There are still a smattering of players on the open market, but on the whole, most of the major moves have been made — now that Carlos Correa has finally, officially, signed. Every team has at least added something.
So as we start making inroads into this new year, and with Spring training only (gasp!) a month away, let’s take a look at each team’s most intriguing offseason acquisition.
Blue Jays: OF Daulton Varsho
Acquired in a fun little challenge trade sneaked in right before the new year, Varsho gives the Blue Jays a desperately needed left-handed batter, as well as some defensive support in the outfield. But what last year was the new standard for him, or the outlier?
Orioles: RHP Kyle Gibson
Sure, Orioles fans wanted more, and it’s difficult to disagree with them. But there’s no question this team needed some starting-pitching stability, and Gibson should absolutely give them that. You can let the young kids have their growing pains if Gibson can pile up the innings and provide some veteran leadership. But will he?
Rays: RHP Zach Eflin
The Rays, as usual, didn’t add a bunch this offseason, but Eflin is a fun, curious little addition. He seemed to find a new gear as a reliever as last season came to a close (and the Phillies made their postseason run), but he’s slated as a starter for the Rays. Of course, no team blurs those lines between “starter” and “reliever” like the Rays do.
Red Sox: LF Masataka Yoshida
It isn’t fair to Yoshida to expect him to replace the production of the departed Xander Bogaerts. But amidst questions about whether his game will translate from Nippon Professional Baseball to the Majors, every Boston fan will be looking for Yoshida to be a star from the get-go.
Yankees: LHP Carlos Rodon
Ordinarily, you’d be a little concerned about making this sort of commitment (six years, $162 million) to a guy with the injury history of Rodón. But the Yankees desperately needed another starter, and for what it’s worth, if Rodón is what he was last year, the Yankees’ rotation may have one of the best one-two punches in MLB.
Guardians: 1B/DH Josh Bell
This is exactly the sort of acquisition we’ve been wanting the Guardians to make, getting a guy who can hit the darned ball with some authority. (Though it’d have been nice if he were an outfielder.) The real question is which version of Bell the Guardians are getting. If they get the guy who was a star for the Nationals last season — and not the guy who struggled mightily after a trade to the Padres — this lineup will reach another level.
Royals: LHP Ryan Yarbrough
Jordan Lyles is the biggest name, such as it is, but Yarbrough is an intriguing talent who looked like he was ticketed for more with Tampa Bay. Can he put it together in Kansas City?
Tigers: RHP Michael Lorenz
Matthew Boyd’s return is the bigger story, but frankly, after how the Tigers hit last year, Lorenzen could help their rotation other their lineup due to his experience playing both ways.
Twins: SS Carlos Correa
It certainly took a whole wild set of circumstances to get to this point — Correa has now agreed to four different contracts with three different teams over the past 14 months — but the Twins now have their lineup centerpiece. And this time, they know he is staying longer than one year.
White Sox: RHP Mike Clevinger
He still hasn’t recovered from all those injuries, but the White Sox, having faced him with Cleveland, remember as well as anyone what he looked like before they happened.
Angels: INF Brandon Drury
Drury was sneakily one of the best stories in baseball for a while last year, and he’s arguably at the peak of his career. As always, the pitching is the issue, but keep everybody healthy, and this lineup could be scary.
Astros: 1B Jose Abreu
You wouldn’t think the two-time World Series champions would need a lot of veteran leadership, but they sure got it in the beloved Abreu. Now, let’s just make sure he keeps hitting like he has been.
Athletics: CF Esteury Ruiz
One dimensional speedster? Or potential phenomenon who could explode into something larger? The A’s will provide the perfect situation to discover the answer.
Mariners: 2B Kolten Wong
Teoscar Hernández is obviously the bigger name, but the veteran Wong could help both stabilize the infield defense and quietly provide a combination of OBP and pop.
Rangers: RHP Nathan Eovaldi
Jacob deGrom is the star, but the success of the Rangers may come down to whether or not Eovaldi can provide the innings it sure looks like this rotation is going to need.
Braves: C Sean Murphy
He seems like such a perfect fit for the Braves that it’s almost remarkable he didn’t play for them already. But how many All-Stars can this team fit at this point?
Marlins: INF Jean Segura
A solid player, no question, and he’s someone who can elevate this lineup. But is there more of a ceiling here, at this point, than “veteran professional?” Because this Marlins offense still needs more than that.
Mets: RHP Kodai Senga
It might have been Correa that happened, but … you know. All told, though, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the one member of the Mets’ rotation who will be younger than 34 on Opening Day.
Nationals: 1B/DH DominicSmith
His 2022 season was nightmarish, but he’s still only 27. This is exactly the sort of buy-low-on-a-sorta-young-player move that the Nationals need to be trying out right now.
Phillies: RHP Craig Kimbrell
Trea Turner is the headliner, and he should be, but it will be fascinating to see which version of Kimbrel the Phillies are going to get.
Brewers: C William Contreras
We’re still not exactly sure how the Brewers stuck their nose in the Murphy sweepstakes and came away with an All-Star catcher, but it might have been exactly what they needed.
Cardinals: C Willson Contreras
The Cardinals haven’t really made any other acquisitions, so it’s obviously William’s brother here. But this sibling rivalry is going to be quite a blast in this division for the next few years.
Cubs: CF Cody Bellinger
At this point, we have a pretty good idea of what Dansby Swanson’s going to be. But the error bars on Bellinger are as vast as they are for any player in baseball in 2023.
Pirates: OF Andrew McCutchen
All right, according to Cutch returning to the Pirates isn’t quite at a Pujols-back-to-St. Louis level of emotional homecoming. But it’s pretty close! And in the context of the Pirates — for whom McCutchen is one of the best five players in the past 50 years of the franchise — it feels perfect. He’s still got plenty to offer, too. Even in a “down” year for him, his 17 homers in 2022 would have been second on the Pirates. It’s going to be so great to see him in that uniform again.
Reds: RF Wil Myers
Can you believe Wil Myers is only 32? How is that possible? He seems to have a mid-level star every four years or so. Maybe this is one of those.
D backs: 3B Evan Longoria
The D-backs have the feel of a team that’s on the come-up, one that could very much benefit from a grizzled veteran like Longoria.
Dodgers: OF Jason Heyward
JD Martinez is a straightforward move, but we have to say, an organization like the Dodgers seeing something in Heyward definitely gets you stroking your chin a little bit.
Giants: LF Michael Conforto
OK, so fine, he’s not Correa. But he was better than Correa a few years ago, and he’s the sort of high-upside play that makes a lot of sense for the Giants.
Padres: DH Matt Carpenter
Expecting him to do what he did for the Yankees is unrealistic, unless right field at Petco just moved forward about 50 feet. But he was an MVP candidate not long ago, and if he’s right, he makes this lineup downright terrifying.
Rockies: RHP Pierce Johnson
The Rockies have only made two additions so far this offseason, despite losing 94 games in 2022. Johnson missed much of 2022, but he was quite good out of the Padres’ bullpen in 2020-21, as well as the last postseason. So that’s something.