Hey, everybody. It’s I, your esteemed, honorable and credible instructor, Professor Dr. Joe Rivera, D.M.D.
Class is in session, and never only for you, however for Main League Baseball: The season is about six weeksaway, and pitchers and catchers are about to enterthe Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues in, indubitably, one of the best form of their lives.However earlier than that, it is time to try how every workforce fared in the course of the offseason.
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In fact, not every workforce is in the identical boat in the case of roster constructing. Spending capabilities, present roster development and different issues play into how a workforce approaches its offseason.
So, with spring coaching underway,it is time to hand out offseason report playing cards.
Key acquisitions:3B Anthony Rendon, P Julio Teheran, SP Dylan Bundy (through commerce from Orioles)
Signing Rendon is superior, however pitching, pitching, pitching continues to be the deficiency with the Angels theycouldn’t afford to lose the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes, however the contract was simply too wealthy for Arte Moreno’s blood. Griffin Canning might be a long-term reply for the rotation, and Dylan Bundy might be a enjoyable venture for brand new pitching coach Mickey Callaway, however till they’ve a real No. 1 man on the high of that rotation, it will be robust to see how they compete in that division.
Joe Maddon has an opportunity to work his black magic, although, so we’ll see the way it all unfolds, however they need to be improved regardless.
Key acquisitions:C Martin Maldonado (re-signed), RP Joe Smith (re-signed)
The place to start out?
With George Springer, Jos Altuve and Alex Bregman, the Astros nonetheless have a core they imagine in, as they need to, with or with out trash cans concerned. So there’s that.
Gerrit Cole leaving in free company was anticipated, however the curious a part of their offseason is letting Will Harris stroll and never doing a lot to strengthen their bullpen. It is not essentially a weak spot, however Houston might have carried out extra each there and the remainder of the workforce this offseason.
Key acquisitions:C Austin Allen, OF Tony Kemp, RP Jake Diekman (re-signed)
As per traditional, it is unrealistic to anticipate the A’s to play huge in free company. They most likely ought to have carried out extra to repair up the bullpen, however the A’s will discover a option to work Oakland magic and get probably the most out of what they have. It is par for the course.
It is to not absolve them: The A’s needs to be spending more cash. However that is what they’re.
Key acquisitions:SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, IF Travis Shaw, SP Tanner Roark
A low-risk, high-reward signing with Travis Shaw is a extremely good signing for the Blue Jays. There is a respectable likelihood Shaw can bounce again and be the ascending bat he was earlier than his injury-laden andrough 2019 season, and will seamlesslyreplace Justin Smoak within the Toronto lineup. Additionally, including Ryu to the rotation even when he is handled accidents the previous few years ought to assist give them a high arm and a stabilizer within the rotation.
Key acquisitions:RP Will Smith, OF Marcell Ozuna, SP Cole Hamels
The Braves letting Josh Donaldson stroll is curious, however perhaps the workforce feels assured that Austin Riley can play third base. Signing Marcell Ozuna on a one-year, prove-it deal is sensible, however at some pointthey’re going to must spend cash ona huge bopper tokeep them round for greater than a season. Additionally, inkingFelix Hernandez to a minorleague deal is a superb low-risk, high-reward signing.
The Braves have been somewhat fortunate that Cole Hamels does not appear to thoughts being a employed gun within the twilight of his profession, and he ought to present some veteran oomph to a rotation that would use it.
Key acquisitions:1B Justin Smoak, C Omar Narvaez, RP David Phelps, IF Luis Urias, P Eric Lauer
You understand it is suboptimal when the most important information to come back out of your group within the winter is your trendy, slick new uniforms and the brand new identify of your ballpark.
The Brewers have not been quiet, however additionally they have not actually made profitable strikes, with their finest transactions the trades for Mariners catcher Omar Narvaez and Padres infielder Luis Urias. Urias nonetheless has respectable upside offensively regardless of a poor 2019 debut, and Narvaez is likely one of the higher hitting catchers in baseball.
Essentially the most intriguing piece of the Brewers’ offseason, although, is likely to be starter Eric Lauer, who additionally they acquired within the Urias commerce. Lauer, a lefty, won’t ever gentle up the radar gun, however might be stable middle-of-the-rotation pitcher ought to he maintain constructing.
Key acquisitions: P Matt Liberatore (through commerce from Rays), C Matt Weiters, Adam Wainwright (re-signed)
A quiet offseason for a workforce that reached the NLCS sweep apart is head-scratching, however the Cardinals are seldom huge free-agent spenders. They have been rumored to be scorching after Nolan Arenado, however to this pointa deal hasn’t been made, and sure will not be.
The Cardinals will proceed to lean on their veteran core and rising ace Jack Flaherty, so anticipate them to be greater gamers subsequent offseason.
