Be sure to check out Devan's website and leave some comments. He is back up and posting for Spring Training and is getting ready for the season.
Below are the top three additions for each team, the biggest loss, and an explanation. Teams are in alphabetical order by city, which means the Nationals are last (scroll down to the bottom to see their recap).
1. Brandon McCarthy (8-6, 3.24 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) from OAK
2. Martin Prado (10 HR, 70 RBI, .301 AVG, 17 SB) from ATL
3. Cody Ross (22 HR, 81 RBI, .267 AVG, 2 SB) from BOS
Biggest Loss: Justin Upton (17 HR, 67 RBI, .280 AVG, 18 SB) to ATL
The Diamondbacks made no massive acquisitions, but these three certainly help. McCarthy will round out a solid rotation with Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill, and Wade Miley. Prado effectively replaces Chris Johnson, who was sent to Atlanta in the Justin Upton deal that also included Prado as a return, and will balance the offense. Lastly, Cody Ross was the player that made the Upton deal possible, adding another bat to the outfield, but he may block other players from taking over. Joining Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra, prospects Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock will have to try harder to gain a starting spot. Justin Upton will certainly be missed, as the D-Backs aren't the same team without him. Upton hit 108 home runs in his time in Arizona and carried the offense as the team's loan superstar.
1. Justin Upton (17 HR, 67 RBI, .280 AVG, 18 SB) from ARI
2. B.J. Upton (28 HR, 78 RBI, .246 AVG, 31 SB) from TB
3. Chris Johnson (15 HR, 76 RBI, .281 AVG, 5 SB) from ARI
Biggest Loss: Chipper Jones (14 HR, 62 RBI, .287 AVG, 1 SB) retired.
In the wake of Chipper Jones' retirement, the Braves have plenty to smile about. The first two are the Upton brothers, who came from Tampa Bay and Arizona to not only replace Michael Bourn a but add a second bat. B.J. will take over in center, while Justin will play right. Added to the middle of the rotation, Atlanta can boast such bats as Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman, and Dan Uggla to go along with the brothers. Chris Johnson will also come in and step into the massive shoes of the departed Jones, and should do nicely. He put up solid numbers in Arizona, and now looks to help the club forget about the past.
1. Jair Jurrjens (3-4, 6.89 ERA, 1.86 WHIP) from ATL
2. Trayvon Robinson (3 HR, 12 RBI, .221 AVG, 6 SB) from SEA
3. Travis Ishikawa (4 HR, 30 RBI, .257 AVG, 0 SB) from MIL
Biggest Loss: Mark Reynolds (23 HR, 69 RBI, .221 AVG, 1 SB) to CLE
The Orioles really did not bring in much. The only noticeable acquisition was Jair Jurrjens, who had some great seasons for the Braves before struggling mightily in 2012. The O's hope he can return to his 2008-2011 form, where he was 47-32 with a 3.34 ERA. The top offensive player brought in this offseason is 25 year old outfielder Trayvon Robinson, a young switch hitter with 90 games under his belt. He should compete for a back up spot in the outfield. Travis Ishikawa will provide depth at first base behind Chris Davis, and he may DH a bit. The only year in which Ishikawa was a starter was 2009, when he hit nine home runs and batted .261 in 120 games for the Giants. Losing Mark Reynolds will be big for Baltimore, as he was one of the team's top offensive threats. I foresee a fall in the standings for the O's.
Boston Red Sox
1. Mike Napoli (24 HR, 56 RBI, .227 AVG, 1 SB) from TEX
2. Joel Hanrahan (5-2, 2.72 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 36 saves) from PIT
3. Shane Victorino (11 HR, 55 RBI, .255 AVG, 39 SB) from LAD
Biggest Loss: Mark Melancon (0-2, 6.20 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 1 save) to PIT
The Red Sox had a very busy offseason, brining in the above three as well as Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, and Koji Uehara. Mike Napoli is the name that most stands out, as he is one of the top hitting catchers in baseball. However, he will play first base in the absence of Adrian Gonzalez, providing some much needed offensive boost. Joel Hanrahan would like to shut the revolving door at the closer's position that ensued after Jonathan Papelbon left, as Andrew Bailey, Mark Melancon, Alfredo Aceves, Vicente Padilla, Franklin Morales, and Junichi Tazawa all recorded at least one save last year (led by Aceves at 25). Shane Victorino hopes to bring energy and enthusiasm to a Boston team that is not enjoying its brightest days right now. Replacing Carl Crawford in the outfield, Victorino should bat in the lower part of the lineup. Losing Mark Melancon hurts because they previously acquired him to be their set-up man for 2012, only to watch him crumble with injury. However, he was worth the price, as dealing him brought Hanrahan over from Pittsburgh.
