MLB Free Agency: The Offseason Move Each Team Already Regrets
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.