Grading Some of the Offseason’s Biggest Winners

Opening Day is just over 40 days upon us; the reporting for pitchers and catchers to make their way to their Florida and Arizona spring training camps is just a few days away; and spring training is just around the corner: baseball is officially (almost) back. The offseason moves have slowly begun to settle down and there were a few teams whose offseason was more successful than others. 

Here are three teams who “won” the 2023 offseason: 

New York Mets

It didn’t come to anyone’s surprise that the Mets did what they’ve done best these past few offseasons: spend big money; and Steve Cohen didn’t disappoint.  Even when the 12 year deal to bring All-Star shortstop, Carlos Correa to Queens fell through, the additions that the Mets made were still significant, even looking at all of the losses they had. 

Easily one of the biggest losses for the Mets this offseason was the signing of Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers, along with two other notable starters Chris Bassitt (Blue Jays)  and Taijuan Walker (Phillies), the Mets made up for the rotation depth by signing 2022 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, LHP Jose Quintana and top international free agent, Kodai Senga. 

The Mets’ also added some more depth to their bullpen. Aside from re-signing RHP Adam Ottavino and All-Star closer Edwin Diaz to a multi-year deal, RHP David Roberston was signed and LHP Brooks Raley was acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays. Other notable signings include some offensive depth pieces in catcher Omar Narvaez and outfielder Tommy Pham, along with re-signing OF Brandon Nimmo to a multi- year deal. 

San Diego Padres

The Padres also seem to be going all in to do whatever it takes to take the NL West from the Dodgers. We saw it last trade deadline when the Padres acquired All-Star Juan Soto from the Nationals in a blockbuster trade and with all of the money they’ve spent within the past few years. This offseason was no different, and the Padres have a new franchise shortstop to look forward to. 

The signing of Xander Bogaerts to a 13 year deal gives the Padres arguably one of the scariest “hearts of the lineup” in the league along with Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. (when he returns from suspension). The signing comes with a lot of moving pieces on the field once the season starts, most likely shifting Tatis to the outfield and sliding gold glove winner Ha-Seong Kim to second and Jake Cronenworth to first. Aside from adding Bogaerts to an already stacked lineup, the Padres brought in the veteran bats of Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter, who resurged his career with the Yankees last season. 

To bolster their pitching rotation, the Padres re-signed Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez. Most recently, the Padres also announced that they have re-signed All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish to a 6 year extension, with this contract taking him into his age 42 season. 

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies’ run to make it into the World Series in the postseason last year proved to the league that they have what it takes to come out ontop of their division. The Phillies already had a stacked lineup with Bryce Harper and slugger Kyle Schwarber in the mix, but they added arguably one of the best shortstops in the league in the past few years and pitching depth to continue their success.

The addition of shortstop Trea Turner to this Phillies’ lineup is huge. Last season, the Phillies were faced with some setbacks in their offense from former MVP winner Bryce Harper due to injury, and a lack of lineup depth. Well, adding in Trea Turner lengthens the lineup by providing speed, on base percentage at the top of the lineup and a solid contact bat. It was one of the first big signings of the offseason, and Philly didn’t disappoint. 

In addition to the signing of Trea Turner, Philly also brought in some pitching additions. Taijuan Walker signed a multi year deal and will slot in behind Zack Wheeler most likely in the rotation after the loss of Zach Efflin. And some bullpen depth was added as well. The Phillies traded for All-Star closer, Gregory Soto from the Detroit Tigers, signed veteran closer Craig Kimbrel and also signed RHP Matt Strahm.

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