Predicting Every MLB Team's Best and Worst Offseason Move
Spring training is now in full swing around the league, and the 2015 MLB season is drawing closer with each day.
Full squad workouts have begun, and the first spring training games are slated to begin next week, as we are now a little over a month from Opening Day.
In the meantime, the prediction and preview articles will continue to flow, as we gear up for what promises to be another exciting season of baseball.
What follows is my take on what will wind up being the best and worst offseason move for each MLB team.
Best Move: Trading for RF Travis Snider
The Baltimore Orioles have not made many significant additions this offseason, but buying low on Travis Snider to fill the hole in right field has a chance to be a good one.
The 27-year-old former top prospect hit .264/.338/.438 with 15 doubles and 13 home runs for the Pirates last season, before losing playing time to top prospect Gregory Polanco.
Worst Move: Signing IF Everth Cabrera
A one-year, $2.4 million deal for a middle infielder who was an All-Star as recently as 2013 is a decent low-risk, high-reward move for the Orioles.
That being said, if Cabrera steals playing time from Jonathan Schoop at second base, this deal could wind up hurting them long term. Schoop hit just .209 with a .598 OPS last season, but he's a terrific defender with some legitimate pop (16 HR) and needs to be given everyday playing time to continue developing.
Boston Red Sox
Best Move: Trading for SP Wade Miley
At 38-35 with a 3.79 ERA in three-plus big league seasons, and with three straight seasons of at least 190 innings, Wade Miley should continue to be a rock-solid middle-of-the-rotation arm for the Boston Red Sox.
Giving up Allen Webster to acquire him hurts, but the Red Sox are stacked with pitching prospects, and Miley is under team control through 2018. The left-hander is owed a very reasonable $20.75 million over the next three years, with a $12 million option for 2018.
Worst Move: Not finding a No. 1 starter
Obviously the Miley trade helps the rotation, as does the decision to flip slugger Yoenis Cespedes for Rick Porcello, but the idea of those two leading the rotation alongside Clay Buchholz is easily the biggest question mark surrounding this team.
Failing to re-sign Jon Lester has left the Red Sox without a legitimate staff ace. It's certainly possible that Porcello could step into that role or someone like Buchholz or Justin Masterson could rebound, but for a team that spent so much this offseason that's a glaring hole that could keep them from contending.
New York Yankees
Best Move: Trading for SP Nathan Eovaldi
Nathan Eovaldi is still somewhat rough around the edges, but he's also just 25 years old, and already has 460 big league innings under his belt.
Eovaldi topped 30 starts for the first time last season, going 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 199.2 innings, but his 3.37 FIP is a good indication there could be bigger things to come. Flipping Martin Prado and David Phelps for Eovaldi and Garrett Jones has a chance to turn out as a big win for the New York Yankees if Eovaldi can take another step forward.
Worst Move: Signing 2B Stephen Drew
For a Yankees team with aging, overpriced veterans up and down the lineup, the idea of a position battle this spring between prospects Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder for the second base job gave fans something to get excited about.
That is until the team decided to bring back Stephen Drew on a one-year, $5 million deal. It's still possible that one of those guys could impress enough this spring to win the job and bump Drew to a utility role, but with Brendan Ryan also on the roster and set to make $2 million that probably won't happen.
Tampa Bay Rays
Best Move: Trading for RP Jose Dominguez
Pitchers who can consistently dial up their fastball to triple digits are a rare commodity, but that's exactly what Jose Dominguez brings to the table for the Tampa Bay Rays, as he'll get every chance to win a bullpen job this spring.
Acquired from the Dodgers in the Joel Peralta deal, the 24-year-old had 10 saves with a 3.24 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 33.1 innings in Triple-A last season.
Worst Move: Trading away OF Wil Myers
On the surface the idea of flipping Wil Myers seems crazy, given his age, cost and potential upside. Sure he had a down year in 2014, but this is the same guy who provided a huge spark to the offense in 2013 and helped lead the team to the postseason.
