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  • 02/18/2013, 02:17PM ET

MLB- Best/Worst offseason

CuntryBlumpkin (305-247-64) vs Argos. (184-101-29)
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It's pretty self explanatory, and most impact free agents are off the market(except Kyle Lohse), and Spring Training is with. It's time for baseball TDs to dominate the board.


Best offseason- I'm going with the Angels. I'm just not sold on the Blue Jays, I mean the big names they acquired played a big role in Miami's disastrous season last year, and RA Dickey has never pitched in the AL East before. The Angels landed the top free agent on the market in Josh Hamilton, stealing him away from their biggest challenge in the division, and also traded Kendrys Morales to Seattle for Jason Vargas, a solid starter. Coming into the season, LAA's offense is the best in the game on paper, and they added some starters to boot.


Worst Offseason- I've got to go with the Yankees. They lost Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez and Rafael Soriano, and their only note worthy acquisition has been the over the hill Kevin Youkilis. The Yankees basically did nothing except get older. Yeah, the Marlins traded away their team, but they got a lot of prospects in return.


Best- Toronto

First I trash Anaheim.

They gained Hamilton, but he is simply replacing Torii Hunter. I fully believe that Hamilton will be better than Hunter next season, but question wether he will be better than the Hunter he is replacing. Just for comparison sakes of last season:

Torii: .313/.365/.451
Josh: .285/.354/.577

Not to mention Hamilton is always injured. Or the fact that after his hot start, from June to the end of the year, he was pretty crappy. Or the fact he struck out in nearly 30% of his at-bats last year.

Then the Angels lost 3/5th of their starting rotation. They lost Ervin Santana (not a big loss), Zack Greinke, and Haren. They lost two of the best pitchers, when healthy, in the game. They replaced these 3 with Blanton (4.73 era in the NL last year), Tommy Hanson (4.48 era in the NL), and Jason Vargas (4.09 era over his last 4 years in the AL West).

Then they lost super utility man in Maicer Izturis.

Not an impressive off-season.

Toronto added 3 all-star calibre SP, an all-star SS, two super utility players, and whatever you consider Melky to be.

Worst - Arizona Diamondbacks


Losing an over the hill Torii Hunter isn't that big of a loss, especially when he's being replaced by one of the best hitters in the game over the past few seasons.

Hamilton had the worst stretch of his career to close out the season last year, and he still hit for a respectable batting average, high slugging and had over 40 home runs. And everybody strikes out in today's game. Nobody is going to bat 1.000, and nobody isn't gonna strikeout any. As far as I'm concerned, there's no difference for a batter between a groundout and a strikeout.

Convenient for you to use Vargas' last 4 years instead of last season and only talk about Hamilton's second half of last season. Hanson had a rough year last season, but he's too young to give up on.

They also added Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson to their bullpen.


The Blue Jays just picked up Florida's trash. You think RA Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle are gonna have success after they travel from pitcher's parks in a pitcher's league to a hitter's park in a hitter's league?

And Reyes and Cabrera are distractions with big egos.

Angels>Blue Jays


Over the hill? Hunter had the best year of his career last season. Hamilton is not replacing Hunter of this year, he is replacing Hunter of last.

Hanson is young, but lost 3 MPH on his fastball since he has come into the league. That is a sign of trouble.

Buehrle is use to pitching in Chicago, one of the most hitter friendly parks. Dickey won the Cy, and has a 2.95 era in his last 616 IP. JJ has a career 3.15 era. Distractions? Really, that is what you argue?

Anaheim lost two of the games best starters, and that can't be argued. Hamilton is not a major upgrade over last years Hunter. Overall, they aren't better.



Yankees lost Swisher, but get a healthy Gardiner to replace him. Lost Soriano, but get a healthy Mo to replace him. Those are really their only two losses, and they are replaced in house.

Diamondbacks overpaid Cody Ross (3 yr, $27 mil) after 1 good season. Then traded essentially the same player except fast, and a great defensive CF'er, and a larger track record, Chris Young, for a backup SS and a crappy RP with $18 million left on his deal.

They sold low on Bauer & Upton as well.

