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Five winners & five losers of the 2022-23 MLB offseason

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Even if we’re not quite to the start of spring training yet, now is a good time to examine the MLB offseason winners and losers for 2023.

For new baseball fans who need MLB free agency explained, not every offseason is as crazy as this. There were so many marquee free agents and available and surprising twists and turns this winter that it’s almost tough to define the MLB offseason winners and losers in 2023.

Nevertheless, we wanted to do our best to provide a proper MLB offseason recap by mentioning the teams that came out ahead and those who failed to capitalize on a busy winter.

MLB offseason winners and losers 2023

Perhaps more than ever before, there was a thin line between the MLB offseason winners and losers in 2023. Spending a ton of money didn’t always get teams positive free agency grades. After all, spending a lot of money doesn’t mean it was spent wisely.

Frankly, if we’re being honest, we won’t really know the MLB offseason winners and losers in 2023 for at least a year, probably longer.


Nevertheless, we wanted to provide our best MLB offseason recap and at least give our initial impressions on the biggest MLB offseason winners and losers of 2023.

Winners: Padres

Not only did the Padres reach the NLCS last season but they doubled down with a great offseason. San Diego made the bold and surprising move by adding Xander Bogaerts to the list of the biggest MLB contracts of all time, giving him an 11-year deal worth $280 million.

Frankly, the Papers didn’t need Bogaerts with Fernando Tatis Jr. already signed to a long-term deal and Ha-Seong Kim being an excellent fill-in with Tatis missing all of 2022. But that doesn’t mean signing Bogaerts can’t pay off for them.

Keep in mind, Tatis missed an entire season, so they won’t want to put too much pressure on him. That shouldn’t be a problem with Bogaerts joining a lineup that also includes Manny Machado and Juan Soto. San Diego also added veteran Matt Carpenter to provide versatility and a DH candidate.

The Padres were also able to keep Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez while adding Seth Lugo as a potential back-end starter who can also be an elite setup man in the bullpen. After everything they’ve done, the Padres measure up nicely against the other elite teams in the National League, which means last year’s trip to the NLCS may not be a fluke.


Losers: Mets

Nobody toed the line between being MLB offseason winners and losers in 2023 better than the Mets. In the end, getting their fans’ hopes up about Carlos Correa and then walking away makes them losers. Early in the offseason, the Mets also saw Jacob deGrom sign elsewhere.

The fact that a homegrown star and leader like deGrom was intent on leaving the club is a sign that the days of dysfunction within the organization may not be over just yet.

The good news is the Mets were able to re-sign closer Edwin Diaz and center fielder Brandon Nimmo while also signing Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana, as well as adding David Robertson and re-signing Adam Ottavino to the bullpen.

But the Mets spent a lot of Steve Cohen’s money to do that. Keep in mind they also lost Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt from the rotation, as well as Seth Lugo and Trevor May from the bullpen. Many of New York’s biggest moves were done to replace players lost or retain their biggest stars. In a way, they needed to add Correa to be a difference-maker, and when they lost him, they became off-season losers.

Winners: Cubs

It’s been a rough couple of seasons on the North Side of Chicago, but the Cubs have started to turn things around this winter. While they saw Willson Contreras join the rival Cardinals, the Cubs made up for that loss in other ways.

Signing Dansby Swanson was huge, as they were not an obvious favorite to sign one of the big-name shortstops on the market. He and Eric Hosmer change the lineup and add a couple of proven winners to the clubhouse. 

The Cubs were also wise to take a chance on Cody Bellinger. He still has plenty of upside despite the former MVP enduring some struggles with the Dodgers over the past few seasons. Plus, Jameson Taillon could end up being a difference-maker in Chicago’s rotation, which still features Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks. While those two weren’t at their best last year, the upside is there for Chicago’s pitching staff.

Losers: Giants

The Giants are another team that couldn’t decide where they fit among MLB’s offseason winners and losers in 2023. They pushed for both Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa but came up short with both players.

At the same time, free agents Carlos Rodon and Brandon Belt both sided elsewhere. Those are both huge losses from last year’s roster.

To be fair, adding Ross Stripling, Sean Manaea, Michael Conforto, and Mitch Haniger will help. But Conforto and Haniger are far from sure things. If those two don’t produce, the San Francisco lineup looks a little light. That puts a lot of pressure on the pitching staff to carry the Giants in a tough division.

Winners: Phillies

The Phillies caught fire late in the season, riding a wave of momentum all the way to the World Series. The hope for Philly is that a strong offseason can help that momentum carry over into 2023.

