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Ranking the worst off-seasons so far

Dec 29, 2013, 7:05 PM EDT

Robinson Cano Getty Images

Following up the ranking of the five best off-seasons thus far, let’s take a look at the five worst.

26. Minnesota Twins — The Twins won 66 games in 2013 but help is on the horizon. They have one of the best Minor League systems around and it’s only a matter of time before the Twins are fielding a lineup with Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. But this off-season, the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Mike Pelfrey to multi-year deals totaling $84 million. Years ago, the trio might have been deemed underrated, but each has been in the league long enough to establish a track record, and each has failed to live up to expectations. The Twins are essentially gambling $84 million for them to, at once, realize their potential. The Twins could have instead used this money to try to get Masahiro Tanaka and more cheaply gamble on players like Josh Johnson (now with the Padres).

27. Philadelphia Phillies — The Phillies have been trying to unload their albatross contracts — Jonathan Papelbon and Ryan Howard — but have only been the subject of derision. They also added Marlon Byrd on a questionable two-year deal and re-signed Carlos Ruiz to a questionable three-year deal. They are not expected to compete for much in 2014, so it doesn’t make any sense for them to sign free agents closer to 40 years old than 30 years old to multi-year deals.

28. Cincinnati Reds — The Reds won 90 games in 2013 and were a legitimate contender for the NL Wild Card. This off-season, they lost one of their best hitters in Shin-Soo Choo and haven’t done much else. With the defending NL champion Cardinals and the surprising Pirates, the NL Central is the toughest in baseball at the moment. Their options are dwindling and they seem resigned to having a quiet off-season.

29. Baltimore Orioles — The Orioles made headlines for all the wrong reasons recently when they reneged on a two-year, $15 million deal with free agent reliever Grant Balfour. They said that his shoulder problems concerned them even though Balfour has been healthy for six years and got the thumbs-up from two different doctors. This was after a questionable trade in which they sent closer Jim Johnson to the Athletics for the light-hitting Jemile Weeks. While the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays all made strides during the off-season, the Orioles have had perhaps the most embarrassing off-season in recent memory and haven’t done much in the way of improving the team, either.

30. Seattle Mariners — The ten-year, $240 million deal given to second baseman Robinson Cano isn’t by itself a bad move, but the Mariners needed to do a lot more. They were 71-91 in 2013. Even if you give Cano a lot more credit than WAR does, the Mariners haven’t done enough to be considered a .500 team. There is still time, of course, as Nelson Cruz is still available and the Mariners could get involved in the Masahiro Tanaka bidding. But right now, they’re a fringe .500 team that tied itself up with a gargantuan contract.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    So Bill, where are 6-25?

    • Bill Baer - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      They were on my schooner, but it capsized. :(

    • Old Gator - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      I think I read about that. The one you staffed with military reform school cadets, right?

  2. pastabelly - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Yes, the Mariners did not become a playoff team. They did improve. That means they have not had the worst offseason so far.

    • johnnysoda - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Yeah, but they also saddled themselves with what will inevitably become an albatross of a contract, and haven’t made any other big moves. If they don’t make any other moves, it won’t be pretty.

      • jamesdabear - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        So they had to make themselves a playoff contender or not sign Cano? There are other years than 2014, and it would have been much harder in future free agent classes to find a Cano-type player. The money is irrelevant. The Mariners had it to give and aren’t crying poverty yet. When they do, there might be a point to make about how much of it they gave Cano. Stupid to say it until then.

      • camramaan - Dec 30, 2013 at 1:56 AM

        Hart was another quality signing. We’ll see if it was a “big move” or not down the road. We signed Guti back, and traded for LoMo, both small moves, but ones that can/should help. But don’t be surprised to see the Mariners sign Tanaka or Garza, or trade for Price. Hopefully they stay clear or Cruz though… I can’t see anything positive coming from adding him, playing in Safeco, not with his projected contract to come, plus the draft pick we would lose.

        What most people fail to realize is that the Mariners had Saunders, Harang, Bonderman and Maurer all cover the three non-Felix/Kuma starts, and those four mustered a combined 1.4 WAR. Now we have Walker and Paxton to take two of the starting rotation spots, plus a quite possible addition of Tanaka/Garza/Price. There’s probably at least 10 wins just for the changes to the rotation, assuming we add that fifth starter. Plus Cano should be able to add another 3 wins, and if healthy Hart could easily add 3 wins himself (considering the chaos that was our OF). And at the same time, instead of the 16 WAR I’m guessing all these guys could add over their replacements, it could be much higher, like 20+… or it could be less, especially with Hart’s potential for another injury.

