MLB Offseason Report Card Grades 1 Month from 2016 Spring Training
There is roughly one month remaining before pitchers and catchers begin reporting to spring training, but there are still a number of impact options on the free-agent market.
Justin Upton finally found a new home earlier this week when he signed with the Detroit Tigers, but guys like Yoenis Cespedes, Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, Yovani Gallardo and Tyler Clippard remain unsigned.
Where those remaining free agents wind up landing can still change the complexion of the offseason heading into spring training.
For now, though, we can get a pretty good gauge on how all 30 MLB teams' offseason activity looks and whether they've come away a better team after a busy winter.
With that in mind, what follows is an offseason report card for each team.
The following factors went into grading each club's offseason:
- Talent Lost vs. Talent Gained: The easiest place to start is to simply look at the cumulative effect of the players added this offseason compared to the players lost.
- Payroll Factors: For some teams, it's not simply a matter of re-signing their top talent and filling roster holes with big signings. It's often about minimizing their losses and filling holes by signing cheaper replacements.
- Prospect Talent Added: Rebuilding is an inevitable part of the game, and for teams not in a position to contend in 2016, improving the farm system becomes the No. 1 priority. So, did a team get the most out of the assets it moved?
- Remaining Needs: A simple question of how well each team addressed its areas of need this offseason.
Note: The number in parenthesis following each prospect addition reflects where the player currently ranks among the organization's top 30 prospects, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com's Prospect Watch.
Notable MLB Additions: SP Zack Greinke, SP Shelby Miller, C/OF Chris Herrmann
Notable Prospect Additions: SP Sam McWilliams (26)
Notable Losses: OF Ender Inciarte, SP Jeremy Hellickson, RP David Hernandez, RP Jhoulys Chacin, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, SP Allen Webster, RP A.J. Schugel, UT Jamie Roark, SS Dansby Swanson, SP Aaron Blair, 1B/OF Daniel Palka
A lack of front-line starting pitching was the Arizona Diamondbacks' biggest downfall last season, as their starters ranked 23rd in the league with a 4.37 ERA and the team finished 79-83 as a result.
That was despite the second-highest scoring offense in the National League at 4.44 runs per game, as MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and breakout star A.J. Pollock led the way.
Clearly looking to take the next step toward contention, the D'Backs emerged as the surprise winner of the Zack Greinke derby, signing the right-hander to a huge six-year, $206.5 million deal.
They weren't finished there, though, as they also acquired controllable young starter Shelby Miller in a trade with the Atlanta Braves to fill the No. 2 spot in the rotation.
With Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair all shipped to the Braves in that deal, it's a move that could be looked back on as a mistake five years from now.
However, with the team clearly going all-in on winning now, it's hard to argue with their aggressive approach to improving the rotation this winter.
Notable MLB Additions: CF Ender Inciarte, SS Erick Aybar, SP Bud Norris, UT Kelly Johnson, UT Emilio Bonifacio, IF Gordon Beckham, C Tyler Flowers, RP Jim Johnson, RP Ian Krol, RP Evan Rutckyj (Rule 5), C A.J. Pierzynski (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: SS Dansby Swanson (1), SP Sean Newcomb (2), SP Aaron Blair (4), SP Chris Ellis (11)
Notable Losses: SS Andrelton Simmons, SP Shelby Miller, OF Cameron Maybin, RP Edwin Jackson, RP Ross Detwiler, SP Mike Minor, C Christian Bethancourt, IF Pedro Ciriaco, OF Eury Perez, 1B/OF Joey Terdoslavich, C Jose Briceno
The rebuilding efforts have continued for the Atlanta Braves this winter, as trading away established players Andrelton Simmons and Shelby Miller netted them more high-end prospect talent for what has quickly become one of the best farm systems in baseball.
Dansby Swanson has a chance to be a long-term building block at the shortstop position, while Sean Newcomb, Aaron Blair and Chris Ellis join a deep pool of starting pitching prospects.
The team also managed to pick up another potential long-term piece in 25-year-old outfielder Ender Inciarte, who was a 5.3 WAR player last year and is controllable through the 2020 season.
Beyond those two big trades, the team has focused on filling out the roster with low-cost veterans like Bud Norris, Kelly Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, Gordon Beckham, Tyler Flowers, Jim Johnson and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who was re-signed after an impressive 2015 campaign.
Are those moves going to make them a winner in 2016? Probably not, but it's the right approach for a rebuilding franchise.
Notable MLB Additions: DH Mark Trumbo, OF Hyun-soo Kim, SP/RP Vance Worley, RF L.J. Hoes, OF Joey Rickard (Rule 5), 1B Chris Davis (re-signed), RP Darren O'Day (re-signed), C Matt Wieters (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: RP C.J. Riefenhauser (27)
Notable Losses: SP Wei-Yin Chen, OF Gerardo Parra, 1B/OF Steve Pearce, C Steve Clevenger, OF David Lough, RP Steve Johnson, OF Junior Lake, OF Joey Rickard, SP Tim Berry
The Baltimore Orioles have managed to re-sign two of their top free agents in slugger Chris Davis and ace setup man Darren O'Day, but it appears their approach to the offseason has been more damage control than actual improvement.
After running away with the AL East title in 2014, they finished 81-81 and slipped to third place in the division this past season, and a weak starting rotation was the biggest reason why.
Their starters ranked 25th in the league with a 4.53 ERA, and things appear to have gone from bad to worse with the departure of Wei-Yin Chen, who was the team's best starter a year ago when he went 11-8 with a 3.34 ERA.
Former top prospect Dylan Bundy or waiver claim Vance Worley look like the leading candidates to fill that vacated rotation spot, and while both have upside, it's hard to view both as anything but a step back from Chen.
Guys like Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Hyun-soo Kim and the aforementioned Bundy are all potential breakout candidates who could give the team a shot in the arm, but right now the Orioles appear more likely to be battling for fourth place in the AL East than a division title.
Boston Red Sox
Notable MLB Additions: SP David Price, RP Craig Kimbrel, RP Carson Smith, OF Chris Young, SP Roenis Elias
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: SP Wade Miley, SP Rich Hill, RP Craig Breslow, RP Jean Machi, RP Alexi Ogando, CF Manuel Margot, SS Javier Guerra, SP Logan Allen, IF/OF Carlos Asuaje, 3B Garin Cecchini, RP Jonathan Aro
The two biggest weaknesses for the Boston Red Sox last season were the lack of an ace to lead their rotation and a weak bullpen beyond veteran closer Koji Uehara.
