Reviewing Each MLB Team's Offseason, and Previewing Each Team's 2013

Jason LempertCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2013

Reviewing Each MLB Team's Offseason, and Previewing Each Team's 2013

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    It's been a wild ride this winter with big-name free agents signing their typical lucrative contracts, and teams making trades to potentially better themselves for the upcoming season (and possibly beyond).

    We now sit just a little more than a month away from Opening Day. So with that in mind, with the offseason dust just about settled, it's time to take a look at where each team sits with its roster.

    Let's recap each team's major moves this offseason and preview what their lineups and pitching rotations will look like in the season ahead. Keep in mind, as of the publishing of this article, free agent standouts Kyle Lohse and Jose Valverde (among a few others) still remain unsigned.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    The Arizona Diamondbacks pulled off the blockbuster trade of the new year. The Snakes sent prized young outfielder Justin Upton (along with third baseman Chris Johnson) to the Atlanta Braves. In return, they received a package including third baseman Martin Prado, right-hander Randall Delgado and three minor leaguers. 

    Though Upton's departure will leave the team with a little less thump in its lineup, the D-Backs are certainly not short in outfielders. In addition to 2012 holdovers Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra, the team signed Cody Ross to a three-year, $26 million contract. It seemed only a matter of time before one of their outfielders changed uniforms.

    Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks did make some other moves this winter. They swung a three-team deal with the Miami Marlins and the Oakland A's, netting themselves reliever Heath Bell and infielder Cliff Pennington in the process, while parting with yet another outfielder, Chris Young. Later, they took part in another three-team trade, this time of the Ohio variety. The deal with the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds saw the Snakes send top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer to the Tribe (along with a couple of relievers) and received a package that includes Lars Anderson, Didi Gregorius and Tony Sipp in return.

    They also brought in right-hander Brandon McCarthy on a two-year, $15.5 million deal. They kept one of their own as well, agreeing to a two-year extension with closer J.J. Putz. There were some supplemental signings as well, including Eric Chavez, Eric Hinske and Mark Teahen.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Adam Eaton

    3B - Martin Prado

    C - Miguel Montero

    1B - Paul Goldschmidt

    RF - Cody Ross

    LF - Jason Kubel

    2B - Aaron Hill

    SS - Cliff Pennigton

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Ian Kennedy

    Brandon McCarthy

    Trevor Cahill

    Wade Miley

    Randall Delgado/Patrick Corbin/Tyler Skaggs

Atlanta Braves

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    It had been a relatively and unusually quiet offseason for the Atlanta Braves. For a while, their biggest loss came at the end of the 2012 season when future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones said goodbye to the game.

    But the Braves responded by acquiring not one, but two Upton brothers. First, they got the free agent frenzy started when they signed outfielder B.J. Upton to a five year $75.25 million contract in November. Then, they were one of the teams eyeing the Diamondbacks and whether they were willing to deal the other Upton brother. Well, as it turns out, they were.

    The Braves acquired Justin Upton from the D-Backs in a package deal that also resulted in Martin Prado being shipped to the desert. The Braves all of a sudden have added another impact bat to their already deep lineup. 

    Other than changing the address of the Upton family, the Braves brought in Gerald Laird to back-up Brian McCann behind the plate. They also bulked up their already-intimidating bullpen by acquiring fireballer Jordan Walden from the Angels for Tommy Hanson.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    SS - Andrelton Simmons

    CF - B.J. Upton

    RF - Jason Heyward

    C - Brian McCann

    LF - Justin Upton

    1B - Freddie Freeman

    2B - Dan Uggla

    3B - Chris Johnson

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Kris Medlen

    Tim Hudson

    Mike Minor

    Paul Maholm

    Julio Teheran

Baltimore Orioles

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    Coming off their first playoff appearance in over a decade, many were expecting the Baltimore Orioles to be busy this winter. However, that has not exactly been the case. Aside from a couple of minor league deals and waiver claims, the O's have remained fairly quiet in the offseason frenzy. They are still targeting some remaining free agents and/or trade candidates, but their options are starting to wear thin.

    The team did make some noise by extending the contracts of GM Jim Duquette and manager Buck Showalter, the league's runner-up for Manager of the Year in 2012.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    LF - Nolan Reimold

    RF - Nick Markakis

    CF - Adam Jones

    1B - Chris Davis

    C - Matt Wieters

    SS - J.J. Hardy

    3B - Manny Machado

    DH - Wilson Betemit

    2B - Ryan Flaherty

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Jason Hammel

    Wei-Yin Chen

    Chris Tillman

    Miguel Gonzalez

    Brian Matusz/Dylan Bundy


Boston Red Sox

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    The Boston Red Sox suffered their worst season since 1965, finishing with a 69-93 record, good for last in the American League East. They quickly fired manager Bobby Valentine, and hired John Farrell, who used to be the Sox's pitching coach. But that wasn't the only move they made this offseason.

