Hey, you gotta give credit where it’s due. Fox Sports writer Rowan Kavner recently ranked the most exciting and disappointing teams based on their offseason activity and boy did this create massive backlash among Chicago Cubs fans. Hey, he got the attention he wanted.
It was on two fronts, as the Cubs were the number one most disappointing team according to Kavner. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals were ranked as having the sixth most exciting offseason.
While you take a quick peak at these lists, it is important to note that these rankings were released before the Baltimore Orioles traded for Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes. Anyway, here are the top exciting teams and most disappointing teams. You could have definitely argued that the Orioles had a more disappointing offseason than the Cubs before that trade for Burnes.
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I mean, no shocker at number one for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Signing Shohei Ohtani by himself would give them the top spot, but they’ve also signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto, traded for Tyler Glasnow, signed Teoscar Hernández, and added more depth with Joe Kelly, James Paxton and Jason Heyward. Dodgers are at the top by a wide margin.
As for the Cubs, here’s what Kavner wrote about why he believes they have had the most disappointing offseason so far.
Via Fox Sports.
The Cubs made the surprise move of November, luring Brewers manager Craig Counsell to Chicago on a five-year deal. Since then? Crickets for Ricketts.
Last year was a promising step forward, but the Cubs still lost the division by nine games and have done very little thus far to boost their odds of seriously competing in 2024. Shōta Imanaga should help a rotation that lost Stroman, who was an All-Star last year. Maybe prospect Michael Busch makes the leap he was blocked from doing in Los Angeles. Maybe star prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong provides a boost. But none of that makes up for the potential loss of Cody Bellinger, should he end up signing elsewhere. Something is coming, right? RIGHT?
C’mon. I can’t believe I have to defend Tom Ricketts here, but let’s pump the brakes a little here. As annoying as it’s been to see the Cubs proceed with extra caution in the free agent market, they have addressed areas of need. Marcus Stroman declined his 2024 player option and the Cubs were able to replace him with Shōta Imanaga. The Cubs needed a proven reliever and they signed Hector Neris, one of the most durable and consistent bullpen arms since 2016. The Cubs needed another bat at the corner infield positions, so they jumped on a Michael Busch trade.
I know that Busch may not come as the most exciting prospect, but just know that he would have been the Dodgers top prospect to begin the 2024 season according to Baseball America. The talent is there.
Now, don’t get me wrong, has this offseason been a resounding success? No. It’s been a bit underwhelming. And yes, it would be tough to convince fans that you got better if Cody Bellinger doesn’t re-sign, but THE most disappointing offseason? Not even close.
This is really easy. Let’s take a look at the teams who made the 2023 MLB postseason.
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
Los Angeles Dodgers
So, the Miami Marlins made the playoffs in 2023, as one of the three National League Wild Card teams. That was their first playoff appearance in a full season since winning the World Series in 2003. So, how has the team followed up this positive momentum heading into the 2024 season?
Ken Rosenthal wrote about Miami’s lack of free agent activity on Jan. 22, and nearly two weeks later the Marlins still haven’t signed a free agent. They’re the only team that has yet to sign a free agent player to a major league contract and their only trades of note have been for infielder Vidal Bruján, right-hander Calvin Faucher and catcher Christian Bethancourt.
Yeah, the Cubs haven’t been the most aggressive team this winter, but the Marlins have clearly been much more disappointing thus far.
Oh and the Cardinals signed Sonny Gray, I actually think that’s a solid move, but Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson are good enough to get this praise, “at least they did something to address their most glaring weakness, which is more than many teams can say in a largely lackluster winter,” according to Kavner? OK, dude.
So, what do you think, was this a deserving spot for the Cubs? Do the Cardinals deserve this much credit? Let us know in the comments!