The Biggest Regret Each MLB Team Will Have from 2020-21 Offseason

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IMarch 4, 2021

The Biggest Regret Each MLB Team Will Have from 2020-21 Offseason

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    No MLB offseason recap would be truly complete without a thought experiment regarding decisions all 30 clubs could come to regret.

    The offseason is often seen in a vacuum. Although the San Diego Padres, for example, look much better on paper, newly acquired players still have to go out and live up to their reputation or purported value. After all, the games are won and lost on the diamond.

    Still, it is interesting to speculate about the decisions, and especially the lack thereof, that could come back to bite teams over the course of the season. Whether failing to plug roster holes, doling out questionable contracts or other personnel decisions, each team has a potential regret looming over the course of a 162-game season.

    There are still four weeks to go until Opening Day, so it's possible some of these issues are ironed out before then. However, most of the work is done. Full disclosure: Some teams' top regrets might actually stem from off-field incidents. But for our purposes, we'll keep things on the field with these choices.

    Here is each team's biggest potential regret of the 2020-21 offseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Not Adding More Bullpen Depth

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The Arizona Diamondbacks are going to have a tough time keeping up with the rest of the National League West. But that doesn't mean they should give up trying to better the roster, either.

    It would seem the rotation is mostly set, and there is upside if veterans Madison Bumgarner and Luke Weaver can rebound. The offense could be dangerous if Eduardo Escobar gets back on track and Ketel Marte rediscovers his power stroke. But the bullpen still has question marks.

    The D-backs made a couple of good additions by signing veteran right-handers Joakim Soria and Tyler Clippard. However, much of Arizona's bullpen appears to be an open competition. The Diamondbacks probably could have benefited from another, more established arm rather than someone like Chris Devenski.

Atlanta Braves: Not Fortifying the Bullpen

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Braves are another team that might otherwise have attempted to solidify the bullpen this offseason.

    General manager Alex Anthopoulos instead chose to be aggressive in the rotation, adding Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly. Of course, Atlanta also re-signed Marcell Ozuna, keeping intact a lineup that ranked second in the NL in runs scored this past season.

    However, the Braves lost Mark Melancon to the San Diego Padres and have yet to re-sign Shane Greene. Darren O'Day will also be wearing a new uniform after signing with the New York Yankees. Atlanta had interest in Trevor Rosenthal but came up empty.

    The Braves have young arms who could eventually play a role, like Bryse Wilson, and perhaps non-roster invitee Carl Edwards Jr. can find some of the stuff he once displayed with the Chicago Cubs. But Atlanta will likely lament swinging big and missing on someone like Rosenthal when it could have made other, smaller upgrades to the bullpen.

Baltimore Orioles: Paying over Half of Alex Cobb's Salary

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    The Baltimore Orioles were essentially guaranteed to have to pay down some of right-hander Alex Cobb's salary in a trade if they wanted anything in return.

    That said, it's hardly ideal for the O's to be paying more than half of his $15 million salary, especially given the number of non-tenders and cost-cutting moves Baltimore made throughout the offseason.

    Fair play to the Orioles for getting a prospect out of the Cobb deal in Jahmai Jones. Still, having to pay some of his salary is a reminder of just how questionable it was for Baltimore to hand Cobb a four-year deal back in 2018 in the first place.

Boston Red Sox: Not Re-Signing JBJ

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    The Boston Red Sox's regret could just as easily be betting on Garrett Richards' spin rates and another solid outing from Martin Perez for a rotation desperate for quality starts.

    But the team's current outfield begs the question: Why didn't the Red Sox re-signed Jackie Bradley Jr.?

    Regardless of his offensive inconsistencies through the years, Bradley is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game at a premium position in center field. Run prevention is of vital importance for a Red Sox team that did not make a ton of upgrades in the pitching staff.

    Alternatively, Franchy Cordero and Hunter Renfroe only have limited experience playing in center. Enrique Hernandez can play center, but he'll also have to play a lot of second base. Jarren Duran probably won't be ready to go this season. So the Red Sox seem to be placing quite a bit of faith in Cordero, a guy who has less than 300 career at-bats.

    Boston was still $20 million under the luxury-tax threshold, per Roster Resource. It could seriously regret not re-signing Bradley (who has reportedly signed with the Milwaukee Brewers) if Cordero cannot produce and Renfroe's 2020 struggles carry over to this season.