    Starting with re-signing David Ortiz to a two-year, $26 million contract, the Sox went on a small spending spree. Within less than two weeks, they signed catcher David Ross and outfielder Jonny Gomes to two-year deals. Then came the fun. Despite their apparent surplus of outfielders, they signed Shane Victorino to a three-year, $39 million contract.

    Then, they beefed up their pitching staff by signing reliever Koji Uehara to a one-year, $4.25 million deal and starter Ryan Dempster to a two-year, $26.5 million pact. And as if that wasn't enough, they swung a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates to acquire closer Joel Hanrahan. And they weren't done there.

    The Sox added depth to their infield by signing Stephen Drew to a one-year deal. And after about a month and a half of re-negotiations, they signed Mike Napoli to a one-year, $5 million contract (early in December, they had agreed on a three-year, $39 million contract, but after Napoli's medical records indicated a hip problem that spurred the Sox to alter the terms of the deal).

    And they may still not be done dealing. With the additions of Gomes, Victorino, Ross and Hanrahan, the Red Sox seem to have a surplus of outfielders, catchers and relievers. Don't expect this team to have a consecutive 90-loss season in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Jacoby Ellsbury

    RF - Shane Victorino

    2B - Dustin Pedroia

    DH - David Ortiz

    1B - Mike Napoli

    3B - Will Middlebrooks

    LF - Jonny Gomes

    C - Jarrod Saltalamcchia

    SS - Stephen Drew

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Jon Lester

    Ryan Dempster

    Clay Buchholz

    John Lackey

    Felix Doubront

Chicago Cubs

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    Contrary to the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago Cubs have been very active in the offseason. After finishing their third consecutive losing season (and first 100-loss season since 1966), the Cubs started their winter shopping with a buy-low approach.

    They added some starting pitchers to the fold with one-year deals to Scott Baker and Scott Feldman. Carlos Villanueva signed a two-year, $10 million deal as well. The Cubs also got their hands into the international signings, as they inked right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million deal. 

    They brought in Dioner Navarro to provide some catching depth and experience behind Wellington Castillo. And Nate Schierholtz brought his outfield experience to the Windy City on a one-year deal. 

    But then the Cubs made a splash. They seemingly came out of nowhere to sign right-hander Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52 million contract. And at the same time, they were courting fellow right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who instead returned to Detroit. Jackson, 29, immediately solidifies the Cubs' rotation for 2013 and beyond. With the holdovers from 2012, plus the myriad of additions for 2013, the Cubs are looking to once again be contenders in the NL Central.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - David DeJesus

    2B - Darwin Barney

    SS - Starlin Castro

    LF - Alfonso Soriano

    1B - Anthony Rizzo

    RF - Nate Schierholtz

    C - Wellington Castillo

    3B - Ian Stewart

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Matt Garza

    Edwin Jackson

    Jeff Samardzjia

    Scott Baker

    Scott Feldman/Travis Wood

Chicago White Sox

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    Last season, the Chicago White Sox made a bold move by appointing Robin Ventura as the team's new manager, with no Major League Baseball managerial experience. But the move wound up working out for the South Siders. The Sox finished the season three games behind the Tigers for tops in the division and were in first place as late as September 25. And after having a season in which you were the fourth-highest scoring team in the league, it's hard to find much to fix.

    As such, the White Sox were rather quiet this offseason. Their biggest move was possibly overpaying for Jeff Keppinger (three-year, $12 million contract). They also signed right-handed reliever Matt Lindstrom. 

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Alejandro De Aza

    SS - Alexi Ramirez

    RF - Alex Rios

    DH - Adam Dunn

    1B - Paul Konerko

    LF - Dyan Vicedo

    3B - Jeff Keppinger

    2B - Gordon Beckham

    C - Tyler Flowers

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Chris Sale

    Jake Peavy

    John Danks

    Gavin Floyd

    Hector Santiago

Cincinnati Reds

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    The Cincinnati Reds, coming off their division-winning 2012 season, have had themselves a quiet but effective winter. They re-signed outfielder Ryan Ludwick to a two-year deal. They also acquired their new leadoff hitter, Shin-Soo Choo, in a three-way deal with Arizona and Cleveland. 

    The Reds also added some spare parts through minor league deals, such as Armando Galarraga, Cesar Izturis and Corky Miller. Ultimately, the team is more-or-less the same as it was a season ago, which immediately puts them in the competitive set heading into 2013.

    The biggest move may be the impending switch to the rotation for left-hander Aroldis Chapman. The hard-throwing Cuban was the Reds' closer in 2012, saving 38 games and collecting 122 strikeouts in just 71 innings pitched. But there is a chance that the team will move Chapman into the rotation for 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Shin-Soo Choo

    SS - Zack Cozart

    1B - Joey Votto

    2B - Brandon Phillips

    RF - Jay Bruce

    LF - Ryan Ludwick

    3B - Todd Fraizer

    C - Ryan Hanigan

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Johnny Cueto

    Mat Latos

    Bronson Arroyo

    Homer Bailey

    Mike Leake/Aroldis Chapman

Cleveland Indians

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    The Cleveland Indians are aiming to compete in 2013. This offseason, they were uncharacteristically busy, spending money to transform themselves into contenders once again.