Before the winter meetings even arrived, they had signed David Price to a seven-year, $217 million deal to anchor the staff and acquired All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres to bolster the relief corps.
The cherry on top came during those winter meetings, when they acquired high-ceiling young reliever Carson Smith and left-hander Roenis Elias from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for starter Wade Miley, who had become expendable following the Price signing.
Smith has legitimate closer stuff, and he'll team with Uehara and Kimbrel to form one of the better late-inning trios in all of baseball as the bullpen could now be a legitimate strength.
The Red Sox gave up some quality young talent to acquire Kimbrel, but with the additions they made this offseason they appear to have a legitimate chance of going worst-to-first in the AL East.
Notable MLB Additions: CF Jason Heyward, 2B Ben Zobrist, SP John Lackey, SP/RP Adam Warren, RP Rex Brothers, RP Trevor Cahill (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: 2B Starlin Castro, CF Dexter Fowler, OF Austin Jackson, SP Dan Haren, RP Jason Motte, RP Fernando Rodney, RP Tommy Hunter, IF Jonathan Herrera, OF Chris Denorfia, OF Quintin Berry, RP Yoervis Medina
The Chicago Cubs arrived as legitimate title contenders earlier than expected last season, and with money to spend they have aggressively added to an already talented roster this winter.
Jason Heyward was the big addition, as he was signed away from the rival St. Louis Cardinals on an eight-year, $184 million to replace Dexter Fowler in center field and atop the lineup.
The 26-year-old may not be the prototypical superstar, but his solid on-base skills and elite defense make him the perfect addition to a young Cubs lineup with a propensity for strikeouts and sorely lacking in outfield defense.
Sticking with the idea of adding more on-base ability to the top of the lineup, the team also signed the versatile Ben Zobrist and subsequently traded Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees for swingman Adam Warren.
The final big piece added to the puzzle was veteran starter John Lackey, who also comes over from the Cardinals. The 37-year-old is coming off of one of the best seasons of his career, and few if any active pitchers have a better postseason track record.
On-paper talent and on-field success are obviously two different things, but the Cubs figure to be one of the favorites to win it all after a wildly successful offseason.
Chicago White Sox
Notable MLB Additions: 3B Todd Frazier, 2B Brett Lawrie, C Alex Avila, C Dioner Navarro, RP Jacob Turner (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: SP Jeff Samardzija, SS Alexei Ramirez, C Tyler Flowers, C Geovany Soto, IF Gordon Beckham, RP Matt Albers, SP Frankie Montas, OF Trayce Thompson, 2B Micah Johnson, SP Zack Erwin, RP J.B. Wendelken
A busy offseason last winter led to some lofty expectations for the Chicago White Sox, but all of their additions only added up to a three-win improvement and a fourth-place finish in the AL Central standings.
In need of upgrades at catcher, second base, shortstop, third base and perhaps at a corner outfield spot, there was significant work to do once again this offseason if they hoped to have any chance of contending in the division in 2016.
Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro were both signed to one-year deals as a stopgap platoon at the catcher position, and they should be able to improve on the .230/.293/.376 line posted by the position a year ago.
Second base (.222/.275/.305) and third base (.226/.277/.345) were also black holes offensively, and the additions of Brett Lawrie (.706 OPS, 16 HR, 60 RBI) and Todd Frazier (.806 OPS, 35 HR, 89 RBI) should make for significant upgrades as well.
The Frazier deal cost them a trio of top prospects in Frankie Montas, Micah Johnson and Trayce Thompson, but he has two years of team control remaining and will hopefully provide the protection for Abreu that the team hoped they would get out of Adam LaRoche last season.
Opting against trading Jeff Samardzija at the deadline was a mistake, and the team is somewhat short on starting pitching depth now that he's gone, but Erik Johnson still has a chance to be a solid big league starter.
Notable MLB Additions: RP Blake Wood, RP Caleb Cotham, RP Chris O'Grady (Rule 5)
Notable Prospect Additions: 2B Jose Peraza (1), SP Rookie Davis (8), 3B Eric Jagielo (9), OF Scott Schebler (15), OF Jake Cave (Rule 5; 19)
Notable Losses: 3B Todd Frazier, RP Aroldis Chapman, RP Manny Parra, C Brayan Pena, RP Sam LeCure, RP Burke Badenhop, OF Brennan Boesch, OF Jason Bourgeois, UT Skip Schumaker, UT Kris Negron
Since the start of the 2015 season, the Cincinnati Reds have sold off as much talent as any team in baseball, and that trend has continued this offseason.
Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Marlon Byrd were all shipped out at the trade deadline, bringing back a good haul of young talent, and they have further bolstered the farm system this winter with blockbuster deals involving Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman.
Without any significant additions on the big league side of things outside of a few bullpen arms, it's clear that 2016 will be a rebuilding season in Cincinnati.
Jose Peraza was the prize of the Frazier trade, and once he arrives as the everyday second baseman he'll give the team another dynamic speed threat to pair with Billy Hamilton.
Finding a way to trade Jay Bruce before the offseason is over would be nice, but it's been understandably difficult with Bruce coming off of a down season and a wealth of outfield talent on the free-agent market.
The team could also use a stopgap option in left field, as it's currently slated to be a spring battle between as many as six players, all with limited or no big league experience.
Big picture, it's all about adding young talent for the Reds, and they've continued to do that this offseason.
One has to think they could have gotten more for Frazier and Chapman if they had pulled the trigger on trading them in July, though.
Notable MLB Additions: 1B Mike Napoli, OF Rajai Davis, RP Joe Thatcher, RP Dan Otero, OF Joey Butler, OF Collin Cowgill, RP Tom Gorzelanny, RP Ross Detwiler
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: 1B/3B Chris Johnson, UT Mike Aviles, OF Ryan Raburn, RP Nick Hagadone, RP Ryan Webb, SP Gavin Floyd, RP C.C. Lee
The last time the Cleveland Indians made a significant investment in free agency it was on the ill-advised signings of Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher prior to the 2013 season, and as a whole they have generally avoided spending big in the offseason.
So while someone like Yoenis Cespedes or Justin Upton appeared to be the perfect solution to the team's glaring need for a right-handed power bat, the likelihood of the team actually signing someone of that caliber was minimal.
Instead, they have again focused on finding value at the lower end of the free-agent market, signing veterans Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis for a combined $12.25 million.