Chicago Cubs: Trading Yu Darvish but Not Blowing It Up

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Dealing NL Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish to the Padres in December suggested the Cubs would be moving multiple key pieces this offseason

    Instead, trade chips such as Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras are still on the roster. The position group is largely the same overall, though Chicago did bring in Joc Pederson to replace Kyle Schwarber in left field.

    Why did the Cubs deal Darvish now if most of the roster was going to remain identical? He was still under contract through 2023, and Chicago could have had a sell-off at the deadline had things not gone as planned this season. Darvish might have had even more value at the deadline as a guy capable of altering a pennant race, especially if he continued to pitch at an elite level and defied concerns about health and longevity.

    Of course, part of the answer is salary relief. Still, it seems counterintuitive for a team fresh off an NL Central title to move its ace without a serious shakeup occurring thereafter. Now, core guys like Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo are at the mercy of a shallow starting rotation in what might be their final year with the club.

Chicago White Sox: Not Going Harder After Michael Brantley

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The White Sox made a pair of big splashes by trading for Lance Lynn and signing Liam Hendriks and are now primed to make a run at the American League Central crown.

    It could be argued the White Sox should have gone after a depth arm in the rotation. The South Siders could use Michael Kopech in something of a flex role, making it all the more necessary for Dylan Cease to solve his command puzzle (AL-high 34 walks last season) and Carlos Rodon to get back on track.

    However, the decision to sign Adam Eaton could be the one the White Sox regret, especially considering they were in on Michael Brantley. Whereas Eaton hit just .226 in 2020, Brantley rattled off a third straight season with at least a .300 batting average and 124 OPS+.

    Eaton will likely be a platoon option with Adam Engel, and the White Sox are still plenty dangerous offensively. But Brantley would have given Chicago an established professional hitter with slugging upside, in addition to a more balanced lineup card. He also could have slotted into the designated hitter spot at times.

Cincinnati Reds: Not Building off of Last Season

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    The Cincinnati Reds made the playoffs in 2020 for the first time since 2013. They promptly responded by cutting bait.

    Cincy non-tendered Archie Bradley and traded Raisel Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels. Those were the two most notable moves the Reds made, other than signing veteran left-hander Sean Doolittle. They hardly even addressed the shortstop position and will mostly rely on internal options like Kyle Farmer.

    Considering the general lack of activity and potential parity in the NL Central, the Reds could well look back at this past offseason as a missed opportunity. That sentiment feels even more apt given Cincy elected to retain Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray.

Cleveland: Not Maximizing Carlos Carrasco's Value

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    David Dermer/Associated Press

    Carlos Carrasco was a secondary piece in the Francisco Lindor trade with the New York Mets, but might Cleveland have been better off trying to flip him independently?

    Carrasco ranked seventh in fWAR from 2015 to 2018. His 2019 season was heavily impacted when he was diagnosed with leukemia, but he responded with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts last season.

    The 33-year-old has been as valuable as any pitcher in baseball. What's more, his contract is quite team-friendly. He will make just $12 million in each of the next two seasons, with a $14 million vested option in 2023, per Spotrac.

    The market was flooded with pitching needs this winter, so it's worth wondering whether Cleveland could have made out better had they traded Lindor and Carrasco separately.

Colorado Rockies: What's Not to Regret?

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Colorado Rockies' regrets with respect to Nolan Arenado go back a couple of years now.

    Still, souring the relationship with your franchise player to the point you are paying down over a quarter of his remaining megadeal speaks volumes about front-office ineptitude. This is especially true considering the Rockies could not even leverage paying down the salary to get a prospect return. 

    Now that Arenado is gone, it's equally confusing that Colorado is not actively trying to move top assets. The Rockies are nowhere close to contention and have one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Not to mention, Trevor Story will be a free agent after this season.

    The real regret is general manager Jeff Bridich and team chairman Dick Monfort showing complacency and taking past successes for granted. But everything is just sort of snowballing at this point.

Detroit Tigers: Is There Anything to Regret?

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Whereas the Rockies have plenty of room for regret, there's not a whole lot of bad that can come from the Detroit Tigers' offseason.

