Since we are now a couple of weeks into Spring Training, we will take a look at some teams that can be deemed “Winners” and “Losers” of the offseason.
1 Up: New York Yankees
No Bryce Harper, No Manny Machado and yet still a team that would be deemed a winner of this offseason. The New York Yankees would add James Paxton, Adam Ottavino, DJ LeMahieu, and Troy Tulowitzki. And alongside those additions would be the resigning of JA Happ and Zack Britton starting them a full season in the Bronx as opposed to just two months. These moves combine to make a 100 win team from 2018 seem even more dangerous in 2019.
1 Down: Boston Red Sox
The defending World Series Champions are an extremely formidable ballclub in nearly all areas. There is one area, however, that they are below average by most prognostications. And that area is the bullpen. Throughout the offseason, there was a lot of questions asked by Red Sox Nation and baseball fans in general about their bullpen. And while Craig Kimbrel is still available, he is not going to on the team. Also, Joe Kelly packed up and went west to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Thus far the Red Sox have not addressed their biggest need. And the format they used during the 2018 playoffs, of using starters out of the bullpen, that strategy will not work over 162.
2 Up: Minnesota Twins
When it comes to determining winners and losers in the offseason it’s about quality. And this offseason the Twins added that very ingredient. From a new manager in Rocco Baldelli to Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop to even utility man Ronald Torreyes. The Twins are taking an analytical step forward. These moves plus the change in philosophy at the helm will give the Twins a different look and feel this coming season.
2 Down: Cincinnati Reds
Some well-known names in the baseball community made their way to Cincinnati this offseason. Names like Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Tanner Roark will all be donning the “Red Stockings” this year. But for many of these names have just one year remaining on their contracts. And the glorified salary dumb the Reds are employing to drive up attendance may not pay the dividends they might be hoping to receive. If all goes well in Cincy, the acquisitions that were made can all play well and give the Reds a chance to play meaningful games beyond May. But if the players they brought in continue to struggle it will be a long season at Great American Ballpark.
3 Up: Philadelphia Phillies
We start with an easy one here the Philadelphia Phillies. But let’s be clear their position as a “winner” this offseason goes beyond the Bryce Harper signing. Bring in Bryce Harper was a huge acquisition but the other moves will have as great an impact on the Phillies chances in the tough NL East. Adding the likes of David Robertson, Andrew McCutchen, and Jean Segura to pair with a young and talented ballclub will pay great benefits for several seasons to come for the Phils.
3 Down: New York Mets
If making the most moves wins you the offseason the Mets would find themselves on the other end of this list. But in this game, its quality over quantity and the Mets did not vastly improve their quality. Individually the moves look very good on paper. But the game is played on the field. And some moves may work out like trading for Edwin Diaz to be your closer. But when the price is attached to a 36-year-old coming off a PED suspension in Robinson Cano, questions have to be asked. Now let’s be clear here I think the Mets did a very good job this offseason. They brought in talent and more importantly depth.
However, based on the projections metrics they did not improve their chances by much at all. Below is a chart from an article on MLB.com which list the project WIN improves of teams this offseason. The Mets improved by the most minimal amount possible. One solitary win. And projections are just that, projections, they can not be taken as gospel. But when looking at their activity this offseason more should have been expected.