Despite an offseason marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still plenty of big MLB transactions leading into 2021. These 25 notable new faces in new places are creating intrigue for the upcoming season.
St. Louis had a quiet offseason until they struck in early February, acquiring the disgruntled Arenado from the Rockies for pennies on the dollar. The eight-time Gold Glover should become an immediate favorite for Cardinals Nation, drawing comparisons to former Cardinal Scott Rolen and putting the team squarely in the wide-open NL Central race.
The biggest pitching prize of the 2020-21 offseason, Bauer didn't find a contract to his liking until February, when he signed a three-year, $102 deal with the Dodgers. The reigning NL Cy Young winner could make the defending World Series champs even better.
Carrasco was more than just a thrown-in when the Mets acquired him from Cleveland, along with Francisco Lindor. He rebounded from a 2019 season shortened due to leukemia to posted a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts last season and should fit in nicely behind Jacob deGrom in the Mets starting rotation.
Colome has a chance to make a good Twins bullpen even better after signing a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2022. He's served as the closer of the Rays, Mariners, and White Sox in recent seasons, with 138 career saves. Colome should fit nicely late in games alongside lefty Taylor Rogers.
After some hiccups, Darvish regained his dominance with the Cubs over the last two seasons. He finished second in the NL Cy Young race last year but was moved to San Diego this offseason in a salary dump. Darvish immediately changes the equation for the Padres starting rotation.
Bradley didn't find a contract until March, signing with the Brewers. It's an odd fit considering that Milwaukee already has an excellent defensive center fielder in Lorenzo Cain, as well as three starting outfielders. Bradley does give the team more depth and defense, and he performed well in the truncated 2020 season with an .814 OPS.
Hendriks was the top closer in a deep closer free-agent market, signing a lucrative deal with Chicago. The former Oakland closer replaces Alex Colome and has posted a 1.79 ERA with 39 saves over 110.1 innings in the last two years.
Iglesias has spent his entire MLB career with the Reds, but the team apparently decided they couldn't afford him after six seasons and shipped him to Anaheim. He shores up what was a shaky area for the Angels last season, with a sub-3.00 ERA in four of the last five seasons.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the MLB offseason was La Russa's return to managing at age 76 after 10 years away. His first job as an MLB manager was with the White Sox from 1979-1986, and the three-time World Series champ has a loaded roster to guide back to the promised land.
The years of trade rumors involving Lindor finally came to fruition when Cleveland traded him to the Mets early in the offseason. Now entering his walk year, Lindor will try to help a talented Mets team rebound as their likely No. 3 hitter.
Lynn has established himself as a true ace with the Rangers over the last two years, and he's a welcome addition for the White Sox rotation following an offseason trade. He also rejoins Tony La Russa, who was Lynn's manager in 2011 with the Cardinals.
The Royals were one of the few teams seemingly willing to spend money in the offseason, with a recent change in ownership. Minor was one of their biggest prizes, returning to the team on a two-year, $18 million contract after pitching in relief for them in 2017. The lefty made an All-Star appearance with the Rangers in 2019, going 14-10 with a 3.59 ERA before a disappointing 2020 season.
Morton has been a late bloomer, showing increased velocity and success for the Astros and Rays since 2017. After a disappointing 2020 season, he's hoping to rebound in Atlanta on a one-year, $15 million deal. The right-hander also adds veteran leadership to a young starting rotation.
Musgrove was likely just the third-best starting pitcher the Padres acquired during the offseason but still significant. The former Pirate is a San Diego native and posted a 3.86 ERA with a dominant 12.5 K/9 in eight starts last season.
Paxton had only five starts with the Yankees due to injuries, allowing him to return to Seattle on a bargain contract. He started his career with the Mariners and could help lead the rotation on a one-year deal in a pitcher-friendly home ballpark.
With the promise of everyday at-bats, Pederson signed a one-year deal with the Cubs after beginning his career with the Dodgers. The powerful outfielder has hit at least 25 home runs four times, including 36 long balls in 2019.
Rosenthal couldn't find the plate after returning from Tommy John surgery in 2019, but he got back on track last year between the Royals and Padres with 11 saves and a 1.90 ERA in 23 appearances. The former Cardinals closer found a one-year, $11 million deal with Oakland, replacing Liam Hendriks as the A's closer.
Rosario was an under-the-radar addition by Cleveland after the rival Twins non-tendered him. The outfielder has some limitations, but he's proven that he can hit, with an OPS of .800 or better each season from 2017-2019. Cleveland hopes he can offset the loss of Francisco Lindor.
After hitting only .188 in the shortened 2020 season, Schwarber was non-tendered by the Cubs. Washington was still happy to sign the power hitter on a one-year, $10 million contract after he hit 38 home runs in 2019. He certainly has defensive limitations but should add a formidable middle-of-the-order bat to complement Trea Turner and Juan Soto.
Semien established himself as an elite player while with Oakland in 2019, finishing third in the AL MVP race with 33 home runs and a .892 OPS. Unfortunately, he had to settle for a one-year, $18 million contract after struggling last year, but the Blue Jays are happy to have him as they try to compete in the AL East.
Simmons is widely known as one of the elite defensive players in the game, but he's struggled with injuries over the last two years. The Angels went a cheaper route, as a result, but he immediately improves Minnesota's defense at shortstop on a one-year deal.
Snell won the AL Cy Young in 2018 with Tampa Bay, but injuries have been an issue over the last two seasons. He still has elite ability when on the mound, and was able to fetch a nice package in a trade to the Padres. The lefty should enjoy PETCO Park next to fellow ace Yu Darvish in the San Diego starting rotation.
Springer left Houston to sign a six-year, $150 million contract with the Blue Jays in the offseason. The three-time All-Star should fit nicely in a loaded lineup and is coming off of two outstanding seasons.
Taillon is coming off his second Tommy John surgery, but the Pirates weren't patient enough for him to stick around. In a clear firesale, the team traded him to the Yankees, where the hard-throwing right-hander will help offset the losses of Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton.
Yates was considered one of the elite closers in MLB before suffering an arm injury last year that required surgery. Toronto was still willing to add Yates on a bargain-basement one-year, $5.5 million deal, giving him an opportunity to rebound at age 34. Yates led the NL with 41 saves in 2019, and also posted a 1.19 ERA.
Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan still hoping for a Super Bowl win during his lifetime. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.