching staff. He has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the league since joining Houston. If the Astros want to repeat, it would be smart to keep JV around.