Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

NL West Offseason Review

Another offseason came and went, and a few notable players switched teams. Here’s a look at some of the bigger names, where they left, where they went to, and how they fit in with their new counterparts. Although I will go in-depth, I cannot cover every single move and will ultimately leave out a few big moves at my will. Did you know that since I have nothing better to do, I reviewed nearly every offseason transaction of note? You can view them here, as well as even better and more in-depth analysis from the others who write for this site. So enjoy a quick offseason review for every team in the MLB and reminisce on your team’s decisions over the past few months. Don’t worry, we’re all judging.

NL West Offseason Review

Arizona Diamondbacks Offseason Review

Parting ways with top prospect Jarrod Parker was difficult, but the acquisition of starting pitcher Trevor Cahill from the Oakland Athletics wasn’t a bad one. The sinkerballer may be a bit overrated, but he’s still a 3 WAR pitcher and a great option as a No. 3 starter behind Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson. I still think Parker was too much to give up, but the Diamondbacks are a better team right now after the move and can shore up another division championship.

The team also signed Jason Kubel to a quizzical contract, as the corner outfielder is a terrible defensive player. He has good power and is a quality hitter overall, but his defense suppresses his value and makes him a 1.5 WAR player overall. He’s certainly not the player who should be supplanting Gerardo Parra any time soon, and Parra might even be traded after this terrible deal. It makes no sense, because the only way to justify overpaying for a veteran LF is if you have a need at the position; the Diamondbacks clearly didn’t. Instead, they took away some defensive playing time away from an elite defensive outfielder in Parra and gave it to Jason Kubel, whose offense doesn’t make up for his lack of defense. It isn’t like Parra is that much worse than Kubel as a hitter.

Grade: D+

San Francisco Giants Offseason Review

The Giants wanted to part ways with veteran OF Andres Torres, and they replaced him with Angel Pagan, who broke it in 2010 and then surprisingly crashed last season. He looks like a 3 WAR outfielder, but a lot hinges on which season’s defensive performances should be believed. One thing that is going against him in that department is the fact that AT&T is a notoriously difficult position to play. The team had surplus relief options, so Ramon Ramirez was expendable in this deal with the New York Mets. The Giants acquired a player with more upside by dealing two expendable players, which justifies the lower value in terms of total return value in the trade.

The Giants also signed Clay Hensley to shore up the bullpen, and Ryan Theriot gives the team an option at shortstop in what was a low-risk, low-cost deal for some depth. San Francisco’s major activity of the offseason was involved in two trades, with the second being a swap with the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Melky Cabrera. He is a massive upgrade for the Giants as a hitter and should be a 2.5-3WAR player next season. His defense will remain solid, because both the Pagan and Melky acquisitions go hand-in-hand. Torres couldn’t play center, but Pagan apparently can (an endorsement on his future prospects from the upper brass). Cabrera is better off as a left fielder, and both trades worked out well for the team. Jonathan Sanchez is a quality, exactly league-average/overrated strikeout machine who gets burned all the time, but, like the two players in the Pagan trade, he was expendable from a needs perspective. The Giants just got better by upgrading their outfield and not trading away an players of significant future value.

Grade: B+

Colorado Rockies Offseason Review

The Rockies were busy this offseason, and they made two quality trades to shore up the roster. They benefited from a salary dump made by the Boston Red Sox to acquire future second baseman and quality 3 WAR player Marco Scutaro from the Sox for an insignificant pitcher. He will form a nice double play tandem with Troy Tulowitzki, and this deal was as good as it gets for the Rockies. The on-base monger will fit in well in the No. 2 hole in the line-up, so chalk this one up as a big win for the Rockies.

The other trade was a swap of players who weren’t getting it done with their respective clubs and needed a change of scenery in a mutually beneficial deal. The Rockies shipped disappointing but powerful third baseman Ian Stewart to the Chicago Cubs for the disgruntled but promising Tyler Colvin who should be able to develop into at least an average outfielder in Colorado. I see him as a 3 WAR player, with Stewart bordering 2 WAR. Stewart is the safer player, but Colvin is definitely a better risk worth taking. Another great trade for the Rockies.