        So much has still yet to happen this off-season… its ridiculous to give teams grades yet.

  3. shawnuel - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    They have all sorts of young talent that should only improve. Miller, Franklin, Seager, maybe even Ackley or Smoak (but I have serious doubts on the latter). Plus Walker and Paxton coming up. Cano probably has 5 years of good baseball left before he significantly underplays his contract. I’m not sure exactly why everything has to be done right away. Also FOR THE LOVE OF GOD can we please STOP suggesting Cruz to the Mariners? After picking up Morrison and Hart, who both are more 1b/DH than OF, they don’t need another frickin’ butcher in the outfield, who should be a 1B/DH himself. Figuring in defense, Michael Saunders as a valuable as Cruz is. And make no mistake about it…Seattle’s Defense was putrid last season, especially in the outfield.

    • shawnuel - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      And I forgot to mention Zunino!

  4. Puko - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    In the grand scheme of things, isn’t 2/$16MM for Marlon Byrd better than 7//$130MM for Choo? Or whatever the Mets gave Chris Young?

    The Phillies are a non-contender, and Byrd and Ruiz are roster-fillers. Isn’t a playoff team like the Pirates not replacing their #1 starter or getting a 1B worse than an also-ran signing a RF because, well, you need a RF?

    I’ve bought a ticket for every game ever played at CBP and think Amaro sucks, but his suckiness has zero to do with this offseason.

    • dondada10 - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      The Mets gave Chris Young 1 year at 7.5 mil. It’s not a bad deal.

    • florida76 - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      Francisco Liriano is the Pirates # 1 starter whether Burnett comes back or not. Also, the Pirates will have the benefit of several more starts by Liriano in the beginning of the season, unlike in 2012, when he was recovering from an injury.

      • spudchukar - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Plus they already have quality outfielders in support of McCutchen in Tabata and Marte. Granted that makes them very right-handed but lefties at 2B and 3B helps to offset that. And most likely the Buccos will add a left handed hitting first baseman.

      • byjiminy - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:23 AM

        I hate to say it, Liriano is as far from a sure thing as a guy with a 3.02 ERA can get. Three of the previous four years his ERA was above 5. There’s a reason the Twins let him go for free. He’s always had great stuff, but he was the definition of inconsistent. A team with Liriano as its ace has some major question marks.

        I really hope he figured something out, or the Pirates’ coaches did. I just wouldn’t count on it.

        I’m rooting for you, and for him. But I’m a Twins fan, and I’ll have to see it (again) to believe it. Good luck.

        (And yes, I do wish the Twins still had him!!!)

  5. nymets4ever - Dec 29, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    The Twins just needed some competent, durable inning eaters to hold down the fort while they await the arrival of their prospects, and that’s exactly what they went out and got. A lot of those prospects are talented hitters who might be able to outhit the pitching staff’s mediocrity. So, not sure how they’re a loser here.

    • Cris E - Dec 30, 2013 at 1:06 AM

      Totally agree. This #26 is going to look pretty stupid once he looks over the missing twenty and realizes how well they did. I want to compare this with the next ten to see what exactly the standards are, as I believe them to be flawed.

      The Twins had money to burn, a two year hole until the kids are ready and one of the worst rotations in professional baseball over the past couple years. You’re beating them up for replacing a bunch of stiffs with league average guys using the pile of payroll money that hasn’t been spent for years and, most importantly, not blocking the kids. (You realize that they’re still not back to 75% of what they were spending three years ago? The money is not important now.)

    • spudchukar - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      So you are saying the Twins are going to suck for the next few years? How is that satisfactory to fans? Why not gamble on younger or better options? The choices the Twins have made should make the fan base angry. It is the most uninspiring off-season of any team in MLB IMHO.

  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Baltimore should have been number 30. They spent the offseason going backwards, while Seattle at least picked up a player. Overpriced, and over-valued maybe, but at least that’s something. Baltimore’s offseason has been one more embarrassment at a time when people were starting to believe they may be able to actually turn the past 15 years around.

  7. cackalackyank - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Wow, teams placing lower than the, Feeesh and Astros. That’s really bad.

