We here at The Stew have done it again. For the second straight season, we’ve obtained every single Major League Baseball team’s Christmas wish lists to Santa.
We’re not going to reveal how we got them, mostly because it contains some light mail fraud, but we did. And while that type of thing would usually put us on Santa’s naughty list, we’ve decided to offset that bad karma by giving back to the people.
That’s right, we’re going to reveal every team’s biggest desire this Christmas, the one thing they put at the absolute top of their list. Remember that one year when everyone desperately needed to have Furby, and was willing to physically injure others in order to get one? Consider this list every MLB team’s Furby.
So, do you want to know the one thing your favorite team hopes and prays is under their tree on Dec. 25? Read on.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
BOSTON RED SOX
No. 1 Gift: Stronger catcher’s mitts
Why? With Chris Sale, the Red Sox now boast one of the most fearsome pitching trios. Sale and David Price are mortal locks for 200 strikeouts next year. And while Rick Porcello isn’t exactly big on whiffs, he did win the Cy Young award in 2016. Oh, and they still have Craig Kimbrel in the bullpen. Opposing teams are going to have a tough time making contact in Boston, so their catchers’ mitts might take more damage than usual.
No. 1 Gift: Some MLB free-agent coupons
Why? This has been the Orioles’ modus operandi the past few winters. They always seem to wait out the offseason, and then swoop in around January to grab someone on clearance. Last year, it was Pedro Alvarez (and almost Dexter Fowler, but we don’t have to mention that). A few years ago, it was Nelson Cruz. Chris Carter seems like the ideal candidate given the club’s recent history. He might come cheap enough as is, but it never hurts to have coupons.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
No. 1 Gift: A time machine
Why? If given another chance at the offseason, the Blue Jays may not have struck so quickly. By signing Kendrys Morales to a three-year, $33 million deal early, they shored up an offense that lost a lot of firepower, but also guaranteed Edwin Encarnacion wasn’t coming back. Given that Encarnacion signed a deal much lower than what the Blue Jays reportedly offered, they would probably like to go back in time and be a little more patient.
NEW YORK YANKEES
No. 1 Gift: The remote control from “Click“
Why? We don’t blame you if you don’t remember the power of the remote control from such a forgettable movie. The remote control from “Click” allows Adam Sandler to fast forward through the boring moments of his life and skip ahead to the exciting times. That seems pretty perfect for the Yankees right now. The team won’t be awful in 2017, but all the fun youngsters (including Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres) should be ready to go in 2018. Skip ahead one year, and New York suddenly looks pretty imposing.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
No. 1 Gift: An alarm clock
Why? We don’t actually know if the Rays are awake this offseason. It’s possible the team’s entire front office has been in hibernation since October and no one has bothered to wake them up.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
No. 1 Gift:
Edwin Encarnacion Better health
Why? Hmm … a few days ago, Edwin Encarnacion topped their list. But after inking him to a three-year deal, the Indians were able to alter their list to Santa just before the deadline. Despite a number of significant injuries (Michael Brantley, Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco), Cleveland somehow tore through the playoffs and forced a Game 7 with the dominant Cubs. With Encarnacion in tow, Cleveland looks like one of the most complete teams in the majors. If they go into next October healthy, Cleveland could walk away with baseball’s most coveted present: The World Series trophy.
No. 1 Gift: The Cowardly Lion’s courage
Why? Detroit went into the offseason acting like they would be sellers, but they haven’t traded anyone yet. Given that the White Sox and Royals appear to moving toward rebuilds, and the Twins aren’t ready just yet, the Tigers could make one more go of it before doing the same. Sure, they’ve already missed out on some of the big-name free agents, but they can still sign an impact player or two that could put them in wild card contention. Do they have the guts to put off a rebuild for one more year, or are they bound to spend 2017 in limbo?
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
No. 1 Gift: A bag full of money
Why? The Royals enter 2017 with a number of players from their core facing free agency. Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Danny Duffy, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar could all be gone before the year is out. With some extra cash, maybe they can keep one or two of those guys around. Hey, they were able to resign Alex Gordon last offseason, much to everyone’s surprise.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
No. 1 Gift: More cell phones for Rick Hahn
Why? The White Sox have finally done the inevitable and decided to rebuild. While Adam Eaton and Chris Sale were the first two dominos to fall, the team still has a number of useful parts they can get rid of to fully restock their farm system. The best way to create leverage is to talk to multiple teams at one time, right?
