The Dodgers continued to flex their new financial muscles by landing the prize of the free agent class, pitcher Zack Greinke.
The 2009 Cy Young winner will be rocking Dodger Blue to the tune of 6 years/$147 million.
On top of that, the Dodgers re-asserted their presence on the international scene by signing ace Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu to a 6 year/$36 million deal.
Since the Guggenheim partners took over ownership of the team, the Dodgers have more than doubled their 2012 Opening Day payroll.
Not to be outdone, the Angels, who endured a similarly disappointing finish to their 2012 season, surprised everyone by signing Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton to a 5 year/$125 million deal.
In an offseason, where perennial spenders like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies were not major players on the free agent market, the Blue Jays continued to make their push for their first postseason in 20 years by acquiring NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets.
Here’s a look at some of the offseason’s winners and losers (so far).
Dodgers: Everyone knew the Dodgers would come into the Winter Meetings looking to spend big, and that’s exactly what they did, and smartly might I add.
After stacking the lineup during the regular season, GM Ned Colletti went out and bolstered an already solid pitching staff, and took it to a championship level with the additions of Greinke and Ryu.
The Dodgers now have a projected payroll of $213 million for 2013. Where is all the money coming from? A potential $6 billion TV deal that will be negotiated next season.
Not only did the Dodgers strengthen their pitching staff, they have added a buzz around the team that will surely pay off in 2013.
Angels: The Angels had quietly been making smaller moves, trading reliever Jordan Walden to the Atlanta Braves for starter Tommy Hanson, bolstering their bullpen with the signings of Ryan Madson and Sean Burnett, and even adding former Dodger Joe Blanton. But, they landed the other big fish of the offseason, signing Josh Hamilton to a five year deal.
Hamilton will join Albert Pujols and AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout to round out arguably one of baseball’s best lineups.
Blue Jays: Continuing with the theme of starting pitching, the Blue Jays continued to augment their team in a diminished AL East by adding Dickey. They also signed him to a 2-year/$25 million extension. Dickey will be at the forefront of a revamped Blue Jays rotation that now features Dickey, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson.
Rangers: After failing to land Zack Greinke, or any of the top free agent pitchers available, the Rangers were blindsided by losing their long-time star Josh Hamilton to the rival Angels. Much like any relationship that goes sour, it appears there was miscommunication between Hamilton and the Rangers. The Rangers were more than willing to let Hamilton explore the market, but apparently they thought Hamilton would let them match the offer.
Not so, and just as soon as you can say dismissed, Hamilton was donning Angel red.
But, that’s not all the Rangers lost. C/1B Mike Napoli defected to the Red Sox and they traded away their other stalwart, Michael Young, to the Phillies.
Had it been known the team would lose Hamilton, GM Jon Daniels might not have traded away Young.
Not only are the Rangers well behind the Angels now, they might be worse off than the A’s too.
Yankees: We’re used to seeing the pinstripes drop the most cash on free agents on a yearly basis, but not so this year.
The Yankees’ biggest moves include signing Kevin Youkilis to a one-year deal, and signing veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year deal.
Money has been so tight in the Bronx this offseason, they even let Russell Martin walk and go to the Pittsburgh Pirates.