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Re-Grading MLB's 30 Biggest Offseason Acquisitions at the 3-Quarter Point

Joel ReuterFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2017

Re-Grading MLB's 30 Biggest Offseason Acquisitions at the 3-Quarter Point

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    Back in March, I wrote an article ranking who I felt were the top 30 acquisitions of the offseason and grading their spring training performance. Then, in July, I wrote another article grading that same list of 30 and how they had performed up to the midway point of the season.

    Now that we've reached the three-quarter mark of the 2013 campaign, it seems like as good a time as any to revisit that list once again and give an updated grade to those 30 players.

    So here is a look at the 30 biggest offseason acquisitions as I viewed them back in February, along with an updated look at what grade their 2013 performance to this point earns them.

Further Explanation

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    Just to make things a bit more clear, what follows is not a list of the 30 best offseason acquisitions based on performance to this point.

    It is instead a look back at the 30 acquisitions I felt were the best entering the season, and a grade for how they have performed thus far.

    As a result, guys like Jed Lowrie, Russell Martin, Francisco Liriano, James Loney, Marlon Byrd, Chris Johnson and Mark Melancon, among others, will not appear on the following list.

    Those acquisitions would likely all receive an A grade and no doubt rank among the best pickups of the offseason, but since this is a look back at a preseason list I made, the benefit of hindsight did not come into play.

    Now, on with the list.

30. 3B Michael Young, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Texas Rangers with $10 million for SP Josh Lindblom and RP Lisalverto Bonilla.

     

    Overview

    Coming off his worst season since 2002, Michael Young was dealt to the Phillies in what amounted to a cost-cutting move. The Rangers ate $10 million of the $16 million left on his contract, and the Phillies got a solid stop-gap option at third base for the season.

    However, the Phillies failed to reach contention this year, and the deal would up being unnecessary at best. What's more, they were unable to find a suitable deal to move Young at the deadline, and he's now been moved to first base to clear the way for prospect Cody Asche.

    He could still be moved through waivers, but if not, this deal was essentially a wash for Philadelphia. The Phillies will have spent $6 million and a pair of arms on nothing.

     

    Midseason Stats: 76 G, .287/.344/.409, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 33 R

    Midseason Grade: C

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 111 G, .273/.336/.397, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 44 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: C-

29. RP Joel Hanrahan, Boston Red Sox

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with IF Brock Holt for RP Mark Melancon, OF Jerry Sands, IF Ivan DeJesus, SP Stolmy Pimentel.

     

    Overview

    Looking for an insurance policy in the ninth inning after Andrew Bailey struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness in 2012, the Red Sox made a move to acquire two-time All-Star Joel Hanrahan from the Pirates.

    Nine appearances, a 9.82 ERA and a pair of blown saves later, Hanrahan was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery—and he'll be gone in free agency in the offseason.

    In return, the Pirates received a handful of players highlighted by 2013 All-Star Mark Melancon, who coincidentally would have been the very answer to the late-inning issues the Red Sox were searching for. In 56 games, he has a 0.81 ERA and has converted seven of eight save chances since taking over for the injured Jason Grilli.

     

    Midseason Stats: 9 G, 0-1, 4-of-6 SV, 9.82 ERA, 6 BB, 5 K, 7.1 IP

    Midseason Grade: F

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 9 G, 0-1, 4-of-6 SV, 9.82 ERA, 6 BB, 5 K, 7.1 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: F

28. CF Ben Revere, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Minnesota Twins for SP Vance Worley and SP Trevor May.

     

    Overview

    Unlike Michael Young, the acquisition of Ben Revere was made with an eye on the future. The speedy center fielder is first-time arbitration eligible this offseason, and he's under team control through the 2017 season.

    The fact that Vance Worley has been nothing short of terrible in Minnesota makes the deal an even better one from the Phillies' standpoint. However, Revere has missed a good deal of time this year and is currently on the shelf with a fractured foot.

    What type of player Trevor May becomes will ultimately determine how good a deal this was for the Phillies, but for now they appear to have come out on top by a slim margin.

