When a lot of the ‘professional’ writers grade out how teams did over the offseason they look to determine just how much of an impact the moves made by each team will affect them during the next season. That is a perfectly valid way to grade teams but for me I’m going to look at that along with two other things; how big of an impact will the moves affect the future of the team and did the team give its fans more or less reason to hope.
I have created some special 9 Inning Know It All awards for different teams depending on what they did. Oh and let me just say I’m sorry to all Phillies fans right off the bat.
Giving Hope Award
Houston Astros – I don’t see the Astros suddenly being World Series contenders this year but they have been making smart moves that make their team better and build around their future. No longer can I make jokes about the Astros being the worst team in baseball, the Phillies have that honor now.
Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox made some ‘BIG’ moves this offseason but I’m not really sure those moves made them that much better. Signing big names is great but they have to perform to make them valuable. The Red Sox may come out and just tear up the AL East, but I’m not seeing it. Honestly I think the entire AL East, except for the Blue Jays, either stood still or stepped back. Don’t worry Red Sox fans it could be worse, you could be Phillies fans.
They Got Better Right? Award
Los Angeles Dodgers – Now don’t get me wrong I really like the moves the Dodgers made this offseason, and I think they will be a better team. However, I’m just not sure if they got better. I think they did, I think they will be a World Series contender but I’m just not sure. At least they helped Jimmy Rollins come back to California.
Seattle Mariners – This one was an obvious choice for me. The Mariners put out a winning team last year and they follow that up by signing a solid hitter, bringing in a solid platoon in right field and maybe most importantly they kept their future inside the organization instead of trading it away for a big name like Ryan Howard (okay so not a big name anymore but I had to make a Phillies joke some how). Yes, there are still gaps in the lineup but as a fan there was nothing that they did that made me think they stepped backwards. Instead I have hope for a playoff push this year and maybe for years to come.
Wait the Offseason Started? Award
Milwaukee Brewers – You remember that big free agent signing the Brewers had? Or the trade that is going to put them over the top? Yeah neither do I. Did the Brewers even go to the Winter Meetings because they are the only team I haven’t heard anything from all offseason. Even the Phillies made moves this offseason.
Miami Marlins – Stanton signs the biggest contract in history and most everyone sees it as a contract that will never go the distance. Yes, the Marlins made some moves that weren’t bad but it all feels like a show to their fans to try and get them back. Maybe it’s because history has shown us that the Marlins are very good at dumping an entire roster in an offseason, unlike the Phillies who can’t let go of anyone. I am just not sure about this franchise.
Hiding Behind ‘Building for the Future’ Award
Atlanta Braves – Yes they had some bad contracts, Upton x2, on their payroll but you have to try and get better every year. When you only build for the future you can sit in exile for years. I know that the Braves are building for 2017 but what happens if their prospects don’t pan out. They’re going to be building for 2021 like the Phillies.
So You Made The World Series, Now What? Award
Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants – They made the World Series, that was great. However, their offseason moves didn’t seem to drive a lot of hope that they will be getting back. In Major League Baseball if you aren’t constantly trying to improve your team you will fade away, just ask the Phillies.
The Big Winner Award
The City of Chicago – Both the White Sox and the Cubs made improvements this offseason and didn’t mortgage their future to do so. The White Sox brought in some solid talent to help climb their way out of the AL Central cellar and the Cubs made moves that improved 2015 while still preparing for their young guns to come up over the next two years.