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Popular faces in new places

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Ke'Bryan Hayes of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two-run home run in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs during Opening Day at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/TNS)

By Jackson Heiden

As is every offseason there’s always player movements, however the 2021-22 baseball offseason has been one of the biggest off seasons for free agency and the trade market in Major League Baseball history.

Starting out with new players in new uniforms, we begin with the Chicago Cubs signing of all-star pitcher Marcus Stroman. Stroman is coming off of a nice 2021 season, however, he was a bit overshadowed by the fact the Mets had two potential Cy-Young pitchers, which forced him out of New York into Chicago. He looks to take control of the ace position in the Cubs starting rotation.

The first trade of the off-season occurred right at the last minute before the lock-out began, and the Milwaukee Brewers sent gold-glove outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. back to his former team, Boston Red Sox, in exchange for outfielder Hunter Renfroe. Bradley had an abysmal 2021 season with the Brewers as he signed with them during the 2020-21 off-season stepping away from the team that first drafted him. Renfroe is a big upgrade for the Brewers at that position as he replaces Bradley who hit with .163/.236/.261.

Along with the trade to take back their outfielder, the Red Sox signed a couple of all-star pitchers to boost their starting pitching which was lacking down the stretch last season. They signed pitcher Rich Hill along with James Paxton, and they weren’t done there as they signed free agent shortstop Trevor Story. Story finishes up a phenomenal stint with the Colorado Rockies who was the team that drafted him. 

One team everyone should have on their radars as they have made huge strides this off-season is the Detroit Tigers. After having a really rough stretch of bad seasons, the Tigers came out and signed all-star shortstop Javier Baez along with starting pitching Eduardo Rodriguez which will help them shape the young talented roster that the Tigers have been slowly putting together. 

Another American League team that made huge strides this season that could be a dark horse candidate for a playoff spot is the Texas Rangers. They come out of the off-season with one of the best middle-infield duos in all of baseball as they signed shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien. They also went out and got a right fielder in Kole Calhoun, catcher Mitch Garver and added to their pitching staff with Jon Gray, Garrett Richards, Brandon Workman and Greg Holland.

The one team that has added the most to their team this off-season was the New York Mets. They began by signing infielder Eduardo Escobar, outfielder Starling Marte and Mark Canha. The Mets followed that up with a monster signing with Cy-Young pitcher Max Scherzer, along with trading for all-star pitcher Chris Bassitt.

The Rockies have signed Cubs fan favorite infielder Kris Bryant and on top of the Rockies the Los Angeles Angels signed all-star pitcher Noah Syndergaard to create a pitching duo with Shohei Ohtani. 

Most of the free-agent market has come to a close, however, with any team in need of an outfielder, all-star outfielder Michael Conforto is still available.