Offseason In Review

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In retrospect, I think I picked the best time to start this website. It was on the verge of a big off season with several big name players asking for big time money. Trades were going around, signings everyday, people were just interested, and so was I. This off season, I came in with an optimistic feeling that they would be a lot of trades and not a lot of big signings. I was wrong. There have not been too many trades and there have been hardly any big signings. Yes, Johan Santana, Dan Haren, and Erik Bedard were traded. But they toyed with us all off season in getting a deal done. But with any off season, there are always winners and losers, and I am hear to break it down:

Biggest Winners:

1. Detroit Tigers

- Not only did they add Edgar Renteria to get their shortstop, but they acquired Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to give them one of the best offenses in baseball. The bullpen is still weak, but the rotation and lineup should allow for the bullpen to make a couple of errors here and there. Obviously the Tigers went out to get a World Series and I would not be surprised if they were back playing October ball this October. After acquiring Willis and Cabrera, they locked up Willis, and are currently working on Miguel Cabrera. Aside from them, they signed Granderson long term, and also acquired Jacque Jones to play left field.

2. New York Mets

- The Mets kept pretty quiet this off season after their heart breaking collapse in the final weeks of the season. However, they played hard to get with the Twins and finally pulled off a huge deal to land the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana. Not only that, but they gave up four decent minor league players who are still unproven. I do not think this locks up the division, but it makes them a lot better than last season with just one major addition. Other notable additions are Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, who should adjust nicely to Shea Stadium after playing in D.C.

Biggest Losers:

1. Minnesota Twins

- Yes the Twins were able to unload Johan Santana but did not get anything in return that will help them significantly in 2008. If they had taken an earlier offer, they could have had Jacoby Ellsbury and four other prospects that were a lot better than the ones they got. With the trade, they have no number one starter with Liriano still in question and although they landed Delmon Young, did nothing to improve their infield by signing Mike Lamb and Adam Everett. In the division they are in now, I think they will be fighting for third, possible fourth if the Royals turn it around.

2. St. Louis Cardinals

- Just a year after winning the World Series, the Cardinals finished in third place. They had no pitching, and did nothing this off season to improve that. Yes they added Matt Clement, but he has not pitched successfully in two seasons. Cesar Izturis is not the answer at shortstop, and hopefully Troy Glaus can perform at third. Who knows if Ankiel can repeat his impressive numbers now moving to center, and who is playing right field again? Skip Schumaker, or the rookie Colby Rasmus.

Honorable Mention: Scott Boras

Best Signing:

1. Andruw Jones, Dodgers

- To sign Andruw Jones to a two year deal worth 36.2 million dollars does not seem like a good signing considering he hit .222 with 26 HR, but that was obviously a fluke. He had 50 HR just two seasons ago. Yes, we can see his is on the decline but he still has two solid years left and if Dodger pitching can hold the line, I think they will be up for a playoff bid.

Worst Signing:

1. Mariano Rivera

- Mariano Rivera is one of the best closers in the history of the game, but in no way did he deserve a three year deal. I am going to avoid the money and the type of player he is for one second. The Yankees are an old team and in order to compete with the Yankees, need to get younger. Signing him to a one year deal or even two year deal would allow them to go out and try and land someone like Joe Nathan or Francisco Rodriguez in the next off season. Instead, they are stuck with the closer who is expected to struggle.

2. Aaron Rowand

- For the Giants, they are in no position to be injury prone players. The Giants are a last place team and keep signing players when they should be trading the good players they have left for younger players with better potential. Just not a smart signing on the Giants part.

Best Trade: Athletics traded OF Nick Swisher to the Chicago White Sox for LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Fautino De Los Santos and OF Ryan Sweeney.

- Wow. What a move by the A's. Not only did they acquire three solid prospects but they got rid of a decent player locked up for a long time. Don't get me wrong, I think that Swisher can perform, but not enough to help the A's. The White Sox traded away three players key to their future for one player who may or may not help. Big win for A's.

So what can we look for next off season? Obviously there will be more moves with a lot of good players on the market, but who might be traded? What will the biggest contract come out to?


Anonymous 12:03 AM CST  

nice... i have been waiting for this for awhile now.

Anonymous 6:32 AM CST  

I disagree that the Swisher deal was lopsided to the A's. How can you say the Sox traded away three prospects for someone who "may or may not help" when that's the definition of prospects? If you actually look at his contract, Swisher's the best bargain in baseball, so saying that the A's got rid of someone locked up for a while just shows that you didn't look into this very much. The Sox got the CF on-base guy they needed so badly and got a young outstanding player who is a bargain for his salary.

I agree that this may have been the best trade, but you picked the wrong winner of that best trade.

Anonymous 9:01 AM CST  

The Rowand signing is really a good AND bad signing.
Good: Got him cheaper than the market for Rowand was believed to be.
Bad: Log jam in the outfield, Injury prone, and blocks the youths.
Maybe Rowand can put up a good year and then spin him off for prospects or something.

Why no worst trade? Maybe the Tejada or Glaus/Rolen trade.

Anonymous 10:12 AM CST  

many scouts (keith law, callis, etc) see gio as no more than a possible #3. Sweeney has been up three times and done nothing each time. De Los Santos is the key and may be great, but he is a single A pitcher. Swisher is a 370obp guy signed for 5 years in his prime. Time will obviously tell, but not sure how this is a big win for the A's. People love to bash kenny williams for trades like this, as they did for the freddy garcia trade when he gave up their future by trading 350 hitting stud jeremy reed, mike morse, and miguel olivo. Then freddy garcia helped them win a world series. How are those other young studs he gave away doing?

Tim 11:19 AM CST  

totally agree. the rownad move was horrible. now it wont be long until the Giants get a new GM.

Anonymous 12:10 PM CST  

Mo really u have got to be kidding me why do u think he is going to struggle

P.s. Is u kidding me the Yankees r getting younger but by keeping the vets to they can still challenge for the WS

Anonymous 2:57 PM CST  

How do you seriously say the Cardinals had the 2nd worst offseason when they dumped 2 guys like Rolen and Edmonds who were held together with bubble gum and tobacco juice and say resigning Mo Rivera was a horrible move, what were the Cards supposed to do?, keep running them out there at their too high salaries, they would have probably qualified them for worst club too under the Rivera idea.

The Cardinals real problem is injury (and the Adam Kennedy signing last year) and no one but the Mets got any pitching help.

IMO they did a pretty good job this off-season when dealt a bad hand.

Anonymous 3:01 PM CST  

mariano...worst signing?.he's been expected to struggle for the last 5 years it hasn't happened..and he still doesn't even use a changeup...for the yankees to compete they must get younger?(when have we not competed? the red sox win the division once in ten years and now we cant even compete?) do have good points at times but leave the yankees, red sox stuff to the big boys cos it's out of your league, at least try to take the red sox glasses off when your trying to evaluate teams...worst signing? really?

steve 3:18 PM CST  

i think the Swisher deal was great for both sides, as the A's aren't going to do anything this year, they got a few prospects who may pan out in the future. The white sox got a player who can help them now, and is locked up for 4 years at an amazingly low price.

Dan 2:03 PM CST  

Don't forget the Astros - they're my early favorite to take the NL Central. They grabbed Tejada and Kaz Matsui, they have Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee in the middle of their lineup, and they have solid pitching (especially if Paulino works out).