Napoli could prove to be a cheap source of power from the right side, while Davis gives the team some useful outfield depth that will no doubt be put to the test with Michael Brantley sidelined to start the season.
Finding a left-handed reliever for the bullpen was the other big need, but so far the best the team has come up with there is Joe Thatcher (43 G, 3.18 ERA, 1.544 WHIP) on a minor league deal.
The Indians have the arms to contend, there's no question, but it appears more than a few things will need to break right on the offensive side of things for them to live up to that potential.
Notable MLB Additions: OF Gerardo Parra, 1B/3B Mark Reynolds, RP Jason Motte, RP Chad Qualls
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: 1B Justin Morneau, C/1B Wilin Rosario, RP John Axford, SP Kyle Kendrick, C Michael McKenry, RP Rex Brothers, RP Tommy Kahnle
The Colorado Rockies ranked dead last in the majors last season in team ERA (5.04), starting pitching ERA (5.27) and bullpen ERA (4.70).
It stands to reason, then, that the primary focus of their offseason should be adding pitching talent anywhere they can get it.
Instead, the big addition of the winter has been outfielder Gerardo Parra.
Parra is a good player and a three-year, $27.5 million deal wasn't unreasonable, but until they trade one of their in-house outfielders he's nothing more than a redundancy.
Veterans Jason Motte (57 G, 6 SV, 3.91 ERA) and Chad Qualls (60 G, 4 SV, 4.38 ERA) are a pair of solid middle-relief arms with late-inning experience, but those two have been the extent of the team's offseason additions on the pitching side of things.
It's still very possible that the Rockies will flip one of Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson for a quality arm, but until they do it's hard to call their offseason anything but a failure.
Notable MLB Additions: SP Jordan Zimmermann, LF Justin Upton, RP Francisco Rodriguez, RP Justin Wilson, RP Mark Lowe, OF Cameron Maybin, SP Mike Pelfrey, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, UT Mike Aviles
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: SP Alfredo Simon, OF Rajai Davis, C Alex Avila, RP Al Alburquerque, RP Ian Krol, RP Gabe Speier, RP Neftali Feliz, RP Tom Gorzelanny, RP Randy Wolf, RP Joe Nathan, IF Javier Betancourt, SP Luis Cessa, SP Kyle Lobstein
After winning four straight AL Central titles, the Detroit Tigers bottomed out in a big way last season as they finished 74-87 and slipped to last place in the division standings.
However, under new general manager Al Avila, they have set to work retooling the roster this winter as they look to gear up for a return trip to the postseason.
Jordan Zimmermann and Mike Pelfrey were signed to fill out the starting rotation, and that still leaves a spot for someone from the young trio of Daniel Norris, Michael Fulmer and Buck Farmer to emerge as the No. 5 starter.
Perhaps more importantly, the bullpen was finally addressed after ranking as one of the worst in the league for several years running. Francisco Rodriguez gives the team a rock-solid closer, and the lefty-righty duo of Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe should provide a stable bridge to him.
The bench has also improved dramatically with the additions of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Aviles and Cameron Maybin, who will likely platoon in center field with Anthony Gose.
Most of those additions came early in the offseason, but the team continued to kick the tires on a big bat to man left field throughout the offseason, and they finally pulled the trigger on signing Justin Upton earlier this week with a six-year, $132.75 million deal.
Few teams lost less and added more than the Tigers have this offseason, and they will now look to chase down the World Series champion Kansas City Royals to regain division supremacy.
Notable MLB Additions: RP Ken Giles, OF Colby Rasmus (re-signed), RP Tony Sipp (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: IF Jonathan Arauz (18), SP Brendan McCurry (29)
Notable Losses: SP Scott Kazmir, IF Jed Lowrie, C Hank Conger, 1B Chris Carter, SP Brett Oberholtzer, RP Chad Qualls, RP Oliver Perez, RP Joe Thatcher, OF L.J. Hoes, OF Robbie Grossman, SP Mark Appel, SP Vincent Velasquez, SP Thomas Eshelman, SP Harold Arauz
The Houston Astros' offseason began with a surprise of sorts when outfielder Colby Rasmus decided to accept his qualifying offer, one of three players to do that this winter.
They also managed to retain left-hander Tony Sipp, who was arguably the top southpaw reliever on the free-agent market, with a well-earned three-year, $18 million after he posted a 1.99 ERA, 1.031 WHIP and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 60 appearances last season.
Despite that performance from Sipp, and an improved bullpen as a whole that climbed from 30th (4.80) to sixth (3.27) in ERA, there was still room for improvement, and the team's No. 1 priority became finding a traditional power arm to fill the closer's role.
After exploring a number of options, they eventually traded for Phillies reliever Ken Giles and his five remaining years of team control, sending a package of five pitchers to Philadelphia in return.
Giving up Mark Appel and Vincent Velasquez hurts, as both still have the potential to develop into a front-line starter, but the trade fills what was the one glaring need for the Astros and should make them a better team in 2016.
That addition, coupled with full seasons from deadline additions Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers and a healthy season from George Springer, could make the Astros legitimate title contenders.
Kansas City Royals
Notable MLB Additions: SP Ian Kennedy, RP Joakim Soria, C Tony Cruz, LF Alex Gordon (re-signed), SP Chris Young (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: SP Johnny Cueto, 2B Ben Zobrist, RP Greg Holland, RP Ryan Madson, RP Franklin Morales, RF Alex Rios, OF Jonny Gomes, SP Jeremy Guthrie
The offseason got off to a slow start for the Kansas City Royals, as their only real moves of significance heading into the new year were bringing back former All-Star Joakim Soria to replace the departed Ryan Madson in the bullpen and re-signing starter Chris Young.
However, it's been a productive month of January so far, to say the least.
A slow moving free-agent market for outfielders led Alex Gordon back to the Royals on a four-year, $72 million deal, and while that's still the largest contract in franchise history, it's also well below his anticipated market value.
The team followed up that coup by bolstering their starting rotation with the addition of Ian Kennedy on a five-year, $70 million deal.
An overpay? Maybe, but Kennedy is a durable middle-of-the-rotation arm who should slot nicely into that No. 3 starter role.
His 1,175 innings pitched since the start of the 2010 season average out to 196 innings per year, and that's good for 14th among all starters during that span.
The Kennedy signing will cost them their first-round pick, and by re-signing Gordon they also won't be receiving a compensatory pick for his qualifying offer, but the Royals' window to win is right now so their aggressive approach makes sense.