     

    Midseason Stats: 77 G, .289/.330/.331, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 32 R, 20 SB

    Midseason Grade: B-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 88 G, .305/.338/.352, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 37 R, 22 SB

    Three-Quarter Grade: C+

27. SP Jason Vargas, Los Angeles Angels

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Seattle Mariners for DH Kendrys Morales.

     

    Overview

    Through the first half of the season, Jason Vargas was the Angels' best starting pitcher on what was a disappointing staff on a wildly disappointing team.

    A free-agent-to-be, he would have had solid value at the trade deadline. However, a blood clot in his left armpit kept him on the sidelines through the trade deadline, and the team was unable to move him as a result.

    He lasted just 4.1 innings in his return from the DL on Tuesday, and he's running out of time to prove he has any trade value to potentially be moved through waivers. All in all, it looks like a missed opportunity to add some talent to their depleted farm system in what's been a lost season for the Angels.

     

    Midseason Stats: 14 GS, 6-4, 3.65 ERA, 30 BB, 62 K, 91.1 IP

    Midseason Grade: B+

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 15 GS, 6-5, 3.86 ERA, 31 BB, 65 K, 95.2 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: C

26. 3B Kevin Youkilis, New York Yankees

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    Acquired

    Signed to a one-year, $12 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    Looking to add some insurance at third base with Alex Rodriguez expected to miss the first half following hip surgery, the Yankees signed former rival Kevin Youkilis to a one-year deal.

    After a terrific spring that saw him hit .280/.339/.800 with six home runs and 14 RBI, he laid an egg over the first month of the season before landing on the DL with a herniated disk in his back.

    Surgery has kept him sidelined since, and it looks as though his Yankees career was essentially over before it ever really got started. He'll likely have to settle for an incentive-laden one-year deal in the offseason, and the Yankees have had a black hole at third base all year.

     

    Midseason Stats: 28 G, .219/.305/.343, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 12 R

    Midseason Grade: F

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 28 G, .219/.305/.343, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 12 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: F

25. SP Dan Haren, Washington Nationals

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    Acquired 

    Signed to a one-year, $13 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    One of the top starters in baseball in 2011 when he went 16-10 with a 3.17 ERA, Haren took a big step back last season when he went just 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA, and that was enough for him to be unable to find a multi-year deal.

    He struggled mightily early on and missed time with shoulder inflammation, but he's gone 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA and 0.704 WHIP over his last four starts.

    If he can keep pitching the way he has, he should be able to land another solid one-year deal on a thin free-agent market; however, as far as the Nationals are concerned, he was part of the reason the team fell out of the postseason race in the early going.

     

    Midseason Stats: 15 GS, 4-9, 6.15 ERA, 13 BB, 67 K, 82 IP

    Midseason Grade: F

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 22 GS, 7-11, 4.82 ERA, 23 BB, 109 K, 125 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: D+

24. 1B Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox

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    Acquired

    Signed to a one-year, $5 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    Originally signed to a three-year, $39 million deal, Mike Napoli saw that figure reduced to a one-year, $5 million offer after he failed his physical due to a hip condition, according to ESPN Boston. With incentives, he could still earn the entire $13 million he would have received this year, but he lost the stability of a long-term deal.

    Given his solid run-production numbers in the middle of the Boston lineup, he's been a nice pickup at either price, and while his average is relatively low, he's still getting on base at a good clip.

    He carried the offense early when David Ortiz was on the shelf, and he'll be looked upon to remain a consistent RBI man during the team's impending playoff run.

     

    Midseason Stats: 77 G, .261/.344/.438, 9 HR, 54 RBI, 38 R

    Midseason Grade: A-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 110 G, .245/.335/.436, 15 HR, 69 RBI, 60 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: B+

23. RF Torii Hunter, Detroit Tigers

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    Acquired

    Signed to a two-year, $26 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    Coming off a terrific season that saw him hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI, the Tigers signed Torii Hunter to a two-year deal on Nov. 16 in one of the first moves of the offseason.

    The 38-year-old has been terrific once again this season, filling a big hole for the Tigers in right field and providing All-Star production hitting ahead of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in a potent lineup.

    All told, his $13 million salary has been a relative bargain so far, and the fact that they managed to sign him to just a two-year deal makes it one of the better moves of the offseason. A strong postseason would make this an even better deal for the team.