Key acquisitions:RP Jeremy Jeffress, OF Steven Souza
The desire-they-won’t-they sport with Kris Bryant is not enjoyable to play. Chicago had a quiet offseason amid discuss that the Ricketts household is out of cash, therefore the potential Bryant commerce rumors. With new supervisor David Ross, it appears fairly silly to wish to ship off one among your finest gamerstwo yearsearlier than he is set to hit the free-agent market.
The Cubs nonetheless are proficient sufficient to win the Central, however they’ve carried out a poor job of supplementing the roster after profitable the World Sequence in 2016.
Key acquisitions:OF Starling Marte, SP Madison Bumgarner, RP Hector Rondon, OF Kole Calhoun
The Diamondbacks got here from outta nowhere like a shock Randy Orton RKO to signal Madison Bumgarner. It actually is smart, contemplating how the Diamondbacks are, on paper, a wild-card contender within the NL. Signing Calhoun additionally offers the D-backs some pop within the outfield;he is coming off a career-high 33-homer season and his bat will play within the desert. An excellent offseason for ‘Zona who is continuous to construct one thing good.
Key acquisitions:OF Mookie Betts, P David Worth
The Dodgers had been very quiet this offseason, most likely as a result of they’re nonetheless a really full workforce with MLB-ready expertise throughout.After which what occurred? They shipped off Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wongfor Mookie Betts and David Worth.
LA clearly is not afraid to enhance in its quest to win a championship, and that needs to be applauded, particularly in an age the place controllable contracts and prospects are like diamonds and gold to franchises (and followers) in 2020.
Key acquisitions:OF Hunter Pence, IF Wilmer Flores, uh, SP Drew Smyly?
Hiring Gabe Kapler actually made waves this offseason. Greater than the Giants have carried out within the free-agent market, not less than.
The Giants’ farm system is way improved from whatit was just a few years in the past, primarily due to the work they’ve carried out on the worldwide market. They will be aggressive in just a few years’ time, so the quietness in free company is by design. Nonetheless, some low-cost strikes might put them ready to be not less than a bit aggressive on the sector.The Zack Cozart Period actually might have been one thing.
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Key acquisitions:RP Emmanuel Clase
Cash or “no money,” Cleveland owes its followers greater than a World Sequence look in 2016 and regression ever since. A greater-than-expected 2019 season shouldmeanthat the window remainsopenat least somewhat bitin the AL Central and for one more run on the World Sequence. Fortunately, Shane Bieber seems like he might be Cleveland’s subsequent ace, and the pitching largely held up in 2019. That needs to be the case for 2020, and we needs to be speaking Indians difficult the Twins for the central.
As a substitute, there’s Francisco Lindor commerce discuss, Corey Kluber reallywastraded to Texas (for not a lot) and the workforce seems like it may be common offensively as soon as once more in 2020. (We’ll see whethera full season of Franmil Reyes may help that.)Cleveland followers deserve extra, Terry Francona deserves extra. Simply one other fruitless offseason for the Indians.
Key acquisitions:RP Carl Edwards Jr.
Is Jerry Dipoto OK? Has anybody knocked on his door just lately?
This has been one of many quietest offseasons for the Mariners in years, however that is possible as a result of they’ve lastly solidified a route for his or her future. They now have a top-10 farm system some would say high 5 and might be good in just a few years ought to their younger expertise maintain growing.
It is comprehensible why the Mariners traded Omar Narvaez the workforce needs to place a premium on protection behind the dish however the return appeared so gentle for a stable hitting catcher with three years of workforce management left.
Key acquisitions:IF Jonathan Villar, OF Corey Dickerson, RP Brandon Kintzler
On the majorleague stage, the Marlins do not actually have a lot of something so far as constructing blocks for the longer term. They did swing a commerce for Jonathan Villar, who, shockingly, the Orioles determined to surrender on after one among his finest seasons within the majors. In addition they signed Corey Dickerson, who’s coming off one other stable yr within the outfield.
The Marlins’ rotation acquired off to a superb begin in 2019, pitching to a 3.92 ERA within the first half earlier than falteringdown the stretch (and buying and selling Zac Gallen to the Diamondbacks). A bit extra expertise anda little added offense will support them, in concept.Quite a lot of their farm expertise is slated for 2021 ETAs, so the Marlins are nonetheless somewhat bit away from actually competing, however higher days are forward.
Key acquisitions:RP Dellin Betances, SP Michael Wacha, SP Rick Porcello,OF Jake Marisnick (through commerce with Astros)
It has been an fascinating offseason for the Mets, to say the least. FirstCarlos Beltran was employed, then he was fired. Then the Mets have been offered, then they weren’t. Starling Marte wasvirtuallya Met on just a few completely different events, and we’re again to Sq. 1.