1. Edwin Jackson (10-11, 4.03 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) from WSH
2. Scott Hairston (20 HR, 57 RBI, .263 AVG, 8 SB) from NYM
3. Scott Feldman (6-11, 5.09 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) from TEX
Biggest Loss: Bryan LaHair (16 HR, 40 RBI, .259 AVG, 4 SB) to Japan
The Cubs made a slew of minor signings, but a few came out big. Most noticeable is the four year deal given to Edwin Jackson, who will add much needed experience to the rotation that just lost Ryan Dempster. Scott Hairston will also help the offense, joining the outfield with Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus. Scott Feldman rounds out the back of the rotation and may pitch some in relief. Losing Bryan LaHair is a hit to the offense, but the emergence of Anthony Rizzo should cover that.
Chicago White Sox
1. Jeff Keppinger (9 HR, 40 RBI, .325 AVG, 1 SB) from TB
2. Matt Lindstrom (1-0, 2.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) from ARI
3. Blake Tekotte (0 HR, 0 RBI, .133 AVG, 1 SB) from SD
Biggest Loss: A.J. Pierzynski (27 HR, 77 RBI, .278 AVG, 0 SB) to TEX
Jeff Keppinger is a solid addition to the White Sox, bringing high averages and a consistent bat to the team. Kepp hit .325 last year, contrasting Alex Rios' team leading average of .304. Matt Lindstrom rounds out the bullpen, adding depth as well as experience to a very young relief corps. Blake Tekotte is a 25 year old outfielder acquired from the Padres, ready to break through. He has 65 career minor league home runs, 50 of which came from 2009-2011. A.J. Pierzynski, the White Sox catcher since 2005, is leaving for Texas. Though it will be a hit to the team's core, Tyler Flowers, Hector Gimenez, and Bryan Anderson will try to hold down the backstop position.
1. Shin-Soo Choo (16 HR, 67 RBI, .283 AVG, 21 SB) from CLE
2. Miguel Olivo (12 HR, 29 RBI, .222 AVG, 3 SB) from SEA
3. Jack Hannahan (4 HR, 29 RBI, .244 AVG, 0 SB) from CLE
Biggest Loss: Ryan Madson (Missed Season) to LAA.
The Reds brought in a big name in Shin-Soo Choo. The up and down outfielder has had a successful major league career as an all around hitter. He has 88 home runs, a .289 average, and 85 stolen bases in his career, demonstrating all three offensive tools of hitting, power, and speed. He will take over in center field for Drew Stubbs (who was dealt in the trade that brought Choo to Cincinnati) and provide a solid top of the order bat. Miguel Olivo is an experienced catcher who can balance out Ryan Hanigan and Devin Mesoraco behind the plate. He has tremendous power, but has struggled to connect enough to generate serious numbers. His career average sits at just .241 despite 141 home runs. Jack Hannahan will work in around the infield as a backup. He is a great clubhouse guy and will help a diverse Reds team. What hurts the most for the city is the loss of Ryan Madson. He was signed for $10 million to close for the Cincinnati, but didn't throw a single pitch due to Tommy John surgery. He now joins the Angels on an incentive-laden deal.
1. Nick Swisher (24 HR, 93 RBI, .272 AVG, 2 SB) from NYY
2. Trevor Bauer (1-2, 6.06 ERA, 1.65 WHIP) from ARI
3. Michael Bourn (9 HR, 57 RBI, .274, 42 SB) from ATL
Biggest Loss: Shin-Soo Choo (16 HR, 67 RBI, .283, 21 SB) to CIN.
Nick Swisher is coming in and will really tie the offense together. Ever since Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore began to go down injured with regularity, there was no central force to the offense. Shin-Soo Choo tried to step up, as did Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, and Asdrubal Cabrera. Swisher, who has 209 career home runs, will now assume that role along with fellow newcomer Mark Reynolds. Trevor Bauer was sent to Cleveland in a great trade, and the 22 year old is looking to turn heads in his upcoming rookie season. He was 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA in the minors last year. He looks like he may be the Indian ace for a long time to come. Michael Bourn will jump to the top of the lineup and set up for the offensive core of Kipnis, Cabrera, Swisher, and Reynolds. Losing Choo to Cincinnati may have been a much bigger deal without the additions of Bourn, Swisher, and Reynolds.
