2009 NL East offseason grades

Since not much is going on now with player movement around the league I wanted to do my own grading of how I think the offseason has went for the five NL East teams so far this offseason.

We'll start with the Phillies who went 92-70 last season and won the World Series.  They didn't have a quiet offseason but didn't add that many players either.  They resigned Jamie Moyer for 2 years, signed Raul Ibanez to a 3 year contract, and signed Chan Ho Park for 1 year.  They also extended Cole Hamels for 3 years.  They also aquired catcher Ronny Paulino from Pittsburgh. 

They had only five free agents this season.  Pat Burrell, Rudy Seanez, Tom Gordon, So Taguchi, and Tadihito Iguchi. 

While they lost one key guy on offense in Burrell he will be replaced with Ibanez.  That will be a downgrade.  While neither played good defense Burrell's power in the 5th spot will be missed as Ibanez who doesn't have bad power but isn't worth the 3 year $30 MM. contract he received.  Gordon was getting old and wasn't that productive last year anyway.  Seanez was useful and had a good year but isn't a huge loss.  Taguchi was a bad pinch hitter last year and won't be missed, and Iguchi only played in 4 games with them last year.

Overall they only lost one good player in Burrell and replaced him Ibanez.  While Ibanez won't put up as good of numbers as Burrell in this lineup behind Howard and Utley it won't be a big problem.  Overall I give them a C+

Moving on to the New York Mets who finished at 89-73 last season and out of the playoffs.  The Mets had a very busy week in December but have been quiet since.  During that week they signed Francisco Rodriguez to a 3 year contract, and aquired J.J. Putz, Sean Green, and Jeremy Reed.  They also made another trade that brought in Connor Robertson from the Diamondbacks.  They also recently signed Tim Redding to a 1 year contract.

There free agents were Damion Easley, Moises Alou, Endy Chavez, Tony Armas Jr., Orlando Hernandez, Pedro Martinez, Oliver Perez, and Rincardo Rincon.  In the trades they lost Aaron Heilman, Jason Vargas, and Scott Schoeneweis.  They also non-tendered Ambiorix Burgos and Argenis Reyes.

They went all out to make their bullpen better in 2009.  With Wagner going to miss the season they signed Rodriguez to fill the closer role and added Putz to take the setup role with Green for middle relief.  They return pretty much the same offense.  They entered the offseason needing starting pitching help and really haven't aquired anyone to help that although Redding could be a sleeper signing as he won 10 games on a bad Washington team last year.  They could still resign Perez and that would help.  Overall I give them a B+

Moving to the Florida Marlins who finished at 84-77 last season and in third place.  The Marlins as usual were not big players on the free agent market.  Their only real free agent signing was Scott Proctor.  They did make a few trades though aquiring Leo Nunez from the Royals, Emilio Bonifacio, P.J. Dean, and Jake Smolinski from the Nationals, and Jose Ceda from the Cubs. 

Their free agents were Dallas McPherson, Paul Lo Duca, Mark Hendrickson, Joe Nelson, and Arther Rhodes.  Nelson and Rhodes will hurt the bullpen a lot.  They lost through trade Mike Jacobs, Scott Olsen, Josh Willingham, and  Kevin Gregg and released Matt Treanor. 

This team lost a lot of bullpen depth along with their closer and didn't replace them.  Proctor is used up, Nunez is good but probably not closer material, and I'm not sure if Ceda is ready for the majors yet.  For me they lost to many players to have a record over .500 in 2009 and made themselves a non-contender.  Overall they get a D-

Moving now to the Atlanta Braves who finished 72-90 last year and in forth place.  The Braves came into this offseason with a lot of money to spend and a pitching staff to fix.  They have made a few free agent signings including David Ross to a 2 year contract, Kenshin Kawakami to a 3 year contract, and Derek Lowe to a 4 year contract.  They also made one trade bringing in Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan from the White Sox. 

The Braves free agents were Mike Hampton, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Jorge Julio, and  Will Ohman.  They also lost through trade Tyler Flowers and Brent Lillibridge.  It still possible that Glavine and Ohman come back. 

Although they failed to aquire Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnett they have still had a good offseason.  They still need to add an outfield bat but there is still time.  Lowe, Kawakami, and Vazquez will make this an almost completely different rotation than what it was last year and we hope that different is better.  Overall they get a B+

Moving on to the last place team from last year the Washington Nationals who finished at 59-102.  When you are that bad you need help at many positions and the Nationals tried but failed to land many good players.  They offered Mark Teixeira a massive contract but he wanted to win.  They failed to sign anyone in free agency and only made one trade which netted them Scott Olson and Josh Willingham. 

Their free agents were Aaron Boone, Cristian Guzman, Felipe Lopez, Rob Mackowiak, Odalis Perez, Tim Redding, Luis Ayala, and  Ray King.  They also lost through trade Emilio Bonifacio, P.J. Dean and Jake Smolinski. 

They brought in a guy in Olson that should be a good starter and Willingham will give them a good bat in the outfield.  Unlike the Marlins this team tried to make themselves better and although they failed to aquire Teixeira they still went after him.  I think this team might actually make a run at fourth place in 2009 but they are still a long way from competing.  Overall they get a C

That is my grading of the NL East's 2009 offseason so far.  Feel free to agree or disagree.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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