    The Tigers improved their roster by signing switch-hitting outfielder Robbie Grossman, who had an .826 OPS with the Oakland Athletics last season. Detroit also signed veteran catcher Wilson Ramos while bringing back Jonathan Schoop. And Jose Urena and Julio Teheran should push some of the Tigers' young arms in the rotation.

    No, the Tigers are not anywhere near contention. But they also lack real trade assets outside of maybe someone like Spencer Turnbull. The best thing Detroit could do was add veteran leadership to the lineup, and it did just that.

Houston Astros: Not Pushing Harder for Brad Hand

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    Phil Long/Associated Press

    The Houston Astros addressed their bullpen needs by signing Pedro Baez, Ryne Stanek and Steve Cishek. The depth is there, but it remains to be seen who will close.

    Baez, Cishek and Ryan Pressly all have some closing experience, but Baez and Pressly are more effective as setup men or in the middle innings. Perhaps the Astros should have opted for Brad Hand over Baez.

    Hand is coming off a season in which he was a perfect 16-for-16 in save opportunities. He also had a 1.37 fielding independent pitching (FIP) mark. Houston will pay Baez an annual average of $6.25 million over the course of two seasons, while Hand got a one-year deal worth $10.5 million from the Washington Nationals.

    It might have behooved the Astros to make a bigger run at Hand given he only signed for a year and would have given Houston a stopper in the ninth. He also would have allowed Pressly to move back into the setup role.

Kansas City Royals: Mike Minor's Contract

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    The Kansas City Royals' recent extension with third baseman Hunter Dozier epitomizes the active approach they took this offseason.

    However, giving 33-year-old Mike Minor a two-year deal could prove iffy.

    Minor was an All-Star in 2019, posting a 3.59 ERA and throwing 208.1 innings. But the lefty regressed in 2020, going 1-6 with a 5.56 ERA.

    Was it worth it to commit $18 million to Minor when strikeout arms like James Paxton and steady veteran hurlers like Rich Hill were more inexpensive? Kansas City just as easily could have signed any number of arms to one-year deals, or brought the younger Taijuan Walker into the fold as a future rotation piece.

    The Royals will bank on Minor to rebound, but his contract could look rather ugly in a hurry if improvement isn't evident.

Los Angeles Angels: Not Acquiring a Front-Line Starter

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Angels didn't totally sit idly by with respect to the starting pitchers' market, signing Jose Quintana and acquiring Alex Cobb.

    But neither of those guys moves the needle as a potential ace for a rotation that ranked last in the majors in fWAR over the past two seasons. 

    The Halos are still hoping Shohei Ohtani can stay healthy and be a front-line starter to complement Dylan Bundy. Ohtani has displayed good velocity in camp, but even if he looks solid, the Angels must be wary of his long-term health after injury issues in consecutive seasons. 

    All this is to say the Angels might have hunted for an ace externally. Los Angeles could have gotten aggressive to land Lance Lynn, or paid a higher price for Charlie Morton in free agency. 

    Granted, GM Perry Minasian also had to rebuild the bullpen. But the rotation should determine whether Mike Trout and Co. make the playoffs. Do the Angels have enough quality at the top, or are there still too many question marks?

Los Angeles Dodgers: Trading Dylan Floro and Adam Kolarek

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Dodgers blew past all luxury-tax thresholds to sign Trevor Bauer and bring back Justin Turner in an effort to repeat as World Series champions. 

    Why, then, did they deal two key bullpen arms? The Dodgers traded right-hander Dylan Floro to the Miami Marlins for young left-hander Alex Vesia and Kyle Hurt. They also sent left-hander Adam Kolarek to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Sheldon Neuse and right-hander Gus Varland. 

    On the one hand, these are the kinds of moves Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman tends to make in order to reposition and acquire future talent. The addition of Bauer and a returning David Price will also allow guys like Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin to move into the bullpen.

    Still, Floro and Kolarek did tremendous work in L.A. Floro had a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings in 2020, while Kolarek had a 0.95 ERA and 0.79 WHIP.

    The Dodgers could lament not having those guys in their quest to repeat.

Miami Marlins: Not Adding Another Power Bat

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    New Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng did an excellent job of resetting the bullpen this offseason. But the team could use another slugger. 

    The Marlins signed Adam Duvall to fill one of the corner outfield spots, and the 32-year-old should give a boost to a team that ranked 13th in the NL in slugging percentage last season. 

