Winners and Losers of the MLB Offseason Entering the New Year
There have been a number of major moves during the first part of the 2013 MLB offseason, and entering the new year, there are certainly a number of teams that can be labeled either winners or losers.
Multiple blockbuster trades have been pulled off, and many teams have been able to fill their needs by turning to the free-agent market.
Some of these moves look outstanding at the moment, while others are questionable at best. It will be interesting to see how these players perform with their new teams in 2013.
Winner: Toronto Blue Jays
Without a doubt, the biggest winner of the MLB offseason entering the New Year is the Toronto Blue Jays. They entered the offseason as a middling team in the American League East, and now, at least on paper, they appear to be the favorites to win the division.
Two major trades allowed the Blue Jays to have an outstanding offseason. Toronto took advantage of a Miami Marlins fire sale and picked up Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck.
Following that trade, the Blue Jays made a deal for reigning National League Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey to round out their starting rotation.
In addition to this, they also made an interesting signing by picking up Melky Cabrera.
While Toronto dealt a good part of their farm system, they have put together a team that is prepared to win now.
Loser: Miami Marlins
The 2013 season will be a very long one for the Miami Marlins after they traded away a number of their top players. In their mega-deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Marlins were unable to get a return that would really justify making that type of move.
Additionally, the Marlins dealt away Heath Bell and only received Yordy Cabrera in return.
Miami did make one smart move this winter by signing Placido Polanco, but that does not cancel out the impact of their fire sale.
Now the team is left with a disgruntled Giancarlo Stanton and not much else.
Winner: New York Mets
Trading away a Cy Young winner is never an easy decision, but the New York Mets and GM Sandy Alderson recognized it was the right move for the team's future as long as they could get the right deal.
New York did just that, as they were able to pick up top prospects Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, as well as John Buck and Wuilmer Becerra, from the Toronto Blue Jays.
In addition to this great deal, the Mets picked up some outfield depth by pulling off a trade for Collin Cowgill.
Loser: Texas Rangers
It seems that almost every big-name free agent whom the Texas Rangers have been linked to has signed elsewhere. The team has lost some significant power from their team this winter as well with the departures of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli.
Even though the Rangers have been able to sign A.J. Pierzynski and Joakim Soria to deals this winter, they have not found a big impact player to push them to the next level. The team also sent Michael Young to the Phillies for two relievers.
Winner: Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays were in an interesting position because of all of their starting pitching depth. They had the luxury of dealing away one of their top starters.
Tampa Bay made the decision to send James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals, and they got a great package in return. Top prospects Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery were all sent back to the Rays along with Patrick Leonard.
While this move may make it a little harder for the Rays to win the American League East in 2013, they are certainly still contenders. What the move does do is put them in a better position to compete in the long-term.
In addition to this deal, the Rays also picked up Yunel Escobar from the Miami Marlins and they signed James Loney.
Loser: Arizona Diamondbacks
This offseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks made a pair of interesting deals. As part of a three-way deal, they sent Chris Young to the Oakland Athletics and received Cliff Pennington from Oakland and Heath Bell from the Miami Marlins. The Diamondbacks sold low on Young in part because of their outfield depth.
Later in the offseason, the Diamondbacks were a part of another three-team trade. In this deal, the Diamondbacks received Didi Gregorius, Lars Anderson and Tony Sipp, but they dealt away Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Brian Shaw.
The most interesting move of the Diamondbacks offseason was their signing of Cody Ross. Arizona already had more outfielders than they knew what to do with before they made this signing, and as a result, they have an even bigger logjam in their outfield.
Winner: Minnesota Twins
One of the areas that the Minnesota Twins were lacking in was starting pitching. The team decided to use their outfield depth to help acquire starting pitchers who will help them rebuild.
By dealing Denard Span to the Washington Nationals, the Twins were able to pick up Alex Meyer, the 50th-best prospect in the game, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.
Following that deal, the Twins traded Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies. In return for Revere, the Twins received Vance Worley, a starter who can immediately make an impact for them, and Trevor May, a pitcher who is a few years away from the big leagues.
Loser: Los Angeles Dodgers
While some people may label the Los Angeles Dodgers as a winner because they picked up the top pitcher on the market, that is not the case here. The Dodgers significantly overpaid for Zack Greinke by giving him a six-year, $147 million deal.
Greinke was paid like he was one of the top two pitchers in the major leagues when that is not close to being the case. Over the past three seasons, Greinke has a 3.83 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Those numbers are not worth over $24 million a year.
In addition to Greinke, the Dodgers signed Hyun-Jin Ryu. It will be interesting to see how the South Korean starter will adjust to the MLB.
Even after a big offseason, the Dodgers' big-spending ways may not have been enough to push them past the San Francisco Giants.
Winner: Washington Nationals
Coming off of a 98-win season, the Washington Nationals were looking for ways that they could improve and reach the World Series. They decided to make two big moves to attempt to reach this goal.
Washington signed Dan Haren to a one-year contract worth $13 million to fill out the rest of their starting rotation. At the least, Haren will be an improvement over Edwin Jackson, the man he is replacing.
Additionally, the Nationals added to their outfield by trading for Denard Span. While Alex Meyer has a lot of potential, dealing him for Span was the right move since the Nationals are ready to win now.
Loser: Colorado Rockies
Starting pitching has been an area of concern for the Colorado Rockies, and the team has not done much to address the situation.
Colorado re-signed Jeff Francis and picked Danny Rosenbaum in the Rule 5 draft, but they have not picked up a starter who can really help them as they rebuild.
The Rockies traded away two starters, Alex White and Alex Gillingham, to the Houston Astros for Wilton Lopez. This move would have made sense if the Rockies were contenders, but given the current state of their team, it would have made more sense to hang on to the young starters.
Colorado also dealt one of their relievers, Matt Reynolds, to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Ryan Wheeler. During his minor league career, Wheeler has been a .313 hitter, so this could turn out to be a good deal for the team.