Despite MLB season being pushed back at least eight weeks from it's original March 26 start date, teams made a lot of moves to improve their teams for the upcoming season. Teams did so in many ways whether it was signing major league players to help them win, players that can be flipped for prospects later in the season or through trades. Even though the "offseason" has been sort of extended, here are teams that had a successful offseason and teams that failed.

Winners

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox improved their team vastly.

They handed out the largest contract in franchise history to Yasmani Grandal by signing him to a four year, $73 million deal. He will bring another solid offensive bat to the White Sox lineup and will be able to connect with the White Sox young and veteran pitchers. They also signed Edwin Encarnacion for $12 million who will presumably be the primary designated hitter with occasional spells at first. Encarnacion has hit 30+ HR for eight straight seasons and has averaged 106 RBIs over those eight years.

They also agreed to a contract extension with Yoan Moncada whose talent seems to be on the rise which they agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal. They also were able to sign top prospect Luis Robert to a six-year, $50 million contracts with two club options. They also signed Dallas Keuchel on a three-year deal to add a veteran to their young rotation. With a successful offseason comes the very real possibility that the White Sox could make the playoffs whenever the season starts.

Gerrit Cole and the Yankees

After finishing runner up in AL Cy Young voting where he went 20-5 with a 2.50 E.R.A. with 326 strikeouts in 212 1/3 innings pitched with an opponent average of .186, Gerrit Cole was looking for a record-breaking contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history. The Yankees seemed like a perfect match as they were in need of starting pitching, were in need of a good one and had money to spend.

Cole got that record-breaking contract as he signed a nine-year, $324 million contract that made him the highest-paid pitcher in total money earned and average annual value. The Yankees get an ace at the top of their rotation for the next nine years as they hope to eventually get World Series number 28 and 2020 could be the year if a baseball season happens.

Tampa Bay Rays

With pitching and their pitching depth always being a strength for the Rays organization, the offense was what the Rays needed and they really improved their offensive depth. In two separate trades with the Padres, they acquired power hitter Hunter Renfroe and speedster as well as a solid defender in Manuel Margot.

They were also able to net prospect Xavier Edwards. The only downside of these deals was that it came at the cost of Tommy Pham who's a five-tool player and is one of the most underrated players in the major leagues.

Another trade they made was acquiring Jose Martinez from the Cardinals. Martinez, a poor defender, didn't really have a place on the Cardinals in the National League as there's no DH spot so Martinez will be the primary designated hitter for the Rays in the 2020 season. Martinez is a career .298/.363/.458 with a career OPS of .821. The only downside of this deal was that the Rays had to give up highly regarded prospect Matthew Liberatore but the Rays are aiming to win now.

They also signed Yoshitomo Tsutsugo from Japan who can play the corner infield spots, left field and could also appear as the DH at times. Tsutsugo was one of the better hitters in the NPB and the Rays are hoping he can carry his success from Japan to America.

With the Rays having immense depth at all positions, this team is well equipped to face potential injuries and any other hardships that come their way.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds had as good as an offseason as any team in the league that made them the possible favorites to win the NL Central. The first move they made was signing Mike Moustakas to a four year, $64 million contract which will make him the primary second baseman as third is occupied by Eugenio Suarez.

They also dipped in the international market by signing Shogo Akiyama to a three-year deal. Akiyama is known for his good contact and on-base skills. They added another outfielder in Nicholas Castellanos by giving him an identical deal as Moustakas's. The signings improved their offense a lot and give them immense outfield depth as they could carry as much as seven outfielders on the 26 man roster. They also signed pitchers Wade Miley and Pedro Strop.

Kevin Gausman

Last season, Gausman appeared in 31 games (17 starts) with the Braves and Reds. He finished 3-9 with a 5.72 E.R.A. and an opponent average of .282.

Both his E.R.A. and his opponent average were career-lows yet, he somehow managed to get $9 million on a one year deal with the Giants.

Losers

Boston Red Sox

The whole offseason, the Red Sox made a priority of shedding salary. Before they even shed salary though, they added to their payroll by bringing on Jose Peraza for $3 million and Martin Perez for $5.5 million which is an overpay for a guy that posted a 5.12 E.R.A. last season and has a career opponent average of .286. They then traded top-five players across the league in Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers for Alex Verdugo and two prospects.

This move severely dampened the 2018 World Series champions of contending.

Instead of trading Betts and Price to shed salary, they could have non-tendered or traded Jackie Bradley Jr for cheap who's owed $11 million for the 2020 season and replaced him with defensive stalwart Kevin Pillar who they brought on for $4.25 million.

Chicago Cubs

Throughout the offseason, the Cubs apparently asked players they were interested in to wait before signing a contract as they had to clear salary in order to bring them on the team. One of those players was Nicholas Castellanos but they couldn't clear salary to sign him and ended up signing within the division with the Reds.

The Cubs were so cash strapped that they couldn't afford to sign Ceasar Hernandez who ended up signing with the Indians for $6.5 million.

As they had to fill some spots on the roster, they gave a major league deal to Steven Souza Jr who missed all of 2019 and only played in 72 games in 2018. He's also a career .233 hitter which isn't very good. Instead of giving him a major league deal, they should have signed him to a minor league deal and make him earn his way onto the roster. Besides Souza Jr, they signed three other players: Ryan Tepera, Jeremy Jeffress and Josh Phegley. Not one of them is making $1 million or more where someone like Jeffress is deserving of so.

The Cubs were being cheap all offseason and it didn't help them turn into a better team.

Houston Astros

The whole offseason, the spotlight was on the Astros as their sign-stealing scandal came to light. After MLB commissioner Rob Manfred investigated, he found that they did cheat and punished them by taking away their top two picks in the next two drafts, fining them $5 million and suspending manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow who were ultimately fired by owner Jim Crane. The Astros ended up getting bashed by the media and members of the major league baseball community that included Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Mike Clevinger, and others.

Sign stealing scandal aside, the Astros did poorly in free agency and trades. They only added one new player in catcher Dustin Garneau who for his career, is slashing .207/.290/.343 in 123 games over five seasons. Behind the dish, he isn't too bad as he has a career fielding percentage of .993 and has thrown out 37.5 percent of would-be base stealers. They did bring back two former players from last year's team in Martin Maldonado and Joe Smith in which Maldonado is making $7 million over two years and Smith is making a million dollars more than Maldonado over two years as well.

Colorado Rockies

After making the playoffs in 2018, the Rockies had a miserable 2019 where they lost 91 games. As 2019 could have just been a bad year for the team, the Rockies could have added major league talent to try and make the playoffs in the upcoming season by they didn't sign one player to a major league deal. They did make one minor league signing in former major league veteran Ubaldo Jimenez who's attempting to make a comeback to the major leagues which he hasn't appeared in since 2017. The Rockies lack of offseason action got their best player Nolan Arenado in a dispute with the front office who even appeared in trade rumors just one year after signing an eight-year, $260 million contracts.

Yasiel Puig

It's surprising that this late in the offseason, with Opening Day supposed to be in two days from now, that Yasiel Puig doesn't have a team and is still on the free-agent market. Last season with the Reds and Indians, Puig slashed .267/.327/.458 with 24 HR and 19 SB. Puig offers a combination of power and speed with good defense in right and even though he comes with character and behavioral issues, he would be a welcoming addition to teams in need of a right fielder based on his talent. Teams like the Jays, Giants, Rangers and his former team in the Indians could use him but so far he hasn't found any takers and it will be interesting to see how long this goes on for.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!