Let's pretend for a moment that each MLB team's offseason was evaluated in a way similar to that of a college football or basketball program. Free-agent signings and trade additions would be assigned a rating from 1-5 on the "star" scale, and the complete class of new additions would be graded from there.
Rather than assessing how well needs were filled or how much money was spent by each team, the focus would solely be on how much overall talent was added to the roster.
First, we need to decide what constitutes a 5-star player, 4-star player and so on. Here is my take on who belongs in each category.
- 5-Star (10 points): A superstar-caliber position player, ace-caliber starting pitcher or premier closer.
- 4-Star (7 points): An above-average everyday position player, middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher or late-inning reliever.
- 3-Star (4 points): An average everyday position player or reserve likely to see extended playing time, No. 5 starting pitcher/swingman or above-average middle reliever.
- 2-Star (1 point): Solid organizational depth likely to be on the big league roster at some point, if not on Opening Day.
- 1-Star (N/A): Everyone else. Players signed to minor league deals and unlikely to make any sort of impact at the big league level this coming season. Not included here; don't count toward a team's overall offseason rating.
From there, points were awarded to each recruit as listed above, and each team's total recruit point total was determined. Teams were then ordered from worst to first based on the overall level of talent they've added so far this winter.
As with college rosters, returning players are not considered recruits, so anyone re-signing with the team he played for last year was not considered for this.
The end goal here was simply to put a different and fun spin on evaluating what each MLB team has done so far this offseason. So take this for what it is, and enjoy.