Re-Grading Every MLB Team's Offseason Trades and Free-Agent SigningsAugust 8, 2021
Re-Grading Every MLB Team's Offseason Trades and Free-Agent Signings
With MLB's next offseason only a few months away, we've gained enough distance to get a good perspective on its most recent hot-stove dealings.
So let's take a fresh look at how each team's moves during the 2020-21 offseason are panning out.
For this, we focused on what teams did or didn't gain through noteworthy signings and trades and, in some cases, picks in the Rule 5 draft. Yet some circumstances were appropriate to look at what they lost, particularly in big-ticket trades or by declining options or non-tendering players.
We'll hand out grades to each club as we go division by division, starting in the American League East and ending in the National League West.
Note: All wins above replacement are courtesy of Baseball Reference and are current as of Thursday, August 5.
American League East
Hits (WAR): SS Freddy Galvis (0.9), RHP Spenser Watkins (0.8), RHP Tyler Wells (0.7)
Misses (WAR): RHP Adam Plutko (-0.1), RHP Matt Harvey (-0.4), 3B Maikel Franco (-0.7)
Because their 25-35 showing in last year's shortened season made it clear that their rebuild still had a ways to go, it was understandable that the Orioles promptly had a quiet offseason. Their biggest moves were trading away Alex Cobb and Jose Iglesias and signing Galvis to a $1.5 million contract.
The O's got a solid performance out of Galvis before flipping him to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline and have otherwise gotten solid seasons out of Watkins, a minor league signee, and Wells, who they got in the Rule 5 draft.
It's perhaps just as notable, though, that the O's tried and failed to dig up gold with MiLB deals for Harvey and Franco, whose best days in the majors are now a distant memory. So on balance, their quiet offseason looks like a wash.
Boston Red Sox
Hits (WAR): IF/OF Enrique Hernandez (3.6), RHP Garrett Whitlock (2.2), OF Hunter Renfroe (1.3), RHP Hirokazu Sawamura (0.8),RHP Adam Ottavino (0.7), LHP Martin Perez (0.7)
Misses (WAR): RHP Garrett Richards (0.2), IF/OF Marwin Gonzalez (-0.1), OF Franchy Cordero (-0.4), RHP Matt Andriese (-0.7)
Rather than try to reel in one or two big fish to get back on track after a last-place finish in 2020, the Red Sox spread relatively little money around to sign a handful of lesser players in free agency.
Out of that bunch, Gonzalez's presence has hardly been felt, and Richards has had a devil of a time ever since MLB cracked down on sticky stuff. After posting a solid 3.88 through his first 12 starts, he's put his rotation spot in jeopardy via a 7.36 ERA in nine outings since then.
On the plus side, the Red Sox scored productive regulars by bringing in Hernandez and Renfroe and, until recently, re-signing Perez to solidify their rotation. Factoring in what Sawamura, Ottavino and Whitlock have meant for a bullpen that leads the majors in WAR, the scales of Boston's winter ultimately lean positive.
New York Yankees
Hits (WAR): RHP Jameson Taillon (1.9), RHP Corey Kluber (1.4), INF DJ LeMahieu (1.4), LHP Lucas Luetge (1.0), 2B Rougned Odor (0.9)
Misses (WAR): RHP Darren O'Day (0.3), OF Brett Gardner (0.2), LHP Justin Wilson (-0.5)
At least as laid out above, it looks like the Yankees actually scored a solid haul over the winter. But context matters, especially with regard to LeMahieu.
Though he's been decent in hitting .267 with a 97 OPS+, neither figure is remotely close to the .336 average and 144 OPS+ that he had for the Yankees across 2019 and 2020. To this extent, his six-year, $90 million pact is off to an inauspicious start.
Mound-wise, Taillon has eaten 107 innings but only to the tune of a 4.04 ERA. And while he posted a sturdy 3.04 ERA through 10 outings, it's no great surprise that Kluber hasn't pitched since then because of a bad shoulder. This leaves Luetge as arguably New York's best acquisition, but it might have been better off simply keeping Ottavino.