     

    Midseason Stats: 72 G, .293/.336/.405, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 44 R

    Midseason Grade: B

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 107 G, .308/.340/.465, 13 HR, 61 RBI, 71 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: A

22. CF Denard Span, Washington Nationals

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Minnesota Twins for SP Alex Meyer.

     

    Overview

    Looking for a leadoff man and a natural center fielder, the Nationals killed two birds with one stone with their acquisition of Denard Span from the Twins for top pitching prospect Alex Meyer.

    Singed through 2014, Span entered the year with a solid .357 on-base percentage, and he also swiped 90 bases over the past five years while playing plus defense in center field.

    He's not been the table-setter the Nationals hoped he'd be so far this season, though, as he's struggled like much of the Washington lineup. As a team still built to win now, the Nats will look for him to turn things around and make the deal worthwhile next season.

     

    Midseason Stats: 77 G, .263/.318/.364, 0 HR, 20 RBI, 36 R

    Midseason Grade: C-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: .261/.313/.357, 2 HR, 33 RBI, 49 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: C-

21. SP Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Miami Marlins along with Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck for Henderson Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani.

     

    Overview

    Mark Buehrle spent the first 12 seasons of his career pitching for the White Sox, racking up 161 wins over that span before signing a four-year, $58 million deal with the Marlins prior to the 2012 season.

    Despite the team's struggles, he had a solid year once again in 2012, going 13-13 with a 3.74 ERA before being shipped to the Blue Jays in the offseason blockbuster.

    He's managed to eat innings as the Blue Jays hoped he would, and over his last six starts he's gone 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA. Toronto has been a terrible disappointment this season, but there are far bigger culprits than Buehrle for those struggles.

     

    Midseason Stats: 17 GS, 4-5, 4.81 ERA, 30 BB, 68 K, 103 IP

    Midseason Grade: C+

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 25 GS, 9-7, 4.29 ERA, 41 BB, 106 K, 157.1 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: C+

20. RF Shane Victorino, Boston Red Sox

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    Acquired

    Signed to a three-year, $39 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    I was admittedly a little harsh on the Victorino signing last time around, and while I still feel his three-year, $39 million deal was one of the biggest overpays of the offseason, he has been a key part of the Red Sox's rapid turnaround this year.

    With a 3.5 FanGraphs WAR, he ranks third on the team in that category, and that number has been boosted by his terrific defense in right field.

    I still don't buy that he's worth $13 million at this point in his career, but he's been a valuable addition hitting out of the No. 2 spot in the Red Sox's new-look, veteran lineup.

     

     

    Midseason Stats: 54 G, .291/.341/.393, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 32 R, 9 SB

    Midseason Grade: C

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 89 G, .280/.332/.403, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 55 R, 17 SB

    Three-Quarter Grade: B

19. SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Acquired

    Signed to a six-year, $36 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    The top arm on the international market, Hyun-Jin Ryu went 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 182.2 innings of work while pitching for the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization last season.

    The Dodgers won negotiating rights with a $25.7 million posting fee, then locked up the 26-year-old with a six-year deal, as they looked to fill out a rotation that also added Zack Greinke in the offseason.

    He's outpitched the significantly more expensive Greinke to this point and given the team a much-needed third impact arm for the postseason. He's among the top candidates in a deep NL Rookie of the Year race, and it may come down to him and teammate Yasiel Puig for the honor if Jose Fernandez is shut down.

     

    Midseason Stats: 16 GS, 6-3, 2.83 ERA, 34 BB, 87 K, 105 IP

    Midseason Grade: A

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 23 GS, 12-3, 2.91 ERA, 43 BB, 121 K, 148.1 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: A+

18. DH Kendrys Morales, Seattle Mariners

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Los Angeles Angels for SP Jason Vargas.

     

    Overview

    In a swap of expiring contracts, the Mariners added some much-needed offensive punch to their lineup in the form of Kendrys Morales, shipping workhorse left-hander Jason Vargas to the Angels in the process.

    He was hitting a respectable .277/.334/.433 with nine home runs and 42 RBI through the end of June, but he's picked things up considerably since with a line of .329/.377/.550 and eight home runs since the beginning of July.

