Fried food, the crack of a bat, and home runs are back. Spring Training kicks off with a full slate Saturday, Feb. 22, in the Valley.
New and old faces will return and we’re looking forward to all of them.
2019 record – 85-77
A few games short of a wild card spot in the 2019 season, the D-backs are looking to return to the playoffs. General Manager Mike Hazen made sure the team would have the players to get there. In October, Hazen signed Stephen Vogt to a one-year, $3 million contract with a vesting option for 2021. In 2019, Vogt was consistent for the San Francisco Giants.
At the start of the off-season it wasn’t in the D-backs’ plan to find a replacement for Zack Greinke, but not too long after, priorities shifted, and Madison Bumgarner found his place on the Diamondbacks’ roster. The 11-year veteran enters Chase Field as the ace and comes to the team for $85 million.
The D-backs looked to improve the corner outfield spots when they signed Arizona native Kole Calhoun and traded for Starling Marte. Calhoun will add a little bit of lefty power in the outfield and will give the D-backs more flexibility in its lineups.
2019 record – 84-78
The Cubs avoided arbitration for the eight year in a row this offseason. By extending one-year contracts to players like Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, the Cubs are sitting pretty for next offseason. The Cubs were able to hold onto three-time all-star Anthony Rizzo with a $16.5 million deal.
But the Cubs still took some hits this offseason. They lost ace Cole Hamels, power bat Ben Zobrist and a reliable bullpen arm in Steve Cishek.
The team picked up CD Pelham off waivers and traded for Travis Lakins, Casey Sadler and Jharel Cotton.
Chicago White Sox
2019 record – 72-89
Rick Hahn, the Chicago White Sox’s general manager, is rebuilding his team. On Halloween, he traded Welington Castillo to the Rangers to free up space on the roster – and money.
Without a catcher, Hahn went straight for the top. He brought in all-star Yasmani Grandal, who inked for $18.25 million. As a backup, Hahn went for Brian McCann, whose role will be to provide leadership to younger players and play behind the plate when needed.
On the mound, Hahn signed Dallas Keuchel for $18 million and Steve Cishek for $6 million.
Hahn added the power bat of Edwin Encarnacion on a one-year deal for $12 million and extended a deal with Jose Abreu for $17.8 million. The final move this offseason was signing the No. 3 prospect in baseball, Luis Robert, for six years with a $50 million contract.
2019 record – 75-87
The Reds stepped up their game, landing plays who could make a playoff push in 2020.
The Reds started the offseason by the signing strong bats. Mike Moustakas signed a $64 million contract, a record for the Reds. Where Moustakas is going to play is still a bit of a question, but for that sum, it is sure that he will be a starter.
They also signed the nine-year outfield veteran from Japan, Shogo Akiyama. Over his career, Akiyama has acquired 1,405 hits, 116 homeruns and a .301 batting average.
In addition, the Reds finished out their rotation by adding former D-backs pitcher Wade Miley. He agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract, and is getting the call for the final spot in the Reds rotation.
In the offseason the Reds traded for Jose De Leon, Justin Shafer and Travis Jankowski, and picked up Nick Martini and Freddy Galvis off waivers.
2019 record – 93-69
The Indians are trying a new formula to return to the World Series. After losing Jason Kipnis and Corey Kluber to injuries at the end of last season, the Tribe did away with them. Kluber was shipped off to Dallas, and Cleveland welcomed relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase and the speedy outfielder Delino DeShields.
Replacing Kipnis is former Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez. Entering his eight season of professional baseball, he landed a $6.25 million deal.
The Tribe acquired catcher Sandy Leon through a trade with the Boston Red Sox for Adenys Bautista.
2019 record – 71-91
The Rockies will be looking to close the gap in NL West. The team was quiet this off-season, but MLB veteran Yonder Alonso left the team. The Rockies also picked up a couple of minor league arms.
The biggest signing the Rockies made was extending a deal with the righty reliever Scott Oberg. The deal will see Oberg on the Rockies for three more years for $13 million and it avoids arbitration.
The Rockies may have made a risky move in signing ex-Rays player Jose Mujica, who sat out last season due to Tommy John surgery.
Kansas City Royals
2019 record – 59-103
After back-to-back 100-plus losing seasons, things aren’t looking too good for the Kansas City Royals. Rather than trying to rebuild the team, the Royals are taking it one step at a time.
In early December, the Royals resigned right-hander Jesse Hahn for $600,000. They also inked lefty specialist Mike Montgomery for $3.1 million to maintain the bullpen.
The Royals added Maikel Franco, formerly of the Phillies, to the roster for $2.95 million for two years to improve the infield.
Los Angeles Angels
2019 record – 72-90
After losing 90 games for the first time in 20 years last season, the Angels needed a new approach. However, they went in the opposite direction.
