Baseball’s offseason winners and losers

Baseball and all sports for that matter are all year round now there is an on the field season and an off the field season. With pitchers and catchers reporting this week and football being over, let’s take a look at the off season moves and who won and lost. The main teams that lost are Toronto, Kansas City, Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston and Milwaukee who didn’t sign any significant fee agents. Milwaukee did trade for Zach Greinke, who if they give him a little offense, can be a big pick up.Let’s start with Washington a team with some good young talent so they are a young up and coming team looking to make some noise. With that they added some pop to their lineup and picked up Jayson Werth and Rick Ankiel for the outfield and Adam LaRoche for the infield. Ankiel they got real cheap, LaRoche they got for decent money at two years 8 million per year, but Werth not sure if he is worth 126 million over 7 years. Naturally they have to over pay to get some guys as Washington isn’t the most attractive place, however it is that the best use of their money. Oakland hasn’t quite had the success with the young talent that they did with the big three pitchers and Eric Chavez to start the 2000s so they made some minor moves to bring in some bullpen help in Balfour and Fuentes along with a veteran bat in Hideki Matsui. Those moves should help the back end of the games and in some clutch hitting, but no big splash out of them. The Dodgers are a mess all around the team is lacking leadership on the field and the front office is unprofessional with the divorce affecting the team and the ability to make moves. They did make a couple with a pair of resigns in Rod Barajas and Kuroda and picked up a new guy in Juan Uribe who played for the Champion Giants last season. St. Louis doesn’t have much of a budget to go get the monster star after paying Matt Holliday last year and needing to pay Pujols this year or next if they want to keep him in a Cardinals uniform. The moves they made make them an even older team then they are by getting Miguel Batista, resigning Jake Westbrook for the rotation and getting some veteran players in Lance Berkman and Jim Edmonds to try and get one good season combined from them.

Seattle finished with an awful season after many had them going far. They made just one move in a resign of Bedard as they are still kicking themselves for making that trade as he hasn’t done much since switching coasts, but when you’re left-handed and young with talent people will keep you around. Texas had a great run all the way to the World Series last year, but losing Cliff Lee at the head of the rotation really puts a dent in them repeating as AL champs. They did bolster their offense as they tend to do with signings of Adrian Beltre and Yorvit Torrealba as well as some pitching moves in Brandon Webb, a onetime CY Young winner and Arthur Rhodes for the pen. Detroit had a busy offseason as they fell short of the playoffs in 2010 and it started with a couple of resignings of Magglio Ordonez and Jhonny Peralta. Once those guys were locked in they picked up C/1B/DH Victor Martinez then turned to pitching in Brad Penny and Joaquin Benoit. Those moves should help the back end of the rotation and pen. The New York Mets have had it rough of late then came out about the owners and their link to the Madoff scandal. They are in a similar boat as the Dodgers with limited rains on the purse strings. The need pitching so they went out and got starters Chris Capuano and Chris Young and bullpen help with Clay Buchholz who has also started for the Red Sox in the past. To help their bench they added Scott Hairston, but they needed a one or two type started and got a pair of threes or fours or fives.

San Francisco is fresh off their World Series win as Buster Posey delivered something in his first year that Barry Bonds never did in 10+ years. With that they will try again with some veterans as they resign Burrell and Huff as well as pick up Miguel Tejada to replace the departed Edger Renteria. San Diego had a great run out of nowhere last year, but couldn’t hold off the surging Giants down the stretch nor could they squeak in as the wild Card with Atlanta edging them out. They had a turnover in the offseason trading away Adrian Gonzalez to replace him they picked up Jorge Cantu along with fellow right side of the infield Orlando Hudson. To replace Chris Young they got Aaron Harang who stays health and eats up innings, but needs offensive support which seems to be lacking in San Diego these days. For missing out on Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford the Yankees made a lot of moves, but only one notable one in Soriano and one minor of getting Russell Martin to play catcher moving Posada to DH. They did make the right ones in resigning Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, but the others of Andruw Jones, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez and Freddie Garcia were bench and maybe back end of the rotation moves. Look for a trade midway through the season if certain players become available. Philadelphia got the big jewel in the offseason reacquiring Cliff Lee to go with Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt. That wasn’t the only move they resigned Jose Contreras to be the 5th starter or long man in the pen.

