The month of February has arrived, and that means Spring Training is just around the corner. Now that the winter and the MLB offseason is winding down, we can take a good, hard look at the winners and losers from the past three months of hot stove action. So, let’s take a look at the teams that we think made out the best this winter.
Related: Which managers could be on the hot seat entering the 2023 MLB season?
The Twins may have lost a AL batting champion and an on-base machine in Luis Arraez, but it was sill a rather successful offseason in Minnesota. That’s because Minnesota did make a couple of key additions that should fill some gaping holes on the Twins roster. Minnesota traded Arraez in the winter to Miami, in order to add RHP Pablo López to its rotation. The 26-year-old was a steady presence in the Marlins rotation, but will now be a key piece of a Twins pitching staff that’s set to include him, Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, and Kenta Maeda.
As far as the lineup is concerned, Minnesota has received poor production from the catcher position over the past three seasons. The Twins will look to change that with two-time World Series champion Christian Vázquez. The most notable move, though, was the re-signing of Carlos Correa. Correa has been one of the game’s elite shortstops since his debut in 2015, and will keep his talents in the AL Central after nearly signing with the Giants and Mets this offseason.
The Toronto Blue Jays came into the winter an impressive lineup, albeit a right-handed heavy one. Toronto changed that over the past few weeks, as the Jays inked left-handed hitters Kevin Kiermaier and Brandon Belt, and traded for outfielder Daulton Varsho in a deal with the Diamondbacks. Varsho is coming off a 2022 campaign in which the 26-year-old set a career high in homers, while Belt has proven to be a disciplined, yet powerful force at the plate. Kiermaier, meanwhile, has been among the game’s premier defensive center fielders throughout his career.
Toronto also added to a rotation that already features Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman, with RHP Chris Bassitt. The ex-Met won 15 games and struck out 167 over 181.2 innings in Queens.
Philadelphia came just shy of winning the World Series in 2022, but the Phillies will look to finish the job in 2023. To add to a stacked lineup that includes Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Rhys Hoskins, the Phillies signed shortstop Trea Turner to a massive 10-year deal.
The Phillies also beefed up its bullpen, as the Phillies acquired relievers Matt Strahm, Gregory Soto, and Craig Kimbrel this winter. Not to mention, former All-Star RHP Taijuan Walker will join a rotation that already features two of the game’s best in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler.
The Yankees faced a daunting task at the beginning of the offseason, as New York needed to retain its two best hitters in Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge. Both did sign new contracts to stay in The Bronx, and the two are set to be joined by one of the game’s best starts. LHP Carlos Rodón, who finished in the top ten of the league last season thanks to a powerful fastball/slider combo, will join a rotation that includes Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes Jr.. and Luis Severino.
New York may still have questions at third and left field, but the Yanks do boast arguably the league’s best rotation and a potent lineup led by Judge and Rizzo.
If there’s one team that improved the most this winter, it’s the Texas Rangers. Texas already owned an impressive collection of hitters, led by Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Nathaniel Lowe, and Adolis Garcia. Now, the Rangers boast a dangerous rotation. Texas added two-time NL Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom to the Rangers rotation, giving the team a true ace.
deGrom wasn’t the only starter added to the Rangers this offseason. In addition to retaining LHP Martín Pérez, Texas inked Andrew Heaney and Nathan Eovaldi to the rotation. With a solid rotation and a strong middle-of-the-lineup, Texas could break through in the American League next season.