    All the same, Miami might have been wise to add another power-hitting outfielder while youngsters such as Jesus Sanchez and Monte Harrison continue to develop.

    There likely was not a whole lot of budget to work with. But someone like Yasiel Puig might have been interesting. Maybe the Marlins could have even taken a flier on Domingo Santana, who hit 21 homers with the Seattle Mariners in 2019.

Milwaukee Brewers: Failing to Sign Justin Turner

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Unlike many of their NL Central foes, the Milwaukee Brewers were in on multiple top free agents this winter. One of those was Justin Turner.

    The 36-year-old would have been a vital presence in the middle of Milwaukee's order and a large upgrade at third base. The hot corner is sort of up for grabs, with non-roster invitee Travis Shaw and Luis Urias in the mix for the job.

    Turner has a .302/.382/.503 slash in the past seven seasons with the Dodgers and remains one of the most professional hitters in the game. He could have provided serious lineup protection behind Christian Yelich, and necessary production for a team that ranked 13th in the NL in OPS last season.

Minnesota Twins: Not Flexing Their Muscle to Acquire a Top Arm

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    This felt like the winter for the Minnesota Twins to make a splash in the trade market.

    The White Sox are rapidly on the rise, and, despite trading Francisco Lindor, Cleveland should ride its arm talent to relevance. Even the Kansas City Royals made gains.

    The Twins made moves, to be sure. They reconfigured the bullpen by adding Alex Colome and Hansel Robles. The lineup has big upside, pending better health following the re-signing of Nelson Cruz, and Andrelton Simmons should be a major defensive upgrade at shortstop over Jorge Polanco, who moves to second base.

    But the rotation could use more quality. The Twins signed J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker, though both are high-risk options. It is hard to know what to expect from Michael Pineda.

    The club has the eighth-best farm in baseball, according to Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter. Given the number of arms who moved and others said to be available, Minnesota could have dipped into its farm to acquire a top starter.

    The Cincinnati Reds would have been interesting trade partners given their need for a shortstop. In an alternate world, the Twins could have traded Polanco and a prospect package to possibly acquire right-hander Sonny Gray. 

    Instead, the Twins will hope Happ and Shoemaker especially can make gains at the back end behind Kenta Maeda and Jose Berrios, with Randy Dobnak possibly sliding into the rotation at some point.

New York Mets: Not Signing a Closer Type to Push for the 9th-Inning Job

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Some New York Mets fans might suggest the team's biggest regret is failing to land a top free agent such as George Springer or Trevor Bauer.

    However, the club has a decent amount of outfield depth, especially without the universal designated hitter. The rotation should also be a strong suit once Noah Syndergaard is cleared to return midsummer following rehab from Tommy John surgery. 

    Instead, the biggest regret the Mets will have is not signing a closer type to push Edwin Diaz.

    Diaz was much improved in his second season in New York, posting a 1.75 ERA and striking out 17.5 hitters per nine innings. He also blew four of his 10 save opportunities.

    Seth Lugo figures to get another look, but it's unclear how his arm will respond after he had a loose body removed from his throwing elbow in February. In fact, that surgery takes him out of play for the Opening Day roster.

    The Mets signed Trevor May and Aaron Loup, but they are middle-innings types. Brad Hand might have been perfect for New York as another premium left-hander who can alleviate some stress in the ninth inning, but he signed with the Nationals for one year and $10.5 million.

New York Yankees: Depleted Bullpen Depth

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    The New York Yankees accomplished what they needed to this offseason. DJ LeMahieu is back in the Bronx, and general manager Brian Cashman added a pair of potential impact starters in Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon. 

    However, the Yankees lost multiple relievers. Adam Ottavino was traded to the Boston Red Sox for salary relief. Jonathan Holder and Tommy Kahnle went to the Cubs and Dodgers, respectively. Ben Heller was released after never really getting an elongated opportunity. 

    New York signed left-hander Justin Wilson and veteran righty Darren O'Day to plug holes. But there was not a whole lot of other movement. It's not the biggest of regrets, but the Yankees could wish they had more bullpen depth if injuries hit the rotation and the starters struggle to eat innings.

