MLB Free Agency 2013: 5 Teams Whose Offseason Will Haunt Them for Years
The 2013 MLB free agency period has certainly had its share of excitement. From players going to surprise destinations (Josh Hamilton) to others still waiting at home and wondering what happened (Rafael Soriano), the past two months have brought drama and intrigue.
Even the trade market has produced much turmoil and change.
Through it all, each team has transformed, for better or worse.
Here are five MLB teams who may look back at this offseason and regret their actions.
New York Mets
The New York Mets are hoping that prospect catcher Travis d'Arnaud was worth trading a Cy Young Award winner for.
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The New York Mets did make one signing of particular note this offseason. They inked star third baseman David Wright to an eight-year, $138 million extension.
They at least showed they can keep at least one star on board.
However, the Mets traded Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey along with catcher Josh Thole to the Toronto Blue Jays, getting back catcher John Buck, prospect catcher Travis d'Arnaud and pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
That could be of help to the Mets in the future, but it certainly does nothing for them now.
The Mets likely weren't going to be contending next season, not with their complete lack of activity on the free-agent market. Now, with Dickey out of the picture, they might have trouble getting back to the 74-win mark they achieved last season.
Even if d'Arnaud turns into an All-Star catcher and Syndergaard lives up to his promise, the Mets are woefully inadequate in the outfield and there isn't much hope on the horizon.
The Mets are simply acting like a small-market team right now. In the big market of New York, that attitude will alienate even more fans than the ones already staying away from Citi Field.
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Count me as one who has been largely unimpressed with the offseason moves made by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The three-team trade that netted the Diamondbacks reliever Heath Bell and utility infielder Cliff Pennington was just the first perplexing move. Bell was horrible in his lone season with the Marlins, posting a 5.09 ERA with just 19 saves in 73 appearances.
The Marlins picked up $8 million of the $18 million still owed to Bell, but that's still a big investment for a pitcher who will set up for J.J. Putz.
Pennington was literally a throwaway for the Oakland A's, who likely talked the Diamondbacks into acquiring him to complete the overall deal that sent center fielder Chris Young to Oakland.
The trade that netted shortstop Didi Gregorius was another curious transaction. The D-Backs "settled" for Gregorius after failing in previous efforts to acquire either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar from the Texas Rangers.
In the process, they gave up on promising pitching prospect Trevor Bauer. If Bauer ends up being the real deal for the Cleveland Indians, this could be a trade that goes down in infamy.
A good pickup for the D-Backs was the signing of Brandon McCarthy, making only a two-year investment for a pitcher with shoulder issues.
They then surprised the baseball world with the signing of Cody Ross to a three-year deal. Now, the Diamondbacks could be looking to deal away Jason Kubel or Justin Upton, depending on what source you happen to follow.
The Diamondbacks certainly made a lot of noise. But in the end, that noise could end up sounding like fingernails on a chalkboard.
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Thus far, the Texas Rangers have lost a whole lot more than they've gained.
Gone are Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young.
In are A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman.
The bullpen has been reinforced with the additions of Joakim Soria, Jason Frasor and Josh Lindblom.
However, the offense has been seriously compromised.
The Rangers paid $10 million for a player in Berkman who appeared in only 32 games last season. He's coming off two surgeries to his right knee, and at 37 years old there's certainly no guarantee the knee will hold up for an entire season, even if he only sees time as a designated hitter.
General manager Jon Daniels spoke in cryptic terms regarding Berkman's health.
“If he’s on the field, if he’s healthy, he’s going to produce, he’s going to perform. I’m very confident,” Daniels said. “He’s a really good fit, and so I think from that standpoint, we were willing to take a little bit of the risks on the health side.”
Wow, Jon. That was a lot of ifs.
In addition, Pierzynski if coming a career year in terms of production, but can he repeat his performance at the age of 36?
The Rangers still don't have the top-shelf starter they've been seeking for the past three months. Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando and Martin Perez/Robbie Ross make up the starting rotation at this point. Colby Lewis and Nefali Feliz will likely both be sidelined for at least the first two months of the season.
Daniels can put whatever spin he wants on his team's chances for the 2013 season. It doesn't take away from the fact that thus far, this has been a failed offseason.
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The Miami Marlins will be taking the field with a minor-league team in 2013.
Well, no, that's not entirely correct.
However, their fanbase might feel that way after all that's transpired in South Beach since last July.
Out are Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, Jose Reyes, Edward Mujica, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck and Heath Bell.
In are—well, a whole lot of kids.
But hey, Giancarlo Stanton will be the cleanup hitter.
Los Angeles Dodgers
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The Los Angeles Dodgers will take the field in 2013 with what will be the highest payroll of any team in MLB history.
How will that payroll affect them in about five or six years?
The Dodgers now have quite a few players—Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier—signed for several seasons. Crawford, Gonzalez, Greinke and Ethier will all be in their mid-30s when they're nearing the end of those contracts.
All but Ethier will be making a minimum of $20 million.
We all know that everyone lives up to $100 million contracts, right?
The pain may not be felt now, but in just a few years the Dodgers may be in a hole they wish they never dug.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.