Which Team Had The Best Offseason Ahead Of 2023?
This is one of eight burning questions comprising Baseball America's 2023 MLB Season Preview. To see the full preview, click here.
Josh Norris—Padres. They added Xander Bogaerts, made Manny Machado a near-certain Padre for life and extended Yu Darvish. That trio, combined with Juan Soto and a hopefully healthy Fernando Tatis Jr., could earn San Diego a division title. Plus, they still have a farm system with the chips up top to trade for an impact player at the deadline.
Matt Eddy—Mets. The Yankees led all teams by committing nearly $574 million to free agents—most of it to Aaron Judge and Carlos Rodon—but the Mets added the highest average annual value to their books. New York committed $136 million in AAV to sign Justin Verlander, Edwin Diaz, Brandon Nimmo, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertson and a few other supporting players. Most expensive does not equal best, but in this case, the Mets had to replace the nearly 600 innings lost by the departures of Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker, Trevor Williams, Seth Lugo and Jacob deGrom. An underrated aspect of the Mets’ spending spree is that they didn’t commit more than five years to any player but Nimmo, and they signed no free agent with a qualifying offer attached.
Carlos Collazo—Mets. How excited are you if you’re a Mets fan right now? Winning the offseason means nothing most of the time, but there’s something to be said for actively going for it in a way we haven’t seen since, well, the current iteration of the Padres. Both teams are great picks thanks to owners who care more about trying to win than crying about revenue sharing or market size.
Kyle Glaser—Yankees. The Yankees had to bring back Aaron Judge and accomplished that in the most significant move of the offseason. They also added a frontline starter in Carlos Rodon, re-signed Anthony Rizzo and resisted the urge to acquire big name but ill-fitting players in the infield, giving them their most balanced and well-rounded team in years.
Ben Badler—Mets. Their owner is a gazillionaire who seems willing to spend whatever it takes to turn the Mets into a perennial championship contender. Less than two years ago, this was a team that was trading away a potential star in Pete Crow-Armstrong to get a Javier Baez rental. This offseason they’re re-signing Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz and adding Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana, with youngsters like Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty on the cusp.
Chris Trenkle—Padres. I love the aggressiveness shown by Padres owner Peter Seidler to go all-in on a World Series title, and he did so by adding Xander Bogaerts and reworking the contract of franchise cornerstone Manny Machado.
Geoff Pontes—Padres. The Friars added a grizzled star veteran in Xander Bogaerts, extended Manny Machado and added quality veterans in Michael Wacha, Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter. The Padres have shown an aggressive mentality on the free agent and trade markets in recent years in hopes of fortifying their roster. The Dodgers don’t seem quite as formidable as they have in recent seasons, and the Padres look intent on winning the NL West for the first time since 2006.