The results are in! It took over two months, but Umpbump has finished evaluating the offseasons of all 30 MLB teams. We analyzed each team’s free agent signings and trades and after careful consideration, each team was awarded a letter grade, ranging from A-F (no E’s for effort), just like in high school.
So who are the winners and who are the losers?
Three teams were awarded a failing grade: the White Sox, Angels and Nationals. Shame, shame on them.
The White Sox traded starters Brandon McCarthy and Freddy Garcia for prospects and spare parts, and failed to upgrade in center field, their greatest area of need. These moves might pay dividends down the road for the Sox, but for a team that is just one season removed from a World Series ring, they did nothing to help themelves in 2007.
The Angels signed Gary Matthews, Jr. to a ridiculous contract after he had a career year in Texas, only to discover two months later that Matthews was on steroids. That’s insult on top of stupidity.
The Nationals lost Alfonso Soriano and Jose Vidro and signed Abraham Nunez, Travis Lee, D’Angelo Jimenez and Tony Womack — four guys who wouldn’t make the roster of all 29 other major league teams.
No team received an “A” (no grade inflation here), but three teams got “A-” marks. They were the Yankees, Cubs and Rockies.
The Yankees got props for getting younger and cheaper, a major departure from past offseasons and a sign that Steinbrenner must be locked in a room with padded walls. They managed to sign the defensive minded Doug Mientkiewicz and SPs Kei Igawa and Andy Petitte, while unloading the salaries of Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, and Garry Sheffield for a boatload of talented pitching prospects.
The Cubs had the biggest offseason of any team, signing the high profile Alfonso Soriano, as well as Ted Lilly, Mark DeRosa and Jason Marquis. Chicago fans will cheer these signings in 2007 and curse them in 2010, when Soriano is slowing and DeRosa’s mediocrity has become impossible to ignore. But for now, Chicago has done more than any other team to get better now.
That leaves us with the Colorado Rockies, who took a look at what the Cubs were doing this offseason and then did the exact opposite. GM Dan O’Dowd shipped the team’s only marquee player, SP Jason Jennings, to Houston for centerfielder Willy Taveras and pitchers Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh. The trade gave the Rockies three young, promising players to add to an already young and talented group.
One final point about our Hot Offseason Action series: we graded (inadvertently) on a curve. You know how Michael Jordan never got called for a foul because he was Michael Jordan? The same thing happened here. For example, the Twins had a terrible offseason, but got a D instead of an F because they always find a way to win, regardless of who is on the field. Game appreciates game, so we had to give the Twins (and A’s and Braves) the benefit of the doubt.
You can see the rest of Hot Offseason Action grades here. How did your favorite team do?