Each winter market resembles a line of dominoes, with each move leading to the next, and this year, it was Aaron Nola who was first across the line when he agreed to a seven-year, $172 million deal to return to the Phillies. Dozens of deals for starting pitchers will follow over the next six weeks, alongside some trades and a lot of free agent signings, with a (mostly) logical sequencing.
We caveat with "mostly" because, as one highly ranked executive said this week, "Everybody is guessing. Nobody really knows what's going to happen, because we'll be surprised by some team jumping in or some team pulling back -- that happens every winter."
That's more true than ever with Shohei Ohtani's future hanging over the offseason. Without much clarity on his plans -- or even his preferences -- much of this offseason has felt shrouded in mystery. But some club officials and player agents offered forecasts on the moves that will play out in the weeks ahead.