Oakland Athletics: Not Upgrading Corner Outfield

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    The Oakland Athletics did a good job of replacing lost free agents, especially in signing closer Trevor Rosenthal after losing Liam Hendricks and acquiring shortstop Elvis Andrus from the Texas Rangers sans Marcus Semien.

    One spot to watch will be left field. Robbie Grossman signed with the Detroit Tigers, paving the way for both Mark Canha and Stephen Piscotty to be full-time starters. Canha posted a 141 wRC+ in the last two years, so he is less of a concern. But Piscotty has seen a decrease in production across the board in each of the past two seasons. 

    Oakland, like most other small-market clubs, dealt with budgetary constraints this winter. But adding a veteran corner outfielder like Nick Markakis or pursuing a reunion with Josh Reddick or even Yoenis Cespedes might have made sense.

Philadelphia Phillies: Not Signing Liam Hendriks

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    New Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski improved the bullpen by trading for Jose Alvarado and signing veterans Brandon Kintzler and left-hander Tony Watson. The Phillies also brought in Archie Bradley to compete with Hector Neris for the closer role. 

    Still, it might have been wise to empty the coffers for Liam Hendriks, who signed for three years and $54 million with the Chicago White Sox. The 32-year-old has dominated hitters in the last two seasons. Opponents had a .564 OPS against Hendriks in 2019 and a .405 OPS in 2020. He is a dominant bullpen weapon who can throw multiple innings and excels in high leverage.

    The Phillies had been in on Hendriks for a time. They very well might have paid the large price to help fix a bullpen that ranked 28th in bullpen fWAR in 2020, especially considering Neris will be a free agent next season.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Not Capitalizing on Steven Brault's Value

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    The Pittsburgh Pirates sold multiple assets this winter, including Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon. One notable they kept was starting pitcher Steven Brault.

    The 28-year-old had a career season in 2020, posting 3.38 ERA in 42.2 innings. He reportedly had a strong market as far back as November, per MLB Network's Jon Morosi, though nothing materialized.

    Considering the Pirates were already dealing assets, they probably should also have moved Brault coming off his best campaign. Market demands have been huge this winter—they might never be higher. Brault could also harm his value with a poor showing in 2021, especially considering he posted a 5.16 ERA in 2019.

San Diego Padres: Tendering Tommy Pham a Contract

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    There's not a lot to be dour about in San Diego. One somewhat curious decision was tendering Tommy Pham a contract. 

    The 32-year-old will make $8.9 million in his final year of arbitration and is coming off a season in which he missed 29 games because of injuries while slashing just .211/.312/.312.

    The Padres later signed both Ha-seong Kim and Jurickson Profar to multiyear deals, giving them ample depth at second base and in the outfield. Pham still figures to start in left field, but with both Kim and Profar also on the roster, might the Padres have been better off using Pham's money on the bullpen? 

    San Diego pivoted by signing Mark Melancon and Keone Kela to join the relief corps. But the additional $8.9 million might have been used to retain Trevor Rosenthal (signed for $11 million) or Kirby Yates ($5.5 million).

San Francisco Giants: Not Exploiting Outfield Depth

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The San Francisco Giants are holding their cards for next winter, when a ton of money comes off the books. Still, it might have been interesting for the Giants to dangle some of their outfield assets.

    Alex Dickerson is under club control through 2022 and had a .947 OPS in 2020. Darin Ruf had an .887 OPS in 100 plate appearances. Austin Slater hit five homers and stole eight bases in 31 games. All three could have had intriguing value on the trade market.

    San Francisco has even more prospect depth in the outfield with Mauricio Dubon's ability to play in center. The Giants could have tried to package an MLB-ready outfielder, perhaps as part of a deal for a controllable starter who could be part of the next organizational phase.

Seattle Mariners: Spending on Ken Giles over Other Relievers

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    It is easy to understand the Seattle Mariners' thinking in signing Ken Giles to a two-year, $7 million deal.

    Giles will all but assuredly miss all of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last fall. However, the guy who had a 1.87 ERA and 23 saves with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019 could be an asset for an M's team possibly ready to make a competitive jump in 2022. 

    Still, Seattle's bullpen is mostly full of question marks, especially in the middle innings. Again, this is not the biggest issue for a team that doesn't look ready to contend. But the M's might have doled out one or two other relief deals instead of spending on Giles.