    Their biggest signings were the four-year, $56 million contract they handed out to Nick Swisher, and the four-year, $48 million deal that landed them Michael Bourn. Swisher will immediately give the Tribe the thump in the lineup they have been needing—the Indians were the lowest scoring team in the league not from Seattle. And Bourn fills two glaring holes—a leadoff hitter, and a center fielder.

    The Indians also added some solid pitching depth, including a 22-year-old top prospect. Trevor Bauer came over from the Diamondbacks in a three-team deal that also saw the Indians send Shin-Soo Choo to their cross-state rivals in return for Drew Stubbs. Bauer gives the team a young, controllable pitcher that has tremendous upside. 

    Also acquired was Brett Myers, who signed a one-year, $7 million contract. Myers has extensive experience as a starter and a closer. He figures to slide into the rotation for Cleveland. The Indians also found some depth through minor league deals, including Scott Kazmir, Ryan Raburn and Ben Francisco.

    And let us not forget their managerial acquisition, hiring two-time World Series winner Terry Francona to man the helm. Don't sleep on the Tribe in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Michael Bourn

    LF - Michael Brantley

    SS - Asdrubal Cabrera

    1B - Nick Swisher

    DH - Mark Reynolds

    C - Carlos Santana

    2B - Jason Kipnis

    RF - Drew Stubbs

    3B - Lonnie Chisenhall

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/221/13):

    Ubaldo Jimenez

    Justin Masterson

    Brett Myers

    Zach McAllister

    Trevor Bauer/Carlos Carrasco

Colorado Rockies

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    The biggest change the Colorado Rockies made this offseason is the man sitting in the manager's chair. Walt Weiss makes his debut as skipper with the club for which he played four seasons. He takes the lead on a team that finished third in the league in runs scored, and last in the Major Leagues in runs allowed. No surprise here, given the intricacies of playing at Coors Field.

    As far as on-the-field personnel, the Rockies will look generally the same as in 2012. They added some pitching depth through minor league deals (Chris Volstad, Miguel Batista and Manny Corpas). They still have some options in terms of free agent veterans, such as Derek Lowe and Carl Pavano

    Offensively, they have as solid a group of hitters as you're going to find. Of course, the pitching staff leaves a lot to be desired, and their home park will once again be a factor on both sides of the field.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Dexter Fowler

    3B - Chris Nelson

    SS - Troy Tulowitzki

    LF - Carlos Gonzalez

    RF - Michael Cuddyer

    1B - Todd Helton

    C - Wilin Rosario

    2B - Josh Rutledge

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Jhoulys Chacin

    Jorge De La Rosa

    Jeff Francis

    Juan Nicasio

    Drew Pomeranz/Tyler Chatwood/Miguel Batista/Chris Volstad

Detroit Tigers

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    There wasn't much for the Detroit Tigers to fix, coming off a trip to the World Series. They have the reigning league MVP (and Triple Crown winner), Miguel Cabrera. They have arguably the game's greatest pitcher, Justin Verlander. However, their trip to the World Series ended in futility, losing out to the Giants in four games.

    Much of this team will look the same in 2013. The major acquisitions the team made were signing Torii Hunter to a two-year, $26 million contract, and re-signing right-hander Anibal Sanchez to a five-year, $80 million deal. 

    The team may not be done yet, as they currently have rookie Bruce Rondon pegged as the closer to replace Jose Valverde. Rondon has never pitched in a Major League game, but possesses a ton of upside. The Tigers may want to find a suitable backup in case Rondon falters his first time out. Plus, there have been rumors swirling all winter long about Rick Porcello being available, while the team is searching for a shortstop.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Austin Jackson

    RF - Torii Hunter

    3B - Miguel Cabrera

    1B - Prince Fielder

    DH - Victor Martinez

    C - Alex Avila

    SS - Jhonny Peralta

    LF - Andy Dirks

    2B - Omar Infante

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Justin Verlander

    Max Scherzer

    Doug Fister

    Anibal Sanchez

    Rick Porcello/Drew Smyly

Houston Astros

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    The Houston Astros are in a rebuilding phase, that can not be argued. The biggest changes the club will see in 2013 is its logo, its manager and its division. The Astros are moving to the American League West this season, under new skipper Bo Porter.

