5 MLB Offseason Moves That Should Have Been
As the MLB offseason pushes to a close, it's been an active winter of free-agent signings and blockbuster trades.
While there have been a number of terrific moves that worked out well for both sides, there are also a handful of moves that should have been made but never came to fruition.
Here is a look at five MLB offseason moves that should have been made for the good of the teams involved in 2013.
SS Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians) for Prospects (Cardinals)
Expected to sell off a number of their veteran pieces this offseason, the Indians instead ended up as aggressive buyers, adding Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers.
Those moves will make them a better team in 2013, but for the long haul they likely would have been better off moving guys like Cabrera, Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson and Chris Perez.
Cabrera was the most attractive trade chip, as there is always a demand for shortstops, and one team who could have been a great fit is the Cardinals.
With the aging Rafael Furcal manning the position, and Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso backing him up, there is plenty of room to upgrade from an offensive standpoint.
A package built around first-base prospect Matt Adams and pitching prospects such as Joe Kelly or John Gast, along with a low-level prospect or two, may have been enough to land him.
Tigers Sign RP Rafael Soriano
There is nothing wrong with turning to in-house options at the closer's role when the incumbent leaves in free agency, but for a team like the Tigers with World Series aspirations, it may be a risky move.
Flame-throwing prospect Bruce Rondon is the favorite to win the job out of camp, and he'll have to beat out Joaquin Benoit, Al Alburquerque and Octavio Dotel.
Though he came at the cost of a first-round draft pick, signing the market's top relief arm in Rafael Soriano may have been the best course of action for the Tigers.
Soriano stepped in for the injured Mariano Rivera last season and saved 42 games with a 2.26 ERA and 9.2 K/9. He also has a 45-save season to his credit as a member of the Rays in 2010.
He ended up signing a two-year, $28 million deal with the Nationals, and that would have been money well spent for Detroit.
SP Matt Garza (Cubs) for 3B Mike Olt (Rangers)
At the deadline last season, Cubs right-hander Matt Garza was among the most coveted arms on the market, and the Rangers were one team with interest.
In the end, he suffered an injury just before the deadline and stayed put in Chicago. As a free agent at season's end though, he's a fairly safe bet to be moved at some point this season.
As the Cubs continue to rebuild, one significant area of need is third base, where the uninspiring platoon of Luis Valbuena and Ian Stewart will man the position this coming season.
Though he doesn't have the value he did at the deadline given this impending free agency, the Rangers have missed out on their top pitching targets and would no doubt benefit from adding him.
With the signing of Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre manning third base, Mike Olt is likely to open the season in the minors. In Chicago, he'd be the present and future third baseman and a welcome power bat in the lineup.
Giants Sign LF Nick Swisher
Last season, the Giants once again leaned heavily on their pitching staff and the bat of catcher Buster Posey in the middle of the lineup. It worked out in the end, but a little more offensive firepower could go a long way.
Posey will once again be joined in the middle of the lineup by Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence, and the team re-signed Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro.
The biggest offensive hole seems to be in left field, where Gregor Blanco (.676 OPS in 2012) will once again man the position alongside free-agent signing Andres Torres (.664 OPS).
Many expected the team to make a run at a free-agent bat, with Nick Swisher perhaps the top option to serve as a middle-of-the-order run producer. His addition would have made an average offense a plus and given the Giants a better chance at defending their title.
SS Elvis Andrus (Rangers) for RF Justin Upton (Diamondbacks)
Entering the offseason, shortstop was the Diamondbacks biggest area of need, and while they've added Cliff Pennington at the big league level and Didi Gregorius as a long-term option, the team could certainly have done better to address the position.
The team finally found a trade partner for Justin Upton in the Braves, but a popular early-season rumor was Upton to the Rangers for shortstop Elvis Andrus.
The Rangers were unwilling to part with either Andrus or prospect Jurickson Profar, so the Diamondbacks were unwilling to pull the trigger on a deal.
However, had they been able to acquire Andrus, it likely would have meant keeping prospect Trevor Bauer, who was traded for Gregorius.
In the end, the Andrus-over-Pennington upgrade would have been significantly bigger for their 2013 success than the Martin Prado-over-Chris Johnson upgrade at third base.
The Rangers, on the other hand, have failed to acquire a replacement run producer for Josh Hamilton, with A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman ranking as their major acquisitions. They would have been better suited moving Andrus, giving Profar the starting shortstop job and slotting Upton in the middle of their lineup.