It has been an interesting offseason around Major League Baseball. With football and basketball going on, most handicappers haven’t paid very close attention to the “Hot Stove” this offseason. Playing catch-up is very tough to do and it’s a time-consuming process. Win totals were released in Las Vegas in mid-February in both 2013 and 2014, which means that we are just five or six weeks away from seeing what oddsmakers think about the 2015 season. Bettors interested in the upcoming season would be wise to start taking a look at all of the player movement from the offseason now so that they can be prepared to fire on the win totals. Fortunately, here at BangTheBook, our goal is to educate and inform our readers to put them in a position to succeed, so we’ll do the work for you.
Here’s a look at the most notable player movement of the MLB offseason, broken down alphabetically by team in the National League:
In: Jeremy Hellickson, Robbie Ray, Rubby de la Rosa, Allen Webster
Out: Didi Gregorius, Wade Miley
The Arizona Diamondbacks underwent a major change in leadership this past offseason, which will overshadow any player movement. Kirk Gibson was fired and Chip Hale took over as the manager. GM Kevin Towers was also let go as Tony La Russa took over as the Chief Baseball Officer for the team. Dave Stewart replaced Towers. Wade Miley and Jeremy Hellickson got a change of scenery and the Diamondbacks opted for Chris Owings over Didi Gregorius at shortstop.
In: Shelby Miller, Jim Johnson, Nick Markakis, Alberto Callaspo, AJ Pierzynski, Jason Grilli, Dian Toscano
Out: Emilio Bonifacio, Gavin Floyd, Ervin Santana, Justin Upton, Aaron Harang, Jason Heyward, Jordan Walden, Kris Medlen, David Carpenter
A lot of things are different for the Braves with John Hart at the helm. Hart was the chief orchestrator of the mid-90s Cleveland Indians, with some help from the late Hank Peters. Hart clearly shook things up with the Braves as a lot of talent left town and a lot of veterans came in. The Braves are going to be a difficult team to rate early in the season.
In: Miguel Montero, Justin Ruggiano, David Ross, Jon Lester, Chris Denorfia, Jason Hammel
Out: John Baker, Wesley Wright
Like some other teams, the biggest offseason move for the Cubs came in a leadership role. Joe Maddon opted out of his deal with Tampa Bay and became the Cubs manager a few days later. The Cubs are basically in a holding pattern while they wait for their immensely talented collection of prospects to take the next step, though it wouldn’t be a shock if they sign James Shields or Max Scherzer before all is said and done this winter.
In: Anthony DeSclafani, Eugenio Suarez, Jose Mijares, Marlon Byrd
Out: Ryan Ludwick, Chris Heisey, Mat Latos, Alfredo Simon
Walt Jocketty attempted to maximize his starting pitching depth by getting some pieces for the future. Marlon Byrd adds another element of power from the right side as the Reds attempt to add offense. A healthy Joey Votto would be the best addition for the Reds this winter, but a contract extension for Johnny Cueto wouldn’t hurt, though he will be the biggest trade chip on the market if the Reds aren't in the hunt in July.
In: Daniel Descalso, Roger Bernadina, Nick Hundley
Out: Matt Belisle, Michael Cuddyer, Juan Nicasio, Josh Rutledge
The Rockies were unwilling to budge on their asking price for Troy Tulowitzki and that led to a rather quiet offseason. Michael Cuddyer moved on to the Mets as the Rockies picked up a draft pick in free agent compensation, but that’s probably the best thing that they acquired this winter.
Los Angeles Dodgers
In: Juan Nicasio, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Yasmani Grandal, Sergio Santos, Brett Anderson, Darwin Barney, Chris Heisey, Joel Peralta
Out: Josh Beckett, Roberto Hernandez, Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, Chris Perez, Hanley Ramirez, Jamey Wright, Drew Butera, Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Matt Kemp, Brian Wilson
Andrew Friedman wasted no time putting his stamp on the Los Angeles Dodgers as he and GM Farhan Zaidi overhauled the roster. Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez are gone, replaced by Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, and a collection of under-the-radar value that would have Friedman’s stamp of approval. A lot of big names and some big dollars changed hands this offseason in Dodger dealings.
In: Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Aaron Crow, Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Andre Rienzo, David Phelps, Mike Morse
Out: Rafael Furcal, Kevin Gregg, Brad Penny, Anthony DeSclafani, Nate Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Brian Flynn, Dan Jennings, Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee
The Marlins were surprisingly active this winter, though it’s tough to see what, exactly, their plan is. It appears that the Marlins expect to make a run for the second wild card by adding some veterans at the expense of young arms like Nate Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney. They also traded away an underrated bullpen piece in Dan Jennings, but getting back Martin Prado and Mat Latos over the course of the winter is a nice haul.
