MLB offeseason moves off to hot start

Just a week after the St. Louis Cardinals finished winning the 2011 World Series the MLB offseason is already off to a hot start.

In player transaction news, the Braves quickly moved the under performing Derek Lowe to the Cleveland Indians for a minor league player and $5 million in salary relief. The Braves were forced to eat two thirds of Lowe’s contract but having $5 million back gives them some flexibility, especially since Lowe wasn’t slated to be in the Braves 2012 rotation.

The Yankees quickly made a big move as well; locking up CC Sabathia for another five years after he was one of the team’s few reliable starters in 2011. Sabathia had an opt-out clause in his previous contract, and the Yankees didn’t want to head into free agency with a rotation featuring Ivan Nova and A.J. Burnett.

Photo/Wikimedia Commons

Moving into the front office, where a number of notable moves have been made, the Yankees brought back General Manger Brian Cashman for another three years.

Tony LaRussa’s retirement a few days after winning the World Series was just one of a handful of managerial moves.

Terry Francona and Theo Epstein both left Boston before the World Series was over, but the Cubs (who got Epstein) are continuing to make changes. Mike Quade was fired so that the Cubs can get a fresh start under Epstein and it appears Epstein may be going after Francona.

While the baseball offseason typically starts off slow this season has been an exception. Sabathia could have been the biggest pitcher on the free agent market which now looks incredibly thin at his position.

Other playoff contenders will look to either resign or replace stars Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Jimmy Rollins. In a notably thin pitching market, C.J. Wilson could fetch a huge amount of money and some team may be willing to shell out a boatload of cash to bid on Yu Darvish, the Japanese prospect pictured here.

After a thrilling stretch run that saw two teams make the playoffs on the last day and a terrific World Series, baseball’s offseason is off to a hot start and should keep things interesting all winter.

Used with permission of the author.

Brett is the editor and a contributor for He has covered MLB and the Braves for numerous websites and is a regular contributor to Sports Climax. Follow Brett on Twitter.

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