That’s why the Phils opened up their checkbook and signed Trea Turner. Even during their playoff run, they didn’t have a reliable shortstop, and now the Phillies have one of the best in the league. The backside of that contract might not work out, but for now, Turner’s speed is surely a great complement to the power in Philly’s lineup.

Pitching-wise, signing Taijuan Walker, especially taking him away from a division rival, is a great move. He was an all-star in 2021 and will only have to be the number three or four starter with the Phillies, who still have Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola leading the way. Signing Craig Kimbrel and trading for Gregory Soto will also help the Phillies to address a bullpen that was problematic throughout 2022, adding to an impressive offseason.

Losers: Red Sox

Signing Rafael Devers to an extension saved the Red Sox from a truly disastrous offseason. But that doesn’t make this a good winter for Boston.

Obviously, shortstop Xander Bogaerts signed elsewhere with no obvious replacement. Trevor Story could have potentially moved back to shortstop after playing second base last year, but after having elbow surgery, Story is now likely to miss most of 2023. Boston’s rotation also took a hit with Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, and Michael Wacha finding new homes. J.D. Martinez is also no longer with the club.

With all of those losses, the Red Sox failed to make any major additions outside of signing Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida. While they have high hopes for him, the Red Sox still have several holes in their lineup. Outside of Yoshida, Boston’s biggest signings over the winter were aging players like Justin Turner and closer Kenley Jansen, who are nice pickups but shouldn’t be the highlight of a free-agent class for a team that hopes to a contender in 2023.

Winners: Yankees

Just re-signing Aaron Judge made the Yankees winners this offseason. Whether the slugger is still producing toward the end of the contract doesn’t matter right now. The bottom line is the Yankees would never be able to reconcile letting Judge get away. Also, don’t overlook the re-signing of Anthony Rizzo either. He remains a perfect fit to play half of his games at Yankee Stadium. Keeping those two will mean the Yankees keeping the heart of their batting order intact.

Of course, there were some problems with New York’s offseason. For starters, there were four marquee shortstops on the free-agent market and the Bronx Bombers didn’t sign any of them. Instead, they role the dice with Isiah Kiner-Falefa and some of their youngsters at shortstop while also relying on Gleyber Torres at second base.

On the plus side, the signing of Carlos Rodon was a big addition to the rotation. However, the Yankees also lost Jameson Taillon, so adding Rodon isn’t as big of an upgrade as it seems.

Losers: Dodgers

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they’ve set a high bar when it comes to adding impact players during the offseason. Not only did the Dodgers fail to do that this past winter, but they also lost a lot.

They parted ways with Cody Bellinger and lost Trea Turner and Justin Turner in free agency. Pitchers Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, and a few others are also out of the picture, hurting some of the depth the Dodgers have.

In fairness, the Dodgers added Noah Syndergaard to a rotation that still has tons of high-end talent with the likes of Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin. They also added J.D. Martinez to be their DH, giving some support to Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

But without any major offseason additions, the Dodgers will finally be relying on some of their youngsters to play key roles. Considering the way the Padres, Mets, and other top teams in the National League look, that’s a risky strategy for the kings of winning now.

Winners: Blue Jays

After back-to-back seasons with 90-plus wins, the Blue Jays didn’t need to make too many huge moves. After all, they’re still leaning heavily on a group of young, homegrown stars. But they did a nice job of adding some complementary pieces.

Most notably, a veteran starter like Chris Bassitt is a nice addition to the Toronto rotation, especially since Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, and Jose Berrios are all capable of being frontline starters. The Jays should also get Hyun Jin Ryu back at some point in 2023. 

Offensively, the addition of Brandon Belt is a small but important move. He will help balance out a right-hand-heavy lineup and adds a veteran with postseason experience to a young team. The versatile Daulton Varsho and defensive wizard Kevin Kiermaier are also left-handed bats who bring more than offense to Toronto’s lineup. 

Losers: Athletics

On the heels of losing 102 games last year, the A’s did nothing this winter to improve their record in 2023. If anything, Oakland is positioned to be even worse than a year ago. Sean Murphy was one of the fewer proven players they had last season and he was traded to the Braves this winter. The kicker is that the A’s didn’t get enough back in the trade. 

On the other side, Oakland’s biggest signings this offseason were utility infielders Aledmys Diaz and Jace Peterson, as well as reliever Trevor May, who posted a 5.04 ERA last season.

None of those players are likely to move the needle much. Perhaps all of the trades the A’s have made over the past couple of years will pay off if their youngsters develop into stars. But it doesn’t look like that’ll happen in 2023, as things in Oakland could get worse before they get better.

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