    The team decided against moving him at the deadline, and it will either move to re-sign him in the offseason or potentially make him a qualifying offer and if nothing else walk away with some draft-pick compensation for him.

     

    Midseason Stats: 78 G, .277/.334/.433, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 31 R

    Midseason Grade: B-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 115 G, .294/.348/.472, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 51 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: A-

17. SP Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee Brewers

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    Acquired

    Signed to a three-year, $33 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    With Chris Carpenter on the shelf and Adam Wainwright returning from Tommy John surgery, Kyle Lohse stepped into the role of staff ace in St. Louis last season and turned in the best year of his career in going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA.

    Despite that, he didn't find a new team in free agency until signing with the Brewers on March 25, in time to make just one spring training start before joining the rotation to open the regular season.

    He's been the Brewers' best starter by a long shot this season, but the team as a whole has struggled to one of the worst records in the National League. Depending on what direction the team decides to head, he could be shopped this offseason. If not, he'll provide the Milwaukee rotation with a workhorse veteran again next season.

     

    Midseason Stats: 16 GS, 3-6, 3.63 ERA, 16 BB, 59 K, 94.1 IP

    Midseason Grade: B+

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 25 GS, 8-8, 3.17 ERA, 32 BB, 101 K, 153.1 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: A-

16. CF Shin-Soo Choo, Cincinnati Reds

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    Acquired

    Traded as part of a three-team trade by the Cleveland Indians for Didi Gregorius (ARI) and Drew Stubbs (CLE).

     

    Overview

    Despite winning the NL Central last season, the Reds had one glaring hole, and it was production from the leadoff spot in the lineup.

    According to Sports Illustrated, seven different players hit leadoff for the Reds in 2012 and combined for a dismal .254 on-base percentage, the lowest total since the 1981 Blue Jays got a .238 OBP out of their leadoff spot.

    That prompted the trade for Shin-Soo Choo, and while he's nothing special defensively in center field, he's given the Reds exactly what they needed with a .411 on-base percentage and a good mix of power (15 HR) and speed (14 SB) atop the lineup.

     

    Midseason Stats: 80 G, .264/.414/.452, 12 HR, 26 RBI, 54 R

    Midseason Grade: A

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 115 G, .274/.411/.447, 15 HR, 37 RBI, 78 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: A

15. RP Rafael Soriano, Washington Nationals

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    Acquired

    Signed to a two-year, $28 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    The top closer on the market this offseason, Rafael Soriano turned down a surprise qualifying offer from the Yankees to kick off the offseason, and it was not until Jan. 17 that he finally signed with the Nationals.

    The 33-year-old went 42-of-46 on save chances with a 2.26 ERA for the Yankees last year after taking over for the injured Mariano Rivera, and that was enough to get him a multi-year deal.

    With the struggles of Drew Storen this season, the move wound up being a necessary one for the team, but $14 million remains a lot of money to pay a reliever when the team is not in contention. He'll be counted on to pitch well again next season if the team hopes to turn things around.

     

    Midseason Stats: 34 G, 1-1, 21-of-24 SV, 2.38 ERA, 7 BB, 27 K, 34 IP

    Midseason Grade: B

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 51 G, 2-3, 31-of-36 SV, 3.40 ERA, 12 BB, 37 K, 50.1 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: C+

14. SP Ryan Dempster, Boston Red Sox

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    Acquired

    Signed to a two-year, $26.5 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    After going 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts with the Cubs last season, Ryan Dempster was one of the most sought-after players of the 2012 trade deadline. He eventually landed in Texas, where he went 7-3 in 12 starts but posted a less-than-impressive 5.09 ERA.

    Despite the rocky finish, he was still able to find a multi-year deal in the offseason, as the Red Sox acquired him to be their No. 3 starter and to eat innings.

    He's managed to stay healthy and provide the innings they hoped he would, but he's pitched more like a No. 5 starter at times this year. He may be the odd man out for a playoff rotation spot if Clay Buchholz can return before the end of the year.

     

    Midseason Stats: 17 GS, 5-8, 4.11 ERA, 47 BB, 96 K, 100.2 IP

    Midseason Grade: C

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 24 GS, 6-8, 4.50 ERA, 63 BB, 129 K, 140 IP

    Three Quarter Grade: C-

13. 3B Martin Prado, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Atlanta Braves along with SP Randall Delgado, RP Zeke Spruill, 3B Brandon Drury and SS Nick Ahmed for LF Justin Upton and 3B Chris Johnson.