1. Wilton Lopez (6-3, 2.17 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 10 saves) from HOU
2. Yorvit Torrealba (4 HR, 14 RBI, .227 AVG, 1 SB) from MIL
3. Miguel Batista (1-3, 4.61 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) from ATL
Biggest Loss: Alex White (2-9, 5.51 ERA, 1.68 WHIP) to HOU
Playing high scoring games means that the Rockies need some shut down pitching, and Lopez provides just that. The 29 year old Nicaraguan has pitched the first four years of his career with the Astros, and now moves over to the Rockies after compiling great numbers for a dismal Houston team. Ascending to closer last year, he posted a 2.17 ERA and 10 saves, which will help him solidify the back of the Colorado bullpen. The Rockies were also short shored up their catching depth, adding Yorvit Torrealba to work in with Wilin Rosario and Ramon Hernandez. Since Colorado needs all the pitching help it can get, they brought in Miguel Batista to serve as a long man. Losing Alex White will be tough, as he is a young pitcher with high upside. However, he was necessary to pry Lopez off the Astros.
1.Torii Hunter (16 HR, 92 RBI, .313 AVG, 9 SB) from LAA
2. Brayan Peña (2 HR, 25 RBI, .236 AVG, 0 SB) from KC
3. Shawn Hill (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP) from TOR
Biggest Loss: Delmon Young (18 HR, 74 RBI, .267 AVG, 0 SB) to PHI
The Tigers have been very quite this offseason except for one big acquisition: Torii Hunter on a two year, $26 million deal. He effectively replaces Delmon Young (gone to Philadelphia) in the outfield, adding a much better clubhouse attitude than the frequently outspoken Young. He will solidify a lineup that will include such names as Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez (remember him?) and Austin Jackson. They only made two other acquisitions in Brayan Peña and Shawn Hill. Peña, a lifelong backup catcher, will work behind Alex Avila at the dish. He is significant because behind Avila, Detroit's best catcher was Bryan Holaday, a 25 year old AAA catcher who holds a career .237 minor league batting average and appeared in the first six games of his major league career last season (he went 3-12, a .250 average). Shawn Hill, who pitched for the Expos/Nationals from 2004-2008, will fight to make the bullpen.
1. Carlos Peña (19 HR, 61 RBI, .197 AVG, 2 SB) from TB
2. Chris Carter (16 HR, 39 RBI, .239 AVG, 0 SB) from OAK
3. Erik Bedard (7-14, 5.01 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) from PIT
Biggest Loss: Wilton Lopez (6-3, 2.17 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 10 saves) to COL
The Astros added a pair of bats in Carlos Peña and Chris Carter to bat in the middle of the lineup. Peña will add leadership to an extremely young team, bringing 277 home runs to the team and a great career track record. He hit under .200 for the second time in three years last year, but he looks ready to rebound. Carter is looking to finally break through, having hit 16 home runs last year while playing in the massive Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, and a switch to Houston's Minute Maid Park should help him. Erik Bedard brings a veteran starter to move into the middle of the rotation. The 33 year old Canadian has made 189 starts in his career and could help the Astros turn their ship around. Losing Wilton Lopez will be tough, because he was their closer last year. He will be replaced by another offseason acquisition, Jose Veras, who was 5-4 with a 3.63 ERA last year for Milwaukee.
Kansas City Royals
1. James Shields (15-10, 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) from TB
2. Wade Davis (3-0, 2.43 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) from TB
3. Ervin Santana (9-13, 5.16 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) from LAA
Biggest Loss: Wil Myers (Played in minors) to TB
The Royals were all pitching this offseason. They brought on starters James Shields and Ervin Santana, as well as starter/reliever Wade Davis. Shields, who has pitched more than 200 innings each season since 2007, will take over as the ace and lead an up and coming Royals team into what could be the playoffs. Davis has acted as both a starter and a reliever in his career, and it is still undecided which role he will fill in 2013. He was a reliever last season, the first time he's ever done so. Ervin Santana will join KC looking for a career rebound. After making 233 starts for the Angels in a very up and down fashion, he hopes that this year is an up. Acquiring Shields and Davis from the Rays did come with a price. Wil Myers, the #4 prospect in baseball, had to be shipped to Tampa Bay, where he looks to join Evan Longoria as the face of the franchise. The Royals have more than enough to replace him, with Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, and Jeff Francouer looking to man the outfield at Kauffman.
