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Biggest Winners/Losers/Mixed Bags of MLB Offseason

While there are several high-caliber players left unsigned as Spring Training starts, and some huge uniform issues to sort out, baseball has officially begun in Arizona, with the Dodgers and Padres kicking things off Thursday afternoon.


Both teams were big players in this past offseason, for better or for worse, and while both teams seem done with transactions of their own for a while, there's still some deep-diving to do with the rest of the league. So here are the biggest winners and losers of the offseason, starting with the losers because, hey, they're more fun.


Loser 1: Boston Red Sox

The biggest loser of the offseason. Lucas Giolito? Liam Hendricks? Both are fine and could be decent contributors to the pitching staff, but would I describe that as "full-throttle?"


No, Tom Werner wasn't exactly portraying the idea that these would be the two big signings of the offseason while letting pretty much everyone else walk and trading away Chris Sale for a middle infielder who's a huge liability defensively. Add in the Orioles and Yankees getting way better, and the Rays, well, being the Rays, and you've got yourself another year likely ending up in the cellar.


Loser 2: Toronto Blue Jays

Ok, so the AL East is going to feature a bit more prominently than desired, but a lot of these teams are based around expectations and potential of their roster instead of just saying the Oakland A's and the Colorado Rockies because they're likely to be the two worst teams in baseball next season.


Toronto has a super-promising roster filled with talent on "both sides of the ball," and while they're bringing back Kevin Kiermaier and signing Justin Turner and Yariel Rodriguez were great, signing Isiah Kiner-Falefa was not.


Third base is still a question mark, the bullpen is iffy at best, and who knows what to make of their rotation. Is Alek Manoah going to be a major league pitcher again? Their lineup could be a bit of an issue too, because, hey, Vladdy Jr. took a bit of a step back last season (even though I expect him to bounce back), and Daulton Varsho needs to be better at the plate.


Loser 3: Chicago Cubs

The offseason isn't over yet, and the Cubs (similarly to the Orioles earlier in the offseason) could easily flip to big winners if they break the bank a bit.


Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman could turn this offseason into a huge success. They started the offseason by hiring Craig Counsell and making history by giving him the most money ever to a manager.


They've followed it up by signing Shota Imanaga and trading for former Dodgers top prospect Michael Busch. Both are fine (Imanaga is far better, to be fair), but certainly not what Cubs fans were expecting from the North Siders.


They need more, especially in the context of the Counsell hiring; do you spend that much money to bring in such a high-profile manager and then follow it up with such a meh string of moves (Imanaga not included)?


Winner 1: Baltimore Orioles

Corbin Burnes. Feel the burn. Whatever you want to call it, Baltimore hit that trade out of the park. D.L Hall and Joey Ortiz are not nothing, but for an ace like Burnes you get what you pay for, and they're getting one of the best pitchers in baseball.


They won the AL East last year despite a bit of luck in regards to sequencing, but they didn't just sit on their hands, they tried to get better and make their roster less "Hey, look at how young and successful they are, that's fun, they should be good for a while" and more "Woah, they're going to be great this year and good for a while."


Winner 2: Los Angeles Dodgers

The biggest winners of the offseason by far, LA was already one of the best teams in baseball with a player development system that's second to none, and now they've got the best player ever and another elite starting pitcher.


Not much else to say about it that hasn't already been said, so I'll leave it at that.


Winner 3: Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona made the World Series last year despite a very meh regular season where they snuck into the playoffs.


They decided to go out and sign Eduardo Rodriguez, Joc Pederson, Randall Grichuck, and trading for Eugenio Suarez. They've added thump to their athletic and contact-oriented lineup and a really good number 3 option.


The Diamondbacks are still in the same division as the Dodgers, making winning the West still out of reach, but they've done a bang-up job of positioning themselves to earn another Wild Card spot.


I'm stoked to see where things go from here for Arizona because it's more fun to have more teams trying to be good.


Mixed Bag 1: Milwaukee Brewers

Are they trying to win the division? Did they try to bring back Counsell? Will they be able to replace the production they lost in Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff?


All unanswerable questions now, but they did make some interesting moves. They brought Woodruff back on a two-year deal, they signed Rhys Hoskins to a 3-year contract to try and shore up first base.


The Brewers, like the Rays, always seem to figure things out on the fly, but this is an uphill battle. The good news is they're still in arguably the worst division in baseball (maybe second worst), and they have a good enough team to pull it out. It's just not as assured as in previous seasons.


Mixed Bag 2: New York Yankees

The Yankees will be celebrated for trading for Juan Soto and signing Marcus Stroman. They traded for Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham to shore up their outfield defense. Good for them.


The AL East is within grasp and everything, but c'mon, this is the Yankees. They have to, at the very least, make the playoffs. Otherwise, Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman could easily be on their way out. I don't see this team as a lock for the playoffs by any stretch, but they could bring in Blake Snell to make things interesting.


We'll see how they progress throughout Spring Training.


Mixed Bag 3: Seattle Mariners

I could talk about the San Fransisco Giants too, but Seattle was just more positive than the Giants, yet certainly had their share of problems.


Should the Mariners have tried to sign Ohtani or Yamamoto? Probably, but they also traded for Jorge Polanco (after trading away Jared Kelenic and Eugenio Suarez, sad face). They signed DH/C power-hitting Mitch Garver to add some beef to their lineup because, my goodness, did it need it, but they had to deal away Robbie Ray for Mitch Haniger.


I don't mind replacing Kelenic and Teoscar Hernandez (who's a Dodger now) with Haniger and Luke Raley. Replacing Jose Caballero with Jorge Polanco is a win, but losing Eugenio Suarez to do so is a bit of a bummer.


Luis Urias and Josh Rojas should be fine at third, but the opportunity cost of having a lineup as deep as one with Eugenio Suarez and Kelenic in it is one that's tough to deal with; Ray isn't nearly as big of a loss because of their pitching depth, but it'll still be tough to see Ray potentially have success in San Fran. Regardless, Seattle is arguably in a better position to succeed next season than the previous, but they could've been even better.



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