     

    Overview

    One of the most versatile players in all of baseball, Martin Prado posted a 5.6 FanGraphs WAR last season to rank 10th among NL position players.

    Prado has hit .351/.415/.543 with 18 RBI in 24 games since the All-Star break, and that's a promising sign for the Diamondbacks after they locked him up with a four-year, $40 million extension prior to the season.

    The fact that the Diamondbacks moved from Chris Johnson (.337/.374/.480) to Prado at third base makes the move a little harder to call a win, but he should be a solid piece of the roster for the next three seasons.

     

    Midseason Stats: 79 G, .245/.295/.346, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 32 R

    Midseason Grade: D

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 115 G, .273/.327/.402, 10 HR, 52 RBI, 49 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: B-

12. SP Edwin Jackson, Chicago Cubs

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    Acquired

    Signed to a four-year, $52 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    After missing out on signing Anibal Sanchez, the Cubs ponied up front-line-starter money to sign a veteran middle-of-the-rotation arm in Edwin Jackson to a long-term deal.

    Jackson has won double-digit games and pitched at least 180 innings in each of the past five seasons, and despite a less-than-stellar season, he may very well reach those milestones once again this season.

    If you take out three horrible starts in which Jackson allowed a combined 21 earned runs in 14.1 innings of work, Jackson has a much more respectable 4.05 ERA. Looking to the future, he may still wind up being a solid addition to the Cubs' rebuilding process.

     

    Midseason Stats: 16 GS, 4-10, 5.75 ERA, 34 BB, 79 K, 87.2 IP

    Midseason Grade: D

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 23 GS, 7-12, 5.05 ERA, 45 BB, 105 K, 132 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: C

11. CF Michael Bourn, Cleveland Indians

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    Acquired

    Signed to a four-year, $48 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    After turning down a qualifying offer from the Braves, Michael Bourn struggled to find a landing spot in the offseason. It was not until Feb. 15 that he finally signed a four-year deal with the Indians.

    One of the biggest knocks on Bourn is that he doesn't get on base enough and strikes out too much for a leadoff hitter, and those two issues are very evident this season with a .319 OBP and a career-high 22.2 percent strikeout rate.

    His steals are also down, and with a .212/.288/.313 line since the All-Star break, he's faltering when the team needs him most. He'll have three more years to prove this was a good deal for the Indians, but as of now it looks like they vastly overpaid.

     

    Midseason Stats: 56 G, .299/.347/.385, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 33 R, 11 SB

    Midseason Grade: B-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 92 G, .270/.319/.352, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 52 R, 17 SB

    Three-Quarter Grade: C-

10. 1B Michael Morse, Seattle Mariners

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    Acquired

    Traded as part of a three-team trade by the Washington Nationals for C John Jaso (OAK).

     

    Overview

    From 2010 to 2012 for the Nationals, Michael Morse posted a .296/.345/.516 line with 64 home runs and 198 RBI in roughly two seasons' worth of at-bats.

    However, with Adam LaRoche re-signed and the Denard Span acquisition shifting Bryce Harper over to left field, he wound up as the odd man out. As such, the Nationals dealt him to the offense-starved Mariners just before the season started.

    He got off to a great start, posting a .993 OPS with six home runs through the first 12 games of the season. He's hit just .229 with a .666 OPS and six home runs in 56 games since, however, and missed significant time with a quad strain.

     

    Midseason Stats: 56 G, .251/.313/.454, 11 HR, 23 RBI, 24 R

    Midseason Grade: C+

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 68 G, .239/.299/.431, 12 HR, 26 RBI, 30 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: D+

9. SP Josh Johnson, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Acquired

    Traded by the Miami Marlins along with Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck for Henderson Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani.

     

    Overview

    Once one of the most dominant pitchers in the NL, Josh Johnson won the 2010 ERA title and finished fifth in Cy Young voting when he went 11-6 with a 2.30 ERA over 28 starts.

    After an injury-plagued 2011, he managed to stay healthy last year, but he went just 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA for a poor Marlins team.