Los Angeles Angels
1. Josh Hamilton (43 HR, 128 RBI, .285 AVG, 7 SB) from TEX
2. Tommy Hanson (13-10, 4.48 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) from ATL
3. Ryan Madson (Missed 2012: Injured) from CIN
Biggest Loss: Zack Greinke (15-5, 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) to LAD
Like last year, the Angels had a busy offseason, bringing in Josh Hamilton as well as pitchers Tommy Hanson, Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett, Jason Vargas, and Joe Blanton. Of course, Hamilton heads the list as one of the top hitters in baseball. The three time Silver Slugger winner, five time All Star, and 2010 AL MVP completes the terrific trifecta of Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Hamilton. I didn't jump on the bandwagon last year and say the Angels would win the AL West with the signings of Pujols and C.J. Wilson, but the addition of Hamilton pushes them over the top. Zack Greinke, Ervin Santana, and Dan Haren departed after the season, and they were replaced by Hanson, Vargas, and Blanton. Hanson, a SoCal native, is the youngest of the trio at 26 years old and looks to rebound from a tough 2012 season. The left-handed Vargas, another SoCal native, comes from Seattle to replace southpaw Dan Haren. Ryan Madson was signed to close for Los Angeles, but the Angels have other options in Ernesto Frieri and Sean Burnett (who was also just signed).
Los Angeles Dodgers
1. Zack Greinke (15-5, 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) from LAA
2. Hyun-Jin Ryu (Pitched in Korea in 2012) from Korea
3. J.P. Howell (1-0, 3.04 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) from TB
Biggest Loss: Shane Victorino (11 HR, 55 RBI, .255 AVG, 39 SB) to BOS
The Dodgers brought in Zack Greinke, the highest paid right-handed pitcher of all time until Felix Hernandez signed his $175 million deal, to be their number two starter behind Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw and Greinke now form one of the best one-two punches in baseball, up there with Strasburg-Gonzalez of the Nationals and Halladay-Hamels of the Phillies. 25 year old Hyun-Jin Ryu comes over as the most hyped up Korean import of all time, and looks to fill in somewhere in the rotation. J.P. Howell gives the Dodgers a second shut down lefty in the 'pen to join Paco Rodriguez. Losing Shane Victorino will not be that tough with Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Andre Eithier in the outfield.
1. Henderson Alvarez (9-14, 4.85 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) from TOR
2. Jon Rauch (3-7, 3.59 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 4 saves) from NYM
3. Adeiny Hechavarria (2 HR, 15 RBI, .254 AVG, 0 SB) from TOR
Biggest Loss: Jose Reyes (11 HR, 57 RBI, .287 AVG, 40 SB) to TOR
Miami may have sent the front two of their rotation (Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle) 1400 miles north to Toronto, but they did get an overlooked starter back. Henderson Alvarez may only have 41 starts and ten wins under his belt, but the 22 year old shows immense promise as the future of the Marlins rotation. Combined with Nathan Eovaldi (23 years old), Jacob Turner (21), Jose Fernandez (20 and baseball's #7 prospect), and Andrew Heaney (21 and baseball's #81 prospect), all of whom except Heaney are major league ready, the Marlins are looking at one of the best future rotations in baseball. Jon Rauch puts some experience into the Miami bullpen that lost Heath Bell, as well as a 6'11" frame. Adeiny Hechavarria, acquired with Alvarez and others in the massive Toronto-Miami trade, looks to replace Jose Reyes (also in the trade) at shortstop. The 22 year old infielder hit well for AAA Las Vegas last year and appeared in 41 games for the Blue Jays. In the big trade that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson to Toronto, the Marlins lost a huge chunk of their squad (and some respect from baseball fans around the country), but they also shed a ton of payroll obligations.