In between that, the workforce signed Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello for affordable, lengthening their rotation. In addition they signed Dellin Betances, who ought to assist their bullpen immensely if he stayshealthy in 2020. In addition they added some respectable outfield depth with Jake Marisnick, an all-world defender however a light-weight hitter. The Mets arean enigmatic squad with potential that needs to be significantly better thanin 2019 ifYoenis Cespedes, Brandon Nimmo and others keep off the injured checklist.
Key acquisitions:P Stephen Strasburg (re-signed), RP Will Harris, RP Daniel Hudson (re-signed)
The Nationals have been confronted with the troublesome choice of selecting between Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, and so they selected to lockdown Strasburg. It is laborious to search out high quality pitching, in spite of everything, and that is what wins come October. They saved the band collectively for probably the most half outdoors of Rendon, re-signing Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, Howie Kendrick, Daniel Hudson and Yan Gomes.
Whereas they’re nonetheless going into the season with questionable third base depth, they’re the reigningchamps, in order that they deserve some good thing about the doubt. In addition they added somedepth to the bullpen,which is an space that they’ve struggled with for years, and sure will not must scramble to assemble one come the commerce deadline.
Key acquisitions:SS Jose Iglesias
It will be unfair to offer the Orioles an actual gradebecause of the place they’re at as a franchise. Nonetheless in the course of a rebuild, there most likely will not be fairly baseball popping out of Baltimore anytime quickly.However not less than their farm system is on the up-and-up.
It is fairly attainable Baltimore might be worse sure, worse than its54-win 2019, particularly with the tradesof Dylan Bundy and Jonathan Villar. However the vivid days are coming, O’s followers. Grasp in there.
Key acquisitions:SP Zach Davies, RP Drew Pomeranz, OF Tommy Pham
Many of the heavy lifting within the Padres’ rebuild is already carried out, in order that they weren’t anticipated to be huge gamers within the free-agent market againa yr after signing Manny Machado to an enormous contract. However swinging a commerce for Tommy Pham is an efficient deal, bringing in Zach Davies gives some stability on the again finish of the rotation and Drew Pomeranz appears to havefound himself whereas pitching out of the bullpen. A sneaky-good offseason for the Dads, who might take the following step in 2020 and be actual wild-card threats.
Key acquisitions:SP Zack Wheeler, SS Didi Gregorius
It is actually about time the Phillies didone thingto assist Aaron Nola on the high of the rotation. Yeah, Jake Arrieta was a superb signing for management, however he is exiting his prime and Nola wanted an actual working mate within the Phillies rotation.
Wheeler is an efficient signing for the Phils. He is been frustratingly inconsistent,however he is gotace stuff when he is on. At worst, he is a No. Three pitcher, although, however the upside he is now coming into his true prime is totally there.
The Phillies additionally signed Neil Walker to a minorleague deal, which might find yourself being a sneaky-good deal for Philadelphia, if he is acquired something left to supply.
Key acquisitions:RHP Brennan Malone (has but to make MLB debut)
Eh. I imply, eh. Does anybody ever anticipate Pittsburgh proprietor Bob Nutting to be a giant participant in free company? Probably not, and that is a disgrace.To not point out,the Gerrit Cole-to-Houston commerce is beginning to appear to be a whole loss at this level.
Derek Shelton goes to have his fingers full because the Pirates proceed their complete churn of not ever being good, now with out Starling Marte.
Key acquisitions:SP Corey Kluber, SP Kyle Gibson, 3B Todd Frazier
The Rangers pulled off a freeway theft with the Kluber commerce. That is actually all you have to know. They’re opening a brand new ballpark in 2020 and have been most likely probably the most stunning workforce within the AL final season, even when their file vs. groups over .500 wasn’t nice.
It most likely would have been unwise counting on Mike Minor and Lance Lynn to have the identical form of seasons they’d in 2019, so grabbing Kluber for affordable and signing Kyle Gibson have been shrewd strikes for Texas. Aside from that, it has been quiet, however they are not non-competitive to start with.
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Key acquisitions:IF Jose Martinez (through commerce with Cardinals), OF Hunter Renfroe, OF Manuel Margot (through commerce with Padres)
Anticipating the Rays to shock the world like they did final season with the Charlie Morton signing is unreasonable. Buying and selling Tommy Pham for Hunter Renfroe looks as if a lateral transfer, even when Renfroe is youthful and has extra energy.
The energy of the Rays comesfrom their youth and their farm system, which goes to be good for a very long time. They will positively be within the wild-card race this yr, and if issues break their approach, they might give the Yankees issues within the AL East.