Steven Souza has a chance to be a solid everyday player, Burch Smith is a solid pitching prospect and Rene Rivera should be an upgrade at catcher offensively. It's hard not to think the team sold low on the 24-year-old, though, and it's a deal they could really wind up regretting.
Toronto Blue Jays
Best Move: Signing C Russell Martin...
As far as the 2015 season is concerned, adding Russell Martin to the mix immediately makes the Toronto Blue Jays a better team.
The 32-year-old is not only coming off of a terrific .290/.402/.430 season at the plate, but he's also one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, and should help in the development of the team's young pitchers like Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris and others.
Worst Move: ...to a back-loaded, five-year deal
That being said, the five-year, $82 million price tag was a steep one for a 32-year-old catcher, even after he posted a 9.8 WAR over the past two seasons.
The back-loaded nature of the deal in particular could be a disaster, as he's owed $60 million over the final three years of the contract. Granted that makes him a steal this season at $7 million, but this could wind up being a move they regret down the road.
Chicago White Sox
Best Move: Signing LF Melky Cabrera
Considering the shortage of offense leaguewide, it seemed like there was a good chance he'd get it, but when no one was willing to offer up beyond three years, the Chicago White Sox swooped in and stole him on a three-year, $42 million deal.
Worst Move: Signing RP David Robertson
The White Sox needed to shore up their bullpen in the worst way, and they landed the top closer in the market in David Robertson. The 29-year-old was 39-of-44 on save chances with a 3.08 ERA, 1.057 WHIP and 13.4 K/9 in his first season as a closer last year.
However, his four-year, $46 million price tag seems incredibly steep for a relief pitcher, especially relative to what the rest of the reliever market has commanded this offseason.
Best Move: Trading for 1B/OF Brandon Moss
Power is in limited supply around the league these days, and that's one thing that Brandon Moss does bring to the table for the Cleveland Indians.
A hip injury cut into his production in the second half, but Moss still hit 25 home runs last season, and he has 76 long balls over the past three seasons. With Jason Kipnis signed long term, giving up second base prospect Joe Wendle was a small price to pay for Moss.
Worst Move: Relying on SP Gavin Floyd
Signing Gavin Floyd to a one-year, $4 million deal has a chance to be one of the better bargains of the offseason. But that decision is not the issue here.
The issue is that the team is counting on him to fill a rotation spot, and he's the only significant addition that was made to a starting rotation with a ton of upside but also some bust potential. The 32-year-old Floyd has suffered a pair of significant arm injuries the past two seasons, making just 14 total starts.
Best Move: Trading for CF Anthony Gose
Second base prospect Devon Travis was one of the Detroit Tigers top prospects, but with Ian Kinsler entrenched at second the team opted to flip him to the Toronto Blue Jays for center fielder Anthony Gose.
The No. 39 prospect in baseball heading into the 2012 season, according to Baseball America, Gose really never got a chance to be the everyday guy in Toronto. He'll still be splitting time with Rajai Davis, but he has a chance to break out in a bigger role in Detroit, and if nothing else he's a terrific defender.
Worst Move: Trading for SP Alfredo Simon
The Tigers are hoping to get the version of Alfredo Simon that went 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA in the first half last season and made the NL All-Star team.
However, a 4.52 ERA in the second half is tough to ignore, and if his 4.33 FIP is any indication that was probably closer to the real Simon than his smoke and mirrors first half. Big picture, the 33-year-old Simon is probably best suited returning to the bullpen, but the Tigers are instead counting on him to fill a rotation spot.
Kansas City Royals
Best Move: Trading for SP Brian Flynn
The Kansas City Royals did well to ease the loss of James Shields with the signing of Edinson Volquez, but they still have little in the way of starting pitching depth should one of the starters go down with an injury.
That makes the trade of reliever Aaron Crow to the Miami Marlins for pitching prospect Brian Flynn one of the more underrated moves of the offseason. Flynn is big league ready, the big 6'7" left-hander has some solid upside, and Crow was an expendable piece in a stacked Royals bullpen.
Worst Move: Signing DH Kendrys Morales
One of the biggest reasons the Royals opted not to pick up their $12.5 million option on Billy Butler, the longest-tenured player on the team, was that he limited their versatility as a DH-only player.