    There were many who viewed this change of scenery as a chance for Johnson to break out once again, and I counted him among the AL Cy Young candidates entering the season. Instead, he's dealt with some injuries once again and has been nothing short of horrible when he has been on the field.

    It will be interesting to see what his value is on the free-agent market this offseason.

     

    Midseason Stats: 9 GS, 1-2, 5.21 ERA, 18 BB, 49 K, 48.1 IP

    Midseason Grade: D-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 16 GS, 2-8, 6.20 ERA, 30 BB, 83 K, 81.1 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: F

8. 1B Nick Swisher, Cleveland Indians

25 of 32

    Acquired

    Signed to a four-year, $56 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    One of the top bats on the market this spring, Nick Swisher spent the past four seasons playing for the Yankees, where he averaged a line of .268/.367/.483 with 26 home runs and 87 RBI.

    The Indians likely overpaid a bit to land him, but he was expected to be a key run-producer in the middle of the lineup and a leader in the clubhouse.

    He's hit at least 20 home runs and driven in at least 69 runs every year since becoming an everyday player in 2005, but it looks as though that streak will come to an end this year barring a late-season hot streak. 

     

    Midseason Stats: 68 G, .235/.340/.398, 8 HR, 29 RBI, 38 R

    Midseason Grade: C-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 105 G, .237/.335/.389, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 51 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: D+

7. SS Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays

26 of 32

    Acquired

    Traded by the Miami Marlins along with Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck for Henderson Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani.

     

    Overview

    After signing a six-year, $106 million deal with the Marlins prior to the 2012 season, Jose Reyes was the biggest name changing teams in the Marlins-Jays offseason blockbuster.

    A severe ankle sprain cost him 66 games early on, but his return coincided with the team's best stretch of the season, as it briefly found itself in the running for the AL East title.

    They've fallen off again since, and Reyes' production has slowed, but he remains a big piece of the puzzle moving forward in Toronto. He may never win another batting title or steal 50 bases again, but he's still one of the better table-setters in the game when he's healthy.

     

    Midseason Stats: 16 G, .349/.408/.524, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 10 R, 5 SB

    Midseason Grade: C+

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 55 G, .293/.351/.450, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 35 R, 12 SB

    Three-Quarter Grade: B

6. CF B.J. Upton, Atlanta Braves

27 of 32

    Acquired

    Signed to a five-year, $75.25 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    It was more on potential than production that B.J. Upton got a five-year, $75.25 million deal from the Braves in the offseason, and that potential has been nowhere to be seen in his first year in Atlanta.

    The 28-year-old has not had his batting average over .200 when a game ended at any point this season, and it's taken a hot streak of late to get his average even close to that mark.

    Upton landed on the DL on July 12 with an abductor strain, and upon returning on Aug. 3 he proceeded to go 10-for-21 over his first five games to raise his average to .198. He's gone hitless in 16 at-bats since, though, and overall the contract looks like the worst of the offseason and one of the worst in recent memory to this point.

     

    Midseason Stats: 74 G, .177/.278/.317, 8 HR, 19 RBI, 19 R

    Midseason Grade: F

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 94 G, .188/.270/.304, 8 HR, 21 RBI, 26 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: F

5. SP James Shields, Kansas City Royals

28 of 32

    Acquired

    Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays with SP Wade Davis and IF Elliot Johnson for RF Wil Myers, SP Jake Odorizzi, RP Mike Montgomery and 3B Patrick Leonard.

     

    Overview

    The Royals made the tough decision to deal top prospect Wil Myers this offseason in an effort to add the front-line starter their rotation desperately needed.

    His record isn't great, but he's been the veteran workhorse the team was looking for, as his 167.2 innings pitched so far this season rank fifth in all of baseball.

    The fact that Myers is hitting .326/.379/.525 with nine home runs and 37 RBI in 47 games still makes this trade a questionable decision on the part of the Royals, but that does not take away from how well Shields has pitched and the fact that he's given the team exactly what it needed.

