Pitchers and catchers have officially reported to Spring Training this week to launch their preseason workouts, promptly ending a turbulent offseason that saw many teams jump at the opportunity to bolster their rosters.
As always, however, for every winner there were a glut of losers that fell asleep at the wheel and fumbled the chance to make necessary upgrades.
You know where this is going, folks. Without further ado, let's highlight the MLB's biggest winners and losers of the winter.
8. Loser: Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are running dangerously close to breaching their payroll ceiling. That has resulted in the team doing next to nothing this offseason, except for create a rift between the franchise and superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado, that is. Now, Colorado is said to be shopping Arenado, in an effort to recoup some of the capital they coughed up in his eight-year, $260 million extension last offseason. This, quite simply, is incompetence at its finest, ladies and gents.
7. Winner: Chicago White Sox
In terms of biggest surprises, the White Sox's multitude of deals sits towards the top of the list. Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, Steve Cishek, and Edwin Encarnacion, among others, will join forces with an already-fruitful core of Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, and Jose Abreu. Rick Hahn and Co. were not going to be denied in their pursuit of talent this winter, and they made the necessary additions to compete in 2020. As for their crosstown rivals...
6. Loser: Chicago Cubs
In every sense of the word, the Cubs have had an offseason to forget. To make it worse, Theo Epstein, after an offseason listening to the cries of fans, just this week revealed the reasoning behind the club's lack of financial flexibility: the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was set in 2017. Further, Chicago has also failed to extend stud shortstop Javy Baez and are reportedly actively shopping former MVP Kris Bryant. Things are the polar opposite of sunshine and rainbows in the Windy City.
5. Winner: Minnesota Twins
Minnesota's offseason was highlighted by the addition of coveted free agent slugger Josh Donaldson on a four-year, $92 million contract. The Twins lineup will be as formidable as ever in 2020, and that projection comes a season after they set the record for home runs mashed in a single campaign. The cherry on top of Minny's winter? They re-signed Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda while bolstering their pitching depth with the likes of Kenta Maeda (via trade) Jhoulys Chachin Rich Hill, and Homer Bailey.
4. Loser: Boston Red Sox
What's worse than the Red Sox trading away arguably their best home-grown product in team history? Trading him twice. What's worse than that? Utterly eviscerating team chemistry in process while failing to address the club's evident need for young pitching. On top of it all, they fired Alex Cora for his role in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. It's hard to do much worse than Boston this offseason.
3. Winner: New York Yankees
When you fill your most glaring need with one of the best players at his position, you're obviously going to be viewed as a winner. That's exactly what Gerrit Cole will bring to the Yankees. Fans in the Bronx will, however, need some time to adjust to life without Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, and Edwin Encarnacion -- and James Paxton's untimely injury undoubtedly hurts -- but landing Cole is more than enough to mask those headaches.
2. Loser: Houston Astros
On top of losing the respect of the league and fans, the Astros axed AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow in the fallout of MLB's investigation into their sign-stealing operation. The target on Houston's back will be as glaring as ever in 2020, and the ever-damning buzzer theory just won't seem to fade with the season a little over a month away. Oh, and Gerrit Cole was lost to free agency. The Astros are unquestionably the biggest losers of the offseason.
1. Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
The thought of the Dodgers pairing Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts in same outfield is mind-rattling, as the tandem are superstars on both offense and defense. The loss of Hyun-Jin Ryu will be felt, but David Price will certainly help mitigate his departure. The Dodgers fell one game shy of the Astros for the best record in baseball last year. After acquiring Betts, you have to think that they're the favorites to secure that feat in 2020.