Tampa Bay Rays
Hits (WAR): C Mike Zunino (1.8), RHP Collin McHugh (1.2), C Francisco Mejia (1.1), LHP Rich Hill (0.8). LHP Jeffrey Springs (0.2)
Misses (WAR): RHP Luis Patino (-0.1), RHP Chris Archer (-0.2), RHP Michael Wacha (-0.7)
By far the biggest move the Rays made over the winter was the trade that sent 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres. That didn't look like a win for the Rays at the time, but the picture is surely different now in context of the minus-0.1 WAR that Snell has posted for San Diego.
As for other victories, even the Rays might not have expected their $2 million deal with Zunino to work out as well as it has. He's kept the mojo that he had last October, posting a 125 OPS+ and 21 homers amid what is also his first All-Star season.
This is about where the good vibes end. Though both pitched well for the Rays, McHugh is now injured and Hill is a member of the New York Mets. The ultimate sense is that Tampa Bay's offseason dealings have neither killed nor enlivened its 2021 season.
Toronto Blue Jays
Hits (WAR): 2B Marcus Semien (5.1), LHP Robbie Ray (3.9), CF George Springer (1.4), LHP Steven Matz (1.0)
Misses (WAR): RHP Tyler Chatwood (-0.1), RHP Kirby Yates (Tommy John surgery)
The Blue Jays' decision to sign Springer to a team-record $150 million deal didn't look so great earlier in the year as he was dealing with a troublesome quad. But he's been on fire since returning to an everyday role on June 22 and has generally made a major impression with a 162 OPS+ in 42 games.
It's Semien, though, who's emerged as Toronto's best addition, as he's ascended to the top of the AL leaderboard for WAR. Ray has also had a dandy of a season, posting a 2.90 ERA with 159 strikeouts in 130.1 innings.
Thus is one team responsible for three of last winter's biggest free-agent victories. That's more than enough to make up for Toronto's offseason losses, which aren't even that bad on their own.
American League Central
Chicago White Sox
Hits (WAR): RHP Lance Lynn (4.1), LHP Carlos Rodon (3.5), RHP Liam Hendriks (1.5), OF Billy Hamilton (0.7)
Misses (WAR): RF Adam Eaton (0.1)
Even though it only cost $7 million, signings don't get much more disastrous than the White Sox's deal with Eaton. He hit only .201/.298/.344 in 58 games to earn his release in early July.
The White Sox's two biggest moves of the winter, however, have panned out wonderfully. Lynn is a candidate for the AL Cy Young Award on the strength of a 2.04 ERA over 114.2 innings, while Hendriks, a $54 million free-agent signee, has a 2.40 ERA with 79 strikeouts over 48.2 innings in relief.
Chicago has also gotten an embarrassment of bang for its buck on Rodon, whose $3 million deal has thus far yielded a 2.38 ERA over 109.2 innings. So while Hamilton's contributions as an emergency regular are worth noting, those three alone have more than made up for the Eaton flop.
Hits (WAR): RHP Bryan Shaw (1.2), 2B Cesar Hernandez (0.9), SS/OF Amed Rosario (0.7), RHP Blake Parker (0.7)
Misses (WAR): LF Eddie Rosario (0.5), SS Andres Gimenez (0.4)
Cleveland fans had every right to be upset when the team dealt Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the Mets in January. But while the soon-to-be Guardians have hardly won that deal, they surely don't regret missing out on a down year for Lindor and an injury-shortened year of Carrasco.
Even if he's now with the White Sox after a pre-deadline trade, Cleveland also got good stuff (i.e., 18 home runs) out of Hernandez while he was in town. Now in his second stint with the team, Shaw has also been a good find to the tune of a 3.08 ERA in 51 outings.
Rosario, on the other hand, managed to be a disappointment even on an $8 million deal before he also rode the trade rail out of town. More generally, Cleveland's offseason can be best described as a disaster avoided rather than a true success.
Hits (WAR): 2B Jonathan Schoop (2.6), LF Robbie Grossman (2.4), OF Akil Baddoo (1.7), RHP Wily Peralta (1.0)
Misses (WAR): C Wilson Ramos (-0.1), RF Nomar Mazara (-0.3), LHP Derek Holland (-0.5), RHP Jose Urena (-0.8)
As 2021 always was going to be another rebuilding year, the Tigers didn't necessarily have to stack their roster with veteran talent last winter. But they did anyway, and it's fair to say now that the hits loom larger than the misses.