    As far as the athletes go, the only Major League signings the 'Stros made were Carlos Pena and Jose Veras, each of whom signed to one-year deals. There were some notable minor league deals handed out, including Rick Ankiel and Erik Bedard. They also acquired Alex White in a deal with the Colorado Rockies, and claimed Phil Humber off waivers from the Chicago White Sox. But they may have made things even more difficult on themselves in 2013 by trading Jed Lowrie to the Oakland A's for a package of players "highlighted" by first baseman Chris Carter and right-hander Brad Peacock

    There's no doubt that 2013 will be a tough year in Houston. No team should want to face the Rangers and Angels 19 times a season. But when you have very little Major League experience on your roster, the challenges are even more difficult. ESPN's Buster Olney put it best (via MLBTradeRumors.com):

    Bud Norris’ $3MM salary now leads the Astros. That’s less than the average MLB salary and what Zack Greinke will earn in three weeks
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/02/trade-reaction-athletics-astros-deal.html#PORF5mGSKgqQjwqD.99 

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Justin Maxwell

    2B - Jose Altuve

    LF - J.D. Martinez

    DH - Carlos Pena

    1B - Brett Wallace

    3B - Matt Dominguez

    SS - Tyler Greene

    RF - Fernando Martinez

    C - Jason Castro

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Lucas Harrell

    Bud Norris

    Jordan Lyles

    Phil Humber

    John Ely/Alex White

Kansas City Royals

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    It was an interesting offseason for the Kansas City Royals. After years of futility (they haven't reached the playoffs since they won the World Series in 1985), the team has brought together some veteran leadership to surround their core of young talent. 

    For starters (pun intended), the Royals struck a deal with the Angels to acquire right-hander Ervin Santana. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. General Manager Dayton Moore boldly traded away budding young super prospect Wil Myers (amongst a package of prospects) to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handers James Shields and Wade Davis. They also re-signed Jeremy Guthrie to a three-year deal. Starting pitching had been the Royals' downfall the last few seasons, but that should all go by the wayside in 2013.

    And the minor league deals they made can't go unnoticed either. They were even able to get Miguel Tejada to come out of hiding. They also signed Chad Tracy, Endy Chavez, Xavier Nady, Dan Wheeler, George Sherrill and Willy Tavares to minor league deals. The Royals will be more than a spoiler in the AL Central this season, and within a few years could become legitimate contenders. 

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Lorenzo Cain

    SS - Alcides Escobar

    DH - Billy Butler

    1B - Eric Hosmer

    LF - Alex Gordon

    C - Salvador Perez

    3B - Mike Moustakas

    RF - Jeff Francoeur

    2B - Chris Getz

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    James Shields

    Jeremy Guthrie

    Ervin Santana

    Wade Davis

    Bruce Chen/Luke Hochevar

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    Well, the Angels did it again. Last year, they shocked the baseball world by signing slugger Albert Pujols to a mega 10-year, $240 million contract. They followed that up this year by signing outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million deal, seemingly coming out of nowhere to scoop up the former Texas Ranger.

    Adding Hamilton's bat to an already dominant lineup makes the Halos an even bigger threat in the AL West. But that wasn't the only move they made this winter. In an effort to fortify their bullpen, they signed closer Ryan Madson and lefty set-up man Sean Burnett. And GM Jerry Dipoto added to his rotation as well, signing Joe Blanton and acquiring Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson from the Mariners and Braves respectively.

    The Angels clearly were not content with a third-place division finish in 2012. They made waves again this offseason, and will look to trounce the competition in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Peter Bourjous

    LF - Mike Trout

    RF - Josh Hamilton

    1B - Albert Pujols

    DH - Mark Trumbo

    2B - Howie Kendrick

    C - Chris Iannetta

    3B - Alberto Callapso

    SS - Erick Aybar

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Jered Weaver

    C.J. Wilson

    Jason Vargas

    Tommy Hanson

    Joe Blanton

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Remember when the New York Yankees was the richest team in baseball? And remember when the National League West division was considered the weakest division in baseball? Well, times have changed. Now, there's a new beast in town, and it's the Los Angeles Dodgers. The new ownership group, spearheaded by Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten, have not been shy about spending money, and that shows in their 2013 offseason shopping.

    Already stacked with a crowded rotation, the Dodgers added arguably the number one free agent on the market this winter, right-hander Zack Greinke. The Dodgers gave the 29-year-old a hefty six-year, $147 million contract. But he isn't the only newcomer to the rotation. The Dodgers went back to the Japanese market and brought Hyun-Jin Ryu, a 25-year-old southpaw, out West with a six-year, $36 million deal. 

    They bolstered their bullpen as well by re-signing right-hander Brandon League and importing lefty J.P. Howell.

    The Dodgers are fierce in the NL West, and are out to improve on their 2012 second-place finish in the division. But rest assured, if results aren't in the Dodgers' favor, changes will happen.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    LF - Carl Crawford

    2B - Mark Ellis

    3B - Hanley Ramirez

    CF - Matt Kemp

    1B - Adrian Gonzalez

    RF - Andre Ethier

    3B - Luis Cruz

    C - A.J. Ellis

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Clayton Kershaw

    Zack Greinke

    Hyun-Jin Ryu

    Josh Beckett

    Chad Billingsley

Miami Marlins

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    Miami Marlins fans may want to skip over this page. 

    A complete 180 from an offseason ago, the Marlins overhauled the majority of their Major League talent to the Toronto Blue Jays. Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio all flew north-of-the-border. In return, the Marlins got a package full of young prospects, including infielder Adeiny Hechavarria and pitcher Henderson Alvarez. This move trimmed Miami's payroll from over $100 million to about $16-$20 million.

