MLB Power Rankings: 5 Teams Whose Offseasons Are Essentially Complete
There were a number of big-time moves made this offseason that will affect the baseball landscape going forward. The Boston Red Sox were very aggressive through free agency in their pursuit to try and get back to the playoffs to win another World Series.
While the Red Sox were aggressive, there were teams that were exactly the opposite, such as the Minnesota Twins, who pretty much stood pat with their roster besides losing a few players here and there.
There is still time for players to be signed, traded for and released before spring training gets underway. But the following five teams have pretty much finished up their offseason, so you can expect them to take the players they have to spring training without any significant moves.
No. 1: Boston Red Sox Moves Made
Might as well start with the team that was busiest this winter. Boston revamped its offense by acquiring Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego on December 6th, 2010. Five days later the Red Sox announced that they had signed Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million contract.
After bringing in two of the game's best players, the Sox then turned their attention to the bullpen. Bobby Jenks was brought in on a two-year deal and Dan Wheeler on a one-year contract.
Why the Red Sox Offseason Is Complete
There's only so many offseason acquisitions a front office can make before they need to see what they have on the field. That's exactly the case for the Red Sox, who have brought quite a few new faces into the organization since the end of last season.
Theo Epstein did his job, and now it's up to Terry Francona to get this team ready when spring training begins. It was a great offseason to be a Red Sox fan, but championships aren't won in the front office, although that's where the journey begins.
No. 2: Chicago White Sox Moves Made
The White Sox weren't as aggressive as the Red Sox were, but they clearly made moves that will help propel them in the discussion for being the best team in the AL Central.
Bringing in the left-handed bat of Adam Dunn on a four-year, $56 million contract was the headline deal for Chicago, although re-signing Paul Konerko was easily the most important thing the White Sox did this offseason. Konerko's the leader of the franchise and is coming off an MVP-type season.
The Sox also brought back veteran A.J. Pierzynski and signed free agent Jesse Crain—former Minnesota Twin—to a three-year contract worth $13 million.
Why the White Sox Offseason Is Complete
Chicago spent a good chunk of change to bring in Dunn, Crain and to re-sign Konerko. While GM Ken Williams isn't afraid of spending money, you get the feeling that the White Sox will go quietly into spring training from here.
They've already added a bat they sought after and addressed the bullpen after Bobby Jenks left by signing Crain. There isn't much left the White Sox can do via free agency, seeing as the pool has thinned out, with most big names finding a new home already.
Chicago's happy with what they've done since the season ended, and you can expect that they go into spring training without making anymore noteworthy moves.
No. 3: Texas Rangers Moves Made
The recent signing of Adrian Beltre helped lessen the blow of not re-signing Cliff Lee. For most of the offseason the Rangers were in on the chase to bring Lee back to Texas, but it wasn't enough, as Lee wanted to return to Philadelphia.
The left-hander was said to have been choosing between New York and Texas throughout the entire process until Philadelphia swept in and shocked the baseball world.
After losing out on Lee, it looked as if the Rangers might go into spring training without any new additions, but that isn't so, as Texas signed Beltre to a six-year, $96 million contract. Texas didn't make a whole lot of moves this offseason, and it appears the Beltre signing could be its last notable move going into spring training.
Why the Rangers Offseason Is Complete
The Rangers missed out on Lee, so they took the money they would have spent on him and put it towards Beltre. While Lee would have ultimately cost more money over a longer period of time for Texas, don't expect the Rangers to go after anyone else right now with the money they saved by not retaining Lee.
Carl Pavano was rumored to be in play for Texas, but it looks as if he's going to rejoin the Twins for another season. And after the Beltre signing, Pavano's out of Texas' range.
You can expect the Rangers to stand pat over the next couple of months.
No. 4: Philadelphia Phillies Moves Made
Philadelphia began the offseason quietly before sneaking in at the last second and nabbing the prized free agent, left-hander Lee. Before that the Phillies had let Jayson Werth go elsewhere, and it appeared that they weren't going to make any big moves in the offseason.
Of course, that changed when Lee was brought back to Philadelphia. Other than signing Lee, the Phillies have been quiet, though. They haven't signed anyone else and declined the option of bringing J.C. Romero back to the club.
Why the Phillies Offseason Is Complete
With the addition of Lee, the Phillies have a boatload of money tied up in their starting staff; not to mention Ryan Howard agreed to a contract extension that is worth a hefty sum of money.
You also have to factor in that the Phillies don't have that many holes in their lineup or rotation. Any more signings wouldn't make sense at this point. Philadelphia's roster as is can compete for a World Series. Don't expect any major changes before spring training for the Phillies.
No. 5: Chicago Cubs Moves Made
It's been a busy offseason for the Cubs, as they officially made Mike Quade the team's manager and rewarded him with a two-year contract. As far as bringing in new players, the Cubs signed free agent Carlos Pena to a one-year, $10 million deal and also brought back former Cub Kerry Wood on a one-year contract.
But the biggest move Chicago made was trading for the hard-throwing Matt Garza yesterday. Garza gives the Cubs another quality arm in their rotation to go with Carlos Zambrano.
Why the Cubs Offseason Is Complete
After making the move for Garza, you get the feeling that the Cubs are going to take a look at what they have in spring training before making any other moves. The addition of Pena gave them the bat they were looking for, and Wood helps solidify the bullpen.
Now it's time to see whether or not the front office's offseason moves will result in more wins for the Cubs. There is still plenty of time before the regular season begins, but don't expect Chicago to make any more headline deals or signings the rest of the way.