With the offseason winding down, now is the perfect time to look at the teams that really took a hit this winter. Here is a look at the biggest MLB offseason losers.
Toronto Blue Jays
After making a splash in back-to-back seasons, the Blue Jays appear primed to take a step back after losing two of their best power hitters in Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Toronto was outbid for Encarnacion by the same team that beat them in last year’s ALCS in the Cleveland Indians while Bautista remains a free agent, but apparently will not be back with the Blue Jays. Toronto did sign Kendrys Morales in an attempt to cut their losses with Encarnacion but they still have holes in their outfield while Bautista and Michael Saunders remain free agents. This looks like the Jays front office is looking to save money on the payroll rather than they are trying to make the best business decision for the baseball team. It is a tough sell to suggest that the Jays batting lineup will be better without Encarnacion, Saunders and Bautista – even if he struggled last season.
The Tigers made it clear that they could be sellers heading in to the offseason with GM Al Avila coming out and telling his star players like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and Ian Kinsler that they could be on the move. However, Detroit hasn’t made a single significant move and there has been no word about any potential trades that could happen. The Tigers desperately need an infusion of young talent to bolster their farm system and they have some obvious trade candidates in Kinsler and J.D. Martinez in particular, who are both set to become free agents after the 2017 season. The feeling is that it’s only a matter of time before Detroit finally pulls the trigger on a move but right now they have done nothing to improve either in the short term or in the long term and that is why they are on this list.
Kansas City Royals
Kansas City appears to be another team stuck between making a run and trying to rebuild. The Royals traded closer Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Jorge Soler and then moved Jarrod Dyson to the Seattle Mariners for right-hander Nathan Karns but neither move stands out as being overly significant in the big picture. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain are all set to hit the free agent market after the 2017 season and GM Dayton Moore is working on an extremely tight budget that has limited his movements. Kansas City hasn’t made any moves to get significantly better in the long or short term either and like the Tigers they deserve a spot on this list of the biggest offeason losers.
New York Mets
The Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110 million deal but they have done nothing to address more important areas of concern like their rotation and their bullpen. Cespedes is a decent re-signing but they now have five players that can play center field in Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares. There is no doubt they will try to spread those players around but considering the low demand for a player like Bruce this offseason there are question marks surrounding whether they really needed to exercise his $13 million option when they could have potentially signed him for less. The Mets have some considerable talent throughout their roster but they aren’t better than they were at the end of last season despite investing some significant dollars to bring back two players that appear to be overpaid.