    The only Major League free agents that the Marlins signed this winter were Placido Polanco (one-year, $2.75 million contract) and former World Series hero, Juan Pierre (one-year, $1.6 million deal). They also signed notable names to minor league deals, such as John Maine, Chone Figgins, Casey Kotchman, Austin Kearns, Kevin Slowey and Kevin Kouzmanoff.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    LF - Juan Pierre

    SS - Adeiny Hechavarria

    1B - Logan Morrison

    RF - Giancarlo Stanton

    3B - Placido Polanco

    CF - Justin Ruggiano

    C - Rob Brantly

    2B - Donovan Solano

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Ricky Nolasco

    Jacob Turner

    Henderson Alvarez

    Nate Eovaldi

    Wade LeBlanc

Milwaukee Brewers

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    With most of their core pieces still intact after 2012, the Milwaukee Brewers were not really expected to do much this offseason (though an upgrade to the rotation would seem to be in order). And as such, the Brew Crew remained virtually quiet over the winter.

    They added a couple of lefties to the back of their their bullpen—Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Gonzalez. And other than some minor league deals, that's just about it for the Brewers' offseason. So while the Cubs and Reds improved, and the Cardinals still remain a perpetual threat, the Brewers remained at the status quo, which could pose a problem if they wish to compete in 2013.

    First baseman Corey Hart had knee surgery last month, which could sideline him for at least four months. Mat Gamel, who was tabbed to try and replace him, has endured his own knee injury, leaving first base a bit of an enigma for the Brewers. There are internal options, such as Alex Gonzalez, Bobby Crosby and Taylor Green, but the Brewers may decide to scrape the bottom of the free agent barrel to see what's left.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Carlos Gomez

    RF - Norichika Aoki

    LF - Ryan Braun

    3B - Aramis Ramirez

    2B - Rickie Weeks

    C - Jonathan Lucroy

    1B - Alex Gonzalez/Taylor Green

    SS - Jean Segura

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Yovani Gallardo

    Marco Estrada

    Chris Narveson

    Wily Peralta

    Mike Fiers

Minnesota Twins

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    It's not easy playing in the same division as the Detroit Tigers or the Chicago White Sox. It's even harder when the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals have vastly improved themselves. But for the Minnesota Twins, they seem more-or-less content with what they have heading into the 2013 season.

    The Twins have made just a few moves this offseason. They revamped the rotation a bit by signing right-handers Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey to one-year contracts, and Rich Harden to a minors deal.

    But this winter, they arguably lost more than they gained, at least for the immediate future. They traded away two of their talented outfielders, sending Ben Revere to the Philadelphia Phillies for Vance Worley and Trevor May, and Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for Alex Meyer. Worley is the only one of the three pitchers with Major League experience, and Meyer had his first pro-season in 2012.

    The Twins' offense is still pretty packed. But if their young pitching isn't able to live up, it could be another sub-par season in the Twin Cities in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Darin Mastroianni

    2B - Jamey Carroll

    C - Joe Mauer

    LF - Josh Willingham

    1B - Justin Morneau

    DH - Ryan Doumit

    3B - Trevor Plouffe

    RF - Chris Parlamee

    SS - Pedro Florimon

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Kevin Correia

    Vance Worley

    Scott Diamond

    Mike Pelfrey

    Liam Hendriks

New York Mets

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    Predictably, the New York Mets were rather quiet on the free agent market this winter. Still reeling from the effects of the Bernie Madoff debacle, coupled with some large contracts still on the books, the Mets had a tight budget from which to spend. Still, the low-budget moves they made seem to be for the best and may in fact make the team better than it was in 2012, both short-term and long-term.

    Their big splash was trading the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays (along with catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas). In return, they received super catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, as well as pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard. They also acquired John Buck in the deal to handle the catching duties until d'Arnaud is ready. 

    They recently signed Shaun Marcum to a one-year, $4 million contract. The 31-year-old right-hander was efficient for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012, posting a 3.70 ERA in 21 starts. He has been slightly prone to injury throughout his seven-year career, but when healthy, he keeps the ball in the yard and eats up innings. And they bolstered their bullpen with the signings of Brandon Lyon, LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchinson (the latter two were signed to minor league contracts).

    They came into the offseason with one of their goals being to improve their outfield. They were seriously considering signing speedy center fielder Michael Bourn. But they dragged their feet for too long (mostly due to the draft-pick compensation that went along with signing him), and the Indians scooped him up. The goal of an improved outfield has not come to fruition.

    Of course, the biggest move they made in terms of dollars was keeping one of their own for the foreseeable future. David Wright, who was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, signed an eight-year, $138 million contract extension that will keep him as the face of the franchise for likely his entire career.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    SS - Ruben Tejada

    2B - David Murphy

    3B - David Wright

    1B - Ike Davis

    LF - Lucas Duda

    C - John Buck

    RF - Marlon Byrd

    CF - Kirk Nieuwenhuis/Collin Cowgill

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Johan Santana

    Jon Niese

    Shaun Marcum

    Dillon Gee

    Matt Harvey

New York Yankees

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    Conspicuous by their absence in the offseason frenzy, the New York Yankees will open 2013 looking to stay under the luxury tax threshold. Thus, the team has made just a handful of minor moves, uncharacteristic for the team that has previously signed Alex Rodriguez to a record $275 million contract.

