Every MLB Team's Best and Worst Offseason Move

Doug MeadCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2013

Every MLB Team's Best and Worst Offseason Move

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    With spring training now in full effect, the MLB offseason is now officially in the books.

    With the exception of Kyle Lohse and a few other lower-impact free agents, each team has completed revamping their rosters for the 2013 season.

    Experts and pundits have weighed in with their thoughts on how each team fared this winter. As they always do, opinions were varied.

    Some transactions were hailed as game-changers for some teams. Others left many scratching their heads in wonderment.

    Here then is a breakdown of each MLB team's best and worst offseason move. Also included will be trades and in some cases non-activity. Teams who passed on signing particular players will also be part of the criteria.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Eric Chavez

    Third baseman Eric Chavez shined in a limited role for the New York Yankees last season, hitting .281 with 16 home runs and 37 RBI. His .845 OPS was his best since the 2004 season as well.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Chavez to a one-year, $3 million deal this offseason. While he's 35 years of age, Chavez still plays with passion and desire, and he will give the Diamondbacks a solid defensive replacement at third base along with a potent left-handed bat off the bench.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Trading for Heath Bell

    Closer Heath Bell went through a miserable season last year for the Miami Marlins, twice getting demoted and posting a 5.09 ERA in 73 appearances. The Diamondbacks traded for Bell in October.

    While the Marlins are picking up $8 million of the $18 million still owed to Bell over the next two seasons, investing $10 million for a pitcher who will be in an unfamiliar role behind J.J. Putz and expecting a turnaround was a big gamble.

Atlanta Braves

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Justin Upton

    The Atlanta Braves already had one Upton on the books when they opted to trade for the other.

    With B.J. signed to a deal to roam center field for the next five seasons, the Braves weren't content with just one family member.

    They dealt the popular Martin Prado to the Arizona Diamondbacks for younger brother Justin, also picking up third baseman Chris Johnson in the process.

    Justin gives the Braves a formidable trio in the outfield along with brother B.J. and Jason Heyward. Part of that outfield promise was seen during Monday's exhibition game with the Miami Marlins on Monday.

    In the fourth inning, Heyward led off the inning with a solo home run to right field. Justin Upton followed up with a mammoth shot to left field that traveled an estimated 450 feet-plus.

    Two batters later, older brother B.J. Upton nearly matched him, hitting a drive to the base of the left field wall for a double. He followed up with a steal of third base.

    The combination of power and speed gave fans an idea of what to expect from their dynamic young outfield.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Trading Away Martin Prado

    While acquiring Upton was a terrific move for the Braves, it also hurt to sacrifice popular left fielder Martin Prado.

    The Braves lost a true leader in the clubhouse and a solid No. 2 hitter. While he would have been an expensive proposition next season for the Braves as a free agent, Prado was one of the most widely respected players for his example on the field and his talent.

    As the saying goes, to get something you have to give up something in return. Prado was the sacrifice, and his leadership and abilities will be sorely missed in Atlanta.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Best Offseason Move: Re-Signing Nate McLouth

    Last September, outfielder Nate McLouth provided a huge lift for the Orioles in the push for their first postseason berth in 15 years.

    Filling in for the injured Nolan Reimold in left field down the stretch, McLouth hit .280 in the final month of the regular season, providing timely hits and lending a huge hand for the playoff-bound O's.

    The Orioles re-signed McLouth this offseason for one year and $2 million. He will likely see quite a bit of time in left field once again along with the returning Reimold. He'll also provide insurance in right field for Nick Markakis and give manager Buck Showalter a steady and consistent presence on the bench.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Not Re-Signing Joe Saunders

    It seemed like the Orioles were more than interested in re-signing Saunders, who was terrific for Baltimore down the stretch and won their first postseason game since 1997.

    However, they never pulled the trigger on the deal, and Saunders signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Seattle Mariners.

    However, the Orioles were unwilling to sign Saunders for longer than one year, preferring to go instead with a younger core of pitchers that includes Steve Johnson, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman.

    The Orioles have several prospects primed to make an impact, but passing on a solid veteran presence could be a major mistake.

Boston Red Sox

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Koji Uehara

    Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington dipped into the free-agent pool in early December with the hopes of bolstering a shaky bullpen.