  8. sfs1 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Choo is one of the best hitters when in the Reds context, but “may be a platoon outfielder at best” when given a Rangers context.

    Figure?

    • Old Gator - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Gezundtheit!

  9. meatcarroll - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Y’all need some Preparation H for that butthurt because the Yankees are now the personal farm system of the Mariners.

    • jamesdabear - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      He meant not, just in case people were confused.

  10. uyf1950 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    The Mariners signed Cano, Morrison and Hart and lost Ibanez an most likely Morales. Ibanez and Morales last year combined for 52 HR’s and 145 RBI’s. Hart and Morrison combined for 36 HR’s and 119 RBI’s. Excluding Cano that’s a net loss in both HR’s and RBI’s. At this point in time and with no additional signings by the Mariners I fail to see how the Mariners have improved significantly for a 71 win team last season.

    • chip56 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Seattle’s additions are also clear indications that the two key players that they got for the Lee and Pineda deals are not part of their future. With Hart and Morrison in the fold Smoak and Montero have no place to play – though to this point I can’t blame them.

      • jamesdabear - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        Hart and Morrison don’t necessarily supplant Smoak, since he can still be in the lineup against RHPs at either 1B or DH. He’ll probably be better off not having to bat RH, which he sucked at, and play less often to keep himself fresh later in the season. Just because Morrison and Hart shouldn’t play the OF all the time, doesn’t mean it’s forbidden to play them out there at all.

      • chip56 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        If you play Hart and Morrison in the outfield then you’re basically negating any positive that their bats are providing by making your team far worse defensively.

    • jamesdabear - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      Ibanez was worthless regardless of his HR an RBI totals. Hart is a major upgrade over what he and Morales combined gave the team last year… and the team added Cano and Morrison on top of that.
      A player has to contribute more than HRs and RBIs to be valuable. Look it up for yourself if you don’t understand that.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        I’m not sure what else you mean. Defensively all 4 players (excluding Cano) are pretty terrible. So if defensively all 4 are pretty bad and the Mariners lost more offense then they gained (excluding Cano) and Morrison has an injury history.,I have no idea what you are talking about.

        But if you think the Mariners are better off with Morrison and Hart after losing Ibanez and Morales have at it.

      • spudchukar - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        What? Using 2013 totals for Hart and Morrison and comparing them to Ibanez and Morales is idiotic. Morales had 657 PA, and Ibanez 496. Hart had 0 PA, and Morisson had 333. One would hope the former would “outtotal” the latter.

        Other inaccuracies. Losing Morales would guarantee a draft choice. Corey Hart is not a deficiency in the outfield.

        If the Mariners stand pat from here on out then the off-season will be OK, and the Mariners should be better than 2013. But Smoak and Franklin will probably be moved because they are redundant. Personally I hope they do not sign Cruz. In Safeco, his lone asset, power is negated.

        If the Mariners hope to contend in 2014 then they still have work to do. Right now they are no better than the Yankees.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        @ spudchukar, If you are directing your latest comment to my post(s) I did NOT use 2013 totals for Hart and Morrison. I used Harts 2013 stats as for Morrision since the one and only time he played more then 100 games was 2011 I chose to use his most recent stats. So rather then chastising another poster for inaccuracies you might check your own comment first. BTW, according to both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference Hart is a negative on defense.

        As for your comment that the Mariners: “Right now they are no better than the Yankees.” That’s probably the most accurate statement anyone could make. The real question fans should be asking is how much worse are the Mariners than the 2 “super powers” A’s and Rangers in their own division and for that matter even the Angels. Because right now the gap is considerable.

    • Reflex - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      Hart was injured and did not play at all last season. He hit 30HR the season before, however. Morrison was hurt and played only half of last season. In that time he hit 6HR. He is only 25 and may or may not improve. I don’t give a damn about RBI’s, they are an opportunity stat.

      A full season of both is likely to be nearly what Ibanez and Morales did for them, production wise.

      Side note: Ibanez + Morales combined WAR last season was 3.1. Hart’s WAR in 2012 was 3.4.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:36 AM

        The difference is you are betting on the “come” so to speak. By thinking/projecting/hoping that a “full” season of Morrison and Hart will give the Mariners in 2014 what Ibanez and Morales gave the Mariners in 2013 and pretty much would have been assured to give them offensively in 2014. Since both Morrison and Hart’s recent history (especially with Hart missing all of 2013) is littered by injury isn’t it far more likely to anticipate that his production will not be up to 2012 standards.