It's a bummer that the club's buy-low pact with Mazara, a former top prospect with the Texas Rangers, didn't work out. But Schoop has excelled with a 125 OPS+ and 18 homers, while Grossman has carried over his 2020 breakout and Peralta has found some of the magic he formerly had in Milwaukee.
Best of all, though, was Detroit's selection of Baddoo in the Rule 5 draft. He started drawing eyes during spring training and now looks like a cornerstone player as he sits on a 125 OPS+ with 33 extra-base hits and 14 stolen bases. So all in all, a much-needed win for embattled general manager Al Avila.
Kansas City Royals
Hits (WAR): CF Michael A. Taylor (2.1), 1B Carlos Santana (1.4)
Misses (WAR): LHP Mike Minor (0.5), LF Andrew Benintendi (0.4), OF Jarrod Dyson (0.2), RHP Ervin Santana (0), RHP Wade Davis (-0.4)
In lieu of playing it as safe as the Tigers, the Royals went against the typical rebuilding rules and spent nearly $20 million apiece on Minor ($18 million) and Santana ($17.5 million).
Though Santana has been the better of the two, neither has been outright good. Santana only has a 103 OPS+, while Minor's ERA is north of 5.00. Taylor therefore looks like the team's best signing, though his defense has done much of the heavy lifting since he's managed just an 81 OPS+ offensively.
It looked for a time like Benintendi, acquired from Boston in a trade centered on Cordero, was going to be Kansas City's big get for a while. But as noted by a .256 average and 95 OPS+, he's still not the rising star that he was between 2016 and 2018. As a result, there's frankly not much to see here.
Hits (WAR): DH Nelson Cruz (2.2), SS Andrelton Simmons (0.9)
Misses (WAR): RHP Hansel Robles (-0.6), RHP Alex Colome (-1.0), LHP J.A. Happ (-1.8), RHP Matt Shoemaker (-1.9)
At the outset of last winter, it was clear that the Twins needed pitching, and anyone might have suggested that they go big to get it. Instead, they opted for smaller deals with Happ and Shoemaker to round out their rotation depth and with Colome to fill the Trevor May-sized hole in their bullpen.
Oof. Neither Happ nor Shoemaker is around anymore, but they combined for a 7.15 ERA while they were. Colome, meanwhile, struggled so badly in April that he was out as closer before the month was over.
To be fair, the Twins got a 153 OPS+ and 19 homers from Cruz before trading him and have nothing to complain about with regard to Simmons' defense. Even still, the team's brutal miscalculation with its pitching additions is hard to forgive now. For that matter, so is the LaMonte Wade Jr. trade.
American League West
Hits (WAR): LF Michael Brantley (3.1)
Misses (WAR): C Jason Castro (0.5), RHP Jake Odorizzi (-0.1), RHP Ryne Stanek (0), INF Robel Garcia (-0.7)
The Astros' offseason was marked by the loss of Springer, which hurt then and still hurts now, and the re-signing of Brantley, which is doing the opposite.
As good as he was for Houston in 2019 and 2020, Brantley has been better this year as he's hit .329 with a 137 OPS+. He was an All-Star in July for the third time in four seasons, all of which is good stuff for a guy who turned 34 in May.
After signing Brantley, the Astros played it cool until Framber Valdez's finger injury necessitated a deal with Odorizzi in early March. He's mostly been a letdown as he's compiled a 4.95 ERA, which leaves Brantley as the only success story from a snoozy winter for Houston.
Los Angeles Angels
Hits (WAR): RHP Raisel Iglesias (1.8), RHP Alex Cobb (1.3), RHP Steve Cishek (0.6)
Misses (WAR): RHP Junior Guerra (0.4), SS Jose Iglesias (-0.1), INF Phil Gosselin (-0.1), LHP Alex Claudio (-0.1), RF Dexter Fowler (-0.2), OF Juan Lagares (-0.3), C Kurt Suzuki (-0.6), LHP Jose Quintana (-0.6)
Even after Angels pitchers had a 5.09 ERA in 2020, new GM Perry Minasian steered away from high-priced fixes and went the Minnesota route of doing low-risk deals.
On the plus side, Iglesias has had an excellent season closing games, and Cobb has a 3.82 ERA in 15 starts. On the negative side, Quintana had a 7.22 ERA as a starter through May and is now in the bullpen.