    In response to A-Rod's hip surgery—which could sideline him for the entire season—the Bombers signed former Red (and White) Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis to a one-year, $12 million contract. Other than that, the majority of their offseason spending went towards re-signing a number of their own players— Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Hiroki Kuroda all signed one year deals, and Ichiro Suzuki was brought back on a two-year contract.

    They also imported free-agent designated hitter Travis Hafner on a one-year, $2MM contract. He will likely split the DH duties with Matt Diaz (who was brought in on a minor league deal), in what would be a true lefty-righty platoon.

    There's no question the Yankees still have a formidable club. But there's also no arguing that this team is rapidly getting older, and could experience a disappointing season if their aging veterans are not able to contribute up to their standards in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    RF - Ichiro Suzuki

    SS - Derek Jeter

    2B - Robinson Cano

    1B - Mark Teixeira

    CF - Curtis Granderson

    3B - Kevin Youkilis/Alex Rodriguez

    DH - Travis Hafner/Matt Diaz

    C - Francisco Cervelli/Austin Romine/Chris Stewart

    LF - Brett Gardner

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    C.C. Sabathia

    Hiroki Kuroda

    Andy Pettitte

    Phil Hughes

    Ivan Nova

Oakland Athletics

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    After stunning the majority of baseball by winning the AL West in 2012, the A's were pretty silent during the offseason. Early in the winter, they swung a three-team deal with Arizona and Miami, netting the team centerfielder Chris Young in the process.

    They also got their hands into international free agency by signing Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima to a two-year, $6.5 million contract. The 30-year-old instantly slides in as the team's starting shortstop, after they included Cliff Pennington in the deal with Arizona, and Stephen Drew left for Boston as a free agent.

    The A's should be in the mix for the best in the West this year once again. But they will have their hands full with the Texas Rangers and Anaheim Angels seeking retribution, not to mention a much-improved Seattle Mariners team.

    Projected Starting Lineup

    CF - Coco Crisp/Chris Young

    SS - Hiroyuki Nakajima

    RF - Josh Reddick

    LF - Yoenis Cespedes

    DH - John Jaso

    C - Derek Norris

    1B - Brandon Moss

    3B - Josh Donaldson/Jed Lowrie

    2B - Jemile Weeks

    Projected Starting Rotation:

    Brett Anderson

    Bartolo Colon

    Jarrod Parker

    A.J. Griffin

    Drew Straily/Tom Millone

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Over the last few years, we've become accustomed to seeing the Philadelphia Phillies win. Up until last season, they had finished first in the NL East division each of the previous five seasons, and they hadn't finished less than second since 2003. That is, until 2012.

    Last year, the club finished with an even .500 record, their worst winning percentage since '02. But one could argue that the cause of their demise has more to do with an improved division (most notably the Washington Nationals), and not so much the talent on the roster. Still, GM Ruben Amaro has spent this winter making the moves he needed to make to solidify his ballclub for 2013.

    The Phils made two big splashes in the trade market, acquiring third baseman Michael Young from the Texas Rangers, and speedy outfielder Ben Revere from the Twins. But they also completed their roster by adding free-agent reliever Mike Adams and left-hander John Lannan. They also brought in outfielder Delmon Young on a one-year deal, but November ankle surgery could land him on the Disabled List to start the season.

    The Phillies still expect to be competitive in 2013. But the team is getting older, and injuries have been taking a toll. The Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals have bettered themselves since last year, and it should be another three-team dog fight for the top of the division in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    SS - Jimmy Rollins

    CF - Ben Revere

    3B - Michael Young

    1B - Ryan Howard

    2B - Chase Utley

    C - Carlos Ruiz

    LF - Dominic Brown

    RF - Laynce Nix

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Roy Halladay

    Cliff Lee

    Cole Hamels

    Kyle Kendrick

    John Lannan

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    The Pittsburgh Pirates were once again a surprise team in 2012—for most of 2012 that is. The Bucs were in first place in the NL Central as late as July 18, and were 16 games over .500 on August 8. Yet, a second-half swoon landed the team with another losing record (their 20th consecutive such record), and 18 games behind the first-place Reds.

    Still, there's much to be excited about in the Steel City in 2013. Andrew McCutchen is one of the most dynamic players in the game right now. They should get a full season from youngster Starling Marte. And Pedro Alvarez is coming into his own, after the first 30-home run season of his young career.

    And the additions the team made this winter, though small in comparison to the likes of the Los Angeles teams, will likely be a big help in 2013. Russell Martin will give the team a solid, veteran presence behind the plate—he signed a 2-year, $17MM deal. They signed left-hander Francisco Liriano to a two-year deal as well, giving them depth in the rotation.