Los Angeles Angels
Notable MLB Additions: SS Andrelton Simmons, 3B Yunel Escobar, OF Daniel Nava, OF Craig Gentry, C Geovany Soto, IF Cliff Pennington, RP Al Alburquerque, 1B Ji-Man Choi, RP Deolis Guerra
Notable Prospect Additions: OF Todd Cunningham (14), C Jose Briceno (30)
Notable Losses: 3B David Freese, C Chris Iannetta, OF David Murphy, OF Shane Victorino, OF David DeJesus, OF Matt Joyce, SP Mat Latos, RP Cesar Ramos, RP Wesley Wright, RP Jo-Jo Reyes, SP Sean Newcomb, SP Chris Ellis
The Los Angeles Angels had the highest-scoring offense in baseball at 4.77 runs per game during a 98-win season in 2014, but that slipped 4.08 runs per game this past season and as a result they missed the playoffs with an 85-77 record.
So what has their big move of the offseason been?
Trading their top two prospects for a defensive whiz at shortstop who is a career .256/.304/.362 hitter.
The Angels pitching staff is going to love having Andrelton Simmons behind them, but he's a downgrade from Erick Aybar offensively and a below-average hitter even relative to the weak offensive position.
Meanwhile, they also picked up a significant regression candidate in Yunel Escobar (.347 BABIP) and some cheap depth pieces in Daniel Nava, Craig Gentry, Cliff Pennington and Geovany Soto.
To be blunt, beyond Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun, they look below average offensively across the diamond, and that runs-per-game total could slip even further.
With the entire AL West improving around them, not making a big move before the offseason is over could very well mean sliding to last place.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Notable MLB Additions: SP Scott Kazmir, SP Kenta Maeda, RP Joe Blanton, SP Brett Anderson (re-signed), 2B Chase Utley (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: SP Frankie Montas (4), 2B Micah Johnson (8), OF Trayce Thompson (16), SP Yasiel Sierra (NR)
Notable Losses: SP Zack Greinke, 2B Howie Kendrick, SS Jimmy Rollins, OF Chris Heisey, OF Justin Ruggiano, RP Juan Nicasio, RP Jim Johnson, RP Joel Peralta, 2B Jose Peraza, OF Scott Schebler, SP Joe Wieland, RP Juan Nicasio
Perhaps their plan all along was to let the starting pitching market play out if they missed out on re-signing Zack Greinke, but on the surface it did not appear the Los Angeles Dodgers had a clear Plan B in place.
They wound up settling for left-hander Scott Kazmir and Japanese star Kenta Maeda to round out the rotation, and the eventual returns of Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy, as well as the potential arrival of Julio Urias should give them good depth if nothing else.
Filling out the rotation was the biggest priority of the offseason, but their best move may have come when they got involved as a third team in the trade that sent Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox.
In that deal, they managed to turn Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler and Brandon Dixon into Frankie Montas, Trayce Thompson and Micah Johnson in what looks to be a clear upgrade in prospect talent.
Now they need to turn their attention to improving the bullpen, and they took their first step in doing that on Tuesday when they agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract with Joe Blanton, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
The bullpen is actually not in as bad of shape as some may think. Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell are a solid one-two punch at the back end, and young right-handers Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez both have some solid upside. Adding another quality veteran would still be nice, though.
There is no question the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks have both gotten significantly better this offseason, so the Dodgers have their work cut out for them if they hope to make it four straight NL West titles.
Notable MLB Additions: SP Wei-Yin Chen, SP/RP Edwin Jackson, 1B/3B Chris Johnson, C Jeff Mathis (re-signed), OF Ichiro Suzuki (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: RP Nefi Ogando (19), SP Tim Berry (27)
Notable Losses: SP Henderson Alvarez, 1B/3B Casey McGehee, IF Don Kelly
The Miami Marlins entered the 2015 season expecting to contend for a playoff spot after adding Mat Latos, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Dan Haren, David Phelps and Michael Morse to a roster that already had a good young core in place.
A 71-91 finish left them far from contention, though, and actually represented a six-win decrease over the previous season.
That being said, one clear bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season was Gordon, who won the NL batting title with a .333 average, led the NL with 58 steals and also added a well-deserved Gold Glove.
The Marlins rewarded that performance with a five-year, $50 million extension, locking up another piece long-term alongside outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich.
The search for a quality No. 2 starter to slot behind Jose Fernandez continued for much of the offseason, and eventually landed on the team signing Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year, $80 million contract.
Chen is a solid second-tier starter, but is he really worth as much as Mike Leake and only $10 million less than Jeff Samardzija? We shall see.
One under-the-radar move that could pay off was the signing of Chris Johnson as a platoon partner for Justin Bour at first base.
Johnson has struggled the past two seasons, but he's a career .314/.350/.436 hitter against left-handed pitching, and he could thrive in a platoon role.
Notable MLB Additions: 1B Chris Carter, 3B Will Middlebrooks, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, IF/OF Jonathan Villar, RP Zack Jones (Rule 5), IF/OF Colin Walsh (Rule 5), OF Keon Broxton
Notable Prospect Additions: 3B Garin Cecchini (20), IF Javier Betancourt (21), SP Trey Supak (30)
Notable Losses: RP Francisco Rodriguez, 1B Adam Lind, IF Luis Sardinas, SP Kyle Lohse, SP Johnny Hellweg, IF Elian Herrera
Similar to division foe Cincinnati, the Milwaukee Brewers' focus this offseason has been on cashing in their trade chips and filling out the roster with low-cost pieces.
First baseman Adam Lind and closer Francisco Rodriguez were both traded this offseason, with the team targeting low-level prospects in the Lind deal and acquiring infielder Javier Betancourt in exchange for K-Rod.
Meanwhile, the team scooped up Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Josmil Pinto and Andy Wilkins off waivers, signed Will Middlebrooks to a minor league deal and acquired Garin Cecchini for cash considerations. All five of those players could conceivably see time with the big league club in 2016.
They also grabbed hard-throwing Zack Jones and versatile Colin Walsh in the Rule 5 draft, as well as acquiring Keon Broxton and Trey Supak from the Pittsburgh Pirates for first baseman Jason Rogers.
Those are all small-scale, under-the-radar moves, but it's exactly what a rebuilding team like the Brewers should be doing in the offseason.
