Yankees and Angels have reshaped the baseball landscape
The Angels and Rangers have become energized by Ohtani’s decision and seem like they are drawing talent to them, and the AL West. This might make them serious contenders for the next few seasons.
The Astros will remain at the top by doing nothing, but the Red Sox and Mariners will regress unless they respond soon. It’s possible that the Red Sox run at the top of their division is over.
The Giants have felt the ramifications, as well. Missing out on Shohei seems to have convinced them to go into a full rebuild, thus ending their dynastic run. They had hoped to land Ohtani and spend big in free agency, but that’s all gone, and they seem likely to continue their stay at the bottom of the National League for some time.
Even though the Pirates never had any semblance of a dynasty, they did have several great years. But trading Gerrit Cole might mean they shop Andrew McCutcheon before he can become a free agent. And that means Pittsburgh will have to wait a while until they see any more 100 win seasons.
Across the state, the Phillies look at the NL East and see the second spot and a possible Wild Card available. That’s what happens when the team that finished second, Miami, trades its best player. And then all of its players.
That’s why they recently added Carlos Santana. As they say, you gotta trust the process.
The Royals seem content to disappear entirely, but at least they have a World Series to show for their recent prominence. That’s more than the Tigers can say, who seem stuck in the baseball purgatory of mediocrity.
Into the future
The Stanton effect goes beyond this season, though. The Yankees were seen as a strong contender to sign Bryce Harper. Now, with both Judge and Stanton in pinstripes, the idea is less prominent. That has given new hope to the Dodgers, Cubs, and Nationals.
That newfound hope might be why the Dodgers recently shipped out several players. And it could bring teams such as Boston and Toronto back into the bidding next year.
But we have a full season in front of us before we think about that.
The Yankees are in full win-now mode. That was true before Stanton arrived and is doubly true since. And 2018 seems likely to mark a return to a place in baseball the Yankees have not occupied in a while.
Next: The Yankees Blue Chip Prospects Traded Next
Gone will be the Giants and Royals, winners of four recent World Series. Boston seems less likely to hoist the Commissioners Trophy then in the last three years, while the Orioles and Blue Jays look like also-rans instead of postseason possibilities.
The Yankees, meanwhile, will enter the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series for the first time in years.
They say change is good for the soul. If so, the soul of Major League Baseball is about to feel good. And to that Yankees fans say, right on, brother.