So who did the team go out and sign to replace him? Another DH-only player in Kendrys Morales.
Morales hit just .218/.274/.338 in 367 at-bats last season, and he looked like a prime candidate to try to rebuild some value on a one-year deal. Instead, the Royals gave him $17 million over two years and a third-year option.
Best Move: Selecting SP/RP J.R. Graham in the Rule 5 draft
J.R. Graham was one of the top prospects in the Atlanta Braves system not all that long ago, ranking as their No. 2 prospect in 2012 and No. 3 prospect in 2013, according to Baseball America.
Injuries limited him to 17 total starts in 2012 and 2013, and he pitched to a 5.55 ERA in 71.1 innings last season, but a move to the bullpen could help the hard-throwing Graham make an immediate impact in Minnesota.
Worst Move: Signing SP Ervin Santana
The Twins desperately needed starting pitching, that was no secret after the team has posted the worst starter's ERA in the league in back-to-back seasons.
Ervin Santana is a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm capable of eating innings, exactly the kind of player the team needed. They paid him like a front-line starter, though, with a four-year, $55 million deal that ranks as the largest free-agent signing in team history.
Best Move: Bolstering the bullpen
The Houston Astros bullpen posted an MLB-worst 4.80 ERA last season, and outside of Chad Qualls, Tony Sipp and Josh Fields they had little in the way of guys they could feel good about calling on to protect a lead.
They made it clear shoring up the bullpen was a priority at the winter meetings, adding two of the top setup arms on the market in Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek. They've also picked up Will Harris off waivers and signed Joe Thatcher and Roberto Hernandez to minor league deals.
Worst Move: Trading away more young pitching talent
Since the start of the 2012 season, the Houston Astros have traded away a number of talented young arms, including Mark Melancon, David Carpenter, Rob Rasmussen, Jordan Lyles and Jarred Cosart.
Mike Foltynewicz and Nick Tropeano were added to that list this offseason, as they were shipped out for Evan Gattis and Hank Conger, respectively. At some point the team is going to need to develop some of their pitching talent, as the rotation ranks as the biggest hole on the roster.
Los Angeles Angels
Best Move: Trading for SP Andrew Heaney
Howie Kendrick will no doubt be missed by the Los Angeles Angels, as the longtime second baseman was a 5.5 WAR player last season.
However, he was entering the final year of his contract and the team did well to flip him for one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in all of baseball in Andrew Heaney. The 23-year-old looks like the front-runner to land the No. 5 starter spot, and he has a chance to be a staple alongside Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker moving forward.
Worst Move: Not adding a proven lefty reliever
The Angels have been without a proven left-handed reliever since Scott Downs left town, and it looks like they'll be in for more of the same in 2015.
They did pick up Cesar Ramos from the Tampa Bay Rays, and he's been solid with a 3.66 ERA in 167 games over the past four seasons. However, he's expected to be used as more of a long reliever/swingman type, leaving the team without a lefty setup option yet again.
Best Move: Trading for 2B Ben Zobrist
Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin has done a great job getting the most out of all 25 guys on the roster over the past few seasons, mixing and matching his lineups on a day-to-day basis.
That makes the versatile Ben Zobrist the perfect offseason pickup for this team. Despite a down season offensively last year, Zobrist was still good for a 5.0 WAR, and he remains one of the most valuable all-around players in the league.
Worst Move: The Jeff Samardzija chain of events
The decision to trade Jeff Samardzija this offseason made sense for the A's, as they were not going to be able to sign him long term and he was set to hit free agency next winter.
They ended up landing a four-player prospect package from the Chicago White Sox of Marcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Rangel Ravelo, a solid haul for an A's team working on retooling the roster.
However, those four combined don't add up to Addison Russell, the highly regarded prospect the A's shipped to Chicago to acquire Samardzija in the first place. He enters the season as Baseball America's No. 3 overall prospect, and he could make the A's regret that move for years to come.
