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2012 MLB Offseason Winners and Losers

Ben Cherington (Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated)

With Spring Training days away, it’s time to look back on the offseason. Who won? Who lost? Keep reading to find out.  (Note: If the 2011 Red Sox taught us anything it’s that winning the offseason translates into nothing but not so bold predictions and speculations.)

Winner: New York Yankees

They knew they had a stacked lineup and a not so stacked pitching rotation. So what do they do? Sign the steady Hiroki Kuroda and trade for the promising Michael Pineda. Not bad for fourth and fifth starters. If there’s one team not concerned with the luxury tax it’s the Yankees. It typically pays off for them…literally.

Loser: Manny Ramirez

Is there anything more embarrassing than announcing a comeback only to receive lukewarm interest? Probably.  Is there anything worst than possibly playing for the Oakland A’s? No.

Winner: Miami Marlins

Sexy new ballpark, sexy new manager, and debatable uniforms. Unfortunately, their actual offseason acquisitions don’t exactly deserve the hype (Heath Bell is good and Mark Buehrle is okay). They also spent huge bucks on an injury prone player they didn’t need (Jose Reyes). What if they used that money on Albert Pujols instead? People claim Miami will finally be interested in baseball again, but let’s see what happens when the Marlins start 5-12 and Reyes busts an ankle. It’s not like the Marlins are spending for the first time in team history. I’m putting the over/under for a fire sale at 2015.

Loser: Ben Cherington

General Mangers need to be bold. They need to take risks. Ben Cherington did neither. Sure he got a respectable closer and set-up man for relatively little, but the Red Sox still don’t have 2/5 of a starting rotation. Who knows how much of a role ownership is playing, but who wants to be a puppet? Benny C. can’t hide in Theo Epstein’s shadow forever.

Winner: Albert Pujols

I think we can all agree that Mr. Pujols doesn’t need to be cutting coupons for the next couple of years.

Loser: Roy Oswalt

A world in which Mark Buehrle is considered a better pitcher than Roy Oswalt is a world I don’t want to live in. Durability must really pay off. The unsigned Oswalt apparently would prefer pitching in the cream puff NL Central than for Boston in the brutal AL East. You can’t really blame him if he’s looking to cash in next year. Then again, after next year, how many years does he realistically have left?

Winner: The Angels (Of Anaheim? Of Los Angeles? I still don’t know what they’re called)

The Angels spent big money, and look poised to contend. Not win, but contend. Five years down the road, the big signings might not look so hot. Anyone else get Lackey vibes from CJ Wilson?

Winner: Jorge Posada

He resisted signing with another team and ruining a good story line. How many more MLB players are going to play with the same team for their whole career? Besides Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Chipper Jones, is anyone else a lock?

Loser: Jason Varitek

You know things have gone downhill, when the team you’ve played for your entire career opts to choose Kelly Shoppach as its backup.

Winner: John Lackey

While Beckett and Lester got hit with a firestorm of hate, Lackey seems to have been relatively unscathed. Tommy John surgery could be the best thing that ever happened to him…in fact, maybe he’ll get it every year!

Loser: The weight scale in the Detroit Tigers Clubhouse

Signing Prince Fielder to play first base sounds awesome. Moving the portly Miguel Cabrera to play third base sounds not as awesome.
Courtesy of the AP

Winner: Philadelphia Phillies

General Manager, Ruben Amaro, knows how to get things done. The Phillies needed a closer, so what does he do? Sign the best closer available. Now there’s a general manager.

Loser: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs hype Theo “boy wonder” Epstein as the savior of Chicago, so what does he do? Not much. Does Anthony Rizzo get anyone excited? That’s what I thought. Hopefully Emperor Selig slams the Cubs in this compensation debacle. I could settle for Matt Garza, Starlin Castro, and…wait a minute…everyone else on the Cubs is garbage.

Winner: Ricky Henderson

The government finally decided to make a national holiday in his honor. What do you mean they didn’t? This needs to happen immediately.

Loser: Josh Beckett(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Beckett could donate his entire salary to an orphanage and people would still complain about him. It’s not fair and it makes little sense.

Bonus Winner: The State of New York

It’s not baseball related, but I need to mention it. The Yankees look awesome, the Rangers are great, the Giants just won a Super Bowl, and Linsanity has no end in sight. As one city ends its Golden Age, is New York’s just beginning? That’s more depressing than Vincente Padilla starting a game for the Red Sox this season.

About Josh Segal

Josh Segal is a professional shock artist and trash talker. He also occasionally writes opinion pieces about the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and their respective leagues at large. Segal is currently a junior at Kenyon College where he plans to double major in drama and political science. Apparently he also writes his own biographies in the third person.

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