Baseball’s offseason was star-studded. Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Carlos Pena, Cliff Lee, Manny Ramirez, Zack Greinke and more were up for grabs, and all of them changed teams either in free agency or trades.
These are the four teams I think made out the best...
Boston Red Sox
In 2009, Theo Epstein lost Mark Teixeira to New York. Since then, everybody’s been wondering what he’d do to one-up the Yankees. Now, we know. Say hello to Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Jenks. Losing Teixeira is probably the reason they ended up with the offseason they had. Even though they lost catcher Victor Martinez, they got a little bit of everything—a new infielder, a new outfielder, a new reliever. That is why I nominate them for the awards: BEST OFFSEASON and BEST STEAL FROM A DIVISION RIVAL.
Make that three headed monster’s dungeon a little larger. The sequel to last season’s awesome episodes is adding a new/old member. Welcome back, Cliff Lee. That definitely makes up for the loss of outfielder Jayson Werth. This is the only time you’ll see Roy Oswalt as a team’s number four pitcher, and the Phils have a rotation that reminds me of a four-headed hydra. All you Percy Jackson fans will know that—hero or no hero—no opponent will want to hit against this beast. They kept almost all of the goodies from last year, losing only Werth. The only thing that could keep the Phillies from glory is Chase Utley’s injury, which is why I nominate them for BEST OFFSEASON and MOST LIKELY TO RETURN TO THE POSTSEASON.
Tampa Bay Rays
Losing building blocks can hurt. Luckily, Tampa picked up some slightly used foundation material. True, they lost Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena to the Red Sox and Cubs, respectively, but picking up two veterans definitely helped. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez could keep the building standing until they find some blocks that won’t wash away. This building needs a little more work, but for now this definitely works, which is why I nominate them for MOST LIKELY TO RETURN TO THE POSTSEASON and BEST COMEBACK AFTER MAJOR LOSSES.
FINALLY! My hometown team is giving fans more and more hope. First thing’s first: They picked up, in a surprise (and expensive) move, Jayson Werth from the Phillies. It really boosted their morale. The way things are going, maybe he’ll be joined by Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg by the end of this season. The only problem? Losing Adam Dunn. Ouch. Losing Dunn’s home run bat is like losing 40 runs. But players like Ian Desmond will step up. This is why I nominate the Nats for BEST STEAL FROM A DIVISION RIVAL and BEST COMEBACK AFTER MAJOR LOSSES.
Now, the award winners…
BEST STEAL FROM A DIVISION RIVAL: Washington Nationals!
BEST COMEBACK AFTER MAJOR LOSSES: Tampa Bay Rays!
MOST LIKELY TO RETURN TO THE POSTSEASON: Philadelphia Phillies!
And the moment you've been waiting for...
BEST OFFSEASON: The Boston Red Sox! (Now if only the Sox would win the regular season!)