The one significant addition at the big league level is first baseman Chris Carter, who has his flaws (so many strikeouts) but also has 90 home runs over the past three seasons. On a one-year, $2.5 million deal, he should have no problem providing positive value.
Notable MLB Additions: DH Byung-ho Park, C John Ryan Murphy, RP Fernando Abad
Notable Prospect Additions: 1B/OF Daniel Palka (30)
Notable Losses: RF Torii Hunter, OF Aaron Hicks, SP Mike Pelfrey, RP Blaine Boyer, RP Brian Duensing, RP Neal Cotts, C Chris Herrmann, C Josmil Pinto
Despite a middle-of-the-pack starting rotation (4.14 ERA, 16th in MLB) ranking as perhaps their biggest weakness last season, it was unlikely that the Minnesota Twins were going to add anything significant on the pitching side of things this winter.
With considerable money committed to the trio of Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco, strong seasons from Kyle Gibson, Tommy Milone and Tyler Duffey and the impending arrival of top prospect Jose Berrios, they are nothing if not deep in starting pitching talent.
Instead, they set out to find an upgrade at the catcher position and a corner outfield replacement for the retired Torii Hunter.
After catchers hit a combined .224/.287/.308 for the Twins last season, the team moved quickly to acquire John Ryan Murphy from the New York Yankees in exchange for outfielder Aaron Hicks.
Murphy, 24, hit .277/.327/.406 with 13 extra-base hits in 155 at-bats last season, and it will be interesting to see what he can do with extended playing time.
The team then took a more circuitous route to replacing Hunter, with the signing of Korean slugger Byung-ho Park, who hit .343/.436/.714 with 53 home runs and 146 RBI in the KBO last year.
Park will serve as the primary designated hitter, and after opting against trading incumbent third baseman Trevor Plouffe to open up a spot for Miguel Sano, it will now be Sano moving to left field to fill the need for a corner outfielder.
There will be a learning curve for Sano defensively, no question, but the team's offense should be better as a whole with those two additions.
New York Mets
Notable MLB Additions: 2B Neil Walker, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, OF Alejandro De Aza, SP Bartolo Colon (re-signed), RP Jerry Blevins (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: OF Yoenis Cespedes, 2B Daniel Murphy, SP Jon Niese, RP Tyler Clippard, OF Michael Cuddyer, 3B Juan Uribe, UT Kelly Johnson, RP Eric O'Flaherty, RP Bobby Parnell, RP Jack Leathersich, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Eric Young
A number of people have been extremely negative toward what the New York Mets have done so far this offseason, coming off of an impressive run to the World Series.
You can count me among those people.
Their pitching staff is just too good—potentially historically good—to hope the offense falls into place rather than spending the money on the impact bat they so clearly need.
If David Wright stays healthy...if Michael Conforto breaks out...if Travis d'Arnaud fulfills his potential...it's simply too many question marks for a team that should be one of the front-runners in the National League but is instead crossing its fingers it doesn't again slip into being one of the most anemic offenses in baseball.
Replacing Daniel Murphy with Neil Walker was a proactive move, and it cost them an expendable piece in Jon Niese.
However, the Asdrubal Cabrera signing made absolutely no sense for a team that is apparently strapped for cash.
Cabrera is essentially the same player as incumbent Wilmer Flores, only with less upside. Was he really worth $18.5 million over two years?
Bringing back Bartolo Colon was a wise move as the team waits for Zack Wheeler to get healthy, and Jerry Blevins was also a solid piece of the bullpen puzzle last year.
However, failing to find a replacement for Yoenis Cespedes, and the front office putting its own financial issues ahead of the good of the team makes their mediocre offseason a tough pill to swallow.
New York Yankees
Notable MLB Additions: RP Aroldis Chapman, 2B Starlin Castro, OF Aaron Hicks, IF Pete Kozma
Notable Prospect Additions: SP Luis Cessa (16)
Notable Losses: SP/RP Adam Warren, RP Justin Wilson, OF Chris Young, C John Ryan Murphy, IF Stephen Drew, RP Chris Capuano, IF Brendan Ryan, RP Sergio Santos, SP Rookie Davis, 3B Eric Jagielo, RP Caleb Cotham, 2B Tony Renda
The New York Yankees' free-spending ways have been tabled in favor of player development and rebuilding the farm system, a trend that continued this offseason.
That's not to say that the team has simply sat on its hands this winter, though.
The big move was acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds. It cost them a package of four solid prospects, but nothing from the top tier of the farm system, so that looks like a win from a personnel standpoint.
Only three relievers topped 100 strikeouts last year, and the Yankees now have all three of them as Chapman joins Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller to form what has a chance to be the best bullpen trio in baseball history.
The other significant trade was acquiring Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for swingman Adam Warren.
Castro will likely begin the season as the primary second baseman, but he could also see time at third base and has spent the bulk of his career playing shortstop, so look for them to utilize that versatility.
The decision to trade left-hander Justin Wilson to the Detroit Tigers for prospects is still something of a head-scratcher, even after the team acquired Chapman, but that's the only real negative in what has quietly been a productive offseason for the Yankees.
Notable MLB Additions: RP Ryan Madson, RP Liam Hendriks, RP Marc Rzepczynski, RP John Axford, SP Rich Hill, 1B Yonder Alonso, IF Jed Lowrie, SP Henderson Alvarez
Notable Prospect Additions: SP Zack Erwin (28)
Notable Losses: SP/RP Jesse Chavez, RP Drew Pomeranz, IF Brett Lawrie, 1B Ike Davis, RP Evan Scribner, RP Dan Otero, RP Fernando Abad, RP Edward Mujica, OF Craig Gentry, SP A.J. Griffin, RP Arnold Leon, SP Brendan McCurry
The Oakland Athletics bullpen was an absolute disaster last year, so it's no surprise that overhauling the relief corps has been the majors focus of the offseason.
The bullpen ranked 28th in the majors and last in the American League with a 4.63 ERA last season, converting just 28 of 53 save chances. That played a significant role in the team's abysmal 19-35 record in one-run games.
A healthy Sean Doolittle returning to the closer's role will be a significant help, and he'll be joined by newcomers Ryan Madson, Liam Hendriks, Marc Rzepczynski and John Axford.
The deal that sent Jesse Chavez in his final year of team control to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Hendriks and his four remaining years of team control looks like a great move for Oakland in particular.
