Oakland’s Makeover Continues– Brandon Moss Traded to the Indians, Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox: The Oakland Athletics shipped right-hander Jeff Samardzija, along with pitching prospect Michael Ynoa to the Chicago White Sox for 3B Marcus Semien, RHP Chris Bassitt, C Josh Phegley, and corner infield prospect Rangel Ravelo. This comes after trading former All-Star OF/1B Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians for prospect 2B Joe Wendle and trading third baseman Josh Donaldson earlier in the offseason. While these are solid trades for both the White Sox and Indians, it continues a dramatic rebuilding effort for Oakland general manager Billy Beane, on the heels of another early playoff exit, this time one precipitated by an all-in approach that saw them trade top prospect Addison Russell and power-hitting outfielder Yeonis Cespedes for Samardzija and Lester, who is not returning as a free agent. Semien figures to step in as the starting shortstop this season, replacing Jed Lowrie (who also won’t be back as a free agent), while Bassitt could compete for a rotation spot this season. Phegley, Ravelo, and Wendle are all at least a season away, and while a prospect is an adequate return for a declining 31-year-old, the Samardzija returns looks fairly light, at least when one looks at the package Beane gave up to get him in July.

Nick Markakis signs with Atlanta for Four Years, $44 Million: The veteran outfielder surprisingly left the Baltimore Orioles, where he spent his entire career, for Atlanta as a replacement for the traded Jason Heyward. Markakis has been a solid hitter throughout his major league career, hitting a career .290 and showing a bit of pop with his highest home run total being 23. Markakis is also solid defensive and should be a nice addition to the Braves line-up. Also, the Braves are in a bit of a confusing state, with many fans and baseball people alike not sure if the Braves are rebuilding or trying to “re-tool”. Either way, this is a great deal for Markakis and could end up swinging either way for the Bravo’s depending on how Markakis performs.

Yankees sign Andrew Miller, let David Robertson Go Without Offer: Miller received a four-year, $36M guaranteed contract from the New York Yankees, who didn’t even offer their former closer, Robertson, a contract before he signed with the Chicago White Sox for four years, $46 million. Miller is only 29 years old and had a breakout season with the Red Sox and the Orioles. He pitched to the tune of a very impressive 2.02 ERA. Miller is expected to be one of the Yankees top options in the backend of the bullpen along with the other breakout star from last year, Dellin Betances who pitched to a 1.40 ERA. The Yankees also went out and acquired SS Didi Gregorius in a three team deal with Arizona and Detroit. The Yankees are trying the best they can to salvage their brand and avoid a rebuilding era after the loss of their captain. The Miller deal was a nice one, but the loss of Robertson will impact the back of the pen, as with what could be a weak starting rotation, New York now has to worry about burning out Miller and Betances, who threw a combined 152.1 innings this past season.

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