Last year's offseason was hectic, with multiple trades daily as new owners bought and sold to re-image their teams.
This year's started slowly...there just wasn't the same urgency to remodel. As Iain, the GM of Indianapolis, said when asked about the team's offseason priority, "Dial down the mania of last offseason."
That all changed when Kansas City and Dover got together on their Eovaldi/Wilson for Carey/McHenry trade (with 4 more thrown in). That trade feels like the changing of an era...many dominant teams of recent years- Kansas City, Rochester, Vancouver - seem to be headed into rebuilding phases. Jacksonville couldn't be far behind. Only Las Vegas seems to be holding out.
There almost have to be some surprise playoff teams this year...this offseason set the stage.
Dover-KC was the biggie but the Jayhawks weren't done. They sent CF Miguel Frieri to New Orleans for a pair of prospects and P.T. Feliz to Santa Fe for a pitching hopeful (Feliz thanks KC management for sending him to a place where he can play his home games in a junior-high ballpark).
They're probably not done...still some attractive veterans on the roster. Or...is this an "instant rebuild"? With some nice young talent like 3B Miguel Ramirez and C Jackson Parris now in the Majors, and a staff headed by Carey, McHenry, and William Mather...who knows?
There have been other notable trades.
Huntington shipped DH Tommy Webster (who hit .379 last year, yes, you read right) to Jacksonville for a bucket of pine tar, then bought Vancouver's DH, Carlos Tatis, for 2 buckets (Vancouver is another team that could affect the balance of power by offering some veterans for trade...watch them at the deadline).
Always active on the trade front, New York was looking to pump up its offense and did, sending pitching prospect Al Montgomery (Sea 29's #9 pick) and a pair of minor-leaguers to Louisville for OF Alex Diaz, C Rickey Long, and IF Danry Nunez. The Sewer Gators also got closer Alex Almanzar from Las Vegas for 3B Ruben Mantalban.
As expected, Charleston snared the biggest name, their own FA Derrick Dawkins. The big question is, do they keep him or trade him?
And we have some new names this year in the "Most Active FA-Signers Department", at least in the big-name Type A and B market.
Charlotte topped all teams with 5 A and B FA's: SP Ramiro Lira, middle reliever Jim Hinchliffe, C Yovani Crespo, SP Ezdra Olivares, and OF Bruce Oliver.
Salt Lake City signaled its resurgence with 4 Type A and B signings: C Juan Peguero, RP Einar Mercedes, RP Del Guapo, and RP Alexei Gardel.
And Boise grabbbed 3 A/B's: OF Terry Sears, C Del Camacho, and 2B/CF Trace Federowicz
Couple of other pitcher signings of note: San Francisco inked Nolan Duffy for 5 years, $73.8MM, and Nashville got Jason Haywood for 5 years, $60.3MM. Haywood initially looks like the better signing, but initial impressions don't always pan out over 5-year contracts. Both were the key off-season moves for their teams - San Fran looking to build on last year's Wild Card berth and Nashville looking for a rebound on the AL South.
Boldest GM: gotta go with kdfan here, he went all-out for a WS win or 2 over the next 4 years.
Trades That Weren't: Charleston and New Orleans actively shopped stars Bucky Champion and Harry Johnson, didn't move them (yet). Real traders or price-checkers?