MTC


If Hamilton performs better than than hunter this season, it is a good replacement, and BTW, Hamilton outperformed Hunter last season.

As for the Dbacks, they had their reasons for trading Upton and Bauer.

They didn't get much for Young, but Young is coming off an injury plagued season that wasn't very productive, and they have a log jam at outfield.

For Upton, they got Martin Prado, who can play any position and is the definition of a 2 hole hitter, a decent pitching prospect and some other mid level prospects. Not as good as the Seattle deal, but Prado fits Gibson's style more than Upton.

As for Bauer, they got a quality young SS prospect for him, and Montero said Bauer was a pain to work with.


The Yankees did absolutely nothing worth noting except let some productive players walk away and rely on a bunch of old guys coming back from injury to replace them.

This is New York. I can't imagine Yankee fans are happy at all about this offseason. They should still compete, but they missed out on a lot of opportunities.

The Dbacks at least were active and got something for the players they lost and added McCarthy to their rotation.


They traded a top 3 pitching prospect in all of baseball, Bauer, for a prospect who has never hit in the minors and who the Arizona GM compared to Derek Jeter without the bat. What a **** player if so

Then they go and trade Justin Upton, a man who was 4th in MVP voting at age 23, essentially for 1 year of Prado and a decent pitching prospect

The Yankees let old players walk, where they got overpaid, and replaced them with healthy players. The Yankees didn't have to do any major moves, they were good last season

Arizona overpays Ross, trades for an overpaid Heath Bell, and does 3 crappy trades


Anaheim lost 3/5ths of a good rotation. They lost a top 10 SP in Greinke, and Haren who when healthy is a top 30 SP, plus Santana who consistently pitches 200 innings. They got 1 decent SP, Vargas, and two crappy SP to replace them. Toronto added two pitchers of Greinke and Haren's ability in Dickey and JJ, and Mark Buerhle who consistently pitches 200 strong innings

The Angels added 1 all-star OF to replace another all-star OF. Toronto added an all-star SS, to replace baseball's biggest distraction (Yunel). Then added Melky to fill a whole in LF. Plus Maicer and Boni!

February 18, 2013  09:52 PM ET

Hamilton is the biggest distraction in baseball.

February 18, 2013  10:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Hamilton is the biggest distraction in baseball.

Nope.

ARod and Braun are much bigger distractions.

That said, the Angels WAY overpaid Hamilton considering his history. If you meant he is the riskiest contract in baseball, I'd agree. His ability is unquestioned, but anyone signing him to more than 2 years is nuts.

February 18, 2013  10:11 PM ET

I wouldn't be that excited about Toronto, though. Buehrle and Reyes are both EXTREMELY pissed off about being shipped north of the border. Neither wanted anything to do with Canada. We all know Reyes is a major head case when he doesn't get his way and MB, who is a big family man, refuses to even move his family to Toronto (he's giving the absurd excuse it's because his dog isn't legal there) they are going to stay behind in Miami and St. Louis.

Think about it. Two stars who signed long term deals in Miami partially because they had verbal assurances from Loria that they wouldn't be traded and partly because they wanted to be in South Florida...then both not only get traded, but get traded to ANOTHER COUNTRY that couldn't be any different from South Beach. If you are expecting big years from either of those guys I think you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Comment #4 has been removed
February 18, 2013  10:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Worst offseason has to be the Yankees, or perhaps the White Sox. Even Houston would be a better choice than Arizona.

Not the White Sox. Only big loss was a 36 year old catcher (AJ Pierzynski) but re-signed Peavy and picked up a solid fielding contact hitter to fill a major need as the #2 hitter. Nothing flashy, but certainly not among the worst (though a lot of White Sox fans think so)

Yankees off season was miserable, but that was out of necessity. Old team that is trying to shed tons of payroll for the first time in 20 years. That said, they should still be very competitive assuming the old guys don't all break down at once.