The Angels have also missed Simmons at shortstop, where Iglesias has subpar marks for defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating. Factoring in all the at-bats and innings they've wasted on minor league signings like Guerra, Gosselin and Lagares, the Angels' offseason doesn't look so good.
Hits (WAR): LHP Cole Irvin (1.9), RHP Yusmeiro Petit (1.2), RHP Sergio Romo (0.7), INF Jed Lowrie (0.6)
Misses (WAR): SS Elvis Andrus (0.2), RHP Deolis Guerra (0), 1B Mitch Moreland (0), RHP Trevor Rosenthal (TOS surgery), RHP Mike Fiers (-0.3)
Nobody ever expects the Athletics to make big splashes during the winter. So little, in fact, that it was a surprise when they dropped $11 million on Rosenthal to take over closing duties.
But his A's contract will end without so much as one appearance after he had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in April. Also on the subject of notable misses, Oakland has surely tried its fans' patience by continuing to play Andrus at shortstop even as the former Rangers standout has continued to struggle.
However, no A's blurb can ever be complete without an acknowledgement of an unexpected gem they dug up. That's Irvin, who's quietly been one of the American League's top starters with a 3.45 ERA and only 24 walks allowed in 130.1 innings.
Hits (WAR): RHP Chris Flexen (1.8), RHP Kendall Graveman (1.6), RHP Drew Steckenrider (1.1), RHP Paul Sewald (0.9), RHP JT Chargois (0.7)
Misses (WAR): LHP James Paxton (0), RHP Keynan Middleton (-0.1), RHP Rafael Montero (-1.8)
The biggest splashes the Mariners made this past winter involved spending $15 million on Paxton and Ken Giles. Yet the latter never was going to pitch this year because of his ongoing recovery from Tommy John surgery, while the latter got only four outs before he also needed to have Tommy John.
It's a good thing, then, that the M's bothered to do a $4.8 million deal with Flexen. Though largely unheralded outside Seattle, he's been a godsend as he's posted a 3.81 ERA over 120.1 innings.
Even if two of them are gone, the Mariners' investments in Graveman, Steckenrider, Sewald and Chargois yielded a combined 2.24 ERA over 134 relief appearances. This, folks, is a low-risk winter done right.
Hits (WAR): RHP Ian Kennedy (1.2), RHP Dane Dunning (1.2), 1B Nate Lowe (1.0), INF/OF Charlie Culberson (0.9), RHP Spencer Patton (0.3)
Misses (WAR): INF/OF Brock Holt (0.1), RHP Josh Sborz (-0.1), C Jonah Heim (-0.3), DH Khris Davis (-0.2) RHP Kohei Arihara (-0.2), LHP Hyeon-Jong Yang (-0.3), RHP Mike Foltynewicz (-0.8), LF David Dahl (-0.8)
The Rangers approached last winter the same way that one might approach a blender: Throw it all in there and see what comes out.
Probably the best ingredient was a minor league deal with Kennedy that led to his being traded after posting a 2.51 ERA in 32 relief appearances. Otherwise, Dunning looks like a decent return for Lynn, and Lowe has mostly held his own as the team's everyday first baseman.
It is, however, hard to point to any of Texas' many additions as a true steal. It's certainly easier to see flops, most notably in the roughly $5 million that they spent on Foltynewicz and Dahl.
National League East
Hits: RHP Charlie Morton (2.7), LHP Drew Smyly (0.9)
Misses: INF Ehire Adrianza (0.2), RHP Josh Tomlin (0), LF Marcell Ozuna (-0.3), OF Guillermo Heredia (0), OF Abraham Almonte (-0.8)
In the wake of the MVP-caliber season that he gave the team in 2020, Atlanta simply couldn't let Ozuna get away and re-signed him for $65 million.
That decision started to backfire right away as he hit just .213/.288/.356 in 48 games before breaking two fingers in his left hand.
He was subsequently arrested after allegedly assaulting his wife and is facing misdemeanor charges, so when or even if his career will continue is very much up in the air.
There's plenty to be said about the good work that Morton and Smyly, the latter of whom has a 3.35 ERA over his last 11 starts, have done in Atlanta's rotation. But in light of the Ozuna situation, it doesn't feel appropriate to give Atlanta a grade for its offseason. This one gets left blank.