1. Tom Gorzelanny (4-2, 2.88 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 1 save) from WSH
2. Burke Badenhop (3-2, 3.03 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) from TB
3. Michael Gonzalez (0-0, 3.03 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) from WSH
Biggest Loss: Shaun Marcum (7-4, 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) to NYM
The Brewers offseason was all bullpen. Besides bringing in lefties Tom Gorzelanny and Michael Gonzalez from the Nationals and righties Burke Badenhop and Jairo Asencio, pitchers such as Jose Veras, Mike McClendon, Kameron Loe, and Francisco Rodriguez all departed. Gorzelanny, lured away from the Nationals, was the main signing for Milwaukee. The lefty long man broke out as a reliever last season, going 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 45 games (1 start), often pitching multiple innings per appearance. Burke Badenhop, a righty, comes from Tampa Bay to pitch up north. He has had a consistent, successful career for the Rays and Marlins. A third reliever signed by the Brewers is lefty Michael Gonzalez, who made 47 appearances for the Nationals, is a former closer who brings experience to the young Milwaukee bullpen. Losing Marcum will be a hit on the rotation, as he was a solid middle man working in with Yovani Gallardo, Mike Fiers, and Marco Estrada.
1. Vance Worley (6-9, 4.20 ERA, 1.51 WHIP) from PHI
2. Kevin Correia (12-11, 4.21 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) from SD
3. Mike Pelfrey (0-0, 2.29 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) from PIT
Biggest Loss: Denard Span (4 HR, 41 RBI, .283 AVG, 17 SB) to WSH
The Twins knew they had a shallow rotation, so they completely revamped it, adding Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Rich Harden, and minor leaguers Alex Meyer and Trevor May. Correia had the best 2012 season out of the three, but Worley is the youngest and is a year removed from a solid 2011 where he went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. Pelfrey had some very good years with the Mets but was limited to three starts last year due to injuries. They did give up two star outfielders in trades, sending Denard Span to Washington for Meyer and Ben Revere to Philadelphia for May. With those two gone, the outfield figures to include Josh Willingham, Darin Mastroianni, and either Joe Benson, Clete Thomas, Brandon Boggs, or Brian Dinkelman.
New York Mets
1. Travis D'Arnaud (Played in minors) from TOR
2. Shaun Marcum (7-4, 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) from MIL
3. Brandon Lyon (4-2, 3.10 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 1 save) from TOR
Biggest Loss: R.A. Dickey (20-6, 2.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) to TOR
The main return New York got from Toronto in the R.A. Dickey deal was Travis D'Arnaud, baseball's #7 prospect. He looks to work in at catcher with John Buck (also acquired from the Blue Jays) next year before taking over as New York's catcher of the future. Though Shaun Marcum doesn't replace Dickey's skill in the rotation, he at least replaces the slot. Marcum has a track record of injuries and success, and is looking for a healthy year to help the Mets' oft-injured rotation. Lastly, Brandon Lyon, who joins the bullpen with newcomers LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison, had one of the best years of his career last year and looks to battle with Frank Francisco and Bobby Parnell for the closer's spot. Losing R.A. Dickey will be huge for the Mets, who need the other members of the rotation, especially veteran Johan Santana, to step up. Sending him to the Mets was a good deal, as they acquired D'Arnaud and Buck in return.
New York Yankees
1. Kevin Youkilis (19 HR, 60 RBI, .235 AVG, 0 SB) from CWS
2. Travis Hafner (12 HR, 34 RBI, .228 AVG, 0 SB) from CLE
3. Juan Rivera (9 HR, 47 RBI, .244 AVG, 1 SB) from LAD
Biggest Loss: Nick Swisher (24 HR, 93 RBI, .272 AVG, 2 SB) to CLE
With A-Rod out until at least the All Star Break, the Yankees needed a solution at third base. They found it in the most unlikely of places: longtime Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who very recently provoked controversy saying "I will always be a Red Sock". However, he solidifies the Yankee infield. Youk may be lost in next year's scorecards with names like Jeter, Cano, Granderson, Teixeira, and Suzuki penciled in around his name. The Yankees also went out an signed a new DH in Travis Hafner, a longtime Indian who holds the all-time record for most home runs by a player born in North Dakota (201). He could end up rebounding in the Bronx and provide a huge boost. Juan Rivera was another bench bat added by the Yankees. He has had an up and down career, but hopes to turn it around by joining the team with which he started his career (2001-2003). Nick Swisher highlights a quartet of big names that departed the Yankees, including Rafael Soriano, Raul Ibañez, and Russell Martin. Swisher was possibly the most overlooked piece of the New York offense the past few seasons, routinely putting up four straight 20 HR/80 RBI/30 2B years for the Yanks. Soriano will no doubt be a hit on the bullpen, especially if Mariano Rivera does not return. Raul Ibañez was replaced by Juan Rivera, but the loss of Russell Martin leaves the Yankees without a bona fide catcher. They will have to rely on a Chris Stewart/Bobby Wilson/Francisco Cervelli combination.
