Trophies and parades are great. However, we know that the most important thing in the majors is to “win the winter.”
Well, maybe winning the winter is overrated. But after one of the busiest signing periods we’ve ever seen, let’s take a look at the six teams that have improved the most in recent months.
The press celebrated the Mets’ winter, while describing the Yankees’ as “disappointing.” Knowing what happens in New York, that alone represents a triumph for Steve Cohen and company.
But beyond an insignificant win among the headlines, the Mets deserve credit for doing everything in their financial power to overcome a disappointing season. That includes a deal with Max Scherzer, who now joins Jacob deGrom for a lethal duo at the top of the rotation. They also traded Chris Bassitt, who adds depth to a group of starters that lost Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard in free agency.
The Mets’ lineup, which disappointed in 2021, added one of the most versatile center fielders in the game, Starling Marte, and the solid bats of Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar. Adam Ottavino came to reinforce the bullpen.
Turns out, to build one of the best double-play combinations in baseball, all you need is $500 million. Who’d say?
The Rangers’ willingness to offer that kind of money on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien was surprising. We know enough about baseball to know that spending that amount, considering Seager’s injury history and Semien’s 31 years, is dangerous. But certainly the Rangers will look a lot better with those two guys in the lineup.
But wait, there’s more. Texas also signed flamethrower Jon Gray, who could benefit from leaving Coors Field. They also traded catcher Mitch Garver. Kole Calhoun and Venezuelan Martín Pérez will also join the Rangers. The club has to keep improving if they want to compete anytime soon, but for the effort they put in over the winter, they need to get top marks.
Losing reigning Cy Young player Robbie Ray and ending up with a better rotation than you had last year is impressive. The Blue Jays may have pulled it off, signing with Kevin Gausman and Yusei Kikuchi. They also added depth to the bullpen, with Yimi Garcia. The trade in which Randal Grichuk was sent to Colorado for Raimel Tapia was curious, but at least it was with the intention of balancing the lineup a little more.
But above all else is the acquisition of Matt Chapman, joining one of the most powerful cores in baseball. Although Toronto lost Semien after a fantastic year at second base, Chapman will improve the team defensively and could be a candidate for a turnaround year similar to his predecessor.
Finally, after falling short of qualifying for the postseason in 2021, despite having won 91 games, and losing big names in free agency, the Blue Jays made the necessary moves to fight anyone in a division that promises to be one of the best. in baseball.
Extending — rather than trading — Byron Buxton was the first sign that the Twins would be serious about returning to competition in 2022.
The signing of Puerto Rican Carlos Correa was surprising. If the Twins move up the standings, the presence of the Puerto Rican will be one of the reasons. And if it doesn’t work out (and Correa plays well enough to get out of his deal after 2022) the Twins will have one of the best bargaining chips come the trading deadline.
In the midst of several changes, Minnesota took over Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela, but perhaps the most important thing was moving the salary of 36-year veteran Josh Donaldson.
Whether the Twins have enough in the rotation remains to be seen after trading for Sonny Gray and signing Dylan Bundy. A bumpy offseason left the Twins in better shape financially and in a position to bounce back from a disastrous 2021.
It’s okay to shed a tear over Freddie Freeman’s departure. You don’t have to be a Braves fan to appreciate what he meant to the organization and to the city.
But if you’re going to lose one of the best first basemen in the game, replacing him with an elite slugger five years younger is a fantastic “Plan B.” The Braves took advantage of a talent-rich farm to acquire Matt Olson and then secure him with a reasonable contract extension. They brought back Eddie Rosario and added Kenley Jansen to an already solid bullpen.
Atlanta also added Collin McHugh, Tyler Thornburg and Kirby Yates to its pitching staff, in addition to picking up catcher Manny Piña and outfielder Alex Dickerson.
It wouldn’t be wise to ignore the Braves to repeat the World Series, considering that the face of the franchise, Ronald Acuña Jr., will be back on the field.
After surprising baseball with a 90-win season, falling just two games out of the postseason, the Mariners did exactly what a team at that position should do — aggressively go out looking for veterans to complement a young roster.
Via changes, they added Adam Frazier, who was called to the All-Star Game last year, Jesse Winner and Venezuelan Eugenio Suárez.
Winker comes after two years in which he hit the .292/.392/.552 line and Suarez will try to get his form back in Seattle.
As for signings, the Mariners agreed with the current Cy Young, Robbie Ray, becoming a legitimate ace who will lead a rotation that will add promising arms from their farms. They also agreed with Mexican veteran Sergio Romo to deepen the bullpen.
The tigers they got the shortstop star they were looking for, by agreeing with Puerto Rican Javier Báez. They also reinforced their rotation with Venezuelan Eduardo Rodríguez and Dominican Michael Pineda. They brought in catcher Tucker Barnhart.
The puppies They deserve credit for getting a solid starter in Marcus Stroman, an intriguing outfielder in Seiya Suzuki, and an excellent glove in Andrelton Simmons. That, without counting the signatures of the Dominican Jonathan Villar, Yan Gomes, Clint Frazier, Wade Miley, Drew Smyly, Mychal Givens, Chris Martin, David Robertson, Daniel Norris, Steven Brault and Jesse Chávez.
The giants they started the winter with Logan Webb as their only ace, but managed to retain Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood. They also signed Carlos Rodón, Alex Cobb and Matthew Boyd, as well as Joc Pederson.
In addition to retaining Clayton Kershaw and Chris Taylor, the Dodgers acquired Freddie Freeman, whose presence alone makes the team worthy of a roster spot.
The Phillies they added two powerful sluggers, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos.
By signing Trevor Story, the Red Sox added sparkle to an offseason in which they gambled on the signings of James Paxton, Rich Hill, Michael Wacha and Jackie Bradley Jr.
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These six teams ‘won the winter’