We all know that the Giants made the best offseason moves in their division. All October and November, I kept begging the Giants to sign Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto. They just made so much sense, and there was absolutely no risk. Don't click that link. But your job today is to pick the best offseason move from the rest of the NL West. There are only a couple of contenders, really, unless you are Gerardo Parra.
Hello, Gerardo Parra.
We'll start with the Dodgers, who spent money, just not as much as expected, and it wasn't distributed quite as expected.
Dodgers - Signing Kenta Maeda
Before the offseason started, Maeda was my white whale. He was the pitcher I wanted the Giants to pursue without mercy, a combination of command and control that would play especially well in AT&T Park.
Then teams got a look at his medical reports. Apparently, his right arm is filled with tarantulas that are trying to bite their way out. What was supposed to be a bidding war -- in a free agent market that blessed pitchers who allowed 30+ homers last year and lead their league in earned runs, mind you -- turned into a negotiation in which the Dodgers held all of the leverage. All of the leverage, apparently, as Maeda signed for middle reliever prices, hoping to cash in on performance incentives, for a ludicrous eight-year contract.
What if he's actually good? WHAT IF HE'S ACTUALLY GOOD?
Here's hoping that Maeda is just Yusmerio Petit with a more substantial Wikipedia page, and that I'm wrong for the first time in my blogging career. Please don't research any of my other suggestions or predictions.
Dodgers - Signing Scott Kazmir
Would rather have him for three years than Samardzija for five. But there's a little risk that he'll opt out after a solid 2016, which might leave the Dodgers in a bit of a pickle. Usually I'm a fan of the opt-out clause for the team, but not after a single season.
Dodgers - Re-signing Howie Kendrick
The Royals are starting Omar Infante. The Angels are starting Johnny Giavotella. I'm mad at them both, as the Dodgers have their solid second baseman back, and it's pushed everyone back a rung and made their bench stronger.
Diamondbacks - Signing Zack Greinke
Mystery team, I can't quit you. And while it's a huge risk to spend $30 million on a pitcher in his 30s, the Diamondbacks are mostly free of long-term financial obligations, and they have a monster TV contract. This contract will not end them, even if it goes Zitonova.
In the meantime, they sure have a swell front of the rotation.
Diamondbacks - Trading for Shelby Miller
If you think this is the best move of the offseason, you have to really, really, really love Miller. It sure speaks to the advancement of sabermetrics that a 6-17 pitcher can bring back an entire farm system in trade, and that's a good thing. But the Diamondbacks had to lose so much for the privilege of drafting Dansby Swanson, and they traded him and one of their best pitching prospects and a low-cost young outfielder with a sterling defensive reputation.
It was just a year ago that were were all goofy for Juan Lagares because of his defense, so maybe it's a good idea to sell high on the WARriors after a strong season. It's still a risk that would make me uncomfortable for a formerly mercurial pitcher.
Diamondbacks - Trading for Jean Segura
He used to be pretty okay! He was part of the second Zack Greinke trade, so now the Diamondbacks can sit back and chortle that they have them both. A list of MLB teams most likely to chortle:
Your list might vary, but anyway, the Diamondbacks got a middle infielder to shore up an obvious weakness. They just did it with someone who has had two straight miserable seasons. The good news is that he always stays in the lineup. The bad news is that he always stays in the lineup.
Segura is just 26, and he was an All-Star just three years ago, so it's not an outlandish risk to take.
Padres - Trading for Christian Bethancourt
That certainly is the name of a person who is paid to catch professionally. Bethancourt is a formerly touted young player who couldn't hit enough to justify his in-progress glove. I feel bad for those cats when they're traded to pitcher's parks. He probably looks in the mirror and whispers "At least it's not Safeco," as he should.
Padres - Trading for Drew Pomeranz
Pretty sure an algorithm assigned Pomeranz to the Padres and no one noticed. He will shut the Giants out twice this year.
Padres - Trading for Jon Jay
That Jay/Upton, Jr./Kemp outfield would have been so awesome in 2011.
Padres - Signing Alexei Ramirez
This was a sensible move! And if you're picking it as the move of the offseason in the NL West, you're probably assuming the Giants are going to win 130 games because every other move completely flopped.
Rockies - Trading for Jake McGee
All offseason, Rockies fans were wondering where the power reliever was that would put them over the top. The Rockies delivered.
Snark aside, it's going to be so very annoying to have to face McGee in the final inning of a Coors Field game that's gone back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth for eight innings. You know, one of those Coors specials where it seems like a scoreless inning is statistically equivalent to a no-hitter in a normal park. And then the ninth comes, and FOOOOMP, nine fastballs and the Rockies win.
That will be so very annoying.
Rockies - Acquiring Gerardo Parra, Jason Motte, and Chad Qualls on multi-year deals
There is a poll unless I forget to add it again. What was your favorite non-Giants move in the NL West?