No. 1 Gift: A magical prospect-fixer machine
Why? The Twins are asking for something that doesn’t exist, but they really need it. Byron Buxton was once the top prospect in baseball, but has hit just .220/.274/.398 in the majors. Jose Berrios underwhelmed last year, posting an 8.02 ERA over 14 starts. Miguel Sano has been more effective than both, but he saw his numbers take a big step back next year. All three players are expected to be a big part of the next great Twins team, and they need them to start performing like it sooner rather than later.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
No. 1 Gift: A better run differential
Why? The Rangers were the AL’s best team according to regular season wins last year, but was that really the case? Despite winning 95 games, the Rangers only outscored opponents by eight runs. That seemed to haunt them in the playoffs, as the club was quickly dispatched by the Blue Jays. The Rangers will enter 2017 with a similar team, and should contend again, but only if there’s a correction to their run differential. If not, they could be one of the bigger disappointments next year.
No. 1 Gift: A Cubs World Series DVD
Why? The Cubs proved in 2016 that droughts don’t mean anything. The Mariners have never won a World Series. And while their 40-year old drought pales in comparison to what Indians’ fans have gone through, the Mariners currently hold the longest playoff drought. The team hasn’t played in the postseason since 2001. That’s 15 years! A Cubs World Series DVD might be excessive here. Seattle doesn’t need to win a championship. Merely making the postseason would be a reward these days.
No. 1 Gift: The White Sox’s list to Santa
Why? Jose Quintana to Houston just makes way too much sense. The team has already shown their willingness to go all-in, trading for Brian McCann and signing Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick. The offense is set. The pitching, on the other hand, needs help. If the Astros know exactly what Rick Hahn desires, maybe that will help them land the best pitcher on the trade market.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
No. 1 Gift: Whatever Mike Trout wants
Why? The Angels might be horrible, but at least they have Mike Trout. And when you have Mike Trout, you bend over backward to make him happy. Because the moment Mike Trout demands a trade, all you can do is weep. So if Mike Trout wants the Angels to buy him season tickets to Philadelphia Eagles games or demands they install an advanced doppler radar at the field so he can monitor the weather, they just have to do it. Mike Trout could go down as the best player of all-time. You wouldn’t want to be known as the team that had to trade him away.
No. 1 Gift: A stadium resolution
Why? Are the A’s ever going to get a new stadium? Every year, we get news that a resolution is coming, and then nothing happens. It’s been at least eight years now. We’ve been through two different commissioners. What the heck is going on? Does anyone care about the Athletics? How long before the second baseman takes the field up to his knees in raw sewage? Help, please.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
No. 1 Gift: Another ring for Bryce Harper
Why? Remember when Bryce Harper celebrated the Max Scherzer signing by proclaiming “where’s my ring?” Well, he managed to get one this offseason, marrying his long-time girlfriend in December. If the Nationals play their cards right, he might earn another before the year is out. With the trade for Adam Eaton, Washington is going all-out for 2017. It’s believed Harper may leave once he hits free agency following the 2018 season, and the Nationals are doing everything possible to ensure he gets that ring before that happens.
NEW YORK METS
No. 1 Gift: Cyborg pitching arms
Why? The Mets entered 2016 with one of the best pitching rotations in baseball. They will leave 2016 with that rotation in shambles. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz all underwent surgery during the year. Noah Syndergaard somehow avoided that, but spent most of the season pitching with bones spurs in his elbow. Zack Wheeler hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014 due to Tommy John surgery. Big Sexy Bartolo Colon left to go to Atlanta. Depending on young pitchers can be risky, and the Mets might be better off just putting cyborg arms on all their guys right now.
No. 1 Gift: Another dinger machine
Why? The Marlins’ main draw is the massive home run machine out in left field. Watching Giancarlo Stanton mash taters is fun and all, but we all know everyone is there to see that gaudy machine go nuts multiple times per game. With that in mind, maybe the club would like to build a massive strikeout machine behind home plate. Every time one of their pitchers strikes out an opponent, giant fish with baseball bats can fly around the machine, much to the delight of fans.
No. 1 Gift: Gift cards for airfare
Why? Everything the Phillies have done this offseason seems to indicate the club will once again sell off all their useful pieces this July. Jeremy Hellickson accepted his qualifying offer, Howie Kendrick and Clay Buchholz were acquired via trade and Joaquin Benoit was signed off the free-agent market. What do all those players have in common? Their contracts expire in November. The Phillies are likely a year away before all their youngsters can contribute in the majors and they know it. By stocking up on soon-to-be free agents, the team is going to make a lot of deals in July. Better stock up on airplane gift cards now.