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The Rockies, however, made three poor moves that hurt this team overall. First off, trading Jason Hammel (who still has upside and can be a 3 WAR pitcher with his unlikely basement being 1-1.5 WAR) and solid reliever Matt Lindstrom for fly ball pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. I get that Lindstrom was expendable, but I don’t get how you would rather have Guthrie, who doesn’t fit in with the Rockies in any way, than a quality, young pitcher in Jason Hammel who is coming off of an injury. Throwing in SU Lindstrom just added insult to injury with that head-scratching trade.

Look, I get that the Rockies wanted an upgrade at left field and like Michael Cuddyer, but they overpaid for an overrated injury risk whose value is inflated because he’s “a good clubhouse guy”. But is he really worth three years and $31.5 million? No. He’s a better hitter and player than Seth Smith, but the underrated, as-average-as-it-gets platoon star was much cheaper than Cuddyer. The Rockies should have taken note of the coup of a deal that the Twins got off with the Jason Willingham signing, as they upgraded their roster and saved money. The Rockies upgraded their roster, but they lost money.

The Cuddyer signing is somewhat justifiable, but the Seth Smith trade isn’t as easy to defend. When a player gets involved in trade rumors for a really long time without a deal getting done, then either A) The offers stink or B) It’s a bidding war that will benefit the team trading said player. After the Braves basically pulled out of the race, most of us thought that the answer was “B”, and that Oakland was going to send some significant pieces to Colorado. Instead, the answer was either “A” or the front office was just being stupid. They were basically forced to dump off a player whose value was deflated anyway, which doesn’t bode well. In any case, they could have at least done better than acquiring notorious fly ball pitchers Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso, who were both poor even in a great pitcher’s park. They have no future place with this team and are disasters waiting to happen in Coors.

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Dodgers Offseason Review

Hey, at least we get to see Todd Coffey run out of the bullpen. The truth is, that was the only good deal that this team made in the offseason. They wasted resources signing Adam Kennedy, even though I like the Mark Ellis signing as a low-cost utility man. Neither of them get on base to the ability of Jamey Carroll, although I love Ellis as a player and would love to see him succeed. Still, neither of them will do much, especially not Kennedy.

The Dodgers also added Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, with neither deal making much sense. Harang is basically done, and he didn’t deserve the money the Dodgers paid him. Capuano is about a 1.5 WAR pitcher, but he was a tad overpaid. It wasn’t a poor deal, but the Dodgers are better off giving a young pitcher a chance than Capuano. It was a disappointing offseason for the Dodgers, but what can you do when your team is almost bankrupt and just extended your face of the franchise to an exactly fair deal? Well, how about not signing useless veterans? That’s a thought, and it’s why this was an unsuccessful offseason for the Dodgers.

Grade: F

San Diego Padres Offseason Review

The San Diego Padres made a nice little deal with the Miami Marlins by trading Wade LeBlanc for catcher John Baker. They now have a solid utility man who can hit decently well, while also getting rid of an expendable piece of the rotation who is practically useless on every other Major League team.

The Carlos Quentin deal was slightly suspect, since they gave up two quality prospects for an outfielder who is mostly injured and is on the decline. However, he does give them a nice power bat and is a good hitter when healthy. When all is said and done, it’s a worthy risk; even if Quentin is already injured.

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Although the Anthony Rizzo trade didn’t yield fair enough value, he wasn’t a necessary piece to this team after the Mat Latos trade with the Cincinnati Reds. In the deal, the Padres acquired de facto ace (to replace Latos) Edinson Volquez who will benefit from PETCO if he can find his control first, Brandon Boxberger who will be a good reliever, Yonder Alonso who will be a solid first baseman, and Yasmani Grandal who is a top catching prospect. The Padres really helped themselves across the board with that haul, but I wonder what the team could have received in return had they traded with the Rays. It’s not that Andrew Cashner is a terrible pitcher, but he is an extremely risky player with a fastball and a bunch of question marks. Although, that fastball is insane. Overall, this team made some good upgrades and have a better future because of these moves.

Grade: B+

Be sure to check out all of Call to the Pen’s transaction breakdowns for the 2011-12 offseason. You can follow Call to the Pen on Twitter at @FSCalltothePen or like us here on Facebook.

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Colorado Rockies LA Dodgers NL West San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants

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