Monday, February 16, 2015

MLB Offseason Losers

The Giants will not be repeating in 2015 (Live4SportNetwork)
Earlier today I weighed in on the teams that I felt improved the most this winter. Now it's time to look at the ones that really dropped the ball.

Atlanta Braves
The Braves slumped from 96 wins in 2013 to 79 wins last year, then promptly blew up their team. Gone are three of their top position players--Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Evan Gattis--as well as Ervin Santana. Good thing they shelled out $44 million for Nick Markakis, though.

Kansas City Royals
The Royals celebrated their first postseason trip since 1985 by blowing three years and $33 million on Alex Rios and Edinson Volquez--a fourth outfielder and poor starting pitcher. A small market team like Kansas City can't afford to burn money like that, especially considering they weren't even really that good last year (pythag W-L was 84-78). They also lost James Shields, easily their best starting pitcher. Expect the Royals to finish closer to 80 wins than 90 this year.

New York Mets
The Mets were almost a .500 team last year without Matt Harvey, and with a few key upgrades could have established themselves as the clear no. 2 team in the NL East behind the Nationals (who are absolutely stacked, by the way). Instead, all they did was sign Michael Cuddyer, which is probably going to work out about as well as those Jason Bay and Curtis Granderson signings did. The Mets may play in a big market, but they certainly don't act like it.

Philadelphia Phillies
The Phils traded Jimmy Rollins, which was a start, but have failed to trade either Ryan Howard or Cole Hamels. Howard's a tough sell, but Hamels would net Philadelphia a bevy of prospects. So would Cliff Lee. The Phillies still have too much veteran talent for a team in desperate need of a rebuild/youth movement/whatever you want to call it when a team needs to make itself worse in order to get better.

San Francisco Giants
The Giants didn't do much besides re-signing Jake Peavy and Sergio Romo. Being inactive would typically be forgivable considering they just won it all (again), but there's a big difference between a 98-win powerhouse and an 88-win wild card team, which is what the Giants were last year. With Los Angeles and San Diego both getting better, San Francisco really couldn't afford to stand pat, especially after overtaxing their best pitcher (the one and only Madison Bumgarner) during their championship run and losing one of their best hitters in Pablo Sandoval afterwards. They also missed out on James Shields, Jon Lester, and everyone else they were in on this winter. I'd bet a lot of money that they miss the playoffs next year.

Dishonorable Mentions: Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers

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