    He came away with Japanese right-hander Koji Uehara, signing him for one year and $4.25 million.

    While Uehara missed time in 2012 with a right lat muscle strain, he was nonetheless brilliant, posting a 1.75 ERA and holding opposing batters to a .160 batting average.

    Uehara will serve as a great presence in the seventh and eighth innings for the Red Sox in support of setup man Andrew Bailey and closer Joel Hanrahan.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Shane Victorino

    The Red Sox were in need of outfielders for the 2013 season. the signing of Victorino helped fill a void, but at a vastly overpaid rate.

    Victorino hit just .255 last season, registering career lows with a .321 on-base percentage and .704 OPS.

    It was against right-handed pitching that was the main concern. Victorino managed just a .229 average against righties last year.

    The numbers suggest more of a platoon situation rather than a full-time outfielder with a fat $39 million contract.

Chicago Cubs

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Scott Hairston

    The New York Mets were unwilling to bring back outfielder Scott Hairston on anything longer than a one-year contract.

    The Chicago Cubs were only too happy to oblige.

    Hairston signed a two-year, $5 million deal, providing the Cubs with a solid right-handed bat who can platoon with Nate Schierholtz in right field and occasionally spell Alfonso Soriano in left.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Scott Feldman

    The Cubs also signed free-agent pitcher Feldman to a one-year, $7 million contract. The signing was a significant overpay, considering that Feldman posted a 5-11 record and 5.48 ERA in 21 starts last season for the Texas Rangers.

    Going from one hitter-friendly park to another certainly won't be of much benefit for Feldman or the Cubs. While the signing was clearly a stop-gap measure, the Cubs could have fared much better than Feldman.

Chicago White Sox

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Jeff Keppinger

    The Chicago White Sox made very few moves over the offseason. Signing third baseman Keppinger represented their biggest transaction. It was also their best move.

    Keppinger gives the White Sox a solid No. 2 hitter to bat behind Alejandro de Aza and in front of Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Alex Rios.

    Keppinger absolutely crushes left-handed pitching, hitting a league-best .376 against southpaws last year.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Not Re-Signing A.J. Pierzynski

    The White Sox lost a potent right-handed bat with the departure of Pierzynski.

    While advancing age and declining defensive skills don't help his cause, the White Sox will be hard-pressed to replace Pierzynski's offense behind the plate.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Shin-Soo Choo

    With Cincinnati Reds leadoff hitters hitting a paltry .208 with a .254 on-base percentage last season, it was easy to see what their biggest offseason need was.

    They filled that need with the acquisition of Choo.

    Choo hit .310 with a .389 OBP from the top spot in the batting order last year for the Cleveland Indians. While he'll be playing out of position in center field for the Reds, their lineup becomes even more potent with a vastly improved leadoff hitter.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: None

    There are some who might question moving closer Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation, but I'd hardly call that a bad offseason move at this point.

    If Chapman succeeds like Chris Sale last year for the Chicago White Sox, the Reds will be even more invincible in the NL Central Division in 2013.

Cleveland Indians

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Trevor Bauer

    The Cleveland Indians made a bold move this offseason in acquiring Bauer. The third overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft fell out of favor with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and general manager Chris Antonetti didn't hesitate to come calling.

    The Tribe also picked up solid veteran bullpen arms in Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers, bolstering a bullpen that already featured Chris Perez, Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith.

    Bauer has a multiple-pitch offering that is electric and has him projected to be a top-of-the-rotation starter for years to come. He'll need to develop better plate command, an issue that plagued him at times last year, especially during his short major-league stint with the D-Backs.

    Nonetheless, a great pickup for the future by the Indians.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Not Re-Signing Travis Hafner

    There's not much to dislike about what the Indians did to rebuild this offseason. However, I would have liked to have seen them try to bring back designated hitter Travis Hafner for depth.

    Hafner, who signed with the New York Yankees for one year and $2 million, would have gladly come back to the team he called home for 10 seasons. Considering what he ended up signing for, he would have been an inexpensive option off the bench for manager Terry Francona.

Colorado Rockies

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Wilton Lopez

    The Colorado Rockies looked towards the future with the acquisition of Lopez. With closer Rafael Betancourt in the final year of his contract, Lopez will be the heir apparent at the end of the season.

