MLB Free Agency: The Offseason Move Each Team Already Regrets

Anthony LifrieriContributor IApril 12, 2011

MLB Free Agency: The Offseason Move Each Team Already Regrets

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    I don't think the Phillies will regret this move anytime soon...
    I don't think the Phillies will regret this move anytime soon...Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The past offseason was a memorable one that saw more premier players change teams than in years past.  Obviously, not every signing or move will work our for each team as they plan it, but in most cases, it's too soon to chalk up mistakes.

    However, there are some moves teams made that they already regret.  Here is each team's big regret from the offseason:

Angels: Missing Out on Cliff Lee

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    The Angels couldn't get Cliff Lee, but Vernon Wells was a pretty good consolation prize for their offense.
    The Angels couldn't get Cliff Lee, but Vernon Wells was a pretty good consolation prize for their offense.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    This will be a popular mistake by many teams.  The Angels needed starting pitching help, and never seemed to be in on the market’s best starter. 

    The Angels got much better offensively, but the Vernon Wells trade may keep them from being able to acquire another starter, which could cost them in the end.

Astros: Doing Nothing

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 08:  Left fielder Carlos Lee #45 of the Houston Astros makes a catch at the fence in the first inning against the Florida Marlins at Minute Maid Park on April 8, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Lee was injured on the play but remained in the game.
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    The Astros are prepping for the future, but their farm didn’t get much better in the process, and the team's older stars like Carlos Lee are not getting any younger. 

    They should work on trading Lee and Wandy Rodriguez for some prospects to prep for 2012.

A's: Signing Brian Fuentes

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 10: Closer Brian Fuentes #57 of the Oakland Athletics throws against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning of their game on April 10, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Athletics defeated the Twins 5-3. (Photo by
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    The A’s gave $10.5 million and two years to a closer who had little more than one good season over the course of his career. 

    The A’s could have done a lot more with that money and now must deal with a bad contract for the next two seasons.

Blue Jays: Trading Shaun Marcum

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    MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 24:  Shaun Marcum #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait during Spring Training Media Day on February 24, 2011 at Maryvale Stadium in Maryvale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    HUGE mistake.  Shaun Marcum was one of the best pitchers in the American League.  Losing Marcum is a mistake going forward, because he could have been an important piece for the future. 

    Still, there’s a lot to look up for with the Jays, because they should get better soon due to their strong farm system, and solid payroll flexibility.

Braves: Uggla/Infante Trade

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    MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 04: Dan Uggla #26 of the Atlanta Braves follows the flight of his solo home run in the 8th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during the home opener at Miller Park on April 4, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Braves defeated the B
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Dan Uggla—one of baseball’s most overrated players.

    Omar Infante—emerged as one of baseball’s better players, and contended for a batting title.

    Why would the Braves make this deal?

Brewers: Not Extending Prince Fielder

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    MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 04: Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers greets teammates during player inrtoductions before the home opener against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park on April 4, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Braves defeated the Brewers 2
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Brew Crew had a pretty epic offseason, but they should have focused on extending Prince Fielder.  He will have a monster year, and as a result, his price will go way up.  

    The Brewers could have saved $10-20 million as a result of not extending him.

Cardinals: Not Improving the Rotation

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    JUPITER, FL - MARCH 01:  Pitcher Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws against the Florida Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Sure, the Cards couldn’t have known what was wrong with Adam Wainwright, but the fact remains that their rotation needed help on the back end. 

    Now the Cardinals are a mid-tier team, and there isn’t much hope for them to compete with the Brewers for the division

Cubs: Signing Carlos Pena

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    MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Carlos Pena of the Chicago Cubs poses for a portrait during media photo day at Finch Park on February 22, 2011 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Cubs gave $10 million to a sub-.250 hitter.  Sure, Pena can pick it at first and hit for power, but it’s tough to endorse someone who hits for such a low average. 

    Pena is hurt, and also has yet to hit a home run this season, adding to the angst of the move. 

D-Backs: Trading Mark Reynolds

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    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 04:  Third baseman Mark Reynolds #12 of the Baltimore Orioles against the Detroit Tigers during opening day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 4, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Reynolds is a four-tool player that needs help cutting his strikeout rate.  The D-Backs gave up on him, and got nothing in return when they shipped him to Baltimore. 

    Now Arizona’s lineup is anemic.  Their loss is the Orioles gain.