1. Jed Lowrie (16 HR, 42 RBI, .244 AVG, 2 SB) from HOU
2. John Jaso (10 HR, 50 RBI, .276 AVG, 5 SB) from SEA
3. Hiroyuki Nakajima (Played in Japan) from Japan.
Biggest Loss: Brandon McCarthy (8-6, 3.24 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) to ARI
The A's traded for Jed Lowrie, who will play second base. He had a breakout season last year and looks to build off it this year. John Jaso was acquired in the Michael Morse trade, and he will catch with Derek Norris. Hiroyuki Nakajima is the replacement for Stephen Drew at short. Nakajima had a long career with the Seibu Lions in Japan and looks to transfer his success from Japan to the US. Losing Brandon McCarthy is a hit to the rotation, but the A's are known for their depth in the rotation.
1. Ben Revere (0 HR, 32 RBI, .294 AVG, 40 SB) from MIN
2. Michael Young (8 HR, 67 RBI, .277 AVG, 2 SB) from TEX
3. Delmon Young (18 HR, 74 RBI, .267 AVG, 0 SB) from DET
Biggest Loss: Ty Wigginton (11 HR, 43 RBI, .235 AVG, 1 SB) to STL
Ben Revere brings something the Phillies have been needing: youthful energy. The 24 year old will take over in center field, bringing his 74 over the past two seasons with him. Though he is yet to homer at the major league level through 254 games, he will fit nicely at the top of the lineup. Michael Young comes over from Texas after 13 seasons in a Rangers uniform. His great track record will be more than enough to outweigh the loss of Placido Polanco to Miami and even Ty Wigginton to St. Louis. Delmon Young has attitude issues, but his solid bat will be great for the Phillies. He may not start in a crowded outfield, but he will still get at least 400 at bats.
1. Russell Martin (21 HR, 53 RBI, .211 AVG, 6 SB) from NYY
2. Mark Melancon (0-2, 6.20 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 1 save) from BOS
3. Francisco Liriano (6-12, 5.34 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) from CWS
Biggest Loss: Joel Hanrahan (5-2, 2.72 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 36 saves) to BOS.
Russell Martin replaces Rod Barajas behind the plate and is a considerable upgrade in value. Known as an all around catcher, Martin will help form the core of the offense with Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Neil Walker, and Pedro Alvarez. Mark Melancon replaces Joel Hanrahan (who was traded in the deal that brought Melancon to Pittsburgh) at the back end of the bullpen, and though he is somewhat of a downgrade, he provides a young, up and coming arm to join Jeff Karstens and Jason Grilli as leaders of the 'pen. Francisco Liriano balances the loss of Kevin Correia to the Twins, and though he is inconsistent, he is much younger and has the potential to be an upgrade. Liriano tossed a no-hitter in 2011 and was AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2010.
San Diego Padres
1. Freddy Garcia (7-6, 5.20 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) from NYY
2. Tyson Ross (2-11, 6.50 ERA, 1.81 WHIP) from OAK
3. Cody Ransom (11 HR, 42 RBI, .220 AVG, 0 SB) from ARI
Biggest Loss: Andrew Werner (2-3, 5.58 ERA, 1.46 WHIP) to OAK
The Padres had a rather uneventful offseason: no big signings, no big trades, no big losses. Freddy Garcia was the top player acquired by San Diego. Garcia has had a great career, but is on the downslope. Many pitchers have come to San Diego and resurrected their careers, and that is exactly what the 36 year old would like to do. He will join a rotation that includes Jason Marquis, Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard, and Eric Stults. Tyson Ross, a 25 year old hurler acquired from Oakland, had a very rough season last year but is looking to rebound. In 2011, he was 3-3 with a 2.75 ERA in nine games (six starts). Cody Ransom joins as an offensive boost. 2012, his tenth season in the majors, was a breakout year that saw him play over 80 games for the first time. The utility man who has played first, second, third, short, and left in his career should be a great clubhouse presence. The Padres didn't really lose any of their players from 2012, aside from a couple of fringe big leaguers. Andrew Werner, a 25 year old lefty that was sent to Oakland in the Tyson Ross trade, heads the list of departures. He was 2-3 with a 5.58 ERA in eight starts in 2012.
