Five teams that have had a great winter “under the radar”

When evaluating the winners of the 2022-23 offseason, it’s easy to single out those who invested big as those who had very productive winters.

The Yankees managed to retain Aaron Judge and signed Carlos Rodón. The Phillies added Trea Turner, Taijuan Walker, Gregory Soto and Craig Kimbrel. Then there are the Mets, whose signing wave included Justin Verlander, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Díaz, Kodai Senga, David Robertson, José Quintana, Omar Narváez, Adam Ottavino and possibly Carlos Correa.

But there could be some clubs that bolstered their rosters with a variety of moves that didn’t necessarily grab the headlines. Here’s a look at five squads that won the offseason under the radar:

With the likes of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani already in their ranks, the biggest problem for the Angels has always been complementing their superstars on the roster, but GM Perry Minasian has done an excellent job out of sight this winter.

The Los Angeles squad jumped in immediately to sign Tyler Anderson to a three-year, $39 million deal, securing the lefty before the market caught fire. Carlos Estevez agreed to a two-year, $13.5 million deal to become the new closer, and Brandon Drury agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal, giving the Angels a versatile player with good production. Then there are the trades to acquire Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela — each in their final years under contract — and Los Angeles enters 2023 with arguably the deepest roster they’ve had in several years.

Imagine giving up Teóscar Hernández in a trade and looking much better. Well, that was what happened with Toronto.

In exchange for Hernandez, the club acquired Erik Swanson from the Mariners to handle late innings. The Blue Jays also went to where they had depth by sending catching prospect Gabriel Moreno and Cuban outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the D-backs for Daulton Varsho, who now offers them a much-needed left-handed hitter in the lineup.

But the trade market wasn’t the only avenue for Toronto to upgrade its roster, as evidenced by the signing of Chris Bassitt to a three-year, $63 million deal to complement Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman in the rotation. Kevin Kiermaier signed on a one-year, $9 million contract, giving the Blue Jays the center fielder they’ve been looking for.

The move to add Moreno and Gurriel Jr. for Varsho gives Arizona one of the best catching prospects in all of baseball, a point guard the club hopes will propel them into NL West contention. . But the D-backs made other moves to try to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2017.

Evan Longoria will give a young club a veteran leader, while 2020 Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis will look for a comeback after injuries limited him to 54 games from 2021-22. helps a bullpen that needed it, and Zach Davies re-signed to help stabilize the rotation. The D-backs still aren’t in the same category as the Dodgers or Padres, but they’re a better team after their moves, which brings some hope to the desert.

Seattle’s squad lost several talented players that made the 2022 roster. However, taking a look at their roster a month before Spring Training we see that it is a club that could be even better than last year. .

The arrival of Hernández is the main reason to think so, because Seattle now has the slugger who would be an impact bat in a lineup that includes Julio Rodríguez, Eugenio Suárez, Cal Raleigh and Ty France. Although he was a starter in the 2021 All-Star Game, Hernández might be the best player few fans know about. He has hit 73 home runs with 227 RBIs in 324 games since the start of 2020.

The Mariners also traded Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro to the Brewers for Kolten Wong to bolster the infield, then dealt left-handed pitching expert AJ Pollock to be an outfield alternative. With a deep starting rotation, a superior

Sure, signing Jacob deGrom to a five-year, $185 million deal isn’t necessarily under the radar.

However, there are other movements that have shaped the Texas team to be contenders for a position in the postseason. They made a trade for Jake Odorizzi on November 9, then learned that Martin Perez accepted their $19.65 million qualifying offer, which kept his best pitcher in their ranks. After signing deGrom, the Rangers added Andrew Heaney and Nathan Eovaldi via free agency, now giving them one of their deepest rotations in several years.

A year ago, Texas invested more than $500 million in free agents Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Gray and Kole Calhoun. By resolving the questions in their starting group this offseason — and not just at No. 1 — the Rangers hope to clinch the AL West race.

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Five teams that have had a great winter “under the radar”