St. Louis Cardinals: Trading Dexter Fowler

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    One of the more subtle moves of the last month was the St. Louis Cardinals' trade of Dexter Fowler to the Los Angeles Angels. Fowler is not the All-Star he was with the Chicago Cubs, but he is still a decent player.

    The Cardinals not only moved Fowler but will also pay $12.75 million of his salary. This wasn't really about money, given Fowler is on an expiring contract and the Cardinals are only saving $2 million. Instead, it was about giving the young outfielders an opportunity.

    Tyler O'Neill, Harrison Bader and Dylan Carlson figure to start at the three outfield spots. O'Neill had an .803 OPS in a 61-game stretch in 2018 but has since struggled. Bader has a .234 career average and a 29.1 percent strikeout rate. The 22-year-old Carlson has the highest upside and showed his slugging potential in September (.806 OPS), but it's unclear how he will fare as a full-time starter.

    Lane Thomas, 25, is another youngster who could see time, and St. Louis could make a midseason addition. But it might have been nice to have Fowler's professional at-bats and left-handed pop in the lineup at least as a possible platoon option.

Tampa Bay Rays: Deciding Not to Run It Back

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    This has to be the only answer for the Tampa Bay Rays, right?

    They lost arguably their top two starting pitchers after winning the American League pennant, declining Charlie Morton's option and trading Blake Snell to San Diego.

    Tampa Bay did well to reposition by adding Luis Patino to its strong crop of young arms via the Padres, and the Rays' strong pitching program could rub off on veterans Michael Wacha and Chris Archer. Starting pitcher Rich Hill, 40, is also a sneaky good addition.

    Still, it's a tough look for baseball when a team has to part with its top two arms for financial purposes. Additionally, Tampa Bay lacks real innings-eaters in the rotation. This could again put more pressure on top bullpen arms Pete Fairbanks and Nick Anderson, both of whom looked fatigued last October.

Texas Rangers: Not Fully Committing to a Rebuild

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    The Texas Rangers traded ace Lance Lynn, and that probably should have signaled a teardown.

    Texas is not ready to contend and needs to begin stockpiling future assets, with top prospects such as Sam Huff and Leody Taveras about ready to graduate to the bigs full time.

    Instead, the Rangers mostly remained in a holding pattern. They did well to get 17-year-old prospect Jose Corniell and a player to be named from the Seattle Mariners for Rafael Montero. Texas also moved Elvis Andrus for Khris Davis' expiring contract, but the Rangers will still have to pay the Oakland Athletics $13.5 million in the next two seasons.

    Everything else is mostly the same. The Rangers probably should have been more vigorous in selling, especially regarding 27-year-old slugger Joey Gallo.

Toronto Blue Jays: Failing to Make Sizable Rotation Upgrades

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    The Toronto Blue Jays made big splashes by adding George Springer, Marcus Semien and Kirby Yates. They also failed to make major upgrades regarding their biggest need. 

    Toronto's rotation ranked 28th in fWAR in 2020 despite a terrific season from Hyun Jin Ryu. In response, the Blue Jays re-signed Robbie Ray and inked Tyler Chatwood, who will likely begin the season in the bullpen but has started for most of his career. The final move in the rotation was trading for former New York Mets left-hander Steven Matz.

    All three arms are serious high-risk additions. Ray and Chatwood both have a recent history of command issues, and Matz went 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA in 2020. What's worse, not many quality starters remain on the market, other than Jake Odorizzi.

    The Blue Jays have geared up to contend in the AL East. That might be hard with a rotation that doesn't look much better than last year's group.

Washington Nationals: Not Extending Shortstop Trea Turner

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    "What about Juan Soto?" Well, Soto is a Scott Boras client. The Washington Nationals would likely love to extend him, but Boras suggested there will not be any extension for the 2025 free agent unless the Nats were to make a gargantuan offer, per Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic.

    Trea Turner, on the other hand, would be a more realistic extension candidate. He will be a free agent in 2023, one season after the loaded 2022 shortstop class could set the market. It might make sense for Washington to lock him up before then.

    Turner told reporters recently he would like to remain in the nation's capital for the entirety of his career. The Nats might be wise to deem him a franchise player given their depleted farm system is not ready to produce reinforcements.


    All stats obtained via Baseball Reference, FanGraphs or Baseball Savant, unless otherwise noted.