Boston had a busy, busy offseason with signs and trades all over the place where to start. They resigned Hideki Okajima and Jason Veritek and signed Dan Wheeler and Bobby Jenks to lock up the defense behind the plate and back end of the pen. The went out and got Carl Crawford in free agency and finally made the move that they have wanted to make for a couple of years now in trading for Adrian Gonzalez to make up for and improve the offense since they lost Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez. Staying within the AL East we move South to Tampa Bay who made a reuniting possible as they pick up Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon to capture some of the magic from 2004 as they will share the DH/LF role in Tampa who looks to replace the offense of Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford who went on to bigger and better things. Colorado had just one move in the offseason a quite resigning of pitcher Jorge De La Rosa for two years and 10 million and change per year. The LA Angels of Anaheim lost out on the guy they wanted in Crawford and made nothing to make up for it getting Scott Downs for bullpen help.

Baltimore had a great offseason improving on their already great young talent with some veterans. Those veterans were Vlad Guerrero, Derek Lee, and Justin Duchscherer. Those signings were great presence and they also made a couple of trades to sure up the left side of the infield in getting slugger Mark Reynolds and quality player in JJ Hardy. Baltimore’s line up with the stacked outfield, Wieters behind the plate and Roberts at the top is rather circular and will rival the Yankees and Red Sox. The White Sox had a busy offseason with some decisions needed to be made and they finally got Adam Dunn to sign as they were trying to get him last year at the trade deadline and brought back some solid players from years past resigning Paul Konerko and AJ Pierzynski. The addition of Dunn will once again give the White Sox a solid 3-4-5 with Konerko, Dunn and Quentin and with Rios in the 2nd spot the top of the order is stacked. Cincinnati had a big surprised of a season winning the NL Central away from the Cardinals, but fell on their face in the playoffs. In the off season the picked up Edgar Renteria off his World Series ring with the Giants as a bench player and resigned Roberto Hernandez. Those moves aren’t that big, but with Edison Volquez coming back for a full year and if everyone steps up their game it could be another two team race in the Central, but they did lose Aaron Harang which is big as he was an innings eater. Pittsburgh is having it tough with a losing season every year since Bonds left and having to over pay average players just to come. The biggest move they made was signing Lyle Overbay to play first which will keep the infield errors to a minimum, but it really doesn’t have the explosive bat one needs at first base.

The Cubs are looking to retool and make it a three team race in the NL Central as they went out and got Carlos Pena to sure up the middle of the line up as they were missing some left handed pop. Along with Pena they also brought back a fan favorite in Kerry Wood to sure up the late part of the game that has given them some problems in the past. Minnesota didn’t go out and get anybody new, but they did resign some quality veterans in Pavano to stay as the number two behind Liriano and Jim Thome as the DH or pinch hitter. Plus they are getting Nathan back from injury that will really lock down the back end of the game. Arizona didn’t do much in 2010 and did even less in the offseason signing JJ Putz for the bullpen that has really been inconsistent since leaving Seattle, but maybe back on the West Coast will help. Florida has a good young team that can make noise especially in the outfield and they made one move signing Javier Vazquez who does much better in the National League and will do great in that rotation and in the big ball park.

The Best of the Rest who are still available are:

Orlando Cabrera – last year Cincinnati

Bengie Molina – Last Year Texas

Troy Glaus – Last Year Atlanta

John Maine – Last Year NY Mets

Scott Podsednik – Last Year LA Dodgers

Retirees – Gil Meche, Trevor Hoffman, and Andy Pettitte

Top 5 Teams with best offseason:

– Boston

– Baltimore

– Philadelphia

– Texas

– Detroit

Top 5 Teams with the Worst Offseason:

– LA Angels

– Tampa Bay

– Pittsburgh

– Washington

– San Diego

Written by Frank Jordan for

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