Yonder Alonso was acquired in exchange for reliever Drew Pomeranz to replace Ike Davis at first base, Jed Lowrie was re-acquired from the Houston Astros, which led to the team trading Brett Lawrie, and Rich Hill managed to parlay his strong finish to last season into a one-year, $6 million deal.
The X-factor for the rotation could be Henderson Alvarez, whom the Miami Marlins somewhat surprisingly non-tendered and who could make a serious impact once he returns from shoulder surgery.
Outside of perhaps spending a little too much on Madson with a three-year $22 million deal, it's hard to poke holes in what the A's have done this winter.
Notable MLB Additions: SP Jeremy Hellickson, SP Charlie Morton, RP David Hernandez, SP Brett Oberholtzer, RP Edward Mujica, RP James Russell, RP Ernesto Frieri, RP Andrew Bailey, OF Peter Bourjos, SP Vincent Velasquez, RP Daniel Stumpf
Notable Prospect Additions: SP Mark Appel (2), SP Thomas Eshelman (13), OF Tyler Goeddel (20)
Notable Losses: RP Ken Giles, OF Domonic Brown, OF Jeff Francoeur, SP Cliff Lee, SP Aaron Harang, SP Chad Billingsley, SP Jerome Williams, SP Jonathan Pettibone, RP Justin De Fratus, OF Brian Bogusevic, C Erik Kratz, SP Sam McWilliams
We've touched on it a few times already with other teams, but when a franchise is rebuilding, there are two things they should be focusing on in the offseason.
- 1. Adding more young talent
- 2. Adding low-cost veterans who could potentially become trade chips
The Philadelphia Phillies have finally committed fully to the idea of rebuilding, and those two things are exactly what they've done this winter.
The closer on a non-contending team should never be their most valuable trade chip, so the Phillies were wise to sell high on Ken Giles, and if Mark Appel and/or Vincent Velasquez approach their ceilings that trade will look even better.
As for adding low-cost veterans, the team acquired the trio of Jeremy Hellickson, Charlie Morton and Brett Oberholtzer in three separate trades to fill out the rotation, and any of those three could potentially pitch their way into being a valuable trade piece.
In the bullpen, the team signed David Hernandez to a one-year, $3.9 million deal and also added the likes of Edward Mujica, James Russell, Ernesto Frieri and Andrew Bailey on minor league deals.
Expect at least a couple of the non-roster invitees to earn a roster spot, and one could even emerge as the team's new closer as Mujica, Frieri and Bailey all have ninth-inning experience.
The Phillies are still a long way from contention, but they have perfectly executed what an offseason should look like for a rebuilding team.
Notable MLB Additions: SP Jon Niese, 1B John Jaso, SP Ryan Vogelsong, RP Neftali Feliz, RP Juan Nicasio, RP Yoervis Medina, 1B/OF Jake Goebbert, SP Kyle Lobstein, UT Sean Rodriguez (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: SP Trevor Williams (20)
Notable Losses: 2B Neil Walker, 1B Pedro Alvarez, SP J.A. Happ, SP A.J. Burnett, SP Charlie Morton, RP Joakim Soria, RP Antonio Bastardo, RP Joe Blanton, 3B Aramis Ramirez, OF Travis Snider, 1B/OF Travis Ishikawa, C Tony Sanchez
After undergoing a good deal of roster turnover this winter, the Pittsburgh Pirates have their work cut out for them if they hope to make it four straight postseason appearances.
Gone from the rotation are A.J. Burnett, J.A. Happ and Charlie Morton, leaving Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Jeff Locke and two vacant spots to fill on the staff.
Jon Niese was acquired from the New York Mets to fill one of them, with the team sending free-agent-to-be Neil Walker the other way in that trade.
The other spot will go to veteran Ryan Vogelsong, at least to begin the season, as he keeps the job warm for top prospect Tyler Glasnow, who is expected to arrive at some point in 2016.
The 38-year-old Vogelsong went 9-11 with a 4.67 ERA last season, but pitching coach Ray Searage has done more with less.
Speaking of Searage, he'll look to work his reclamation magic on a trio of relievers in Neftali Feliz, Juan Nicasio and Yoervis Medina with the hope that one of those three can emerge as a reliable setup option to replace the departed Joakim Soria.
As expected, the team opted to non-tender Pedro Alvarez rather than pay him a projected $8.1 million, via MLBTradeRumors, in arbitration. A platoon of newcomer John Jaso and Michael Morse will now man first base and has a chance to be a very productive duo.
The team will definitely miss Walker, but trading one year of him for potentially three years of Niese if his options are exercised was too good to pass up.
Prospect Alen Hanson looks like the favorite to man second base on Opening Day, but once Jung-ho Kang returns the team can put him at third base and move Josh Harrison to second, so big picture they should be okay on the infield.
San Diego Padres
Notable MLB Additions: SS Alexei Ramirez, OF Jon Jay, RP Drew Pomeranz, RP Carlos Villanueva, IF Jose Pirela, RP Josh Martin, RP Buddy Baumann, SP Brandon Morrow (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: CF Manuel Margot (1), SS Javier Guerra (3), SP Luis Perdomo (9), SP Logan Allen (19), IF Carlos Asuaje (20), OF Jabari Blash (23)
Notable Losses: OF Justin Upton, RP Craig Kimbrel, SP Ian Kennedy, RP Joaquin Benoit, RP Shawn Kelley, IF Jedd Gyorko, SS Clint Barmes, 3B Will Middlebrooks, SP Bud Norris, SP Josh Johnson, SP Cory Luebke
An whirlwind offseason last year made the San Diego Padres a popular pick to contend, but things did not fall into place as hoped and the team wound up finishing in fourth place in the NL West at 74-88.
That led the front office to do some necessary damage control this winter, starting with trading Craig Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox for a trade package headlined by top-tier prospects Manuel Margot and Javier Guerra.
Also gone after just one season with the team are Justin Upton, Joaquin Benoit, Shawn Kelley, Clint Barmes and Will Middlebrooks.
The team mulled their options for upgrading an incredibly weak shortstop position for much of the offseason before eventually landing on a one-year, $4 million deal with veteran Alexei Ramirez.
Ramirez had a .642 OPS last season, good for 135th among 142 qualified hitters, while the Padres got a .644 OPS from the shortstop position. Hard to get too excited about that signing.
Infielder Jedd Gyorko was flipped to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Jon Jay in what also looks like a potentially ill-advised move, despite the Padres unloading the $33 million he's owed over the next four years in the process.