February 18, 2013  10:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I wouldn't be that excited about Toronto, though. Buehrle and Reyes are both EXTREMELY pissed off about being shipped north of the border. Neither wanted anything to do with Canada. We all know Reyes is a major head case when he doesn't get his way and MB, who is a big family man, refuses to even move his family to Toronto (he's giving the absurd excuse it's because his dog isn't legal there) they are going to stay behind in Miami and St. Louis. Think about it. Two stars who signed long term deals in Miami partially because they had verbal assurances from Loria that they wouldn't be traded and partly because they wanted to be in South Florida...then both not only get traded, but get traded to ANOTHER COUNTRY that couldn't be any different from South Beach. If you are expecting big years from either of those guys I think you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Reyes I don't think is so pissed. Toronto has a lot of Dominicans for him to get along with, plus his best friend Carlos Delgado talked to him about it and told him what Toronto is like. Plus from everything he has said, he seems genuinely excited.

Buehrle is without doubt pissed. Big time. But he is a professional, should be fine and just do what he does. Though wont be surprised if he asks for a trade sooner or later, but it will be tough to find someone to take his backloaded deal. And I think he isn't moving his family because of his dog. Everything you read about him, he is obsessed with those dogs. Like you said, he is a big time family man, why else wouldn't he move his family to be with him?

I don't see how moving them getting traded will effect their on field play. If anything, Buehrle is motivated to prove he is worth his contract so Toronto can deal him.

February 18, 2013  10:46 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Worst...the Diamondbacks? Really? They got rid of a player they have been trying to deal for years, got back a versatile infielder, a quality young pitcher, and some prospects. They sign a decent player and team guy in Cody Ross. They make a nice, subtle addition to the rotation with Brandon McCarthey. They added a good young SS and another bullpen arm.Worst offseason has to be the Yankees, or perhaps the White Sox. Even Houston would be a better choice than Arizona.

They overplayed their hand, kept saying they wanted to trade Upton and drove his value down big time. If the Seattle trade went though, and they got that type of package, then its a decent move. Instead they had to settle for a package worth way less his value.

Cody Ross is coming to replace Chris Young (who they got terrible value for). Ross is good at one thing, and has been good at it for one year, and that is hitting lefties. Chris Young also simply just kills lefties, but is also much better against righties, way faster, a great defensive player, younger, and a CF'er. They overpaid Ross, and traded Young for nothing.

February 19, 2013  07:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Reyes I don't think is so pissed. Toronto has a lot of Dominicans for him to get along with, plus his best friend Carlos Delgado talked to him about it and told him what Toronto is like. Plus from everything he has said, he seems genuinely excited. Buehrle is without doubt pissed. Big time. But he is a professional, should be fine and just do what he does. Though wont be surprised if he asks for a trade sooner or later, but it will be tough to find someone to take his backloaded deal. And I think he isn't moving his family because of his dog. Everything you read about him, he is obsessed with those dogs. Like you said, he is a big time family man, why else wouldn't he move his family to be with him? I don't see how moving them getting traded will effect their on field play. If anything, Buehrle is motivated to prove he is worth his contract so Toronto can deal him.

Reyes public comments indicate otherwise. And again, when he ain't happy...fergetaboutit. He ain't performing. He's got 5 more years on that deal, he doesn't have to do **** but collect a paycheck, be a problem child, and force Toronto to deal him or eat the contract.

No way did MB refuse to move his family because of a DOG. Yes, I know all about his affinity for his dogs...I also know his kids are young and he's huge on family. You telling me you buy the story of him choosing the dog over having his family with him because he didn't think it was responsible to hire someone else to care for the mutt? Please. His wife refused to leave South Beach for Ontario. I'm 95% sure, and who could blame her?. I'd be surprised if he hasn't already asked for a trade and knowing Mark like I do I wouldn't be surprised if he just up and retired. He's been talking about it for years and said many times when he became a free agent that there were only a couple of places he wanted to play and he'd retire before playing anywhere else. Has repeated over and over it's not about money because he already has more than he or his family will ever need. Rare guy. We'll see, but I don't see that one working out at all. I don't buy the theory of trying hard so he can be traded either...he doesn't want to play in MOST places so it's not just a matter of getting out of Toronto.