    Lopez posted a sparkling 2.17 ERA in 64 games last year for the Astros, posting 10 saves as the closer following the trade of Brett Myers.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Re-Signing Jeff Francis

    The Rockies made virtually no moves to sign anyone of note this offseason, but they did bring Francis back on a one-year, $1.5 million deal.

    Francis has been nowhere near effective since returning from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Francis sat out the entire 2009 season and has posted a 16-29 and 5.08 ERA in the three years since.

Detroit Tigers

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Torii Hunter

    It's pretty obvious that the Detroit Tigers are in win-now mode. They took one step closer to realizing their goal with the signing of Hunter.

    Hunter gives the Tigers a terrific clubhouse presence along with a bat that can still deliver at the age of 37. Hunter hit a career-high .313 last year for the Los Angeles Angels.

    He also improves the outfield defense and could serve as a mentor for center fielder Austin Jackson, aiding in his continuing development.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Anibal Sanchez

    For the short-term, signing Sanchez made sense considering what he delivered in the final month of the regular season and the postseason for the Tigers last season.

    But five years and $80 million? Seriously?

    The national media concluded that Sanchez represented a serious overpay. While the Tigers' chances to win are enhanced with Sanchez, the price paid for that chance was steep indeed.

Houston Astros

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Carlos Pena

    The Houston Astros are a team in complete rebuilding mode, likely not to see a winning season anytime soon. With a roster loaded with unproven talent, they will be going through a long period of growing pains.

    That's why signing Pena was actually a smart transaction. Bringing in a savvy, level-headed veteran like Pena helps in providing a great example for a young team at an inexpensive cost.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Trading Wilton Lopez for Alex White

    The Astros gave up a solid, inexpensive closer for a young starting pitcher who has now been cast off by two teams who didn't see him fitting into future plans.

    White was first dealt by the Indians to the Colorado Rockies in the package that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland. Now he's been deemed unworthy of a future in Colorado.

    General manager Jeff Luhnow sees a future that includes White. I'm just not sure what he sees that other general managers didn't.

Kansas City Royals

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for James Shields

    Kansas City Royals owner David Glass sent a clear message last September when he said he would spend to acquire starting pitching.

    He wasn't kidding.

    The Royals acquired Shields along with starter Wade Davis and reserve infielder Elliot Johnson from the Tampa Bay Rays. In the deal, the Royals gained instant credibility for the short term by dramatically improving their starting rotation.

    A team that hasn't sniffed the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1985 suddenly has a chance.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Trading Wil Myers

    In that same trade, the Royals also gave up three top-10 organizational prospects in Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery.

    Without question, the trade mortgaged the future for the Royals. Suddenly, a team that featured one of the best farm systems in baseball has been considerably weakened.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Best Offseason Move: Acquiring Josh Hamilton

    The Los Angeles Angels appeared to be heading towards a disappointing offseason in mid-December.

    Until they signed free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, that is.

    Hamilton gives the Angels a potentially explosive offense. Along with the bats of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo, the Angels are now a team that is absolutely considered a playoff contender.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Joe Blanton

    In the offseason of overpaying, the Angels indulged in some of their own.

    Blanton signed for two years and $15 million, a princely sum for a pitcher with an ERA barely south of 5.00 over the past three seasons.

    Blanton is an innings-eater for sure, but the quality of those innings is the big question mark.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Skip Schumaker

    In a period of seven months, the Los Angeles Dodgers added over a half-billion dollars in payroll with several high-profile acquisitions.

    However, the deal to acquire Schumaker was an under-the-radar trade that simply made great sense.

    Schumaker gives manager Don Mattingly a player off the bench who can fill in at multiple positions and provide a solid bat with a .288 lifetime batting average.

    With the humongous deals in place for many players, Schumaker will provide a big bang for much less buck.

     

    Worst Offseason Moves: Signing Brandon League

    League put forth a nice effort for the Dodgers last season following his trade from the Seattle Mariners, posting a 2.30 ERA and six saves. The Dodgers rewarded him with a three-year, $22.5 million contract.

    With a market that saw a bevy of relievers receiving far less money, it was absolute overkill to give League that kind of money.

