The signing of C.J. Wilson might not give the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim the best starting rotation in the American League in 2012, but his arrival certainly made the Angels relevant again in the AL West. Along with Albert Pujols, Wilson will seek to reinvigorate a franchise that looked like it was three years behind the Texas Rangers but a few months ago.
Pitchers are unpredictable, and run prevention can be a strength for a given team in one season but a major weakness the next. Thence comes the baseball truism that one can never have enough pitching, and from that philosophy came at least six fascinating pitching acquisitions this winter:
– Wilson signed for $77.5 million over five years with the Angels.
– Yu Darvish merited a $112 million outlay from the Texas Rangers.
– The Washington Nationals dealt four of their top nine prospects to the Oakland Athletics for Gio Gonzalez.
– Mat Latos went to the Cincinnati Reds, who gave the San Diego Padres four very good players in return.
– Michael Pineda cost the New York Yankees their best offensive prospect since Robinson Cano.
– The Chicago Cubs signed Cuban defector Gerardo Concepcion, 19, for $7 million.
Each of those moves, plus many others, made waves during the Hot Stove season, and each made clear that a trend that is getting more pronounced in baseball seemingly by the day: Pitching costs. Big time.
Here are grades for each team's biggest pitching addition of the winter, keeping in mind that innings, in this day and age, are not cheap.