        Plus as I hear so often on these sites Hart is now on the wrong side of 30 (he’ll actually be 32) when the season starts versus 30 when the 2012 season started. Just a thought.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 6:51 AM

        @ Reflex, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss RBI’s. OK say they are an opportunity stat. It was an opportunity that both Ibanez and Morales were able to capitalize on in 2013 on a team the Mariners that ranked in the lower 3rd in most if not all offensive categories. In my opinion they can ill afford to not take advantage of those “opportunities” in 2014.

      • Reflex - Dec 30, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Raul Ibanez scored only 13% of base runners when he was at bat. His career average is 17%. In 2012 he scored 16% and in 2011 he scored 18%.

        Kendrys Morales scored 15% of base runners last season. He also scored 18% in 2011.

        Hart scored 15% of base runners in 2012.

        Logan Morrison scored 15% of base runners in 2013.

        I see zero reason for concern about RBI’s. Both of the acquisitions appear at least as adept as those they are replacing. You also call out age as a factor with Hart, but ignore that he’s replacing a guy who is the same age, and a guy who is ten years older. If you can get the same level of production from someone younger, then that is an inherent improvement.

      • Reflex - Dec 30, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        Just out of curiosity, I decided to see if any of these guys are above league average at driving runners in, ie: Are any of these guys “RBI Guys” who should be at all coveted for their skill with runners on base. Here is what I found, with team rank in parenthesis among players with at least 100PA):

        BRS% (Base Runners Scored on batters play) –

        Ibanez: 13% (8)
        Morales: 15% (3)
        Hart (2012): 15% (3rd if on the M’s)
        Morrison: 15% (3rd if on the M’s)

        Mariners Team Total: 12%
        American League Total: 14%

        Given the opportunity, the M’s replaced two guys who were both above average team production, one of which was below league average and one who was above it, with two guys who were both above league average. In other words, its a clear improvement. At least so far as RBI’s are concerned, if you put much stock in those things.

        All that said, I don’t. This stat seems to fluctuate year over year, although trend lines for Ibanez at least are pretty clearly on the downswing. If Hart is 80-90% of what he was in 2012, he alone pretty much replaces the offense of both Ibanez/Morales. If Morrison shows anything at all, the M’s are a winner, if he does not, its not much of a drop off.

        As for the value of this stat to a team, I don’t hold it in very high regard. A higher percentage BRS can be achieved by simply taking fewer walks since putting a ball in play always has a higher chance of scoring a runner. So free swingers will tend to do better and more disciplined hitters will do poorly. Ryan Howard, for instance, has a career 18% line while Joey Votto has a career 17% line. I know which guy I’d prefer at the plate in a RISP situation, and its not Howard…

  11. chip56 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Red Sox have had a brutal winter too. They’re putting a lot of faith in JBJ, Xander Boegarts and Will Middlebrooks to all be good.

    • jcmeyer10 - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      But it’s a plan. Bogey looks like he will do well from the get go, Middlebrooks can rake when he is hitting and JBJ will at least give solid defense as he figures the bat out.

      Worst case, Middlebrooks buys time for Ceccini and we find out Middlebrooks isn’t worth waiting for.

      The reason, and correct me if I am wrong Billy, but the Red Sox managed to NOT saddle themselves with bad contracts and showed some control after winning it all.

      • chip56 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Problem is, when other teams in your division are getting better, whether you won it all or not, you can’t stand still.

        Plus the one contract they did commit to is for a guy with a balky hip.

    • braxtonrob - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:06 AM

      Who is ‘JBJ’? Jon Bon Jovi?

      I truly wish you goobs would stop abbreviating everything so that ordinary baseball followers can know who the HELL you’re talkin’ about.

      • tuberippin - Dec 30, 2013 at 5:28 AM

        Jackie Bradley, Jr. … He started the 2013 season as their CF before being demoted back to the minors; he was a top-30 prospect coming into 2013.

      • chip56 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Jackie Bradley, Jr.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 6:43 AM

      It’s going to be interesting to see what the Red Sox do with their starting rotation after this year. Since Lester, Peavy and Dempster are all FA’s at the end of the 2014 season. Also even though Buchholz is under team control for a few more years he has yet to show he can be counted on to stay healthy. That’s potentially 4 questions marks for their 2015 starting rotation. Then there is Lackey while he pitched well for most of the 2014 season and especially in the postseason against the Tigers and Cardinals he did have his ups and downs.