I'm just saying...when a player isn't happy with where he is, the results often suffer and in the case of these two in particular there are even more extenuating circumstances. I'm not saying it was a bad trade for Toronto. Quite the contrary. It was a GREAT trade...if this were fantasy baseball. IOW, on paper it was a great deal but under the circumstances I'm not so sure. It's more likely to backfire than not.

February 19, 2013  09:37 AM ET

C'mon guys! How the hell do you both miss the Marlins for the worst offseason?

Comment #10 has been removed
Comment #11 has been removed
February 19, 2013  12:23 PM ET

Argos: " I fully believe that Hamilton will be better than Hunter next season, but question wether he will be better than the Hunter he is replacing."

Is this some kind of Jedi mind trick or something?

February 19, 2013  12:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

C'mon guys! How the hell do you both miss the Marlins for the worst offseason?

Well they didn't win with the guys they traded... might as well get rid of some bad contracts.

February 19, 2013  12:27 PM ET

Arizona fans are going to enjoy watching Prado and the way he plays the game.

February 19, 2013  12:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Just how well do you know Mark, as you claim you do?

I've watched his entire career and have seen pretty much every quote he's ever made. Guy talks...a lot and isn't afraid to say what's on his mind.

February 19, 2013  01:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

C'mon guys! How the hell do you both miss the Marlins for the worst offseason?

They had a great off season. Suckered the tax payers into footing the bill for a $600mil+ ball park that sits half empty then dropped payroll to $31mil, slightly more than the Yanks are gonna pay ARod to not play. They were going to suck in an empty park either way so now they can do it cheap, collect money from the Yankees and Dodgers, and got a boat load of prospects...their AAA team may be better than they are, but they are set up for yet another quick turnaround in a couple years. Loria might be the worst owner in sports from a fan perspective, but at least he knows how to make money from a losing proposition and how to re-build a team. Can't really argue with a business model that has worked twice already.

February 19, 2013  01:37 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I don't see how moving them getting traded will effect their on field play.

If you took a new job with a company in a location on the beach you loved and a promise you could stay there as long as you wanted you'd likely be very productive. If a year later your boss came and said you were being transferred to Siberia, you have no choice, your family can't go, your non-compete clause prohibits you from quitting and taking a job elsewhere, and oh by the way your paycheck is going to be smaller too (no state income tax in FL)...would your productivity not suffer because you are a "professional"? We often lose sight of the fact that these are living breathing people, not computer generated fantasy players. If you think their mindset doesn't affect their play on the field you're fooling yourself.

February 19, 2013  02:15 PM ET

More food for thought on Buehrle against the AL East...he's been downright awful.

Current Yankees have lit him up for an average slash line of .311/.364/.470

Boston has destroyed him to the tune of .345/.371/.547

Tampa has hit him at .318/.344/.424

Even Baltimore has managed .302/.338/.433

Kinda makes one wonder if anyone in the Jays front office bothered to look into his history against their division before acquiring him.

February 19, 2013  02:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Well they didn't win with the guys they traded... might as well get rid of some bad contracts.

Trading off your core players is one thing, to give them away is something entirely different. IF I were or had been a Marlins fan I would paint a huge middle finger on the side of my car to display it every time I drove past the stadium this year..


Oh............and would not buy a single frigging ticket..............

 
February 19, 2013  02:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Trading off your core players is one thing, to give them away is something entirely different. IF I were or had been a Marlins fan I would paint a huge middle finger on the side of my car to display it every time I drove past the stadium this year..Oh............and would not buy a single frigging ticket..............

They got some quality prospects in the deal. And Yunel Escobar, who they flipped for more prospects.

Really think about what they gave up.

Emilio Bonifacio- Decent when healthy, but when is he healthy?
Josh Johnson- He's not the pitcher he used to be. He's injury prone with a slower fast ball.
Mark Buehrle- He's getting older and wasn't exactly dominant last season
Jose Reyes- He has all the talent in the world, but he's a big time head case with a scatter arm at short.
John Buck- Worst hitting catcher in the majors last season.


It's not like they shipper Giancarlo Stanton away. They got a good return on their trade to Toronto, not great, but decent.

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