In: Adam Lind
Out: Zach Duke, Tom Gorzelanny, Francisco Rodriguez, Marco Estrada
After collapsing down the stretch, the lack of activity from Doug Melvin and the Brewers is a little bit of a head scratcher. They lost some good bullpen depth and a decent back of the rotation starter in Marco Estrada, but the Brewers have some decent young starters and Mike Fiers emerged as a stud down the stretch. Adam Lind adds some left-handed pop in a righty-heavy lineup.
New York Mets
In: Michael Cuddyer, John Mayberry
Out: Taylor Teagarden, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jeremy Hefner
The Mets were unable to pull off that big offseason move to make people believe in them. Matt Harvey’s return would be the best thing for the Mets, who also have Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler in the rotation with Noah Syndergaard knocking on the door. Unfortunately, the Mets still have a huge question left unanswered at shortstop.
In: Aaron Harang, Zach Eflin, Wandy Rodriguez
Out: AJ Burnett, Jimmy Rollins, Kyle Kendrick, Mike Adams, Antonio Bastardo, Marlon Byrd
Nobody knows what Ruben Amaro Jr. is doing, but the Phillies certainly aren’t viewed in a positive light. Aaron Harang and Wandy Rodriguez fit the Amaro MO of signing guys that are on their last legs. The bullpen took a big hit with the trade of Antonio Bastardo and there should be a rebuild coming sometime soon.
In: Corey Hart, Antonio Bastardo, AJ Burnett, Francisco Cervelli, Sean Rodriguez
Out: Clint Barmes, Russell Martin, Edinson Volquez, John Axford, Ike Davis
The Pirates continue to bank on their defensive alignment and some good power hitters to stay in contention in the NL Central. The addition of Bastardo will help a team that has used its middle relief extensively over the last couple of years. Russell Martin was priced out of Pittsburgh’s market, but Francisco Cervelli is a good defensive catcher according to the metrics and Neal Huntington tries to win with sabermetrics and defense. Whatever AJ Burnett has left, he’s going to give it to the Pirates after turning down a bigger offer from the Phillies.
San Diego Padres
In: Clint Barmes, Brett Wallace, Matt Kemp, Derek Norris, Brandon Morrow, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Will Middlebrooks, Brandon Maurer, Shawn Kelley
Out: Eric Stults, Everth Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Zach Eflin, Jesse Hahn, Rene Rivera, Ryan Hanigan, Seth Smith, Joe Wieland
AJ Preller decided that enough was enough with the Padres and they are a completely different team this season. The outfield has been changed all the way around and the return of a healthy Andrew Cashner should be the best addition to the starting rotation. Preller took a very aggressive stance and the Padres are going to be a team with an inflated perception early on because of the talent that they brought in.
San Francisco Giants
In: Casey McGehee
Out: Mike Morse, Pablo Sandoval, Ryan Vogelsong
It’s been a quiet offseason for the reigning World Series champs. The Giants retained the services of Jake Peavy and Sergio Romo, but Pablo Sandoval left for Boston. The Giants were really hoping Sandoval would stay, so it left them in a bit of a bind when he left. Brian Sabean is a solid GM, so it would be a big surprise if the Giants were done for the winter.
St. Louis Cardinals
In: Jason Heyward, Jordan Walden, Matt Belisle, Mark Reynolds
Out: Mark Ellis, Pat Neshek, AJ Pierzynski, Justin Masterson, Shelby Miller, Daniel Descalso
John Mozeliak continues to impress as a GM and it helps that the Cardinals have one of the top player development staffs in baseball. The addition of Jason Heyward will do wonders for the team’s overall defense and don’t sleep on Mark Reynolds as a quality platoon bat. Jordan Walden and Matt Belisle will fill Pat Neshek’s role. The Cardinals may not be done for the winter, but they’re in a pretty good position right now.
In: Dan Uggla, Heath Bell
Out: Asdrubal Cabrera, Adam LaRoche, Scott Hairston, Nate Schierholtz, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Mattheus
Dan Uggla may have a new lease on his playing life after Nationals doctors diagnosed him with Oculomotor Dysfunction, a condition in which a past concussion affects eye sight when the head is moving. So the Nationals lost some excellent platoon bats and a back of the rotation starter, but they may strike gold with a couple of reclamation projects in Uggla and Heath Bell. This is a pretty good team with a strong core group, so they may be about done for the offseason.
Make sure that BangTheBook.com is your home for betting on baseball during the 2015 season. With picks and in-depth statistical analysis, we will set you up to succeed this baseball season. Keep an eye out for our 30-team MLB Win Totals Series next month and plenty more to get readers prepared for the season. For a look at the transactions from the American League, click here.