    The Pirates play in a very tough division. But they have the pieces in place to at least be competitive in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    LF - Starling Marte

    2B - Neil Walker

    CF - Andrew McCutchen

    3B - Pedro Alvarez

    1B - Garrett Jones

    C - Russell Martin

    RF - Travis Snider

    SS - Clint Barmes

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    A.J. Burnett

    Wandy Rodriguez

    James McDonald

    Francisco Liriano

    Jeff Karstens

San Diego Padres

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    It's been a predictably quiet winter out in San Diego. The Padres, who finished 10 games below .500 in 2012, completed only one Major League signing to this point, re-signing Jason Marquis to a one-year, $3MM deal. They also acquired Tyson Ross, a former second-round draft pick, from the A's. And, they recently inked right-hander Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract, giving them some veteran depth in their rotation.

    The Padres will have another tough season in 2013, most likely, even if they get another MVP-caliber season from Chase Headley. They have some true talent in their lineup. But it will be difficult for them to match up to the division behemoths that are the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Cameron Maybin

    RF - Will Venable

    LF - Carlos Quentin

    3B - Chase Headley

    1B - Yonder Alonso

    C - Nick Hundley

    2B - Logan Forsythe

    SS - Everth Cabrera

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Edinson Volquez

    Clayton Richard

    Eric Stults

    Tyson Ross

    Freddy Garcia/Jason Marquis

San Francisco Giants

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    If you were expecting the San Francisco Giants to make any major moves this winter after winning the 2012 World Series, you've certainly been disappointed. But who could blame General Manager Brian Sabean? As the old adage goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And the Giants are definitely not a broken team.

    In fact, the only Major League signing the team made to a player that was not on the 2012 team was with Andres Torres (one-year, $2MM deal), and he played with the team from 2009-2011.

    The difference this year is, the competition has gotten stronger...namely the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants were able to thwart the Dodgers last year. But it will be a tall task to do it again in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Angel Pagan

    2B - Marco Scutaro

    3B - Pablo Sandoval

    C - Buster Posey

    RF - Hunter Pence

    1B - Brandon Belt

    LF - Gregor Blanco

    SS - Brandon Crawford

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Matt Cain

    Madison Bumgarner

    Tim Lincecum

    Ryan Vogelsong

    Barry Zito

Seattle Mariners

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    The Seattle Mariners are desperately trying to rid themselves of the "troubled team" label. After finishing 2012 with a 75-87 record, they haven't had a winning season since 2009, and haven't finished higher than third in the AL West since '07. But the M's have made a lot of moves this winter that should help them become a legitimate threat in the division.

    The biggest Achille's heal with the Mariners over the past few seasons has been their offense. They have scored the fewest runs in the American League each season since '09, and had the second-fewest in 2008. So, logically, GM Jack Zduriencik focused his offseason on finding bats. And bats he found.

    He swung deals with the Angels and the Nationals to acquire Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse respectively. They reunited themselves with outfielder Raul Ibanez, and added Jason Bay to the outfield mix as well. These acquisitions, combined with budding sluggers like Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley will definitely help the Mariners right the ship in 2013.

    The Mariners are also chock-full of young talent making their way through the farm system. For a look at MLB.com's look at their top prospects, click here—we could very easily see some of these youngsters in the big leagues in 2013.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Franklin Gutierrez

    2B - Dustin Ackley

    LF - Michael Morse

    DH - Kendrys Morales

    C - Jesus Montero

    1B - Justin Smoak

    3B - Kyle Seager

    RF - Michael Saunders

    SS - Brendan Ryan

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Felix Hernandez

    Hiashi Iwakuma

    Joe Saunders

    Blake Beaven

    Hector Noesi 

St. Louis Cardinals

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    It's been a strangely quiet offseason for the St. Louis Cardinals, coming off another playoff appearance in 2012. Of course, there isn't a whole lot the Cards are lacking heading into 2013, after finishing 88-74 and making it to the NLCS before losing to the eventual World Series-winning San Francisco Giants.

    They signed super-utility man Ty Wigginton to a two-year $5MM contract, and left-handed reliever Randy Choate to a three-year $7.5MM deal. And, other than recently adding infielder Ronny Cedeno to the fold, the team looks pretty much the same as it did a season ago (not including the impending loss of free-agent Kyle Lohse).

    They are anticipating not having Chris Carpenter pitch at all this season, but seem to be content with internal replacement options such as Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly.

    Still, the Red Birds expect to be competitive again in 2013, but they will have to deal with a division that includes an improved Chicago Cubs team, and no longer includes the division punching bags, the Houston Astros.

    Projected Starting Lineup:

    SS - Rafael Furcal

    CF - John Jay

    RF - Carlos Beltran

    LF - Matt Holiday

    C - Yadier Molina

    1B - Allen Craig

    3B - David Freese

    2B - Danny Descalso

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Adam Wainwright

    Lance Lynn

    Jamie Garcia

    Jake Westbrook

    Trevor Rosenthal/Joe Kelly/Shelby Miller

Tampa Bay Rays

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    The Tampa Bay Rays' offseason was punctuated by a bold trade completed with the Kansas City Royals. The Rays dealt frontline starter James Shields (along with fellow right-hander Wade Davis) to the Royals. In exchange, they received four prospects, including phenom Wil Myers, as well as pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery. 