      • pastabelly - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        Other than a poor 2012, Lester has been one of the most consisting starting pitchers in the majors since 2007. The Red Sox have Workman, Owens, and others waiting in the wings The plan seems to be Lester long term, Lackey for two more and see how prospects develop. They have a nice two year cushion with solid starters until they need to take major risks. I’d still love to see the Sox make a play for Cliff Lee at the deadline, but only if it makes sense. Doing deals now before waiting for teams to start dumping salary makes no sense for the Red Sox. This offseason, they have picked up a sandwich pick and may get another. Unless you don’t value high draft picks, that’s very positive.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        @ pastabelly, don’t forget 2011 for Lester and it wasn’t just Sept. 2011 it was May also where Lester was pretty bad. And while I said Lester overall was good in 2013 he did struggle during mid May and June. He definitely is a keeper but he has been inconsistent periodically.

      • chip56 - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        My guess is that they’ll keep Lester and hope like hell that Kershaw hits free agency

  12. watermelon1 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    I’d say the orioles are worse than the mariners for the simple fact that at least the mariners tried. At least they did SOMETHING.

    Orioles has one brief little window of excitement and now it’s looking like 13 more years of basement dwelling.

    Camden yards once again disgracefully turned into a party zone for fans of visiting team every day.

    • jcmeyer10 - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      Everytime I think the Orioles are on to something they manage to ruin a good thing.

  13. gdobs227 - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    The Reds were “a legitimate contender for the NL Wild Card.”

    I realize that their performance was forgettable, but they actually did make the Wild Card.

  14. cmoney4949 - Dec 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I love the Orioles and they have had the worse so far. If they sign Weit or Davis long term and make other improvements we will see. I doubt it…

  15. Bryz - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Bill, I don’t think you’re realizing how truly awful the Twins rotation was over the past two years. The signings of Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfrey aren’t spectacular, yes, but they were made so the team can avoid putting replacement-level (or worse) starters in the rotation.

    Signing Tanaka and Johnson would have been nice, but 1) There’s no guarantee Johnson would have wanted to come to Minnesota, even though he’s from here, and 2) The Twins would have had to outbid everyone else for Tanaka and even then he’d need the desire to play here anyway. If the Twins had lost out on both of them with the same free agents having signed by now, they’d be looking at Jimenez, Garza, and Arroyo as the top remaining starting pitchers, and two of those require a draft pick to sign, something the Twins have made no indications of doing.

    Right now the rotation appears to be Nolasco, Correia, Pelfrey, Hughes, and either Worley, Diamond, or Deduno for the final spot. It’s not a great rotation, but it’s nowhere near as bad as what us Twins fans were used to seeing last season. Plus, when the inevitable injuries hit, the Twins can plug in Gibson and/or Meyer.

    These moves may not look like much to fans outside of Minnesota, but to us, these signings were huge.

    • dluxxx - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      I’d plug in Kyle Gibson over Worley/Diamond/Deduno. Even with that, you’re right it isn’t pretty, but it’s better than what they’ve been running out there over the last 2-3 years. Having guys like Worley/Diamond/Deduno as potential fill-in starters instead of being relied on as regular rotation guys is pretty key at this point. I’d argue that Alex Meyer should be ready mid-season this year, but we can hopefully move Correia by the trade deadline then that should free up a spot in the rotation for him. That, or the inevitable injury that seems to happen pretty regularly for the Twins will do it without the need to move someone.

      Ultimately, we have two guys who should be in our rotation in the next year (Gibson & Meyer). With Correia’s contract being done after this year, that should free up a slot for Meyer. The Twins have a dearth of minor league talent coming up, but they’re almost all positional players. Their pitching prospect are either in the low minors, or marginal behind those two (well, May has potential, but may end up in the bullpen with his control issues). I don’t hate the signings. I’ll say that. If they blow everyone’s mind and manage to sign Tanaka (extremely doubtful) I’d still say I like the signings. Do I love them? No. Do I like them? Yes.

      • Bryz - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        Gibson has options while Worley/Diamond/Deduno do not. There’s no way the Twins would risk losing all three pitchers for him.

      • dluxxx - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        The only guy on that list that I’d be anywhere near worried about losing would be Deduno, and I’m not sure there isn’t a place in the bullpen for him as a long reliever. Diamond is another guy who could probably find a home in the bullpen as well, but I could see him sliding through the waivers. I think Swarzak has earned a chance to handle some higher leverage situations, and with Tonkin coming in we’ll probably continue to have a strong bullpen.