Key acquisitions:OF Alex Verdugo (through commerce with Twins)
The Pink Sox have been over the luxurious tax, which, I suppose, is an excuse to not enhance a workforce. With Mookie Betts traded to the Dodgers, the Pink Sox seemingly determined they will give minimal effort for 2020.
They nonetheless have proficient gamers Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez so competing for a wild card spot may not be out of the query. However for a workforce that received the World Sequence in 2018, being terrified of paying cash to maintain and enhance your workforce is simply abad look.
The flub of the Betts-to-Dodgers commerce was rectified and the Pink Sox acquired a extra acceptable bundle again in return on the second strive, however buying and selling your finest participant and among the finest in all of baseball in a wage dump isstill unforgivable.
Oh, and so they nonetheless do not have a supervisor.
Key acquisitions:IF Mike Moustakas, OF Nick Castellanos, OF Shogo Akiyama
The Reds get a ton of credit score for, like, really making an attempt to win in a division that does not appear all that fascinated with getting higher for the time being. With added offensive firepower between Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos, the workforce needs to be markedly improved on the dish in 2020. Ought to the pitching maintain up, the Reds are going to be a sleeper workforce within the Senior Circuit, and you’ll level to their offseason as a giant motive why.
Key acquisitions:Uh Ubaldo Jimenez?
The Rockies have carried out nothing of observe this offseason, other than, nicely, pissing off Nolan Arenado. This is a man who’s among the finest third baseman inbaseball, but you wish to store him justa yr after paying him. The technique makes little to no sense. Do you imagine within the participant or not?
The Rockies have signed one participant to a majorleague deal this offseason, pitcher Jose Mujica, who has but to pitch within the majors. And that will probably be that.
Oh, however welcome again, Ubaldo!
Key acquisitions:P Probability Adams (commerce through Yankees); OF Alex Gordon (re-signed)
The Royals’ farm system is on the come-up, which is nice for Kansas Metropolis’s future.Their quiet offseason is unsurprising, however selecting up a once-promising pitching prospect from the Yankees is an efficient low-risk transfer. We’ll see how the system continues to develop, however everyone knows it isn’t about 2020 for the boys in blue.
Key acquisitions:C Austin Romine, SP Ivan Nova
Oof, the Tigers. Good days are coming if Detroit’s farm expertise can maintain growing, however their offseason was missing with any sort of pertinent strikes. Austin Romine is an efficient clubhouse man and Ivan Nova is a serviceable starter when wholesome.
Hopefully subsequent offseason we’ll be speaking concerning the Tigers as gamers in free company once more to assist bolster the potential debut of Casey Mize.
Key acquisitions:SP Kenta Maeda (through commerce with Dodgers), 3B Josh Donaldson
The Twins desperately wanted to repair the rotation, and so they made some headway.Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner have been each actually good suits for an in any other case OK rotation, however each signed elsewhere. Jake Odorizzi did signal the qualifying supply, which helped them resolve not less than one spot. General, the Twins had a superb rotation final yr, however not a championship-caliber one.
Minnesota isgoing to financial institution on bludgeoning groups to losses once more this yr, and with the addition of Josh Donaldson, that would actually be the case.It was an efficient technique in 2019, however they will nonetheless want pitching this yr. In the event that they’re within the thick of the race, search for the Twins to ship off a few of their farm system to get pitching assist on the deadline.
The commerce for Maeda, although, is an excellent one. Whereas Brusdar Graterol possible slots into the bullpen sooner or later and might be an excellent reduction arm, at that getting Maeda on a budget and beneath contract for the following three years is a win, understanding they will not must scramble to piece collectively not less than one pitcher within the rotation transferring ahead.
Key acquisitions:SP Dallas Keuchel, C Yasmani Grandal, 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, OF Nomar Mazara
The White Sox arguably had one of the best offseason of any workforce in baseball. Including a veteran catcher like Grandal to a younger, budding rotation is an ideal match. Dallas Keuchel will be the guiding veteran hand of the employees. Nomar Mazara may not be a flashy addition given his profession manufacturing, however he is a constant 20-home run risk and can slot properly within the lineup alongside Edwin Encarnacion.
The South Sidemight not have had a flashy, splashy offseason, however the Soxmade plenty of upgrades to a younger, ascending roster, and that ought to get followers completely satisfied.
Key acquisitions: SP Gerrit Cole, OF Brett Gardner (re-signed)
The Yankees went big-game searching and got here again with the most important buck there was Cole’s a secure wager as an ace for the foreseeable future. The Yankees have been one of many extra full groups in 2019, so outdoors of Colethey possible weren’t going to overtake theroster. They deserve some credit score for getting again to big-spending methods and diving in on a a lot sought-after free agent.