Miami Marlins

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Juan Pierre

    The Miami Marlins certainly took their share of criticism for the deals they made this offseason. But signing Pierre was not one of those deals.

    Pierre signed for just $1.6 million, coming off a year in which he was arguably one of the most consistent hitters for the Philadelphia Phillies. Pierre hit .307 with 37 stolen bases for Philly last year.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Trade with the Toronto Blue Jays

    Without question a transaction that was discussed ad nauseum this winter, and not in a good way.

    Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria essentially sent a message that he will unload any player without even blinking an eye, even after verbally assuring they wouldn't be dealt.

    The Marlins may have thought they loaded up for the future, but they also likely gave up any chance of signing any free agents of note with their actions.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Mike Gonzalez

    Lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez served a very useful role last season for the Washington Nationals, serving as a lefty specialist and holding left-handed hitters to a .179 average.

    He'll serve in the same capacity for the Milwaukee Brewers this season.

    Gonzalez signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract, further bolstering a Brewers bullpen that had already added Burke Badenhop and Tom Gorzelanny.

    The Brewers featured the worst bullpen ERA in the National League last season—the new trio will absolutely be of great benefit.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Not Signing a Veteran Starter

    The Brewers have Yovani Gallardo at the top of their rotation. They've got promise with Marco Estrada, Mike Fiers, Mark Rogers and Wily Peralta as well.

    While the quartet beyond Gallardo showed flashes of consistency last year, without question the rotation is seen as the one unit that could hold the Brewers back from contending in 2013.

    The Brewers never gave any one veteran free-agent starter a serious look this offseason. Lagging attendance and a poor TV contract have been cited as reasons the Brewers are paring payroll this coming season.

    However, they could well rue their decision not to find veteran depth to support their rotation.

Minnesota Twins

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading Ben Revere

    When the Minnesota Twins traded center fielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals, it gave Ben Revere an opportunity to move over and take his natural position.

    That didn't last long.

    Revere was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a past and future pitcher—Vance Worley and Trevor May.

    Badly in need of pitching, the Twins deemed Revere expendable, especially with promising prospect Aaron Hicks on the horizon. In return, they get a mid-rotation starter and a potential stud in May.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Kevin Correia

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates traded for starter Wandy Rodriguez last year, Kevin Correia was the man who was demoted from the starting rotation. That's the pitcher the Twins signed for two years and $10 million.

    For a team clearly in rebuild mode and looking to upgrade their pitching staff, it's a signing that simply didn't make much sense.

    If you're a team who is working towards the future, wouldn't it make more sense to give a rotation spot to a pitcher with more potential future upside?

New York Mets

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading R.A. Dickey

    While the New York Mets took a lot of heat locally for dealing away a Cy Young pitcher, they've also been applauded by experts who loved what the Mets received in return.

    Truthfully, the Mets weren't a playoff contender even with Dickey in the rotation. Now, they have a terrific young catching prospect in Travis d'Arnaud and a promising young arm in Noah Syndergaard.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Not Re-Signing Scott Hairston

    The New York Mets have an outfield consisting of Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter, Lucas Duda and Jordany Valdespin. Collectively, they're not going to scare anyone.

    That's why it was curious at best that the Mets were unwilling to offer Hairston a second year on his contract. The Chicago Cubs were more than happy to oblige.

    Hairston hit 20 home runs with 57 RBI in 377 at-bats last season for the Mets. Considering what he signed for (two years, $5 million), that's a relative bargain in today's market. The Mets clearly lost out.

New York Yankees

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    Best Offseason Move: Re-Signing Hiroki Kuroda

    The New York Yankees have taken more of their share of razzing for their signings of older players. However, signing Kuroda was simply a no-brainer.

    Kuroda shined in the Bronx for the Yankees last season, leading the staff with 16 wins and posting a solid 3.32 ERA in 33 starts.

    At $15 million for one season, Kuroda's signing was a bright spot for the Yankees this offseason.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Kevin Youkilis

    With the news that Alex Rodriguez would be unavailable for at least half the 2013 season due to hip surgery, the Yankees were forced to scramble to find a suitable replacement.

    They settled on overpaying for Youkilis.

    Youkilis himself has been an injury concern for the past three seasons, spending a considerable amount of time on the disabled list since 2010.