Gyorko has been disappointing since a big rookie season, but he appeared to turn a corner in the second half last year when he posted a .739 OPS with 13 home runs and 43 RBI. If he breaks out, was it really worth that minimal salary relief?
Adding Drew Pomeranz and Carlos Villanueva should help lessen the blow of losing Kimbrel, Benoit and Kelley, and it appears Brandon Maurer will get the first crack at closing.
Restocking the farm system was nice, but this hasn't been a great offseason for a Padres team that was forced to do some back-tracking after their aggressive approach last winter.
San Francisco Giants
Notable MLB Additions: SP Johnny Cueto, SP Jeff Samardzija, CF Denard Span, 1B/OF Kyle Blanks
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: SP Mike Leake, SP Tim Hudson, SP Tim Lincecum, OF Nori Aoki, OF Marlon Byrd, SP Ryan Vogelsong, RP Jeremy Affeldt, RP Yusmeiro Petit, OF Alejandro De Aza, 2B Marco Scutaro, C Hector Sanchez
The San Francisco Giants once again missed out on their top offseason target when they failed to sign Zack Greinke, but unlike last offseason when they missed out on Jon Lester and then sat on their hands, they quickly moved on to a backup plan this time around.
That wound up being Jeff Samardzija, who was signed to a five-year, $90 million deal shortly after Greinke decided to join the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The team wasn't finished there, though, as they followed that signing up by adding Johnny Cueto on a six-year, $130 million deal.
Those two newcomers alongside Madison Bumgarner give the Giants a terrific trio of starters to lean on, as well as enough starting pitching depth that they're not forced to rely on anything from Matt Cain.
The other hole was in left field, which the team addressed by taking a chance on Denard Span with a three-year, $31 million deal after an injury-plagued 2015 season.
Span hit .302 and led the NL with 184 hits in 2014, and he'll replace Angel Pagan in center field and atop the lineup as long as he's healthy.
Meanwhile, the oft-injured Pagan will now compete with Gregor Blanco, Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson for playing time in left field.
It was time for some necessary change for the Giants to make a move back toward contention, and swapping out Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson and Vogelsong with Samardzija and Cueto was exactly the retooling the team needed.
Notable MLB Additions: 1B Adam Lind, SP Wade Miley, SP Nate Karns, RP Joaquin Benoit, RP Steve Cishek, OF Nori Aoki, C Chris Iannetta, OF Leonys Martin, RP Evan Scribner, RP Justin De Fratus, C Steve Clevenger, IF Luis Sardinas, SP Hisashi Iwakuma (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: OF Boog Powell (6), RP Jonathan Aro (27)
Notable Losses: RP Carson Smith, DH Mark Trumbo, SS Brad Miller, 1B Logan Morrison, RP Danny Farquhar, RP Tom Wilhelmsen, RP C.J. Riefenhauser, OF James Jones, SP Roenis Elias
Suffice to say new general manager Jerry Dipoto was not happy with the roster he inherited when he took over the reins of the Seattle Mariners.
Since the start of the offseason, he's made a total of 11 trades and seven major league free-agent signings. That adds up to 10 projected newcomers on the Opening Day roster, according to Roster Resource.
Tops among those additions is first baseman Adam Lind, who doesn't hit a lick against left-handed pitching but has a chance to form a very productive platoon with Jesus Montero.
Wade Miley and Nate Karns add some valuable starting pitching depth, and the team also managed to bring back veteran Hisashi Iwakuma after his free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers fell through.
However, the biggest change of all figures to be an overhauled bullpen, after the relief corps slipped from the best ERA in the majors (2.59) in 2014 to 25th in the league (4.15) last year.
Steve Cishek is the new closer, while Joaquin Benoit, Evan Scribner and Justin De Fratus all figure to break camp in the bullpen as well.
The one major head-scratcher was trading Carson Smith and Roenis Elias to the Boston Red Sox to acquire the aforementioned Miley.
That came prior to re-signing Iwakuma, so it made a bit more sense at the time, but that was still entirely too much to give up for a middle-of-the-rotation arm.
St. Louis Cardinals
Notable MLB Additions: SP Mike Leake, IF Jedd Gyorko, RP Seung-hwan Oh, C Brayan Pena, RP Jonathan Broxton (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: SP/RP Matt Bowman (22)
Notable Losses: RF Jason Heyward, SP John Lackey, OF Jon Jay, 1B/3B Mark Reynolds, RP Carlos Villanueva, IF Pete Kozma, OF Peter Bourjos, C Tony Cruz, RP Matt Belisle, RP Randy Choate, RP Steve Cishek
It's been a tough offseason for the St. Louis Cardinals, as they failed in their pursuit of David Price and then watched as Jason Heyward spurned their long-term offer in favor of signing with the rival Chicago Cubs.
With no significant additions made on the offensive side of things after the team ranked 24th in the league at 3.99 runs per game, it will fall on young outfielders Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty to boost the offense in their first full seasons in the majors.
Season-ending Tommy John surgery by Lance Lynn kicked off the team's pursuit of another starting pitcher, and after missing on Price they eventually settled for Mike Leake on a five-year, $80 million deal.
The 28-year-old has been a steady, durable, middle-of-the-rotation arm since breaking into the league in 2010 and was definitely one of the safest options in a deep crop of free-agent pitchers.
The franchise has not been overly aggressive on the international market over the years, at least as far as established talent is concerned, but they bucked the trend with the signing of reliever Seung-hwan Oh.
After nine dominant seasons in the KBO, Oh spent the past two seasons pitching for the Hanshin Tigers in the Japanese League.
He tallied 41 saves with a 2.73 ERA, 1.154 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 last season, and he has 357 total saves in his 11 professional seasons. He won't be closing for the Cardinals, but he should be a welcome addition to a bullpen that was lacking a reliable right-handed setup man last year.
It's fair to say the offseason did not go according to plan for the Cardinals, but they've done a nice job picking up the pieces, and should again be right in the thick of things in the NL Central.
Failing to bolster the offense definitely drags down their grade, though.
Tampa Bay Rays
Notable MLB Additions: SS Brad Miller, 1B Logan Morrison, RP Danny Farquhar, C Hank Conger, SP Chase Whitley
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: SP Nate Karns, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, 1B John Jaso, RP C.J. Riefenhauser, OF Joey Butler, OF Daniel Nava, OF Grady Sizemore, C J.P. Arencibia, RP Brandon Gomes, RP Kirby Yates, OF Boog Powell
The Tampa Bay Rays are never going to make a splash on the free-agent market, as their small-market status forces them to get creative when it comes to adding talent.