In December, they splashed the cash once again and signed Anthony Rendon to seven years for $245 million. General Manager Billy Eppler and Coach Joe Maddon say Rendon is an important addition to the lineup. He’ll add power that was frankly missing in the hot corner last season.
To fill a void in the rotation, the Angels signed two-time all-star Julio Teheran and traded for Dylan Bundy, the latter of which cost the Halos four minor league pitchers. They also dealt for Parker Markel of the Pirates and Matt Andriese of the D-backs.
With new pitchers, the Angels found a permanent catcher in Jason Castro, who signed a one-year, $6.85 million deal. Castro was at a career high last season with 13 home runs and 30 RBIs last season.
Los Angeles Dodgers
2019 record – 106-56
About 40 minutes north, the Dodgers tore through the 2019 season, but, in the end, they still couldn’t find a World Series ring. The Dodgers kept the core of the team in the offseason.
After a rough season last year, the Dodgers still had faith in Blake Treinen, whom they signed to a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason. In addition to Treinen, they signed Jimmy Nelson to strengthen their bullpen for $1.25 million. In good news, Kenley Jansen decided not to opt-out of his contract, which leaves him as yet another man for the Dodgers bullpen.
2019 record – 89-73
After making it to the 2019 wild card game, the Brewers are looking to return. The team added many players to help them reach the playoffs, but they lost players, too – namely Yasmani Grandal and power hitting infielder Mike Moustakas.
To replace Moustakas, the Brewers signed MLB veteran Jedd Gyorko, who can play nearly any position in the infield except for shortstop. Eric Sogard and Justin Smoak signed one-year deals with options for a second season. To give Ryan Braun more time at first base, the Brewers added Avisail Garcia for two years.
They improved their bullpen as they signed Brett Anderson and Josh Lindblom, the latter of whom played in South Korea for the last five seasons. He earned the equivalent of that country’s Cy Young and the MVP in 2019.
2019 record – 97-65
After a great showing in 2019, the Athletics strengthened their core to return to the playoffs. The A’s had one goal in the offseason—acquire lefties. It didn’t matter whether they were a lefty hitter or a lefty pitcher, the team leans right-handed.
They acquired Tony Kemp for Alfonso Rivas. They also traded away Jurickson Profar for Austin Allen, a left-handed catcher. Former D-backs pitcher T. J. McFarland was grabbed from waivers, and Jake Diekman was signed to a two-year, $7.5 million contract.
San Diego Padres
2019 record – 70-92
All the way down the West Coast, the Padres remain in the middle of a rebuild. They stayed busy this offseason by trading for Tommy Pham and Jake Cronenworth. They also acquired infielder Jurickson Profar, outfielder Trent Grisham and pitcher Zach Davies.
Wanting to improve the bullpen, the team resigned Drew Pomeranz, to a four-year, $34 million contract. They also signed Pierce Johnson, who played in Japan last season, to a two-year, $5 million deal.
San Francisco Giants
2019 record – 77-85
The Giants are looking to shake things up in the NL West. During the winter meetings, the Giants landed veteran infielder Zack Cozart from the Angels, and persuaded the Angels to give them their first-round draft pick of 2019, Will Wilson.
To improve their pitching staff, the Giants signed Drew Smyly to a one-year, $4 million deal, and the resigned Tyler Anderson. They also claimed former Angel, Luis Madero.
What fans won’t see are the behind-the-scenes changes. It started when Scott Harris signed on as the new general manager. From there, Gabe Kapler was hired as the new coach. Eight other coaches have been added to Kapler’s staff, including third-base coach Ron Wotus.
2019 record – 68-94
After a 90-plus-loss season, the Mariners focused on rebuilding their young core. The biggest offseason move they made was extending a contract with the No. 4 prospect in baseball, Evan White. He will star with the Mariners for six years, thanks to a contract worth $24 million.
They also added power-hitting third baseman Patrick Wisdom, the switch-hitting versatile second baseman Sam Haggerty, and pitchers Adam Hill, Phillips Valdez, Nestor Cortes and Carl Edwards.
Newbie Kendall Graveman is expected to start in the majors, where he hasn’t played since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018. He and the team reached a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
2019 record – 78-84
With a new stadium, the Rangers are going for a bit of a different look this season. The biggest addition to the team is the two-time Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star Corey Kluber, who arrived in a trade with Texas for Delino DeShields and Emmanuel Clase.
With the Kluber deal done, the team needed some pop to provide Kluber with run support, so they signed Todd Frazier from the Mets. The deal will cost the Rangers $5 million for one year of Frazier’s service.
The Rangers made other moves, also acquiring 12 players: Sam Travis, Robinson Chirinos, Adolis Garcia, Edinson Volquez, Ian Gibaut, Tim Federowicz, Joely Rodriguez, Jordan Lyles, Nomar Mazara, Jimmy Herget, Nick Goody and Kyle Gibson.