Dodgers: Not Getting a Big Bat

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31:  Tony Gwynn #10, Matt Kemp #27 and Andre Ethier #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate their 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevo
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The Dodgers could use a big bat in the middle of the order to protect Andre Ethier.  Ethier is also injury-prone, so having another bat also could keep the team going offensively if he were to get hurt. 

    Look for the Dodgers to rectify this mistake by trading for Carlos Beltran at the trade deadline if they’re still in contention.

Giants: Letting Edgar Renteria Go

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  World Series MVP Edgar Renteria of the San Francisco Giants receives his MVP trophy in the locker room after the Giants won 3-1 against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arling
    Pool/Getty Images

    The Giants let the World Series MVP walk, and replaced him with an aging Miguel Tejada.  Tejada is not off to a hot start, and the Giants should probably realize they could still use Renteria for another year or two.

Indians: Doing Nothing

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    SEATTLE - APRIL 10:  Starting pitcher Josh Tomlin #43 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 10, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The Indians did nothing to get better for 2011.  As a result, they will stink, and no one will go to the Jake unless the Yankees are in town. 

Mariners: Not Trading Ichiro

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    SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 08:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners runs the bases against the Cleveland Indians during the Mariners' home opener at Safeco Field on April 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    OK, so this is pretty blasphemous in the eyes of Mariners fans, but it’s time to face the music: Ichiro is past his prime. 

    Trading Ichiro to a team that needs help in the outfield would give the Mariners prospects and payroll flexibility while he is still worth a lot. 

    By waiting, the Mariners only allowed his value to decrease.

Marlins: Signing Javier Vazquez

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    HOUSTON,TX- APRIL 9 : Pitcher Javier Vasquez #23 of the Florida Marlins kicks the mound in the third inning after giving up back to back doubles against the Houston Astros in a MLB baseball game on April 9, 2011 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The
    Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

    Looks like the jump back to the NL hasn’t helped Javy, who in turn hasn’t helped the Florida Marlins at all.  Still, they only have to deal with him for one year, so it was a bit of a low-risk signing. 

    The Marlins should try and unload him for a prospect at the deadline if he can turn it around at some point.

Mets: Not Unloading Veterans

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    The Mets are obviously not going anywhere this year, so why didn’t they unload useless players like Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay when they had the chance? 

    They will be worth a lot at the deadline, but they could have gotten more during the offseason.

Nationals: Overpaying for Jayson Werth

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10:  Jason Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals waits to bat against  the New York Mets during their game on April 10, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    I happen to like Jayson Werth, and I think signing him was a good move. 

    However, I think they overpaid by about $20 million for him, and if the Washington Nationals revert to their frugal ways, that $20 million could have done a lot more for them over the course of the contract.

Orioles: Passing on Rafael Soriano

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    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  Rafael Soriano #29 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the eighth inning on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 31, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    This is more of a nitpick, because the Orioles improved more than any other team in baseball.  

    Kevin Gregg won’t do the job, and having an elite closer would have put the O’s in the hunt for the division title, especially considering Soriano went to the Yankees.

Padres: Trading Adrian Gonzalez

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    Welcome back to the cellar San Diego Padres.  Once again, you’ve proved that you don’t deserve your fan base by trading your best player for prospects that won’t pan out for years. 

    Worst of all, Padre fans will miss their Gonzo the Great...

Phillies: Not Cutting Brad Lidge Loose

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    CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Brad Lidge #54 of the Philadelphia Phillies poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at Bright House Networks Field on February 22, 2011 in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Lidge is great when he’s on, but he’s too inconsistent to bank on for a team with such high expectations. 

    Teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox would have traded for Lidge, allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to dump a high salary.  The Phillies’ rotation should be good enough to carry them.

Pirates: Not Doing Anything

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    PITTSBURGH - APRIL 07:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is introduced before the Opening Day game against the Colorado Rockies on April 7, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    I always say, when you always build for tomorrow, tomorrow never comes.  Unless the Pirates find a way to clone Andrew McCutchen, along with his overly cheap contract, the Pirates will NEVER win. 

    The Pirates will once again dwell at the bottom of their division, with little attendance, but they’ll still turn a profit thanks to revenue sharing.  Small-market bamboozling at its best.

Rangers: Not Re-Signing Cliff Lee

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Obviously, not re-signing Cliff Lee puts a major damper on the Texas Rangers' rotation.  While their starting pitching held up well so far, the Rangers will need an ace to go up against the likes of Jon Lester and CC Sabathia in the postseason.