It's been a relatively quiet offseason, despite a steady stream of speculation surrounding their controllable young starting pitchers as well as the relief duo of Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger.
They did pull the trigger on one significant trade early in the offseason, sending a package of players built around right-hander Nate Karns to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Danny Farquhar.
Miller looks like the front-runner to start at shortstop, though his extreme splits (.803 OPS vs. RHP, .513 OPS vs. LHP in 2015) could necessitate a platoon.
Morrison should be the primary designated hitter, while Farquhar figures to be one of the team's primary relievers and could move into an even more significant role if McGee is in fact traded before the offseason is over.
The only other significant addition is catcher Hank Conger, who was acquired from the Houston Astros for cash considerations.
Conger hit 11 doubles and 11 home runs in 201 at-bats last year and graded out as a plus pitch-framer, according to Stat Corner's Matthew Carruth, but he was comically bad at controlling the running game with would-be base stealers successful in 42 of 43 attempts against him.
Once again, the question will be whether or not the Rays can muster up enough offense to back a starting rotation that ranked first in the AL and sixth in the majors with a 3.63 ERA last season.
Notable MLB Additions: RP Tom Wilhelmsen, RP Tony Barnette, OF Justin Ruggiano, OF James Jones, SP Colby Lewis (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: 1B/3B Patrick Kivlehan (18)
Notable Losses: SP Yovani Gallardo, OF Leonys Martin, 1B Mike Napoli, OF Will Venable, OF Drew Stubbs, RP Anthony Bass, RP Spencer Patton, SP Nick Tepesch
There may not have been a more complete team heading into the offseason than the Texas Rangers, so they've been expectedly quiet so far this winter.
Re-signing Colby Lewis to a one-year, $6 million deal was a smart move—especially considering Yu Darvish won't be ready to go by Opening Day in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Lewis has led the team in innings pitched each of the past two seasons, and he was 17-9 with a 4.66 ERA and 1.236 WHIP last year.
The bullpen was already in great shape with Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson, Keone Kela and Shawn Tolleson at the back end, so the additions of Tony Barnette and Tom Wilhelmsen were just icing on the cake.
Barnette, 32, began his career in the Diamondbacks organization but never reached the majors before making the move to Japan.
After a slow start to his career overseas, he turned himself into one of the best closers in Japan, saving 41 games with a 1.29 ERA, 0.894 WHIP and 8.0 K/9 last season.
Finding a better insurance policy for Josh Hamilton in left field than Justin Ruggiano would be nice, but someone like Joey Gallo or Nomar Mazara could wind up being the answer if he misses significant time anyway.
Toronto Blue Jays
Notable MLB Additions: SP J.A. Happ, RP Drew Storen, SP/RP Jesse Chavez, SP Marco Estrada (re-signed), C Josh Thole (re-signed)
Notable Prospect Additions: SP Joe Biagini (17)
Notable Losses: SP David Price, OF Ben Revere, SP Mark Buehrle, RP LaTroy Hawkins, RP Mark Lowe, C Dioner Navarro, IF Maicer Izturis, IF Cliff Pennington
The Toronto Blue Jays worked quickly to address their starting rotation, and while it was not with a long-term deal for David Price as many fans had hoped, their staff still has a chance to be solid.
Marco Estrada was re-signed with a two-year, $26 million deal, negating his qualifying offer, as he will look to prove his breakout season wasn't a fluke.
That will be no easy task, though, as Heath Cummings of CBS Sports provided the numbers:
Estrada will always be a low BABIP guy with his fly ball tendencies, but the .216 mark he posted last year was the lowest by a qualified starter since 1988. There is no chance he's repeating that, or likely getting close. Maybe more importantly, it's very difficult to see him matching that (8.7%) HR/FB rate in Toronto.
The team also rolled the dice on J.A. Happ's 2015 performance with the Pittsburgh Pirates being the real deal.
An overlooked deadline addition when David Price and Johnny Cueto were also changing teams, Happ went 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA and 1.026 WHIP in 11 starts with the Pirates. That earned him a three-year, $36 million deal.
Swingman Jesse Chavez was also acquired in a trade with the Oakland Athletics, as he'll compete for the No. 5 starter job and provide valuable depth for the rotation and bullpen.
Arguably the biggest move of the offseason came last week, though, when the team flipped speedy outfielder Ben Revere to the Washington Nationals for reliever Drew Storen.
Roberto Osuna was great in the closer's role last year, but the former starter could be even more valuable as a setup man capable of going multiple innings. The move also allows the team some flexibility with Aaron Sanchez, who could return to the rotation or be back in the bullpen.
This may not have been the offseason Blue Jays fans expected, but they still look like the team to beat in the American League.
Notable MLB Additions: CF Ben Revere, 2B Daniel Murphy, RP Shawn Kelley, RP Yusmeiro Petit, RP Oliver Perez, RP Trevor Gott, IF Stephen Drew
Notable Prospect Additions: None
Notable Losses: SP Jordan Zimmermann, RP Drew Storen, SS Ian Desmond, IF Yunel Escobar, CF Denard Span, SP Doug Fister, 2B Dan Uggla, OF Nate McLouth, RP Matt Thornton, RP Casey Janssen, RP Craig Stammen
The Washington Nationals lost a good deal of talent to free agency when Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Denard Span and Doug Fister hit the open market, but they still look to have the talent to contend.
Signing Daniel Murphy and Stephen Drew means the team won't have to rely on Trea Turner as their everyday shortstop to begin the year, but it also doesn't block his eventual arrival as Danny Espinosa can simply return to a super utility role.
Reworking the bullpen was a necessity, and adding Shawn Kelley, Yusmeiro Petit, Oliver Perez and Trevor Gott did just that. Losing Drew Storen hurts from a talent standpoint, but it was a move that had to be made to bring some clarity to the closer's role.
Trading Storen also answered the question of who would replace Span as the team's leadoff hitter, as Ben Revere brings a similar skill set to the top of the lineup as the team's new center fielder.
Not spending big this offseason puts the Nationals in a good position to re-sign Stephen Strasburg next offseason if they decide to make that a priority.
Otherwise, they can always stash that savings away in advance of what could be a multi-billion dollar deal to lock up Bryce Harper long-term.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted.