MLB Free Agency: 7 Teams That Haven't Done Enough in Offseason
These seven teams sat on their hands all MLB offseason, and if they don't rise up soon, they'll live a long, slow regret come summer.
All the possible permutations of trades, signings and re-signings, and these guys haven't even gotten their feet wet. Where's the urgency? Any signs of life in those luxury boxes?
With the offseason hourglass about to hit empty, chances are that the time to move has already passed.
And although it's true that you can't win and lose championships in winter, these teams are doing their best to prove that adage wrong.
Don't let their 15-game cushion in the AL Central last year fool you. The Detroit Tigers have their flaws.
GM Dave Dombrowski hasn't offered solutions for platoons at second and third base, and the corner outfield spots remain unsettled.
Even more disheartening, Dombrowski hasn't found help for Justin Verlander atop a pitching staff that finished a tick above league average in runs allowed last year despite Verlander's super-heroics.
Detroit is still in position to move star pitching prospect Jacob Turner for Cubs ace Matt Garza. With the rest of his roster built to compete over the next two to five seasons, it's Dombrowski's best move.
If he doesn't pull the trigger, Detroit remains a second-tier contender.
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants could have taken care of future or present this offseason, but so far have done neither.
As for next year, it looks like they're banking on the full-strength return of Buster Posey to bolster an offense that finished second-to-last in baseball last year in runs scored. Either that or they've confused new center fielder Melky Cabrera for Miguel.
Then there's the future, a prospect that grows colder every time Giants fans remember that Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are another year closer to free agency.
Treading on the obvious here, but keeping both in San Francisco gives this team their best chance to stay competitive long-term and make a run at a second World Series.
Toronto Blue Jays
One of the busiest offseasons in recent Blue Jays history resulted in no major action on the part of GM Alex Anthopoulos.
Early on, Toronto was linked to trade for Joey Votto. No dice. And now that Cincinnati moved Votto's heir apparent, Yonder Alonso, to San Diego in exchange for Mat Latos, that prospective deal is dead.
Toronto appeared to break through when false reports circulated that they'd won the bidding for Japanese ace Yu Darvish. Turned out to be a busted coverage.
The Blue Jays bounced back as a chic pick to win the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, but if the rumor mill is any indication, they're losing momentum in that pursuit as well.
Toronto won't regress next year because Anthopoulos failed to act, but one has to wonder if the Blue Jays will get another chance like this—an offseason market without the Yankees and Red Sox is the AL East version of Halley's Comet.
This was their chance to move. The Blue Jays had the stage to themselves this year, and their performance was underwhelming.
Everyone else in the AL West is going one way or the other, and the Seattle Mariners keep running in place.
While the Angels and Rangers stockpile talent and the Oakland A's commit to some bombed-out version of re-building, Seattle has walked a crooked line. They refuse to trade ace Felix Hernandez but haven't done anything to improve the team around him.
It's possible GM Jack Zduriencik has his sites set on Prince Fielder. Maybe he's more focused on shopping Chone Figgins' deal.
Whatever it is, we haven't seen signs of any strategy, and the direction of this organization remains suspect.
After watching their team stumble down the stretch and finish with the American League's fifth-worst slugging percentage, many Cleveland Indians fans expected the club would add some punch to the offense.
Those expectations went unmet, and Cleveland has done little but side shuffle this offseason.
Re-signing Grady Sizemore and trading for Derek Lowe are both moves with upside, but they're hardly the seismic shifts the Indians need to close the gap in the AL Central.
Right now, Cleveland is main threat to the Tigers in that division, and they've passed on a crucial opportunity to apply some pressure.
So far, in his brief tenure as Baltimore Orioles general manager, Dan Duquette has danced around the big questions.
What to do about Adam Jones? How about Jeremy Guthrie? Are they serious about Prince Fielder? Is it time to find new homes for the likes of Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman?
Moves like signing Tsuyoshi Wada don't do much toward addressing those core issues.
From all outward appearances, the Baltimore Orioles are miles behind the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays in the never-ending quest to outsmart the Yankees and Red Sox. Bridging that gulf requires bold action, and I haven't seen that yet from the Orioles' front office.
I come with a message for Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren:
Wake up! Do something! Frank, buddy, your team was this close to the playoffs last year. Now is not the time to stand idle and let your rivals lap you. You have the assets to make this team better. Start putting them to use.
No team has a better impetus to make a trade this offseason than the Atlanta Braves, and no team has more tradable parts. The Braves have the most obvious pitching surplus in all baseball, yet they haven't used that bumper crop to improve an offense that posted a .300 OBP during an epic, final-month collapse.
The Braves could stand idle and make the playoffs with some better luck and improvement from key players like Jason Heyward, but why take that chance?
The Braves can get better and they're in a position where a few games better makes a world of difference. Someone in Atlanta make some noise.