Best Move: Not trading SPs Taijuan Walker and James Paxton
Even after they signed Nelson Cruz, the right-handed power bat they desperately needed, the Seattle Mariners were still in the market for another big bat in the form of an everyday right fielder.
Justin Upton was perhaps the most talked about target, but the team balked at the idea of trading either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton, instead going with a platoon of Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano in right field.
Those two young pitchers figure to anchor the rotation alongside Felix Hernandez for years to come, and neither was worth giving up for one year of Upton.
Worst Move: Trading SP/RP Brandon Maurer
There is no clear-cut "worst move" for the Mariners, but this is one they could wind up regretting in hindsight.
Obviously you have to give up talent to get talent, and Seth Smith has a chance to be an important piece of the puzzle this season, but Brandon Maurer was a steep price to pay.
After struggling as a starter, the 24-year-old found a home in the bullpen last year, posting a 2.17 ERA, 0.964 WHIP and 9.2 K/9. He has significant upside, even if he does wind up staying in the bullpen long term, but it was a necessary move to fill a need.
Best Move: Trading for SP Yovani Gallardo
Finding another front-line starter to slot behind Yu Darvish and Derek Holland was a clear area of need for the Texas Rangers, and they got a good one in Yovani Gallardo.
The 29-year-old (happy birthday!) has gone 80-59 with a 3.73 ERA and 8/6 K/9 in his six seasons as a full-time member of the Brewers rotation. Perhaps most importantly he's been durable, and could be in for a big season in a contract year.
Worst Move: Signing RP Kyuji Fujikawa
The Chicago Cubs gave Kyuji Fujikawa a two-year, $9 million deal after he piled up 220 saves for the Hanshin Tigers of the Japan Central League. The hope was that he could work his way into the closer's role here stateside, but instead injuries limited him to just 27 appearances and a 5.04 ERA in his time with the team.
Now healthy, the 34-year-old does offer some upside, but giving him a guaranteed big league deal at $1.2 million with a second option year seems like a stretch, especially in an offseason that has seen a number of quality relievers forced to settle for minor league deals.
Best Move: Trading for SP Mike Foltynewicz
The power bat and four remaining years of team control made Evan Gattis tough to part with, but the Atlanta Braves got a terrific return from the Houston Astros in Mike Foltynewicz.
The hard-throwing right-hander ranks as the single best prospect they picked up this offseason, at least in terms of upside. The 23-year-old will have every chance to win the No. 5 starter job, and he could join Julio Teheran, Alex Wood and Shelby Miller in an impressive young rotation.
Worst Move: Signing RF Nick Markakis
The Braves quickly committed to rebuilding this offseason, and they added an impressive amount of young talent that should help expedite their return to relevance in the NL East.
Nick Markakis is a solid replacement for Jason Heyward in right field, and should be productive out of the leadoff spot in the lineup. But why sign a 31-year-old to a four-year, $44 million deal when you're in the process of rebuilding?
Best Move: Trading for SP Mat Latos
Mat Latos saw his fastball velocity dip from 92.6 mph to 90.7 this past season (via FanGraphs), but he also got a late start to the year while working his way back from offseason knee surgery.
Big picture, the burly 27-year-old is still a really good pitcher, and with Jose Fernandez sidelined until June he gives the Miami Marlins a front-line arm to bridge the gap. Anthony DeSclafani and Chad Wallach was a relatively cheap price to pay for Latos.
Worst Move: Trading SP Domingo German
The Marlins shipped off a number of young arms this offseason, including Nathan Eovaldi, Anthony DeSclafani and Andrew Heaney, but the one they could really wind up regretting is Domingo German.
The 22-year-old was brought along slowly in his first four pro seasons, but he was finally let loose in Single-A last season, and he went 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.143 WHIP and 113 strikeouts in 123.1 innings.
That earned him a spot in the Futures Game, where he impressed by striking out Kris Bryant and Joey Gallo in a perfect inning of work. He's got electric stuff, and he could move quickly now that the training wheels are off.
