Each new MLB offseason sees a number of teams making big-time self-inflicted errors. These range from trading valuable prospects, questionable free agent signings, and letting the wrong players walk away and hit the open market. With that in mind, let's take a look at five massive blunders that a handful of high-profile teams ought to avoid like the plague this winter.
5. Red Sox Paying Kimbrel
No one is saying that Craig Kimbrel isn't a stud, but the 30-year-old closer will be demanding big-time money this offseason. Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts will both hit the open market following the 2019 season, and AL MVP front-runner Mookie Betts will follow at the conclusion of the 2020 campaign. Each are younger and more important to the club than Kimbrel. Even a rich club like Boston needs to know when to let a guy walk.
4. Yankees Dealing Andujar
The Bronx Bombers would be INSANE to deal 23-year-old phenom Miguel Andujar, who batted .297, hit 25 homers and drove in 97 runs in his rookie campaign. They would be equally wise to not bite on offers built around starting pitching. Don't return to the Yankees of old that everyone hates; keep with the youth movement and don't overpay for a quicker fix.
3. Cubs Picking Up Hamels' Option
When the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels on July 27, his $20 million option for next season was an afterthought. Well, it's time to address the situation. Don't let his "success" with the Cubs distract you from the fact that before the trade, he posted a 4.72 ERA in Texas. Handing $20 million to an average-at-best starting pitcher approaching age 35 is a mistake waiting to be made.
2. Rockies Not Extending Arenado
Colorado likely regrets bulking up on their bullpen in 2018, and they also have expensive outlays committed to Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond. Paying Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw might see the Rockies having a hard retaining the sweet swinging, slick fielding Nolan Arenado. They can't allow that to happen.
1. Yankees Signing Machado
Manny Machado is one of the best all-around players in the game, but his personal reputation took a massive hit in the postseason, to say nothing of his lack of productivity when it counted most. His attitude, lack of hustle, and downright dirty antics will not be tolerated in the Big Apple. It's that simple. Not to mention that the Yanks already have Gleyber Torres, who is five years younger and has an impressively high ceiling.