San Francisco Giants
1. Andres Torres (3 HR, 35 RBI, .230 AVG, 13 SB) from NYM
2. Ramon Ramirez (3-4, 4.24 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 1 save) from NYM
3. Chad Gaudin (4-2, 4.54 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) from MIA
Biggest Loss: Melky Cabrera (11 HR, 60 RBI, .346 AVG, 13 SB) to TOR
If you're the defending World Champs, you're obviously doing something right with your roster. The Giants went by that philosophy, and most of their moves pertained to re-signings, including Jeremy Affeldt, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan. One familiar face they brought back was Andres Torres, who helped lead the team to their 2010 title. After spending a year with the Mets, he is back in the Bay City, ready to compete to be Melky Cabrera's replacement. Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan have the first two spots in the outfield, so it's up to Torres to outwork Francisco Peguero and Gregor Blanco for the third spot. Ramon Ramirez and Chad Gaudin bring two more arms to an already solid bullpen. Ramirez will likely work the seventh inning and Gaudin should be the long man. Losing Melky Cabrera was tough, and I say was because the really lost him in August with his suspension. They ended up just fine without him, winning the NL West and eventually the World Series.
1. Michael Morse (18 HR, 62 RBI, .291 AVG, 0 SB) from WSH
2. Kendrys Morales (22 HR, 73 RBI, .273 AVG, 0 SB) from LAA
3. Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) from BAL
Biggest Loss: Jason Vargas (14-11, 3.85 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) to LAA
The Mariners had a very productive offseason, acquiring four bats in Michael Morse, Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibañez, and Jason Bay, and not losing much other than Jason Vargas and Miguel Olivo. Morse headlines the list of acquisitions, bringing immense power and a great clubhouse presence to Seattle. "Sea Beast", his new, self-coined nickname combining his new team (Seattle) and his former nickname (Beast), began his career with the Mariners, but never appeared in more than 72 games in a season for them. He now returns as a candidate to bat in the middle of the order. Kendrys Morales was brought over from Los Angeles for Jason Vargas, and he also may hit in the middle of the order. He had a bounce-back 2012 after missing all of 2011 and most of 2010 with a broken leg, and says he is "100%" healthy and ready to contribute. Joe Saunders replaces Jason Vargas in the rotation, and looks to bring as much to the table as Vargas did. Saunders is 31 with 78 victories under his belt.
St. Louis Cardinals
1. Ty Wigginton (11 HR, 43 RBI, .235 AVG, 1 SB) from PHI
2. Randy Choate (0-0, 3.03 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 1 save) from LAD
3. Ronny Cedeño (4 HR, 22 RBI, .259 AVG, 0 SB) from NYM
Biggest Loss: Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) to free agency
The Cardinals had a quite offseason with only two noticeable signings. Ty Wigginton was the biggest addition to the offense, as he will work around the infield, backing up David Freese and Allen Craig at first and third base, respectively, as well as seeing some time in the outfield. A power hitter, the former All Star should provide some pop off the bench for the 2011 World Champs. Randy Choate was given a three year deal, meaning he will be blowing left handed hitters away for the foreseeable future. Last year, lefties batted .158 against him. Ronny Cedeño will work to back up Rafael Furcal and Daniel Descalso in the infield, and may see some starting time as well. The 30 year old is a decent all around player. Losing Lohse didn't seem like a big deal to the Cardinals until Chris Carpenter went down with thoracic outlet syndrome for the second straight season, now leaving St. Louis with just Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, and Lance Lynn as established starters in their rotation. Despite this shortage, GM John Mozeliak maintained that the Cardinals will not pursue Lohse.
Tampa Bay Rays
1. Wil Myers (Played in minors) from KC
2. Kelly Johnson (16 HR, 55 RBI, .225 AVG, 14 SB) from TOR
3. Yunel Escobar (9 HR, 51 RBI, .253 AVG, 5 SB) from MIA
Biggest Loss: James Shields (15-10, 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) to KC
The Rays worked a busy offseason, and the biggest fruit to come out of it was Wil Myers. The 22 year old outfielder, baseball's #4 prospect, is considered the Rays' right fielder of the future. Myers had a huge offensive season last year in the minors, and could make the Rays out of spring training. Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar were acquired to take over the middle infield, and they should be nice upgrades from the Elliot Johnson/Jeff Keppinger combination. Both have had success in recent years. Three big losses for the team were James Shields, B.J. Upton, and Carlos Peña, centerpieces of the team for the last half decade. Shields has been the workhorse and big man in the rotation, while Upton and Peña have led the offense (along with Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria). However, the Rays have been through big losses before (see Rafeal Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, Carlos Peña [the first time], and Aubrey Huff), and have always seemed to rebound nicely. This year should be no different.