    The Yankees are now paying a combined $40 million to have third base covered by someone this season.

    They probably never imagined that coverage would come with a Red Cross logo.

Oakland Athletics

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Jed Lowrie

    The Oakland A's had depth in their infield, but adding Lowrie added a quality bat and provided insurance for the unproven Hiroyuki Nakajima at shortstop.

    Lowrie's injury history is certainly a concern, but at a salary of just $1.1 million, if he can stay healthy, Lowrie gives the A's a powerful bat at multiple positions.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: None

    The A's did not re-sign popular outfielder Jonny Gomes, leaving many upset over his departure. However, the A's acquisition of Chris Young was a clear upgrade defensively and added pop to the outfield, making Gomes expendable.

    General manager Billy Beane once again bolstered his roster with moves that simply made sense.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Ben Revere

    The acquisition of Revere gives the Phillies a solid leadoff batter with tremendous speed and a player under team control for the next five seasons. Considering the number of $20 million-plus contracts currently on the roster, that in itself is a major plus.

    Revere won't offer up any power, nor will he impress with his throwing arm. But the speed, range and ability to hit for high average more than makes up for his deficiencies.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Further Weakening the Farm System

    The Phillies made moves to contend once again in 2013, but a thin farm system was made even more threadbare by some of their moves.

    ESPN Insider Keith Law now has the Phillies as having the 27th-ranked minor-league organization in MLB.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Russell Martin

    The Pittsburgh Pirates snatched Martin away from the New York Yankees with a two-year, $17 million contract.

    In doing so, they added a potent right-handed bat to complement slugger Andrew McCutchen and added superior play-calling abilities and solid defense behind the plate.

    Was it enough to keep up with Cincinnati and St. Louis in the NL Central Division? Possibly not, but the Pirates are finally showing a willingness to spend money to keep pace.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Francisco Liriano

    A deal that was originally reported to be two years and $12.75 million was whittled down to one year and $1 million for left-handed starter Liriano. Courtesy of a broken arm suffered in an accident at home, the Pirates caught a break, pardon the pun.

    Still, any deal for Liriano is risky. The man who once tossed a no-hitter has been wildly inconsistent over the past two seasons, posting a 15-22 record and 5.23 ERA.

    The deal could turn into a steal if Liriano can somehow find plate command. But fans shouldn't hold their breath waiting for that to happen.

San Diego Padres

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    Best Offseason Move: None

    Stop me if you can recall a move made by the San Diego Padres this offseason that bolstered their team.

    Anyone?

    Bueller?

    Anyone?

    I thought not.

    Their biggest transactions of note were trading for under-performing pitcher Tyson Ross and signing veteran Jason Marquis.

    For a team armed with new ownership, it certainly seemed like business as usual.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Trading for Tyson Ross

    The Padres flipped young pitchers with the Oakland A's, receiving Ross in return for Andy Werner. Others were involved as well, but why the Padres were intrigued with Ross was baffling.

    Ross posted a 2-11 record last season with a 6.50 ERA. He has yet to impress at the major-league level after being selected in the second round of the 2008 MLB draft.

San Francisco Giants

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    Best Offseason Move: Re-Signing Jeremy Affeldt

    Since arriving in San Francisco in 2009, Affeldt has been one of the most reliable relievers in baseball, posting a 2.73 ERA and 8.0 K/9 rate in four seasons.

    The Giants likely overpaid in retaining Affeldt, but they're clearly counting on him to continue delivering consistent performances in the late innings. At 33 years of age, there's nothing to suggest regression at this point, so the Giants clearly valued Affeldt higher in their eyes.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: None

    The Giants took care of their own in re-signing Affeldt, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan. And considering their contributions to a World Series-winning team, it's hard to find fault in any of those deals.

    The Giants also brought back former World Series hero Andres Torres, and they did it on the cheap. Torres signed for just one year and $ 2 million, likely platooning with Gregor Blanco in left field.

Seattle Mariners

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Michael Morse

    The Seattle Mariners attempted to bolster an anemic offense with the additions of Kendrys Morales, Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez earlier in the offseason.

    Trading for Morse added a huge offensive weapon.

    Made expendable by the signing of Adam LaRoche with the Washington Nationals, the Mariners capitalized quickly, dealing for Morse and giving up catcher John Jaso.