Hits: OF Adam Duvall (2.0), RHP Zach Thompson (1.0), RHP Anthony Bender (1.0), RHP Dylan Floro (0.9), RHP Adam Cimber (0.5)
Misses: RHP Anthony Bass (0), LHP Ross Detwiler (-0.5), C Sandy Leon (-0.7)
With basically nothing on the team's long-term books, Kim Ng might have made her first act as the Marlins' new general manager one to remember. But in the end...well, not so much, as she didn't spend any more than $5 million on any particular player.
One of the players she signed for exactly that amount, however, was Duvall. He went on to hit 22 homers in 90 games with Miami, turning himself into a trade chip that Ng used to get extra talent from a division rival.
Minor league signees Thompson and Bender have been revelations in Miami's rotation and bullpen, respectively. Floro has also done good work in relief, as did Cimber before he was shipped to Toronto. So even if there are no major victories to speak of, there is a handful of minor ones.
New York Mets
Hits: SS Francisco Lindor (2.0), LHP Aaron Loup (1.4), INF/OF Jonathan Villar (0.9), C James McCann (0.7), RHP Taijuan Walker (0.8)
Misses: RHP Trevor May (0.3), RHP Carlos Carrasco (0.1), LHP Joey Lucchesi (0.1), INF Jose Peraza (0.1), OF Kevin Pillar (-0.1), Albert Almora Jr. (-0.5)
There was a great deal of excitement surrounding the Mets throughout the winter as new owner Steve Cohen spared little expense in upgrading the team he had just bought for $2.4 billion.
Several months later, at least the Walker signing looks good. He made his first All-Star team in July and, to the tune of a 3.86 ERA over 105 innings, has generally been a rock in a rotation that's been dealing with injuries all season.
Otherwise, there aren't many positives. Even if they've technically been productive, Lindor, McCann and May, especially, have realistically flopped after arriving in New York amid much fanfare. Carrasco, meanwhile, only recently rejoined the Mets after a long recovery from a torn hamstring.
Hits: C J.T. Realmuto (2.6), RHP Archie Bradley (0.7), OF Travis Jankowski (0.5)
Misses: LHP Jose Alvarado (0.2), RHP Sam Coonrod (0.2), INF Brad Miller (-0.2), RHP Chase Anderson (-0.4), LHP Matt Moore (-0.4), SS Didi Gregorius (-0.9)
As it wasn't until December that they hired Dave Dombrowski to head their front office, the Phillies got a late start on their offseason shopping. Lucky for them, Realmuto was still available and came back on a $115.5 million pact.
Mercifully, he's continued to do his thing in racking up a 120 OPS+ while playing strong defense behind the dish. Since 2017, his overall lead among catchers in WAR is fairly substantial.
It's too bad that bringing back Gregorius hasn't worked as well, and Bradley is notably the only success story in an otherwise unsuccessful attempt to remake what was an awful bullpen in 2020. And while it didn't register nationally at the time, the trade of Irvin to Oakland in January looks bad for Philly.
Hits: INF/OF Josh Harrison (2.6), LF Kyle Schwarber (2.0), 1B Josh Bell (1.1), 1B Ryan Zimmerman (0.8), RHP Paulo Espino (0.6), C Alex Avila (0.5)
Misses: LHP Brad Hand (0.1), LHP Sam Clay (-0.8), LHP Jon Lester (-0.9)
It didn't take long for the Nationals' title defense to fall apart in 2020, but GM Mike Rizzo ought to be credited for how he carried out efforts to bolster another run in 2021.
Though both are now elsewhere, Schwarber hit 25 home runs for Washington, and Harrison hit .294 while playing all over the diamond. Bell is still around and, while still not what he was in his All-Star season with Pittsburgh in 2019, has done fairly well in posting a 118 OPS+ and 19 long balls.
Even though Hand wasn't especially good as a Nat, he nonetheless had enough value to bring back a prospect at the deadline. So even if there's a case that Rizzo should have blown things up last winter, it's not because of his additions that the Nats have flopped yet again in 2021.
National League Central
Hits (WAR): LHP Andrew Chafin (1.3), RHP Ryan Tepera (1.0), OF Jake Marisnick (0.4)
Misses (WAR): RHP Zach Davies (0.3), LF Joc Pederson (-0.2), RHP Brandon Workman (-0.5), RHP Trevor Williams (-0.4), RHP Jake Arrieta (-1.8)
The Cubs' offseason was initially marked by high-profile departures, including the non-tender of Schwarber in December and the trade of Yu Darvish later in the month.