New York Mets
Best Move: Selecting RP Sean Gilmartin in the Rule 5 draft
A first-round pick back in 2011, Sean Gilmartin bounced back nicely from a rough 2013 season by going 9-7 with a 3.71 ERA, 1.297 WHIP and 133 strikeouts in 145.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last season.
The Minnesota Twins opted to leave him unprotected and the Mets snatched him up in the Rule 5 draft. He'll have to transition to being a reliever if he's going to make the team, but he looks to have a great chance of latching on as the second lefty out of the bullpen.
Worst Move: Signing RF Michael Cuddyer
Michael Cuddyer has hit an impressive .331/.385/.543 over the past two seasons while playing for the Colorado Rockies, and the New York Mets wasted little time signing him this offseason with a glaring need for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder with pop.
However, the 35-year-old played just 49 games last season while dealing with serious shoulder and hamstring issues. He also hit .367 at Coors Field over the past two years, so his impressive number have been inflated a bit.
Best Move: Flipping SS Jimmy Rollins for two solid pitching prospects
At a time when shortstop production is down around the league, Jimmy Rollins is still a plus option after posting a .717 OPS with 22 doubles, 17 home runs and 28 stolen bases last season. He's also 36 years old, though, and coming down the homestretch of a terrific career.
The rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies need young talent in the worst way, and they picked up a pair of promising pitching prospects in Zach Eflin and Tom Windle in exchange for Rollins.
Worst Move: Not trading SP Cole Hamels
The Phillies asking price for Cole Hamels has been understandably high, as there is little doubt he is one of the best pitchers in the game, but big picture they gain nothing by holding onto their ace.
The team is going nowhere in 2015, and Hamels is their most valuable asset by a long shot. Even if they can't pry someone like catching prospect Blake Swihart away from the Boston Red Sox, they should still be able to acquire a difference-making package of young talent that would kick-start their rebuild.
Best Move: Trading for SS Trea Turner
Wil Myers may have been the big name in the three-team trade between the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals, but it's the Nationals that walked away as the big winners for acquiring shortstop prospect Trea Turner.
It cost them outfielder Steven Souza, who was essentially an expendable piece with a crowded outfield situation. Turner gives them a high-upside, long-term replacement for Ian Desmond, who is expected to walk in free agency.
Worst Move: Not re-signing SP Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan Zimmermann has quietly emerged as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, going 45-22 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.109 WHIP over the past three seasons. That's set him up for a hefty payday, as he's set to be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season.
The Nationals obviously have a lot on their plate with Doug Fister and Ian Desmond also headed for free agency and Stephen Strasburg set to hit the open market after the 2016 season, but letting Zimmermann get away would be a huge mistake.
Best Move: Signing SP Jon Lester
A legitimate ace to anchor the rotation was the one glaring piece missing from the Chicago Cubs rebuilding efforts, and they got their guy when they signed Jon Lester away from the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants during the winter meetings.
The six-year, $155 million price tag is steep, but Lester is a proven winner, and he brings immediate legitimacy to the team's playoff aspirations. Losing out on signing him could have made this a completely different offseason for the North Siders.
Worst Move: Trading SP/RP Arodys Vizcaino
With uncertainty about Javier Baez at second base and some versatility needed off the bench after trading Luis Valbuena, infielder Tommy La Stella figures to be a nice pickup for the Cubs.
However, giving up hard-throwing Arodys Vizcaino, who is finally healthy after missing all of 2012 and 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery, seems a bit much. He may never return to the rotation, but Vizcaino has legitimate closer-caliber stuff, and La Stella may wind up being nothing more than a spare part.
Best Move: Trading for SP Jonathon Crawford and SS Eugenio Suarez
For my money, the most lopsided trade of the offseason was the Cincinnati Reds shipping obvious regression candidate Alfredo Simon to the Detroit Tigers for Jonathon Crawford and Eugenio Suarez.
Crawford was a first-round pick in 2013 and has some terrific upside, while Suarez should provide some competition and a potential replacement for Zack Cozart if his offensive struggles continue.
Worst Move: Not improving the bullpen
The Reds bullpen ranked 26th in the league with a 4.11 ERA last season, and they shipped out their top setup man in Jonathan Broxton (51 G, 21 HLD, 1.86 ERA) during the August waiver period.