Rays: Manny

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    FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day on February 22, 2011 at the Charlotte Sports Complex in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    This one is super-obvious.   All Manny did was run his mouth, bring horrible production and publicity to Tampa, and tarnish what’s left of his legacy. 

    For what it's worth, I do believe he and Papi, "NEVER took NO steroids."

    A fitting end to the career of such a cancer, it’s just too bad the Tampa Bay Rays had to suffer for it.

Red Sox: Signing Carl Crawford?

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    BOSTON, MA - APRIL 8:  Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox snags a fly ball against the New York Yankees during Opening Day at Fenway Park on April 8, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Well, maybe right now…

    It doesn’t matter, because Crawford will hit and produce for the Red Sox, it’s just a matter of time. 

    However, if they feel like starting another curse, they can always trade him to the Yankees.

Reds: Not Acquiring a Premier Starter

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    Pavano could have really helped the Reds
    Pavano could have really helped the RedsElsa/Getty Images

    The Reds didn’t need to sign Cliff Lee, but a Carl Pavano or Ted Lilly would have done wonders for the Reds’ fragile rotation.  Now they’ll have to trade for a starter at the trade deadline.

Rockies: Not Trading for Michael Young

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    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 11:  Michael Young #10 of the Texas Rangers during the spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Rockies’ biggest weakness is at third base, and Michael Young would have fixed that hole nicely.  Instead, Ian Stewart and Ty Wigginton must hold down the fort, both of whom will not do. 

    The Rockies will have no alternative but to trade for another third baseman somewhere down the line.  It is doubtful they will find one as good as Young.

Royals:Trading Zack Greinke

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 10:  Pitchers Zack Greinke #13 and Shaun Marcum #18  of the Milwaukee Brewers look at fans during the spring teaining baseball agme against Colorado Rockies at Maryvale Baseball Park on March 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Ke
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The Kansas City Royals need to stop penny-pinching and start trying to win. 

    Sure, their farm system is great, but how much better would the Royals be in a couple of years with Greinke in the middle of his prime and still on the team? 

    This trade will keep the Royals from winning down the road, just as trading Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon and other budding stars did in the previous decade.

Tigers: Signing Victor Martinez

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    DETROIT, MI - APRIL 11:  Victor Martinez #41 of the Detroit Tigers looks on while playing the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on April 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Texas won the game 2-0. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Detroit Tigers overpaid for a glorified first baseman/DH/below-average defensive catcher in Victor Martinez.  Sure Martinez can rake, but he isn’t getting any younger, and his defense is poor at best. 

    Miguel Cabrera may have made a nice transition to first base, but there is also the possibility he needs to DH down the road, creating a logjam with Martinez. 

    The money the Tigers spent on V-Mart would have been much better spent on improving their weak rotation.

Twins: Not Trading Francisco Liriano

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    FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Pitcher Francisco Liriano #47 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a photo during photo day at Hammond Stadium on February 25, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Francisco Liriano is an elite talent, but is a bit inconsistent, and never really had a great season except for his brief stint in 2003 before his injury.  Liriano is already off to a slow start, which further lowers his stock. 

    Perhaps the Twins would have been wise to trade Liriano, who is damaged goods while they could have gotten a king’s ransom. 

    The Jesus Montero/Ivan Nova package from the Yankees would have been perfect for the Twins, who might get less than that at the deadline if Liriano struggles

White Sox: Overpaying for Adam Dunn

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 17:  Adam Dunn #32 of the Chicago White Sox talks to teammate Gordon Beckham #15 before playing against the Milwaukee Brewers during the spring training game at Maryvale Baseball Park on March 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by K
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Adam Dunn is a great person, but not a great ballplayer.  The Chicago White Sox spent too much money on a sub-.270 hitter, who will basically DH his entire career on the South Side. 

    It also will create a logjam with current first baseman Paul Konerko, who is no spring chicken.

Yankees: Re-Signing Derek Jeter

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    Yankee fans will most likely agree with the video.

    However, Jeter has slowed down in the field, and seems to have hit a wall at the plate.  He also had a horrendous 2010, where he hit well under .300 for the first time in his career. 

    Giving a 36-year-old shortstop three-years is never a smart idea.  Giving a 36-year-old shortstop $51 million for $10 million worth of production is even more foolish. 

    I love Jeter, but the writing seems on the wall that his days of playing at an elite level are over, and now Yankee fans must suffer for three years of poor play and a bad contract.