  16. rickmyralls - Dec 29, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    I like how in the best offseasons article, choo “May be a platoon outfielder at best”, but in this article, he’s one of the reds “best hitters”

  17. braxtonrob - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    A team that secures one of the greatest 2B’men to ever play the game, and you have them finishing last?

    I don’t care how much they spent, you’re going to be re-thinking that analysis in less than 3 years time.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 6:30 AM

      I think the point the author of the piece was trying to make about the Mariners is that IF the Mariners don’t do more then they have to date to improve the money spent on Cano was a waste and will be a waste for many years to come. If the intent of the Mariners powers to be is to muddle around the .500 mark (which I don’t think they are at yet) then settling for just a Cano signing and a couple of complimentary pieces is enough.

      But keep in mind so far this winter the Rangers and A’s have gotten better and if the Angels can sign another starting pitchers be it: Tanaka, Jimenez, or Garza they will have improved over 2013 as well. And the Mariners play those 3 teams a total of 54 games +/-.

  18. metalhead65 - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    losing choo hurts the Reds but not as bad as over paying somebody else to take his spot or gutting the farm system making a trade to try and find somebody to replace him. this is pretty much the same team that won the division 2 years ago with a guy who batted .220 and strruk out 200 times leading off. you left off the biggest move and the one that will help the team the most this off season and that is they finally got rid of the toothpick as their manager! best move of any team in baseball and it did not cost them a player or a prospect. as a Reds fan that makes it a great off season.

  19. pastabelly - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    It’s the “so far” part of this blog post that has me scratching my head. I would say that the Yankees have had a terrible offseason “so far” because their weakness in 2013 was their pitiching. They did nothing to improve their rotation and lost Mariano Rivera to retirement. The problem with the entire blog post is the “so far” part as we all expect the Yankees to either sign Tanaka or Garza and maybe even add Balfour to their bullpen. Can you have the “so far” both ways?

    • uyf1950 - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      My friend I hate to disagree with you but while it’s true the pitching struggled on an off during the season the main culprit last season was the Yankees failure to score runs. Game after game the Yankees failed to score even 3 runs a game. That’s not the fault of the pitching. The Yankees in 2012 had a team BA of .265, RBI’s of 774 and Runs of 804 with 245 HR’s. In 2013 their team BA was .242, RBI’s of 614 and Runs of 650 with just 144 HR’s. Those are ALL significant drop offs from their 2012 totals.

      Offense was more the reason for the Yankees regular season failures than pitching.

      • cackalackyank - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        I agree. I think I would feel that if I am an MLB pitcher of any quality, I did not sign with the NYY and expect to be pitching with the fear that if I give up three runs I have a good likelihood of getting an L. I would have joined the NYY with an expectation that I would have a reasonable likelihood of getting W even if I routinely give up 4+ runs a game.

  20. dsmaxsucks - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    So if I understand the reasoning, the Twins should have not signed free agent pitching (except for Josh Johnson) and then come on strong and sign Tanaka. This is a logical strategy because the Twins have some sort of guarantee they are Tanaka’s desired team? And this is based on what?

    Now its nice that Santa came to everyone’s house last week and all, but WTF? There approach was horrible because… door number two has a Japanese player behind it. This makes no sense.

    Also, why does the Twins spending money on Hughes et al mean they can’t sign Tanaka anyway? Because the sportswriter once again goes to some sort of imaginary understanding of the Twins payroll and deduces they are out of money? Stop worrying so much about the financial implications of signing pitchers on the bottom line of multi billionaires and consider the implications of adding potentially three mediocre starters to the worst pitching staff in baseball.

    • specialiststeve - Dec 31, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      I always thought the offseason was to improve? 5 worst offseasons? You really need to work on keeping up with the hot stove league.

      You do understand what assuming means? The Twin’s upgraded their pitching staff that is a fact. Added a quality vet at C. The Twins were not going to get Tanaka – talk about risk reward that is one the Twin’s could not get wrong as he likely will command 17-20 million a year. Would be STUPID to risk that.

      They have young studs coming up and needed to have some stability in their staff and that is exactly what they did. Top 5 maybe in getting what they needed to compete.

      Try a different sport you may know a bit more about.

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