Despite those struggles, the only significant addition this offseason has been Burke Badenhop. They also brought in Paul Maholm, Kevin Gregg and Jose Mijares on minor league deals, but overall it looks like the relief corps could again be a significant weakness.
Best Move: Trading for 1B Adam Lind
All things considered, the veteran platoon of Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay held their own last season, but first base was nonetheless atop the offseason wish list for the Milwaukee Brewers.
They wound up acquiring Adam Lind from the Toronto Blue Jays for demoted starter Marco Estrada in a deal that has a chance to be one of the biggest steals of the offseason. Lind doesn't hit a lick again lefties, but he could be a .300 hitter with 20-plus home runs as a platoon player against righties.
Worst Move: Trading SP Yovani Gallardo
The decision to trade Yovani Gallardo is not the issue here. He's in the final year of his contract, unlikely to be re-signed, and the team had a solid replacement waiting in the wings in Jimmy Nelson.
The issue is the package of players the Brewers got for Gallardo from the Texas Rangers. Luis Sardinas is a solid infield prospect and Corey Knebel should be able to help in the bullpen immediately, but one has to think that a productive Gallardo would have fetched far more at the trade deadline from a desperate contender.
Best Move: Re-signing SP Francisco Liriano
More specifically, the move to re-sign Francisco Liriano early at the winter meetings, prior to Jon Lester joining the Chicago Cubs and the secondary pitching market exploding.
The Pirates brought their ace back on a three-year, $39 million deal, then watched as guys like Brandon McCarthy (fours year, $48 million) and Ervin Santana (four years, $55 million) signed for significantly more money.
Worst Move: Nothing
Truth be told, it's hard to find a "worst move" for the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason.
They took a calculated risk signing Jung-ho Kang to a four-year, $11 million deal, added a solid bounce-back candidate in Corey Hart for cheap ($2.5 million), brought back A.J. Burnett on a one-year deal and moved quickly to replace Russell Martin by trading for Francisco Cervelli.
The trade for Antonio Bastardo cost them a solid prospect in Joely Rodriguez, but it also filled a clear need after lefty Justin Wilson was traded to the Yankees in the Cervelli deal. Even with the departure of Martin, it's been a solid offseason in Pittsburgh.
St. Louis Cardinals
Best Move: Trading for RF Jason Heyward
The St. Louis Cardinals had enough talent heading into the offseason that they probably could have gone without making any significant moves and still been the favorites in the NL Central.
That being said, significant moves were made, and none was bigger than the trade for Jason Heyward.
Despite the fact that he has yet to reach his vast potential offensively, Heyward was still a 6.3 WAR player last year. He's the best defensive right fielder in baseball, brings solid on-base skills and can steal 20-plus bases. Now they just need to lock the 25-year-old up long term before he hits free agency next offseason.
Worst Move: Not adding more starting pitching depth
Starting pitching depth was perhaps the Cardinals biggest strength heading into last season, but it now looks like a legitimate area of concern.
Adam Wainwright has begun to show signs of his heavy workload catching up to him, John Lackey is in the twilight of his career, Michael Wacha was sidetracked by a serious shoulder issue and Carlos Martinez is no sure thing as the No. 5 starter.
Behind them the team signed swingman Carlos Villanueva and has prospects Marco Gonzales and Tyler Lyons, but adding another proven starter to the mix would have been a good idea.
Best Move: Signing 3B Yasmany Tomas
With many pundits predicting a contract north of $100 million, the Arizona Diamondbacks managed to swoop in and sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million deal.
If he can come anywhere close to matching the debut of fellow countryman Jose Abreu, the Diamondbacks could have the most prolific power-hitting trio in baseball this season, with Tomas slotted alongside Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo.
Worst Move: Not finding a proven everyday catcher
Unloading the $40 million owed to Miguel Montero over the next three years was certainly not a bad move, and the team did pick up a high-ceiling arm from the Chicago Cubs in the deal in Jeferson Mejia.
