No, I'm not a fan of any of the teams involved in those deals. It was hope that this offseason wouldn't be as much a damn slog as last offseason. That was miserable. Surely those moves meant last offseason was an aberration and we'd get back to most business being done by the conclusion of the winter meetings and a very few lingering pieces still needing to be moved or signed.
The lesson, as always, is I'm an idiot.
The winter meetings, in terms of baseball transactions, were a colossal bore, with speculation far overtaking any actual, substantive baseball moves. The dust has settled and we still haven't seen J.T. Realmuto or Yasiel Puig traded. The Indians still haven't dealt one of their big-name starting pitchers.
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado haven't signed. They aren't alone. The following free agents are still available: A.J. Pollock, Dallas Keuchel, Yasmani Grandal, Craig Kimbrel, Nelson Cruz, Michael Brantley, Jed Lowrie, Adam Ottavino, Mike Moustakas, Marwin Gonzalez, Andrew Miller, David Robertson, D.J. LeMahieu, Gio Gonzalez, Kelvin Herrera and ... well ... we can just stop now.
There are far too many needle-movers still sitting there. The offseason is broken.
As such, these power rankings will obviously be different come mid-February's famed -- at least among alliteration fans -- "pre preseason power rankings."
For now, we're judging every team but one as it stands. I'm excluding the Red Sox because they just came off one of the best seasons in MLB history and surely they'll find a way to shore up the losses of Joe Kelly and Kimbrel in the bullpen. Sorry, but I'm not sorry for not moving them down. So here are our post-winter meetings rankings, with the reigning champs still on top:
|If they don't add anything to the bullpen, they probably don't stay here to start next season.||--||92-70|
|I'm assuming the J.A. Happ deal gets done here and it's been a productive offseason. I think it'll be a lot more than that when they ink Manny Machado.||1||92-70|
|I still feel like they're gonna do a decent amount more with their position players. I do like the idea of Joe Kelly being a multiple inning bridge a few times a week to Kenley Jansen.||1||106-56|
|Are they worried about the rotation past 2019? Both Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Collin McHugh will be free agents. Lance McCullers will likely be back from Tommy John surgery, but there would be four remaining spots for Josh James, Framber Valdez and prospects like Forrest Whitley and J.B. Bukauskas. Even the current group seems to be leaving a lot to chance.||2||95-67|
|Cubs fans are probably going to be really annoyed if the team doesn't do much this offseason, but there are many areas where the 95-win team is bound to see positive regression, such as Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Yu Darvish -- in fact, all three should be better in a major way in 2019.||--||71-91|
|It's frustrating to see them penny-pinching with their window of contention still open and no legitimate contenders just yet in the AL Central. They'll be moving down once they trade either Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer.||2||80-82|
|I LOVE the Josh Donaldson deal. This lineup could be scary.||1||88-73|
|If they can get there, a healthy Max Scherzer-Stephen Strasburg-Patrick Corbin trio atop a playoff rotation is pretty intimidating. Maybe they'll even get out of the first round?!||1||65-97|
|I can't tell you how much I love the Paul Goldschmidt trade. That was a grand slam by the Cardinals front office. I also like a Marcell Ozuna bounce-back season.||3||90-72|
|Even with Charlie Morton, the Rays still only have roughly $51.5 million in payroll for next season. Keep spending.||--||100-62|
|So far, so good, but I don't think the job is complete yet.||10||77-85|
|No Sean Manaea next season really hurts, but they patched together their rotation all season in 2018.||1||86-76|
|I like getting Rhys Hoskins to first base, I like Jean Segura and I like Andrew McCutchen. They've gotta do more, though, right?||4||82-80|
|Uh oh. No, I'm not sold on a repeat.||3||95-67|
|Is 2019 Nolan Arenado's swan song in Denver?||1||74-87|
|They simply don't have what they need within the organization for a 2019 pitching staff. Not yet at least.||1||77-85|
|Byron Buxton had 5.2 WAR in 2017 but struggled last season. He's bouncing back. Big 2019 coming.||1||73-89|
|I appreciate trying instead of tearing it all down, but this just doesn't look like a contender to me.||4||61-101|
|Predicting the Padres to finish second in the NL West wouldn't be terrible.||1||79-83|
|They are working really hard to force a turnaround here. I like it.||1||83-79|
|I love the Farhan Zaidi hire, but I also feel like it's going to be a long time until they make the playoffs again. Then again, they've got three rings!||3||107-55|
|They were tied for first place on Sept. 1, went 8-18 the rest of the way and have now traded the face of their franchise. Rough few months.||1||52-110|
|Oh man, the hot takes are coming when Vlad Guerrero Jr. has to start the season in Triple-A. They will be much deserved, too.||6||91-71|
|They've made some moves, but I could still see their fans posting GIFs of the Judge Smails "well ... we're waiting!"||4||93-69|
|Prediction: Jurickson Profar gets traded in the coming weeks.||1||60-102|
|I'm frustrated for you, Mariners fans, but it had to happen. It'll be a long rebuild, though, with that drought getting pretty big.||1||90-72|
|You are going to enjoy Billy Hamilton on defense and on the bases, Royals fans. I'll just be nice and not talk about his offense.||--||74-88|
|You figure they'll strike while the iron is hot and trade Nick Castellanos, right?||--||77-85|
|I like the new logo and uniforms!||--||67-95|
|I think Mike Elias will be a good hire, but this is a complete and utter mess.||--||52-110|