1. A.J. Pierzynski (27 HR, 77 RBI, .278 AVG, 0 SB) from CWS
2. Joakim Soria (Missed 2012: Injured) from KC
3. Josh Lindblom (3-5, 3.55 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 1 save) from PHI
Biggest Loss: Josh Hamilton (43 HR, 128 RBI, .285 AVG, 7 SB) to LAA
A.J. Pierzynski, the longtime White Sox catcher, highlights the list of acquisitions for Texas. The got him cheap, too: just $7.5 million. He replaces Mike Napoli, who is gone to Boston. Joakim Soria has seen his promising career spiral downward as of late, going from arguably the top closer in baseball in 2010 to a set-up man in 2013. Soria had a rough 2011, then missed all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery. He will set up for closer Joe Nathan. Josh Lindblom, a 25 year old reliever, was acquired from Philadelphia for Michael Young. In his first full season last year, he pitched in 74 games, good for 13th in the NL. Despite these acquisitions, the Rangers offseason was a story of losses. Josh Hamilton (LAA), Mike Napoli (BOS), Ryan Dempster (BOS), Michael Young (PHI), and Mike Adams (PHI) all left for new teams. The storyline for 2013 will be how the Rangers can weather the losses.
Toronto Blue Jays
1. R.A. Dickey (20-6, 2.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) from NYM
2. Jose Reyes (11 HR, 57 RBI, .287 AVG, 40 SB) from MIA
3. Josh Johnson (8-14, 3.81 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) from MIA
Biggest Loss: Henderson Alvarez (9-14, 4.85 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) to MIA
You know you had a productive offseason when Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and Melky Cabrera don't even crack the top three acquisitions while Henderson Alvarez is the biggest loss. Truly, the Blue Jays were the story of the 2012-2013 Hot Stove season, pulling two huge trades with Miami and New York. Headlining all of the acquisitions is 38 year old knuckleballer and 2012 NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey, who's breakout year last year captivated the country. He will take over as ace of the most improved rotation in baseball. Also joining the rotation are Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from Miami. Oft-injured, Johnson had his first 30 start season since 2009 in '12, but disappointed with pedestrian numbers: 8-14, 3.81 ERA. Hopefully, he can get back to his 2009-2011 form, where he was 29-12 with a 2.64 ERA over 70 starts. Buehrle brings a veteran presence to the rotation, having made the seventh most career starts (396) among active pitchers. Jose Reyes will take over at shortstop and at the leadoff position, providing energy and speed to the team. To get these players, Toronto did have to give up some names, including Travis D'Arnaud, Henderson Alvarez, John Buck, and Adeiny Hechavarria.
1. Denard Span (4 HR, 41 RBI, .283 AVG, 17 SB) from MIN
2. Rafael Soriano (2-1, 2.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 42 saves) from NYY
3. Dan Haren (12-13, 4.33 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) from LAA
Biggest Loss: Michael Morse (18 HR, 62 RBI, .291 AVG, 0 SB) to SEA
You made it to the bottom of the list. Whether you read all of them or not, I don't know, but this is the recap you were waiting for. The most important acquisition the Nationals made all offseason was Denard Span, a speedy outfielder who could finally be the solution to the Nats' age old leadoff question. He gets on base and can run, making him the perfect candidate to hit at the top of the order. Signing Rafael Soriano surprised everyone, myself included. He will become the closer, taking over from the Tyler Clippard/Drew Storen combination used last year. His signing makes the Nationals' bullpen one of the most feared in baseball, as the big three of Soriano, Clippard, and Storen are joined by Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, Craig Stammen, and Zach Duke. Lastly, Dan Haren replaces Edwin Jackson in the rotation, and in my opinion, he's an upgrade. Haren had some very good years from 2007-2011, but had a mediocre season in 2012. If he can rebound, the Nationals will no doubt have the best rotation in baseball. The only two major players to leave were Michael Morse and Edwin Jackson. Morse was sent to Seattle for A.J. Cole and another minor leaguer, while Jackson was signed by the Cubs. Morse became expendable when the Nats resigned Adam LaRoche.
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies
If your team is not included, please leave a comment.
HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases. ERA: earned run average. WHIP: walks/hits per innings pitched. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage