Predicting the 10 biggest moves in the 2021-22 MLB offseason

Carlos Correa
Carlos Correa is one of the premier free agents in 2021-22. Photo from CBS Sports.

With the World Series officially over, it’s time to start thinking about MLB offseason predictions for 2022. The free-agent class is loaded, especially at shortstop, and there is no shortage of MLB offseason trade candidates that could be moved this winter.

In other words, there will be a lot of MLB offseason moves over the next few months that will ultimately play a huge role in deciding who wins the 2022 World Series.

The only question left to answer is what moves will be made and what teams will make the biggest splash. Will teams spend freely or will they try to improve their roster via trades? Also, which players will score the biggest deals with so many great players available?

MLB offseason predictions 2022

As always, only time will tell how these questions will be answered.

However, it’s always interesting to make crazy predictions about how things will play out. If you’re wrong, it usually doesn’t matter that much, although you will look smart if the MLB offseason moves you predicted come true.

With that said, here are some of our bold MLB offseason predictions for 2022.

Kendall Graveman gets $50 million contract

We can’t say what team will snatch up Kendall Graveman on the free-agent market, but we will go out on a limb and say that he will be one of the rare relief pitchers who get a contract that’s worth over $50 million.


Only four relief pitchers have ever topped a total contract of $50 million, most notably Aroldis Chapman’s five-year, $86 million deal and Kenley Jansen’s $80 million contract over five seasons.

Graveman may not get $80 million, but there will be a team that offers him at least $50 million after his breakout 2021 season in which he posted a 1.77 ERA and a WHIP of 0.98. While he’s primarily been a starter up until now, Graveman looks poised to be one of the elite relievers in the league for the foreseeable future.

Clayton Kershaw signs with Angels

The 34-year-old Clayton Kershaw will finally hit the open market this winter, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Injuries hindered him this past season, and even when he was healthy, Kershaw was below-average by his standards. That being said, he won 10 games and had a 3.55 ERA in 22 starts, so it’s not like he’s over the hill. But the Dodgers may not be willing to outbid other teams to keep him.

On the other hand, the Angels are desperate for pitching to help support a lineup that includes Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon. Look for the Halos to throw some money around and convince Kershaw to stay in Southern California.

Cardinals trade Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado has told the Cardinals that he won’t opt-out of his contract this season. However, the all-star third baseman has the option to do so again next winter.

That could inspire the Cardinals to trade Arenado just one year after acquiring him from Colorado. St. Louis has proven to be willing to make risky trades, which could make Arenado a surprising player on the trade block this winter, as he’s only 30 years old and has a lot of good years ahead of him.

Mets trade Edwin Diaz

Granted, the Mets don’t yet know who their GM is at the moment, but the GM who made the high-profile trade for Edwin Diaz three years ago is long gone.

It’s been a rocky three seasons in the Big Apple for Diaz, so after a disappointing season for the Mets, they may look to shake things up and trade him.

Diaz saved 32 games this past season and had a respectable 3.45 ERA. At age 27, there could be teams in win-now mode that will think they can get Diaz back to where he was in 2018 when he was the best closer in baseball.

Mets sign Kenley Jansen

This explains why the Mets are willing to trade Diaz. Kenley Jansen has had a great run with the Dodgers, although it’s not a given that Los Angeles will bend over backward to keep him.

It’d be very much like the Mets to give an aging veteran a long-term deal when he’s still good but clearly past his prime.

Nevertheless, the Mets will view Jansen as more reliable than Diaz with the former saving 38 games and pitching to a 2.22 ERA this past season. That’ll be enough for new owner Steve Cohen to open up his wallet and theoretically solidify the back end of the team’s bullpen.

Yankees sign Trevor Story as their shortstop

The writing has to be on the wall that Gleyber Torres is not going to stay at shortstop for the Yankees. With so many top-flight shortstops on the free-agent market this winter, it’s almost a given that the Yankees will spend the money to sign one of them.

On the surface, Trevor Story might not be the obvious fit for New York, but that is our pick for who will be suiting up at shortstop at Yankee Stadium next year.

He’s not as athletic as Javier Baez, as young as Carlos Correa, or a World Series MVP like Corey Seager. But Story might be the most balanced and consistent shortstop both offensively and defensively available. In the end, that’s who the Yankees need, so that’s our pick for who they get.

Corey Seager stays with Dodgers

Speaking of Corey Seager, he will stay with the Dodgers in a somewhat surprising move. There have been rumblings for a few years that LA was bullish on Seager being their long-term answer at shortstop. Keep in mind they also traded for Trea Turner last summer. But Seager has had his two best seasons in 2020 and 2021.

Rather than sign Turner to an extension, they will re-sign Seager and keep Turner at second base in 2022. Plus, there’s always a chance that Seager could shift to third base when Justin Turner’s time with the Dodgers ends, so there are still options moving forward if they re-sign him.

Carlos Correa signs 10-Year, $300 Million deal

We don’t think Carlos Correa is going to break a record for the biggest contract in MLB history. We also don’t know what team will sign him. But we’re confident that he’ll be given a $300 million contract over at least 10 seasons.

Correa is just 27, so teams don’t have to hesitate quite as much when committing to him for the next decade. Also, his track record on both sides of the ball speaks for itself, so surely somebody will show him the money.

Javier Baez returns to Cubs

There’s been a lot of talk about Javier Baez staying with the Mets and playing alongside his good friend Francisco Lindor in New York. But we think he’ll end up back with the Cubs. We know that Kris Bryant isn’t going back to Chicago while Anthony Rizzo is a good bet to stay with the Yankees.

But Baez is a wild card and might fancy a return to the Windy City. While staying with Lindor and the Mets will be tempting, but if Baez wants to maximize his deal, he’ll need to sign as a shortstop, not a second baseman. The Cubs will be able to do that while the Mets can’t.

Freddie Freeman leaves Braves

Sorry, Braves fans, but Freddie Freeman isn’t going to be back in Atlanta next year.

But what a way to go out, right?

While Freeman can still hit, it’s fair to question if he’s worth a long-term deal at age 32. The Braves have a young team and the salaries of those players are going to start to go up, so there just may not be room in the budget for Freeman to get the kind of contract he’s surely earned.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 206 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

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