Which Team Had The Most Disappointing Offseason?
This is one of nine burning questions comprising Baseball America's 2022 MLB Season Preview. To see the full preview, click here.
Chris Hilburn-Trenkle—Athletics. I went back and forth between the A’s and Reds, but I’ll go with the team that won 86 games last year, made the playoffs in the three previous years and punted on the present by trading Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Chris Bassitt.
Kyle Glaser—Athletics. The A’s made the playoffs three consecutive years from 2019-21 and were in the thick of the postseason race until the final two weeks of last season. Rather than build off of that, they let manager Bob Melvin leave for nothing, traded away young, homegrown all-stars Matt Olson and Matt Chapman and shipped out Chris Bassitt, their best starting pitcher. Owner John Fisher continues to cry poor at every turn, to the detriment of a franchise that deserves better.
Ben Badler—Reds. There are a lot of ways to make money. If you own a baseball team and you don’t care about winning, you should sell the team and reallocate your capital elsewhere.
Josh Norris—Yankees. By the end of 2021, it was clear the Yankees were old and injury-prone. With talents like Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and Trevor Story on the market, the team instead chose to bring back Anthony Rizzo and trade for Josh Donaldson while also getting weaker offensively at shortstop (Isiah Kiner-Falefa) and catcher (a tandem of Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt). To add some salt, the Twins used some of the cost savings from shedding Donaldson’s contract to sign Correa, while the rival Red Sox spent big for Story.
Carlos Collazo—MLB owners. The lockout was a stain on the game throughout the entirety of the offseason. I think all of the owners can take equal credit for this one.
Geoff Pontes—Padres. The Padres’ big offseason splash was a trade for Luke Voit, while the Dodgers added Freddie Freeman and the Giants added Carlos Rodon. Outside of the unfortunate news on Fernando Tatis Jr., the San Diego lineup looks thin, and they’ve done little to build depth, particularly in the outfield.
Matt Eddy—Astros. Houston typically finds ways to adapt by promoting from within or making shrewd in-season pickups. Still, the reigning American League champions lost Carlos Correa, one of the top postseason performers in history, to free agency and will be without Lance McCullers Jr. for an extended stretch—possibly the entire season. The Astros get a 39-year-old Justin Verlander back after a year lost to Tommy John surgery but otherwise added only around the margins with reliever Hector Neris and utility infielder Niko Goodrum. Perhaps homegrown players such as Jeremy Pena, Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers and a cadre of unheralded pitchers, such as Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier, are up to the task.