Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. An interesting interview with Barry Bonds’ son Nicolai

    Apr 21, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds AP

    A writer who once ripped Barry Bonds for 400 pages or so talked with Bonds’ son about the nature of celebrity and celebrity villains.

  2. Video: Jose Iglesias made a ridiculous play last night

    Apr 21, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT

    Jose Iglesias AP

    Off-balance, running the other way, across his body, deep in the hole and he STILL got the speedy Brett Gardner.

  3. What Bryan Price’s rant was really all about

    Apr 21, 2015, 8:44 AM EDT

    Getty Bryan Price

    The F-bombs were hilarious, but the substance of Price’s rant was far more telling.

  4. And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

    Apr 21, 2015, 6:42 AM EDT

    Ralphie

    It was a foul night for Ohio baseball.

  5. Ian Kennedy on track to return from the disabled list Saturday

    Apr 20, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres Getty Images

    Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy landed on the disabled list after exiting his season debut on April 9 with a mild left hamstring strain, but he’s on track to return Saturday against the Dodgers.

  6. Jonathan Lucroy headed to disabled list with broken toe

    Apr 20, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    jonathan lucroy getty Getty Images

    Things are quickly going from bad to worse for the Brewers.

  7. Reds manager Bryan Price goes on profanity-laden tirade against media

    Apr 20, 2015, 10:06 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    This from Reds manager Bryan Price is not a good look at all.

  8. Cubs-Pirates delayed for 23 minutes after fan hit by foul ball behind home plate

    Apr 20, 2015, 9:49 PM EDT

    PNC Park

    Tonight’s Cubs-Pirates game was delayed for 23 minutes after a woman was hit in the back of the head by a foul ball in the top of the second inning.

  9. Ben Zobrist to rest for a couple of days after getting cortisone shot in knee

    Apr 20, 2015, 8:55 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Getty Images

    Ben Zobrist left Sunday’s game due to left knee soreness and he’s now slated to miss at least another couple of days after receiving a cortisone shot.

  10. Justin Verlander undergoes MRI which confirms triceps strain

    Apr 20, 2015, 7:29 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander AP

    Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander had to cut a simulated game short last Wednesday and he’s currently in shutdown mode due to continued soreness in his throwing arm.

  11. Mets announce injury timetables for Travis d’Arnaud and Jerry Blevins

    Apr 20, 2015, 6:21 PM EDT

    mets logo

    The Mets won their eighth straight game Sunday against the Marlins to improve to 10-3 on the year, but it came as a cost, as catcher Travis d’Arnaud and left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins were forced to leave the game due to injuries. Today we learned a little bit more about how long they’ll be sidelined.

  12. Dodgertown lives

    Apr 20, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

    Dodgertown

    It’s been a facility in flux since the Dodgers left in 2008, but it has a new life under new management.

  13. Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett hurt himself showering

    Apr 20, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Shower

    It was bad enough that he needed stitches.

  14. Jorge De La Rosa set to rejoin the Rockies’ rotation tonight

    Apr 20, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT

    jorge de la rosa getty Getty Images

    Last season he threw 184 innings with a 4.11 ERA and 139/67 K/BB ratio.

  15. Braves pitcher Andrew McKirahan releases as statement regarding his PED suspension

    Apr 20, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Andrew McKirahan Getty Images

    And he actually owns up to taking stuff. None of that “I have no idea how that got in my system” rebop from him.

  16. I discussed the “minor league city downgrades” list on NPR over the weekend

    Apr 20, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    El Paso

    People from El Paso are still mad about that. Oh well.

  17. Hanley Ramirez leaves Red Sox game “due to illness”

    Apr 20, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Red Sox Getty Images

    Allen Craig replaced him in left field against the Orioles.

  18. After two Tommy John surgeries Brandon Beachy is hoping to join the Dodgers in June

    Apr 20, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Brandon Beachy AP AP

    Beachy is 28 years old with a 3.23 ERA and 275 strikeouts in 268 career innings.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (4742)
  2. D. Salazar (4027)
  3. D. Span (3905)
  4. C. Gomez (3685)
  5. J. Reyes (3615)
  1. D. Mesoraco (3577)
  2. D. Travis (3518)
  3. Y. Puig (3507)
  4. J. Verlander (3380)
  5. A. Rodriguez (3358)