Neither of those decisions looks good several months on. Schwarber promptly turned into an All-Star in Washington and, while solid, Davies hasn't been any kind of facsimile of Darvish in the Cubs rotation.
The Cubs didn't exactly save face with their subsequent moves. With Pederson being the most notable example, they tried to buy low on a handful of veterans and mostly came up empty. Though not the reason, this is certainly a reason that the Cubs are rebuilding.
Hits (WAR): LHP Sean Doolittle (0.8), INF Max Schrock (0.4), RHP Jeff Hoffman (0.6), RHP Art Warren (0.6)
Misses (WAR): RHP Heath Hembree (0.1), OF Tyler Naquin (-0.6), LHP Cionel Perez (-0.6)
Early last offseason, there came a report from MLB.com's Jon Morosi that the Reds were looking at some big names to fill their need at shortstop: Lindor, Semien, Simmons, Gregorius and Trevor Story.
As it turned out, the Reds got none of them. And rather than fill in gaps in other places, GM Nick Krall basically let it ride as he spent basically nothing in free agency and did little to upgrade via the trade market.
There's thus basically nothing to credit the Reds for. As a result, they've been feeling not only their shortstop deficiency but also the major holes left by Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani in their pitching staff throughout 2021.
Hits (WAR): 2B Kolten Wong (2.3), RHP Brad Boxberger (1.2), LHP Brett Anderson (0.5)
Misses (WAR): CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (-0.1), INF Travis Shaw (-0.7)
The Brewers waited until March to make their biggest move of the winter, signing Bradley to a two-year deal worth $24 million.
That one could be working out better. Because while Bradley has been as advertised defensively, it's hard to excuse his abysmal .175/.251/.287 batting line.
It makes for a nice balance, however, that Wong has more than made good on an $18 million deal with a career-best 112 OPS+ and strong defense at second base. Between that and the club's successful low-risk dice rolls on Boxberger and Anderson, Milwaukee's offseason has been a net positive.
Hits (WAR): LHP Tyler Anderson (1.3), RHP David Bednar (1.1), LHP Chasen Shreve (0.8)
Misses (WAR): RHP Wil Crowe (-0.3), INF/OF Wilmer Difo (-0.1), RHP Chase De Jong (-0.2), RHP Duane Underwood Jr. (-0.3), RHP Trevor Cahill (-0.6)
When looking back at the Pirates' offseason, what they lost—namely: Bell, Taillon and Joe Musgrove—stands out a lot more than what they gained.
Of course, this isn't something to hold against them. Because unlike the Cubs, the Pirates never really stood a chance of contending in 2021 and therefore weren't guilty of self-sabotage as they stripped their roster down over the winter. It was simply a rebuilder doing rebuilder things.
If anything, it's to GM Ben Cherington's credit that Anderson turned into a trade chip while Bednar and Shreve have found homes in the bullpen. Those hits mean more than the team's misses.
St. Louis Cardinals
Hits (WAR): 3B Nolan Arenado (2.9), RHP Adam Wainwright (1.8), C Yadier Molina (0.9)
With Wong having a fine season for the Brewers, it doesn't look so good for the Cardinals that they could have kept him for 2021 if only they'd exercised his $12.5 million option.
Otherwise, they were shockingly quiet until spring training started bearing down. That's when they finally re-signed longtime batterymates Wainwright and Molina, and landed Arenado in a blockbuster deal with the Colorado Rockies in February.
With a 124 OPS+ and 22 home runs, Arenado has more or less been as advertised after a down year in 2020. Since the same has also been true of Wainwright and Molina, the Cardinals really didn't miss with any of the few moves they made last winter.
National League West
Hits (WAR): INF Asdrubal Cabrera (1.3), RHP Tyler Clippard (0.5)
Misses (WAR): RHP Joakim Soria (0.2)
What is there to say about the Diamondbacks' 2020-21 offseason? Besides, you know, nothing.
If there's one charitable thing to say, it's that they didn't necessarily make a mistake by not blowing up their roster after finishing in last place in 2020. It would have been a sound idea in theory, but the then-diminished value of trade chips such as Eduardo Escobar and Ketel Marte complicated matters in reality.