It's the decision not to find a suitable replacement for Montero that figures to be an issue. Last year's backup Tuffy Gosewisch will hold down the fort until prospect Peter O'Brien can step into the role.
With a starting rotation that's up in the air and loaded with young arms, a veteran backstop was a necessity for the Diamondbacks, and they appear ready to forge ahead without one.
Best Move: Signing SP Kyle Kendrick
It's not the sexiest signing of the offseason by any means, but for a pitching-starved Colorado Rockies team, adding Kyle Kendrick on a one-year, $5.5 million deal was a smart move.
The 30-year-old has averaged 167 innings over the past five years, including a career-high 199 last season, when he was 10-13 with a 4.61 ERA.
He's not going to contend for a Cy Young award, but he keeps the ball on the ground and eats innings. That's exactly what the Rockies need after their shaky bullpen ranked third in the league with 525.2 innings of work last season.
Worst Move: Not being open to trading offensive pieces
The offseason began with rumors that the Rockies were willing to listen to offers on Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Catcher Wilin Rosario, first baseman Justin Morneau and center fielder Carlos Blackmon also saw their names pop up in trade rumors at one time or another, but in the end no one was moved.
The all-offense, no-pitching philosophy seems to be the team's approach once again this season, and it has them ticketed for the NL West cellar.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Best Move: Trading for RPs Joel Peralta and Adam Liberatore
The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen was a big reason for their National League Division Series exit last year, and while they did not make any splash signings or trades to address the relief corps, they did add some solid pieces.
The best move came when they acquired Joel Peralta and Adam Liberatore from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Peralta gives them a seasoned veteran setup man who could find himself closing games early on with Kenley Jansen sidelined. Liberatore has yet to make his big league debut, but the 27-year-old lefty posted a 1.66 ERA and 11.9 K/9 in 54 appearances in Triple-A last year.
Worst Move: Signing SP Brandon McCarthy for $48 million
Brandon McCarthy made himself a lot of money by going 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.151 WHIP in 14 starts with the New York Yankees last year.
Asked to be nothing more than a No. 4 starter, McCarthy is a great addition to a Dodgers staff that was already one of the best in baseball. However, committing $48 million and four years to a pitcher with a lengthy injury history seems like an unnecessary risk.
San Diego Padres
Best Move: Signing SP James Shields
After trading for the likes of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Derek Norris to bolster an offense in desperate need of bolstering, the San Diego Padres very easily could have sat back and called it a successful offseason.
Instead, they continued their pursuit of another front-line starter, and wound up signing James Shields to a very reasonable four-year, $75 million deal.
Worst Move: Sacrificing outfield defense and pitch framing
The Padres ranked fourth in the league last season with a 3.27 ERA, and they have some terrific arms in Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy back to front the staff alongside Shields.
However, one can't help but wonder how big of an impact the downgraded outfield defense in spacious Petco Park and the departure of two of the game's best pitch framers will have on the staff.
Rene Rivera ranked fifth in pitch framing last season, with Yasmani Grandal close behind in eighth, according to StatCorner. Meanwhile, the trio of Upton, Kemp and Myers combined for minus-30 defensive runs saved and all three posted negative UZR/150 numbers (via FanGraphs).
San Francisco Giants
Best Move: Signing LF Nori Aoki
With Angel Pagan unable to stay healthy for a full season and Michael Morse departing in free agency, adding another outfielder to the mix was a must for the San Francisco Giants.
A power bat would have been ideal, but the plus on-base skills of Nori Aoki were a solid consolation prize. On a one-year, $4 million deal that includes a $5.5 million option for 2016, the 33-year-old has a chance to be a terrific bargain.
Worst Move: Not signing a front-line starter
The San Francisco Giants made a serious run at signing Jon Lester, were rumored to be interested in James Shields before dropping out (per Jim Bowden of ESPN) and also reportedly had some interest in Cole Hamels (per Jayson Stark of ESPN).
In the end, all they wound up doing was re-signing Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong, leaving them with a starting rotation that looks like a serious question mark behind ace Madison Bumgarner.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.