    The Rays made other moves this winter, though not as prolific as the aforementioned trade. They re-signed reliever Kyle Farnsworth and DH Luke Scott. They also brought in Kelly Johnson to platoon at second base and outfield. 

    They also agreed to a six-year, $100MM contract extension with third baseman Evan Longoria, the face of the franchise. The Rays figure to be competitive once again in 2013. Though, it would have helped some if they were able to get one or two power hitters to hit behind Longoria. But with the reigning Cy Young Award winner at the top of their rotation, look for the Rays to contend for the AL East title.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    LF - Desmond Jennings

    2B - Kelly Johnson

    RF - Ben Zobrist

    3B - Evan Longoria

    DH - Matt Joyce

    1B - James Loney

    SS - Yunel Escobar

    C - Jose Molina

    CF - Sam Fuld

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    David Price

    Jeremy Hellickson

    Matt Moore

    Alex Cobb

    Jeff Niemann/Roberto Hernandez

Texas Rangers

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    If you're looking for a team that missed out on a number of opportunities this offseason, look no further than the Texas Rangers. They watched their best hitter depart via free agency to their division rivals (Josh Hamilton, $125MM deal with the Angels). They missed out on other free agent targets such as Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, not to mention trade target Justin Upton.

    Despite all of that, the Rangers still have a fearsome lineup and a rotation that demands attention as well. They added some thunder to their batting order, signing Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski each to a one-year deal. They also beefed up their bullpen by signing right-handers Joakim Soria and Jason Frasor.

    And in case the Rangers don't feel content, Kyle Lohse still remains a free-agent target, though they currently claim to have no interest in the right-hander. Plus, they have MLB.com's #1 prospect, infielder Jurickson Profar waiting in the wings. It ought to be a dog fight in the AL West this season, but count the Rangers in as part of the bout.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    SS - Elvis Andrus

    2B - Ian Kinsler

    RF - Nelson Cruz

    3B - Adrian Beltre

    DH - Lance Berkman

    C - A.J. Pierzynski

    1B - Mitch Moreland

    LF - David Murphy

    CF - Craig Gentry

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Matt Harrison

    Yu Darvish

    Derek Holland

    Alexi Ogando

    Martin Perez/Colby Lewis

Toronto Blue Jays

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    The Toronto Blue Jays have been the talk of the offseason. In the span of two high-profile trades, the Jays have propelled themselves into instant contention for 2013.

    First, they shocked the baseball world by acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck from the Miami Marlins for a package that included Adeiny Hechavarria, Yunel Escobar and Henderson Alvarez.

    Then, they acquired the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets in exchange for Buck, and prospects Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard.

    These deals, combined with the signings of Melky Cabrera along with role-players such as Mark DeRosa, Andy LaRoche, Henry Blanco and Maicer Izturis will help the Jays lose the label of "playing in the wrong division". They are ready to win in 2013, and have prepared themselves to do just that.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    SS - Jose Reyes

    LF - Melky Cabrera

    RF - Jose Bautista

    1B - Edwin Encarnacion

    3B - Brett Lawrie

    DH - Adam Lind

    C - J.P. Arencibia

    CF - Colby Rasmus

    2B - Emilio Bonifacio

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    R.A. Dickey

    Josh Johnson

    Mark Buehrle

    Brendan Morrow

    Ricky Romero

Washington Nationals

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    In case you haven't heard, the Washington Nationals are for real. The team from the Capital awoke in 2012 to win the NL East division, and garnered the franchise's first playoff appearance since 1981. And though their playoff run ended rather short (they lost to the Cardinals in the NLDS in stunning fashion), their 2012 campaign was impressive altogether.

    But if the Nationals were good in 2012, imagine what they could be in 2013. They should receive a full season of play from Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. They re-signed Adam LaRoche to a two-year deal, after his career-year. Their center field problem got solved when they snatched Denard Span away from the Minnesota Twins. They also bolstered their rotation and their bullpen by signing Dan Haren and Rafael Soriano respectively. 

    Depending on what happens with Gio Gonzalez, the team could look to add another starter to the rotation. But regardless, this team has all the makings of a gold standard in the National League. It will be fun to watch this team continue to win and develop at the same time for years to come.

    Projected Starting Lineup (as of 2/22/13):

    CF - Denard Span

    SS - Ian Desmond

    RF - Jayson Werth

    3B - Ryan Zimmerman

    1B - Adam LaRoche

    LF - Bryce Harper

    2B - Danny Espinosa

    C - Kurt Suzuki

    Projected Starting Rotation (as of 2/22/13):

    Stephen Strasburg

    Gio Gonzalez

    Jordan Zimmermann

    Dan Haren

    Ross Detwiler