    The Mariners may still not have enough to compete in a strong AL West Division, but their chances got considerably better with Morse on board.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: None

    The Mariners gave up offense by dealing Jaso to the Athletics, but the signing of Kelly Shoppach for one year and $1.5 million gives them a quality backup defender behind expected starter Jesus Montero.

    Signing Joe Saunders was a solid move as well, giving the Mariners a quality left-handed replacement for the departed Jason Vargas.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing Randy Choate

    The St. Louis Cardinals' biggest offseason need was finding a left-handed complement to Marc Rzepczykski in the bullpen. They accomplished that with the signing of Choate.

    Choate held left-handed hitters to a .158 batting average last season. He gives manager Mike Matheny two solid lefty specialists in a bullpen already stacked.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: None

    Some might argue that trading the versatile Skip Schumaker hurts the Cardinals.

    However, Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter are more than capable of providing stellar coverage at second base, and Kolten Wong is not far from having an impact at the major-league level as well.

    They also picked up insurance at shortstop for the oft-injured Rafael Furcal with the acquisition of Ronny Cedeno as well.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Best Offseason Move: Trading for Wil Myers

    The Tampa Bay Rays may have lost two impact pitchers in James Shields and Wade Davis, but they picked up a pure hitter in Myers who could have huge impact on their offense for years to come.

    Courtesy of the Rays' terrific farm system loaded with quality arms, the Rays could afford to unload both Shields and Davis. They also picked up two more quality young arms in Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery, further adding to a stacked young core of pitchers.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing James Loney

    If signing the light-hitting Loney was the best the Rays could do this offseason, their offense could see some lean times.

    Already having lost B.J. Upton, the Rays were in need of a quality bat to replace Carlos Pena. Loney had just a .336 slugging percentage last season. Only Casey Kotchman was lower among all starting first basemen in the majors.

Texas Rangers

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    Best Offseason Move: Signing A.J. Pierzynski

    The Rangers found themselves without a starting catcher when Mike Napoli signed with the Boston Red Sox. Signing Pierzynski wasn't a bad trade-off.

    Pierzynski will flourish with the favorable right-field dimensions at Rangers Ballpark. While the defensive skills are lacking, Pierzynski offers a solid replacement at a reasonable price.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Joakim Soria

    The Rangers took a major chance in signing Soria to a two-year, $8 million deal. Soria is currently rehabbing from the second Tommy John surgery of his career and isn't expected to be ready until late May/early June.

    Seems to me that a one-year deal with an option would have been a far more palatable contract.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Best Offseason: Trade With Miami Marlins

    The Toronto Blue Jays turned themselves into instant contenders with just one fell swoop.

    The mega-deal with the Miami Marlins that netted Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck was a brilliant move by general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

    The Blue Jays have not been back to the postseason since winning back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. With one deal they gave fans hope and gave competitors in the AL East a severe headache.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Trading for R.A. Dickey

    It's never a bad thing to acquire a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, especially one who just won it the prior season.

    However, the Jays gave up a big part of their future in acquiring Dickey. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud has plenty of promise with a lethal bat, and Noah Syndergaard was recently ranked the No. 29 prospect in baseball according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com.

    If the Blue Jays walk away with a World Series victory in 2013, it will certainly have been worth it. But the Jays' farm system was considerably weakened as a result.

Washington Nationals

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    Best Offseason Moves: Trading for Denard Span

    The Washington Nationals added a leadoff hitter and a more natural fit in center field with the addition of Span.

    The move allows young phenom and Rookie of the Year Award winner Bryce Harper to move to left field, no longer having to worry about continuing to learn a position largely foreign to him.

    In addition, Span adds a terrific leadoff presence with speed and solid on-base capabilities.

     

    Worst Offseason Move: Signing Dan Haren

    Something about Dan Haren's back and/or hip prevented the Chicago Cubs from completing a deal to acquire him in early November.

    The Nationals weren't concerned, however, signing Haren to a one-year, $13 million contract with an option for the 2014 season.

    The reported hip issues could turn out to be absolutely nothing, and the Nats could gain a valuable rotation commodity. But any flare-up of any kind will take a bite out of the Nationals' playoff hopes and leave a serious void in the starting five.

     

    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.