     

    Midseason Stats: 17 GS, 3-6, 2.99 ERA, 33 BB, 104 K, 117.1 IP

    Midseason Grade: A

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 25 GS, 7-8, 3.33 ERA, 52 BB, 136 K, 167.2 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: B+

4. LF Justin Upton, Atlanta Braves

29 of 32

    Acquired

    Traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks along with 3B Chris Johnson for 3B Martin Prado, SP Randall Delgado, RP Zeke Spruill, 3B Brandon Drury and SS Nick Ahmed.

     

    Overview

    Who would have guessed that Chris Johnson would wind up being the better acquisition for the Braves in this deal, but that's been the case given how incredibly streaky Justin Upton has been.

    He opened the season on an absolute tear, posting a 1.136 OPS with 12 home runs in the first month of the season. He scuffled badly from there, though, hitting just .243/.331/.345 with four home runs from the start of May to the end of July.

    He's been on fire again of late, though, leading the offense during the Braves' recent charge, as he's hit .386/.466/.820 with six home runs so far in August. They'll need him to keep that up into the postseason, but all told it's been a good move for the Braves.

     

    Midseason Stats: 77 G, .245/.355/.447, 15 HR, 37 RBI, 50 R

    Midseason Grade: C

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 113 G, .271/.363/.486, 22 HR, 61 RBI, 78 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: B+

3. SP R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays

30 of 32

    Acquired

    Traded by the New York Mets along with C Josh Thole and C Mike Nickeas for C John Buck, C Travis d'Arnaud, SP Noah Syndergaard and OF Wuilmer Becerra.

     

    Overview

    It's not every year that the reigning Cy Young winner is traded, and the Blue Jays paid a steep price to acquire R.A. Dickey as they gave up a franchise catcher in Travis d'Arnaud and a future front-line starter in Noah Syndergaard.

    On top of that, they also gave the free-agent-to-be Dickey a two-year, $25 million extension, so it's safe to say he was expected to not only be a piece of the puzzle but the staff ace in Toronto this season.

    Needless to say, that hasn't been the case, as he's been a No. 5 starter on a contender at best. Dickey could return to his 2011 form (8-13, 3.28 ERA), but it seems unlikely the 38-year-old ever comes close to matching his magical 2012 numbers again.

     

    Midseason Stats: 18 GS, 8-8, 4.59 ERA, 42 BB, 82 K, 115.2 IP

    Midseason Grade: D-

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 25 GS, 9-11, 4.46 ERA, 55 BB, 122 K, 161.1 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: D-

2. RF Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels

31 of 32

    Acquired

    Signed to a five-year, $125 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    Despite posting a .930 OPS with 43 home runs and 128 RBI last season, teams were not exactly lining up to give Josh Hamilton the megadeal he was looking for.

    With a series of injures under his belt and a history as a streaky hitter, his $25 million-per-year asking price was no doubt enough to scare a few teams of. But for the second year in a row, the Angels came out of nowhere to land the top bat on the market.

    He hit just .204 with a .548 OPS and just two home runs over the first month of the season, and he's just never managed to get things going this year. With $100 million left on his contract, he'll need to turn things around in a big way if he hopes to justify that kind of money.

     

    Midseason Stats: 78 G, .223/.283/.392, 10 HR, 29 RBI, 43 R

    Midseason Grade: F

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 113 G, .228/.282/.409, 17 HR, 58 RBI, 55 R

    Three-Quarter Grade: F

1. SP Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

32 of 32

    Acquired

    Signed to a six-year, $147 million deal in free agency.

     

    Overview

    The top arm on the free-agent market, Greinke was pursued hard by the Angels and Rangers before eventually signing a massive deal with the free-spending Dodgers.

    He was 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA last season, and while he was the top arm on the market, there were questions as to whether he was worth a $100 million-plus deal given the fact that he was not a true ace-caliber starter.

    Those concerns only grew when he broke his collarbone in a brawl with the Padres' Carlos Quentin, costing him over a month. He's rounded into form of late, though, going 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA over his last seven starts, including a complete-game shutout of the Rockies.

     

    Midseason Stats: 11 GS, 5-2, 3.94 ERA, 17 BB, 48 K, 64 IP

    Midseason Grade: C+

     

    Three-Quarter Stats: 19 GS, 10-3, 3.21 ERA, 33 BB, 93 K, 117.2 IP

    Three-Quarter Grade: A-

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