No. 1 Gift: Real-life training points from MLB The Show 16
Why? In The Show’s “Road to the Show” mode, you create a young prospect, watching him get drafted and then work to get him to the big leagues. Along the way, you can improve your player’s attributes with training points. You can develop your young prospect hitter into a contact-oriented shortstop with a cannon arm, or a speedy center fielder who also has massive power. The Braves currently boast a bevy of young prospects who are close to the majors, but could still use some development in the minors. The only thing holding the team’s young core back at this point is minor improvements. That can happen with just a little more training.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
No. 1 Gift: Was left blank
Why? The Cubs won broke a 107-year drought and won the World Series in 2016. Kris Bryant took home the NL MVP award. Kyle Schwarber gave fans one of the best comeback stories in recent memory. The Cubs don’t need anything. Maybe some new socks? Everyone could use those.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
No. 1 Gift: More devil magic
Why? The Cardinals were a little short on devil magic last year. The team won 86 games, missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2010. For the first time in a while, the Cardinals’ devil magic ways seemed to abandon them. It didn’t fully disappear, though. Jedd Gyorko did smash 30 home runs. That actually happened. Still, injuries and ineffectiveness seemed to hold St. Louis back in 2016. If they want to compete with the dominant Cubs in the NL Central now, they are going to need their normal dose of devil magic to return this year. That means Gyorko again slams 30 dingers, Kolten Wong finds a way to hit .300 and some non-prospect you’ve never heard of debuts in May and contends for the Rookie of the Year award. Hey, it’s happened before in St. Louis. This is what they do.
No. 1 Gift: Ray Searage’s wand
Why? Prior to 2016, Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage seemed like a wizard straight out of Harry Potter (we’re guessing he’s a Gryffindor, even though he wears Hufflepuff colors). If the Pirates went out and picked up a questionable starter, Searage waved his wand and suddenly turned them into a borderline ace. Recent examples of Searage magic included: Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett, JA Happ and Edinson Volquez. In 2016, he must have lost his wand … or maybe the Whomping Willow smashed it up. Either way, the Pirates pitchers failed to come through last year. Hopefully, Searage can find a new wand and continue working his magic in 2017. If not, then we have to wonder whether his recent success was a fluke, and it would be a shame if Searage turned out to be a Muggle.
No. 1 Gift: A taker for Ryan Braun
Why? In 2016, Braun proved he was still an elite hitter. While his contact isn’t exactly team-friendly, there’s at least a chance he can live up to his lofty $20 million per year salary for at least another year or two. Problem is, his production isn’t exactly going to help the Brewers any time soon. Milwaukee is rebuilding, and could supplement their farm system by dealing Braun to a contender. It’s likely they’ve tried to accomplish that all winter, but failed to find a taker. Teams may be skeptical now, but that could change quickly if he comes up mashing in April.
No. 1 Gift: A support group for Joey Votto
Why? Joey Votto remains wonderful. Whether he’s playing the heel, hitting .300 or displaying the best plate discipline in the majors, Votto is incredibly fun to watch. His teammates … are not. The Reds are going to lose a lot of games in 2016, and Votto will likely churn out yet another exceptional, All-Star caliber season. All that losing could weigh on an elite hitter like Votto, so hopefully he can attend some meetings and remember what is was like to be a winner back in 2012 and 2013.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
No. 1 Gift: A healthy 25-man roster
Why? Los Angeles is just looking for a healthy 25-man roster. That doesn’t seem like a big ask, but consider what the team went through last year. The Dodgers set the major-league record for most players put on the disabled list in a single season in early September. Despite all the injuries, the team somehow won the NL West and made it to the playoffs. With some better injury luck, the club might actually have more than three reliable pitchers come October.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
No. 1 Gift:
A bullpen You know, Mark Melancon may not be enough, let’s still get more bullpen help
Why? The Giants blew an incredible 30 saves last year. They addressed that by signing Melancon. He’ll definitely help, but San Francisco might want to play it safe and bring in another useful arm to help in the late innings. You can never be too safe when it comes to relievers, and no one deserves to have flashbacks of those painful ninth-inning memories from 2016 ever again.
No. 1 Gift: A new rule that requires teams to play four outfielders
Why? By signing Ian Desmond, the Rockies now have four outfielders for three spots. The team is currently saying Desmond will play first base, but that seems like a waste of his athleticism. It’s just weird that a team would spend $70 million on a former shortstop and center fielder, and then just stick him at first. If they could play four outfielders at the same time, that would solve the issue. It’s probably more realistic to just trade someone to clear up a spot for Desmond, but what do we know.
No. 1 Gift: Old footage of Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller
Why? Greinke and Miller were supposed to form a dominant one-two punch at the top of the D-Backs’ rotation in 2016. Instead, both faltered. Miller was an absolute disaster, posting a 6.15 ERA over 20 starts. Greinke wasn’t as bad, though his struggles might be more concerning. The 33-year-old is still owed $175.5 million over the next five years. Both will need to discover whatever it was that made them dominant in past years if the Diamondbacks hope to jump back into contention any time soon. Studying old footage seems like a good place to start.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
No. 1 Gift: Someone who can post an ERA under 4.50. Anyone
Why? The entire Padres team looks pretty awful next season, but the rotation is especially concerning. As of right now, either Luis Perdomo, Jhoulys Chacin or Clayton Richard is going to start on opening day. That may not actually happen, but that’s only because San Diego is talking about bringing in Jake Peavy or Jered Weaver to top the rotation. Some of those players may have been promising back in 2009. That’s the nicest thing we can say about them.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –