By Eric Newman
As the Cactus League teams prepare to square off throughout the Valley, the ballplayers’ hopes are high about the 2019 season.
Plenty of new faces – and old faces with new contracts – will play their first games, albeit preseason, in new jerseys with new motivation in Arizona.
Following are some of each team’s major offseason acquisitions:
Arizona Diamondbacks: 2018 record – 82-80
In October, A.J. Pollock, Daniel Descalso, Clay Buchholz, Chris Stewart, Jeff Mathis, Randall Delgado, Jake Diekman, Jon Jay and Patrick Corbin all elected free agency.
In November, Chris Owings, Shelby Miller and Brad Boxberger followed suit. Among them, Buchholz, Diekman and Boxberger were still free agents as of February 5. The rest signed with other teams.
After a disappointing season, a year removed from a surprising playoff run, the Diamondbacks made a big splash in the baseball world by trading Paul Goldschmidt in December. The D-backs acquired Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andrew Young and a draft pick from the St. Louis Cardinals for the All-Star first baseman. Arizona also agreed to terms with Merrill Kelly on a two-year contract.
In January, the Diamondbacks signed John Ryan Murphy, Andrew Chafin, Robbie Ray, Jake Lamb, Steven Souza Jr., Taijuan Walker, Matt Andriese, Nick Ahmed, Archie Bradley, Wilmer Flores and T.J. McFarland to one-year deals. Arizona also signed manager Tory Lovullo to a two-year contract extension through the 2021 season.
Chicago Cubs: 2018 record – 95-68
The Cubs had one of the best records in baseball but lost to the Rockies in the Wild Card Round in 2018.
In October, Jesse Chavez, Bobby Wilson, Justin Wilson, Daniel Murphy, Jaime Garcia and Jorge De La Rosa declared free agency. Of them, Garcia retired, De La Rosa is still a free agent, and the rest signed with other teams. The Cubs claimed Jerry Vasto off waivers.
In November, Chicago claimed Johnny Field and Ian Clarkin off waivers. The Cubs traded Jason Vosler for Rowan Wick, Ronald Torreyes for a player to be named later and Tommy La Stella for future considerations from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Justin Hancock, Ronald Torreyes and Allen Webster elected free agency. The Cubs signed Kyle Ryan.
In December, the Cubs signed free agents Descalso and Kendall Graveman, and acquired Conor Lillis-White from Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In January, Chicago claimed Ian Clarkin off waivers from the White Sox. They also agreed to terms with Addison Russel, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Mike Montgomery, Kyle Hendricks and Carl Edwards to one-year deals.
Chicago White Sox: 2018 record – 62-100
Chicago had one of the worst records in the American League, behind the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles.
In October, James Shields, Hector Santiago, Miguel Gonzalez and Jeanmar Gomez elected free agency. Shields has yet to sign with a team.
In November, the White Sox agreed to a one-year contact with Leury Garcia, claimed Ian Clarkin off waivers, had Avisail Garcia and Matt Davidson elect free agency and traded Omar Narvaez to Seattle for Alex Colome.
In December, the White Sox traded Alex Call for Yonder Alonso. They also signed James McCann.
In January, Chicago signed Jose Abreu, Alex Colome, Carlos Rodon, Yolmer Sanchez, Kelvin Herrera and Jon Jay to one-year deals.
Cincinnati Reds: 2018 record – 67-95
The Reds struggled to a 67-95 record, as the only team in their division with a losing record.
In October, the Reds traded future considerations for Ryan Lillie, claimed Juan Graterol off waivers from Minnesota and lost Matt Harvey to free agency.
In November, Aristedes Aquino, Jordan Patterson, Juan Graterol and Billy Hamilton elected free agency. The Reds had claimed Patterson off waivers the day before. They signed Raisel Iglesias to a three-year deal.
In December, the Reds made a big trade, acquiring Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and cash for Homer Bailey, Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray. They also claimed Robby Scott off waivers and eventually traded him for cash.
In January, the Reds traded Shed Long and future considerations for Sonny Gray and Reiver Sanmartin. Cincinnati signed Curt Casali, Scooter Gennett, Jose Peraza, Puig, Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen, Tanner Roark and Sonny Gray to contracts. Each were one-year deals beside Gray, who signed for four seasons.
Cleveland Indians: 2018 record – 91-71
The Indians finished with a 91-71 record, good for first place in the AL Central Division. They will likely be in contention to do so again this year. The roster could look very different, however.
In October, Cleveland lost Andrew Miller, Josh Tomlin, Adam Rosales, Josh Donaldson, Rajai Davis, Melky Cabrera, Lonnie Chisenhall, Cody Allen, Michael Brantley and Brandon Guyer to free agency. Tomlin, Rosales, Cabrera and Guyer are still free agents.
In November, the Indians traded Dante Mendoza, Erik Gonzalez and Tahnaj Thomas for Jordan Luplow and Max Moroff. They also traded Yan Gomes for Jefry Rodriguez, Daniel Johnson, and a player to be named later. Cleveland lost James Hoyt to free agency.
In December, Cleveland traded Edwin Encarnacion, Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser for Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers. It traded Yonder Alonso for Alex Carr. The Indians also signed Andrew Monasterio, Carlos Carrasco and Cody Anderson to contracts.
In January, the Indians traded Walker Lockett to the Mets for Kevin Plawecki. They signed Oliver Perez, Francisco Lindor and Kevin Plawecki to one-year deals. Cleveland also claimed A.J. Cole off waivers.
Colorado Rockies: 2018 record – 91-72
The Rockies recorded a 91-72 record, just one game behind World Series-bound Los Angeles Dodgers. Colorado even defeated the Cubs in the Wild Card Game.
In October, Matt Holliday, Carlos Gonzalez, Adam Ottavino, DJ LaMahieu, Drew Butera and Gerardo Parra all declared free agency. Holliday, Gonzalez, Butera and Parra had yet to sign with a team as of February 5.
In November, the Rockies were unable to tender a contact to Sam Howard, but agreed with Chris Rusin on a one-year deal.
December was a big month for Colorado, which signed Daniel Murphy to a two-year contract. Colorado also named Dave Magadan, formerly of the D-backs, hitting coach and Ron Gideon first base coach.
January saw the Rockies make more deals, signing Chad Bettis, Jon Gray, Scott Oberg, Tyler Anderson, Trevor Story, Scott Obert and Tony Wolters to one-year deals. They ended the month by agreeing to terms with Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds on contracts.
Kansas City Royals: 2018 record – 58-104
The Royals appear to have strayed far from their World Series win just years ago, going 58-104 last year, last place in a poor division.
Following the end of the season in October, Alcides Escobar, Jason Hammel and Nate Karns elected free agency. Escobar and Hammel had yet to sign with a team as of February 5.
In November, Kansas City could not come to contract terms with Jason Adam, Samir Duenez, Andres Machado and Bubba Starling. All would eventually sign minor league contracts.
December was a busy month for Kansas City, as the Royals signed both Chris Owings and Billy Hamilton to one-year contracts. They also acquired Chris Ellis from the Rangers for cash considerations, and signed Terrence Gore to a free agent deal.
January saw the Royals sign many more players. They agreed to one-year contracts with Kyle Zimmer, Eric Skoglund, Meibrys Viloria, Hunter Dozier, Ryan O’Hearn, Scott Barlow, Scott Blewett, Chris Ellis, Arnaldo Hernandez, Brad Keller, Kevin McCarthy, Sam McWilliams and Jake Newberry. They also signed Whit Merrifield to a four-year deal.
Los Angeles Angels: 2018 record – 80-82
The Angels played to an 80-82 record in a tough division that boasted three teams with winning records, and two that reached the playoffs.
In October, Junichi Tazawa, Chris Young, Blake Wood, Eric Young Jr., Garrett Richards and Jim Johnson all elected free agency. Young, Wood, Young Jr., and Johnson had yet to sign with another team as of February 5.
In November, the Angels acquired Tommy La Stella from the Cubs for future considerations. They released Jabari Blash, while Matt Shoemaker and Blake Parkesr elected free agency.
December proved an impactful month for Los Angeles, as the Angels agreed to terms with Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Forrest Snow, Dustin Garneau, Wilfredo Tovar, Peter Bourjos, Cesar Puello, Jarrett Parker, Matt Ramsey and Jonathan Lucroy on contracts.
January was equally impactful, as Los Angeles signed Cody Allen, Cam Bedrosian, Luis Garcia, Andrew Heaney, Tommy La Stella, Hansel Robles, Tyler Skaggs, JC Ramirez and Nick Tropeano to one-year deals.
Los Angeles Dodgers: 2018 record – 92-71
The Dodgers reached their second consecutive World Series, losing to the Boston Red Sox after a successful season.
In October, Ryan Madson, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brian Dozier, Manny Machado, Yasmani Grandal, John Axford and Daniel Hudson elected free agency. As of February 5, Madson, Machado, Axford and Hudson had yet to sign contracts with any team.
In November, the Dodgers secured Clayton Kershaw with a three-year contract, and signed David Freese to a one-year deal. Chase Utley retired, and lost Pat Venditte to free agency. They agreed to terms with Ryu, and traded Manny Banuelos to the White Sox for Justin Yurchak.
In December, Los Angeles made a big trade, giving Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer and cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Homer Bailey, Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray. They also made two major signings, securing ex-Boston Red Sox hurler Joe Kelly with a three-year contract and manager Dave Roberts to a four-year deal.
January was also impactful for the Dodgers, who traded Caleb Sampen to Tampa Bay for Jamie Schultz. They also traded Andrew Sopko and Ronny Brito to Toronto for Russell Martin and cash. Their big signing to end the month was former-Diamondback A.J. Pollock, who agreed to a four-year deal. Los Angeles also agreed to one-year contracts with Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia, Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Chris Taylor.
Milwaukee Brewers: 2018 record – 96-67
The Brewers made a surprising run to top the NL Central, beating the Cubs by a single game for first place last season.
Milwaukee exercised its 2019 contract option on Jeremy Jeffress in October. Curtis Granderson, Wade Miley, Gio Gonzalez, Joakim Soria, Mike Moustakas and Jordan Lyles elected free agency. As of February 5, Granderson, Gonzales and Moustakas had yet to sign contracts.
In November, Dan Jennings, Steven Vogt, Xavier Cedeno and Jonathan Schoop elected free agency. As of February 5, only Schoop had signed a contract. Milwaukee agreed to terms with Hernan Perez, Tyler Saladino and Erik Kratz on one-year contracts.
December saw Milwaukee trade future considerations to the Rangers for Alex Claudio and Domingo Santana to Seattle for Ben Gamel and Noah Zavolas. The Brewers also signed Jimmy Nelson to a one-year deal.
In January, the Brewers traded Keon Broxton to the Mets for Adam Hill, Bobby Wahl and Felix Valerio. They also signed Jake Petricka, Yasmani Grandal and Cory Spangenberg to one-year contracts.
Oakland Athletics: 2018 record – 97-65
Oakland made a late-season run, winning several games straight to reach the playoffs with a 97-65 record. The Athletics lost to the Yankees in the Wild Card Round.
In October, the Athletics exercised their 2019 option on Fernando Rodney. Jed Lowrie, Jonathan Lucroy, Shawn Kelly, Edwin Jackson, Jeurys Familia, Brett Anderson, Matt Joyce and Trevor Cahill elected free agency. Jackson, Anderson and Joyce had yet to sign contracts as of February 5.
In November, the Athletics acquired Tanner Anderson from Pittsburgh for Wilkin Ramos. Corey Gearrin and Kendall Graveman elected free agency. Oakland also agreed to one-year deals with Ryan Dull and Liam Hendricks.
In December, the Athletics signed Joakim Soria and Mike Fiers to two-year contracts. They also agreed to terms with Chris Herrmann on a one-year deal.
In January, Oakland agreed to one-year contracts with Marco Estrada, Sean Manaea, Jurickson Profar, Marcus Semien, Mark Canha, Khris Davis and Ryan Buchter. It also claimed Parker Bridwell off waivers from the Angels.
San Diego Padres: 2018 record – 66-96
The Padres struggled in a tough division, going 66-96 and placing last in the NL West last season.
October was relatively uneventful for San Diego’s roster. Freddy Galvis and A.J. Ellis elected free agency. As of February 5, Ellis had not signed with a team.
November saw the Padres claim Greg Garcia off waivers from the Cardinals and trade Raffy Lopez to Atlanta for cash. They also released Cory Spangenberg and Christian Villanueva, and signed Bryan Mitchell and Greg Garcia to one-year contracts.
In December, the Padres signed Garrett Richards and Ian Kinsler to two-year contracts. They also released Carlos Asuaje to waivers, who would be claimed by the Rangers.
January saw San Diego agree to terms with Ravis Jankowski on a one-year deal and promote Erik Greupner to president of business operations.
San Francisco Giants: 2018 record – 73-89
The Giants won seven more games than division and state-rival San Diego, going 73-89, but still struggled in a tough division last season.
In October, the Giants exercised 2019 options on Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval. Gregor Blanco, Nick Hundley and Hunter Pence elected free agency. Hundley and Pence had yet to sign with a team as of February 5.
In November, San Francisco agreed to terms with Joe Panik and Sam Dyson on one-year deals. They could not tender contracts to Gorkys Hernandez and Hunter Strickland.
The waiver wire was big for the Giants in December, as they claimed Mike Gerber from the Tigers, Travis Bergen from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and Drew Ferguson from Round Rock Express. They also signed Pat Venditte to a one-year contract.
In January, San Francisco acquired Breyvic Valera from the Baltimore Orioles for cash. They also agreed to contracts with Will Smith, Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz.
Seattle Mariners: 2018 record – 89-73
The Mariners were just a single win away from 90, but a strong American League kept them out of the playoffs.
In October, David Phelps, Andrew Romine, Cameron Maybin, Nelson Cruz, Adam Warren, