Sixteen days until pitchers and catchers report; 64 days until Opening Day. It won’t be long until baseball fans come out of hibernation, each one hoping that their team made the right moves this offseason to piece together a World-Series-bound side.
The MLB offseason hasn’t been all that exciting in terms of transactions. And, we’re weeks away from the trucks being loaded up and sent off to Spring Training. But if teams did make moves during the offseason, quite often they made more than one. So, how do these additions stack up with the rest of the respective club’s roster? Does the acquired player add more value?
Here’s how some of the most active teams fared this wintera��
The Mariners notably acquired: Jean Segura (SS), Jarrod Dyson (IF), Drew Smyly (LHP), and Danny Valencia (IF). This is just a handful of the club’s 11 offseason trades.
The Mariners add Smyly to the mix of a somewhat mediocre starting rotation. It’s no doubt that FA�lix HernA?ndez is still the ace, and Smyly doesn’t really make the rotation better. The rotation is filled with older, more experienced pitchers, which could go either way for Seattle: veteran experience equals good or it equals old and tired.
On the positive side, Segura led the National League in hits last year, and added 33 stolen bases, so the Mariners have someone to consider for the leadoff spot. Plus, Valencia adds great depth to the roster, while Dyson provides that extra speeda��both in the outfield and on the bases. Seattle’s numerous moves should, at the very least, earn them more wins this season.
The Rockies notably acquired: Ian Desmond (1B, OF), Greg Holland (RHP) and Mike Dunn (LHP).
The Rockies spent this offseason adding to its already young and promising team. The club definitely needed to add to its rotation (they did), while keeping their young players. The Rockies started to show strong competition with guys like David Dahl, Nolan Arenado, Carlos GonzA?lez, and Trevor Story. If they all stay healthy, watch out.
Colorado is quickly becoming one of my favorite teams to keep an eye on. With as much talent as the Rockies have, now they just have to find a way to win with them. While I don’t think they’re winning the World Series, I believe the Rockies will finish with more wins this season than last (75). FanGraphs doesn’t project them to make the playoffs, but I wouldn’t count them out of the Wild Card.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants notably acquired: Mark Melancon (RP).
The Giants fell short in the postseason despite the team’s often discussed a�?even-year magic.a�? So they responded by being mostly quiet this offseason. They weren’t projected to make many moves due to their payroll, but also, really, there weren’t many holes to fill.
The Giants needed a closer, and they got one in Melancon. He’s getting older and has bounced around teams a bit, but the numbers speak for him. The past few seasons, Melancon has averaged a 1.82 ERA, .893 WHIP and 35 saves. Maybe this year, with a better closer, the Giants can turn their even-year luck into odd-year luck.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers notably re-signed: Rich Hill (RHP), Kenley Jansen (RP) and Justin Turner (3B); acquired: Logan Forsythe (IF).
The Dodgers were great in 2016. The club finished atop its division, but fell short (to the Cubs) of a World Series berth. The Dodgers, arguably, didn’t need to make too many adjustments to be a better team. They would make a few, though, just not necessarily moves that make the club better. The re-signed Hill is old and injury prone. Jansen renewed his contract for five more years, while Turner and Forsythe are aginga��we’ll see where their bats go from here.
Still, the Dodgers kept the band together, and will probably win the NL West division once again.
The Astros notably acquired: Josh Reddick (LF), Nori Aoki (OF), Carlos BeltrA?n (DH/RF) and Brian McCann (C).
The Astros added power and veteran players to the team, and their upgrades will affect their starting lineupa��a lineup that MLB.com writer Mike Petriello says could be the deepest in baseball. Preseason statistics project that Houston has eight above-average or better hitters. While that only covers the offense, this is obviously a big deal for Houston.
The four players the team acquired in the offseason join JosA� Altuve, Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis and George Springer. Preseason predictions and numbers aren’t perfect, but it’s safe to say Houston’s offense will be a threat.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox notably acquired: Chris Sale (RP), Mitch Moreland (1B/DH) and Tyler Thornburg (RHP).
The Red Sox are losing a huge asset to their team in David Ortiz. He’d been a part of the club since the a�?reverse the cursea�? years and provided a slew of runs for the Sox. With Papi gone, the Red Sox aren’t looking to a�?replacea�? Ortiz with one player. It’s likely that different players will have a shot at the DH spot.
Boston also lacked depth in the back of the bullpen last season, not to mention a consistent rotation. Sale fits in as that missing piece, and the Red Sox should at least be as good as they were in 2016a��if not better.
New York Mets
The Mets notably re-signed Yoenis CA�spedes (OF).
New York was rather quiet during the offseason (yes, I know it’s not over), but the club got CA�spedes back. And somehow, recently, the team’s always able to make a run at the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if this year was no different.
Plus, you know, the Mets have got Tim Tebowa��if they decide they want to use him…
The Indians notably acquired: Edwin EncarnaciA?n (1B/DH).
The Indians signed the veteran slugger to the club, but also kept Trevor Bauer and Cody Allen. Cleveland is a good team who will stay good next season. For one, the club is keeping the same players around that got them to the World Series. Plus, they added an All-Star.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals notably acquired: Dexter Fowler (CF) and Brett Cecil (LHP).
The biggest addition the Cardinals made: Fowler, as they stole the star centerfielder from their division rival Chicago Cubs in the process. The Cardinals are always in contention, and their offseason just bolstered an already good lineup. They’ll definitely be a fierce competitor to the Cubs, who’ll be looking to repeat.
The Cubs notably acquired: Wade Davis (RHP), Koji Uehara (RHP), Jon Jay (OF) and Brian Duensing (RHP).
Chicago lost one of its best players, Dexter Fowler, but added plenty of stabilitya��mostly to their pitching staff. The champions now have more players than they do positions, with plenty of veterans on the team as well. They shouldn’t worry about where they’ll finish this season. And, even if they don’t repeat, they’re sure to be a fun team to watch.