The Major League Baseball postseason is when champions are crowned, but it’s not when champions are made. The work of crafting the perfect baseball team happens, for the most part, in the offseason. And in this 2015-16 offseason, some teams are doing a better job of building championship squads than others.
We won’t know for sure who “won” the 2015-16 offseason until we see these new-look MLB squads take the field in 2016 (and beyond). But we do have a pretty good idea of which teams made out the best this winter. These are the 5 MLB teams that have had the best offseasons so far.
Most of the teams on this list will be competitive squads that just got better. But first we have to give a little credit to the Braves, who are tanking very hard right now – but also very effectively. The Braves made out like bandits in a trade that sent Shelby Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves are stockpiling talented youngsters, and they will someday be a very frightening team. When that happens, remember this offseason.
The Cubs have been building their young offensive core for years now. And this year, they’re finally going all in. The Cubs were already one of the best teams in MLB, and now they’re probably the single best squad out there. The Cubs snagged this year’s marquee free agent, OF Jason Heyward. They also inked super utility man Ben Zobrist. To their pitching squad, which already includes Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, they’ve added John Lackey. All of these moves could make the Cubs the team to beat next year.
Chicago White Sox
The Cubs aren’t the only Chicago team looking good this offseason. Their South Side cousins are also having themselves a great winter. The White Sox shocked the baseball world when they managed to get 3B Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds in a three-team trade that also involved the Los Angeles Dodgers. The AL Central is looking pretty interesting in 2016.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants have won the World Series in three straight even-numbered years, and they’re doing everything they can to make it four. After missing out on ace pitcher Zack Greinke, the Giants didn’t sit still. They brought in Jeff Samardzija and ace Johnny Cueto. Now they have two new pitchers, including an ace, to add to a staff that was a weakness last year. The Dodgers haven’t had the strongest offseason, so the Giants may be the new favorites in the NL West.
The Mariners aren’t quite as high-profile a team right now as some of the others on this list, but they’ve had a very active offseason that could lead to a significantly improved on-field product next season. We love the additions of C Chris Iannetta and 1B/DH Adam Lind. The Mariners aren’t looking to rebuild, but they are retooling, and this new-look roster may have what it takes to make all the dreams of the Robinson Cano-era Mariners come true.