Yankees and Teams with the Most Work to Do Once MLB Free Agency Re-Opens

Bleacher Report

Teams only got to do about a month's worth of free-agent shopping before Major League Baseball instituted a lockout on Dec. 1, so pretty much everyone will still have work to do when the market re-opens.

Naturally, this is more true of some teams than it is with others.

When we look around, we see six teams in particular—plus a hefty list of five honorable mentions—who simply can't be satisfied with what they've done thus far in the 2021-22 offseason. They still have glaring needs to fill and a dwindling list of available free agents with which to fill them.

Let's count 'em down, starting with the team that has the least to do and ending with the one that has the most to do.

 

Honorable Mentions

Chicago White Sox

After they added Kendall Graveman to their bullpen, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the White Sox still wanted to add a second baseman and a front-line starter. These needs still exist, though the catch now is that pickings are slim on both fronts.

      

Houston Astros

They really only have one need, but it's a big one: a replacement for Carlos Correa at shortstop. To this end, Jon Heyman of Audacy and MLB Network reported that Trevor Story is on their radar.

       

Los Angeles Angels

Unless they're actually comfortable with Tyler Wade as an everyday option, they're another American League West contender with a major need at shortstop. They could also use still more pitching, as Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen are high on upside but short on dependability.

      

Milwaukee Brewers

They began the winter looking to improve their offense, yet switching from Avisail Garcia to Hunter Renfroe in right field is arguably a step down. They'd be wise to set their sights on Kyle Schwarber or Anthony Rizzo, either of whom could slot in at first base.

           

San Diego Padres

The caveat here is that the Padres are already projected to spend more in 2022 than they did in 2021, so they might have to subtract before they add. But if they do, a left fielder and a new closer to replace Mark Melancon should be among their priorities.

 

6. Boston Red Sox

2021 Record: 92-70

Projected 2022 Payroll: $191 Million

Far from being inactive, the Boston Red Sox succeeded in shoring up two outstanding areas of need before the lockout hit.

They responded to Eduardo Rodriguez's departure by rounding out their starting pitching depth with Michael Wacha, Rich Hill and James Paxton. And even if it cost them Renfroe, they addressed their league-worst defense when they re-acquired Jackie Bradley Jr. from Milwaukee.

And yet, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom knows there's still work to be done. He specifically singled out the team's need for late-inning relief help, as well as a right-handed hitter.

For the former, signing three-time All-Star Kenley Jansen is the best thing Bloom could do for a pen that didn't have a true closer by the end of 2021. There otherwise isn't much left on the reliever market at this point, though reunions with Adam Ottavino or Joe Kelly wouldn't necessarily be bad ideas.

As far as right-handed hitters go, the Red Sox have been linked to Story by Heyman and to Japanese slugger Seiya Suzuki by Sean McAdam of Boston Sports Journal. Either would suit them well, even if signing Story would first require selling him on a position switch in deference to Xander Bogaerts.

#baseball, #professional

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