This off-season has brought us plenty of drama already and there are still 44 days until pitchers and catchers make their way to Florida or Arizona. Looking over the deals, we pick some winners and losers among the signings and trades.
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1. Blue Jays acquire Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck for Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Jeff Mathis, and Anthony DeSclafani.
This was the game changer of the off-season. The Marlins dumped every useful player not named Giancarlo Stanton for a collection of role players and prospects. It is as lopsided as a deal can be and it likely transforms the Blue Jays from AL East bottom dwellers to legitimate contenders.
The Blue Jays added two pitchers to upgrade their dreadful 2012 rotation, got an elite leadoff hitter to upgrade the shortstop position and added a versatile utility player without even giving up their top prospect, Travis d’Arnaud, who they used to add the NL Cy Young Award Winner several week after this deal. It is a big win-now move for the Blue Jays and it is certainly possible that it could backfire in some way but it is easily the biggest winner among the off-season moves.
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Angel Pagan has long been a very underrated player and the Giants were savvy enough to see that when they swapped Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez for him prior to the 2012 season. Pagan rewarded them by hitting .288/.338/.440 and playing solid defense in center. This deal is nowhere near as sexy as the Blue Jays mega-trade, but it could easily be the biggest bargain of the off-season.
The Red Sox will pay Shane Victorino $3M a year more for the next three years and B.J. Upton will get $5M more a year and $35.25M more overall with his five year deal.
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3. Indians Acquire Drew Stubbs, Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw for Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Donald, Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson in a three team deal.
The Indians gave up a player in Choo who was in his walk-year, a mediocre reliever in Sipp, a utility guy in Donald and a one-time prospect in Anderson and got back a starting center fielder, a top pitching prospect and two useful- if mediocre- relievers. That is a win any day of the week.
Stubbs has some issues and Bauer appears to have fallen out of favor in
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1. The Royals acquire James Shields and Wade Davis for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Patrick Leonard and Mike Montgomery
If the Royals were closer to contention, this move could be at least somewhat justifiable. They add a top-of-the-rotation starter in Shields and Wade Davis is a good player to have around in a swing man or relief role.
Those types of additions can make all the difference in a tight pennant race and a team eyeing a World Series run might be able to justify the high cost
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With a gaping hole at first base in the wake of the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers, the Red Sox were an obvious fit for Mike Napoli’s services. The Red Sox could have focused on Nick Swisher, Adam LaRoche or Mark Reynolds to address this need, but they chose to go hard after Napoli and eventually they got him for their preferred term (3 years) at a reasonable cost ($39M)... or so it seemed. After the medical review set off alarm bells, the Red Sox hit a stalemate in the negotiations and now both sides are looking at other options.
Meanwhile, the Indians have signed Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds, leaving Adam LaRoche as the last decent free agent option available to the Red Sox.
If they fail to sign him, they are in a weak bargaining position for LaRoche’s services and in the trade market now, since so many options have vanished. The best case scenario for
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The Texas Rangers lost a heart breaker on the final day of the regular season giving the Oakland A’s the division title. Then they lost in the first play-in Wild Card game, ending their 93 win 2012 season in just nine innings of playoff baseball. Now, this off-season, they have lost their best player, Josh Hamilton, to their division rivals in
They tried to orchestrate a four team mega-trade to bring in Justin Upton andthat fell apart, eventually becaming the Shin-Soo Choo deal that worked out so well for the Indians. They were the first team connected to R.A. Dickey, but they balked at the Mets asking price. They made some noise in the James Shields talks, but that didn't work out either.
There is still time for Jon Daniels and his team to find a blockbuster deal to put