MLB Winter Meetings: Biggest winners, losers of free-agency frenzy
Who came out on top?
The 2019 MLB Winter Meetings essentially wrap up Thursday, with baseball hipsters' paradise -- the Rule 5 draft -- taking center stage. Compared to past offseasons, however, moves were made left and right in San Diego.
Stars have new homes and fatter wallets. The Giants bought a top pick from last June's draft and are looking to rejuvenate the career of a former top prospect, while the A's are more focused on their own players than free agency.
But you won't find either Bay Area team on this list. With that being said, here are three winners and three losers from the Winter Meetings.
The Yankees had one move to make this offseason ... no matter how much it cost. They got it done. General manager Brian Cashman opened up the Evil Empire's vault and landed starting pitcher Gerrit Cole with a nine-year, $324 million contract.
Yes, that's a record. And yes, they had to get it done. The Yankees lost out on Cole when he decided to go to UCLA instead of going pro after the Yanks took him No. 28 overall in the 2008 MLB Draft. Now, they have him locked up for a long, long time.
Some things are worth shaving and getting a haircut. After going 10 years without a World Series ring, the Yankees went all-in on Cole bringing titles back to the Bronx.
The Dodgers missed out on Cole, a Southern California native. They missed out on Stephen Strasburg, who grew up in San Diego. And Anthony Rendon signed with the other team in Los Angeles.
The best losers in baseball completely whiffed. Sure, they could still piss off Giants fans and sign Madison Bumgarner, but this wasn't a great start.
Winner: Scott Boras
God, I hate writing this.
Over three days, baseball's agent to the stars negotiated $814 million worth of deals. As the great Jean-Ralphio Saperstein once said, Boras is fluuuuuuusssshhhheed with caaaaaassssshhhhh.
Boras is the biggest star every year at the Winter Meetings, and while he wants to turn his interviews into the worst poetry slam of the year, he knows how to get his clients the big bucks.
Loser: Red Sox
Ahhh, the Dodgers of the East.
The Red Sox watched the Yankees sign Cole and Rendon go to an AL contender all while doing absolutely nothing. Did they even travel to San Diego?
Oh, and they might trade Mookie Betts, who just happens to be 27 years old and one of the best players in the majors. Not a good look.
No, this isn't Gabe Kapler slander.
Power-hitting shortstop Didi Gregorious reportedly chose the Phillies over the Giants, and despite him having a down year last season, he's still another home-run threat in a potent lineup. They also added former Giants top prospect, pitcher Zack Wheeler, earlier this offseason.
This is more about what happened to the rest of the NL East, though. Rendon no longer is in the division, and Wheeler went from a division foe -- the Mets -- to a dangerous No. 2 in Philly's rotation. The Phils could make the leap in 2020.
The last few months haven't been kind to the Astros.
Houston found themselves in the middle of a disturbing story during the playoffs where an executive taunted a reporter regarding domestic violence. Then. they lost to the Nationals in the World Series and now are dealing with one of the biggest cheating scandals in baseball history.
Not to mention, Cole left for the Yankees and the Astros reportedly are talking about trading shortstop Carlos Correa. The franchise has a long ways to go to be respected once again.