Apart from that, it's barely worth giving Arizona props for Cabrera and Clippard. The club's quiet offseason was a case of it banking on everything that went wrong in 2020 flipping and going right in 2021. Since the Snakes find themselves 42 games under .500, it's safe to say that hasn't happened.
Hits (WAR): 1B C.J. Cron (1.2), LHP Austin Gomber (1.2), RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0.5)
Misses (WAR): RHP Robert Stephenson (-0.1), RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (-0.3)
At the time the Rockies made it in February, their fans were understandably miffed about the Arenado trade. It wasn't just that they shipped a franchise icon out of town. There was also the sense that the Rockies didn't get nearly enough in return.
So, kudos to Gomber for lowering the temperature a bit as he's put up a solid 3.79 ERA (i.e., a 124 ERA+) in his first 19 starts as a Rockie. Cron and Chacin, meanwhile, have been decent role players in the team's offense and rotation, respectively.
Thus concludes the "What went right?" section of this review of the Rockies' offseason. The organization spent more time sitting on its hands than actually doing things, and it's even more baffling now than it was in the spring that Trevor Story didn't immediately follow Arenado out the door.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hits (WAR): 3B Justin Turner (3.1), RHP Blake Treinen (1.0), LHP Garrett Cleavinger (0.1)
Misses (WAR): RHP Trevor Bauer (2.8), RHP Corey Knebel (0)
Though there were times when Turner seemed ready to part ways with the Dodgers, he eventually returned on a $34 million deal. The team is better for it, as he's continued raking with a 137 OPS+.
The Dodgers have also benefited from re-signing Treinen and, albeit in an extremely under-the-radar fashion, from landing Cleavinger in a three-team trade in December. He's posted a 3.00 ERA in 22 appearances.
As for Bauer, the numbers that he posted in his first 17 outings after signing a $102 million contract aren't even worth mentioning. It only matters that he's on administrative leave as a result of sexual assault allegations against him and that, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, most of his teammates don't want him back.
It would be tone-deaf to either ignore Bauer or to factor him into a grade of the Dodgers' offseason. As such, this is one best left blank.
San Diego Padres
Hits (WAR): RHP Joe Musgrove (2.3), RHP Yu Darvish (2.0), INF Ha Seong Kim (1.9), RHP Mark Melancon (1.4), INF/OF Jurickson Profar (0.5), RHP Nabil Crismatt (0.1)
Misses (WAR): C Victor Caratini (0.1), LHP Blake Snell (-0.1)
The Padres landed Snell and Darvish in trades within a 24-hour period in December and then added Musgrove in a separate trade a few weeks later. Just like that, they seemed to have three new aces.
Well, going 2-for-3 isn't bad. Though Snell has disappointed in posting a 5.24 ERA in 20 outings, Darvish and Musgrove have a combined 3.16 ERA and 293 strikeouts in 251 innings.
As if that's not good enough, San Diego GM A.J. Preller's offseason shopping also netted an ace closer (Melancon) and two capable utility men (Kim and Profar). Even if the Padres are only in third place in the NL West, they'd surely be having an even harder time keeping up without these additions.
San Francisco Giants
Hits (WAR): RHP Kevin Gausman (4.7), RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2.9), LHP Jake McGee (1.2), LHP Alex Wood (0.8), RHP Dominic Leone (0.9), C Curt Casali (0.9), OF LaMonte Wade Jr. (0.5), RHP Aaron Sanchez (0.7), RHP Zack Littell (0.4), LHP Jose Alvarez (0.5)
Misses (WAR): INF Tommy La Stella (0), RHP Matt Wisler (-0.3)
How much credit the Giants deserve for bringing back Gausman is a fair question. They might not have actually expected him to accept the qualifying offer they made him last November. To do so was his choice.
Regardless, Gausman and DeSclafani have carried San Francisco's rotation to the tune of a combined 2.78 ERA over 258.2 innings. Yet they're obviously just two of many offseason additions who have contributed to the club's outstanding 3.34 ERA.
The benefits of team president Farhan Zaidi's offseason dealing is lighter on the offensive side but not nonexistent thanks mainly to Wade's 129 OPS+ and 13 home runs. Especially considering how little Zaidi had to expend for all these pieces, he's more than deserving of praise.
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.