Spring Training is right around the corner, which means that it is time to sum up exactly what went on this offseason. This winter has been nonetheless eventful with some of the largest and longest contracts baseball has ever seen. The projected power rankings for the season are already giving early credit to the teams who made significant changes for their 2015 rosters.
Let’s first take a look at my favorite moment from this offseason—Giancarlo Stanton’s contract! This is the mega of mega contracts. $325 million for 13 years! There is no denying that Stanton is a slugger who will definitely provide the power that the Marlins are looking. Last season Stanton had 37 homeruns and 105 RBIs. Who wouldn’t want this guy on their team? The Marlins also acquired second baseman, Dee Gordon, from the Dodgers. Snagging Gordon this offseason was probably one of the most underrated moves. Gordon had a breakout season with 64 stolen bases! 64! Gordon also had 176 hits last season, and his speed has been called “a game changer”. Looks like the Stanton will be bringing Gordon home all season.
The Seattle Mariners made some notable adjustments to their roster, with a hefty focus on their offense. Their biggest move this offseason was the arrival of the AL homerun leader, Nelson Cruz, from the Baltimore Orioles. Mariners signed Cruz to a 4-year, $57 million contract. The Mariners also traded RHP Brandon Maurer and a minor league reliever for Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano to fill the void in right field. Let’s also not forget Kyle Seager who was given a 7-year, $100 million contract extension.
Another huge winter move was the Max Scherzer deal. The Nationals solidified their dominant pitching rotation by signing the right hander to a 7-year, $210 million contract. This move will more than likely push Tanner Roark into the bullpen, which will keep the bullpen strong after trading Tyler Clippard to the Athletics for Yunel Escobar.
The Boston Red Sox made expensive improvements on their roster this winter as well. They acquired Pablo Sandoval from the Giants for a 5-year, $95 million deal, and Hanley Ramirez from the Dodgers for a 4-year, $88 million deal. The Sox lost LHP Jon Lester to the Chicago Cubs who signed him for 6-years, and $155 million. However, their pitching rotation is far from lacking. The Sox sent Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Wilson to the Tigers, and in return received starter Rick Porcello. Porcello had his personal best year in 2014 with a 3.43 ERA. Justin Masterson also signed a 1-year deal with the Sox for $9.5 million plus incentives. Previous pitching prospects, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa were shipped off to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for yet another starter, Wade Miley, and a reliever, Zeke Sprull.
Some other noteworthy transactions this offseason:
Toronto Blue Jays received Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics for Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, and minor leaguer Franklin Barreto
Chicago White Sox traded for Jeff Samardzija and gave him a 1-year, $9.8 million contract
Cleveland Indians traded for Brandon Moss and gave him a 1-year, $6.5 million contract
Mets signed Michael Cuddyer to a 2-year, $21 million contract
Padres traded for Matt Kemp who signed an 8-year deal for $160 million
Braves signed Nick Markakis to a 4-year, $44 million contract
Royals signed Edinson Volquez to a 2-year, $20 million contract
Padres signed James Shields to a 4-year $75 million contract
What team do you think made the most improvements to their roster this offseason?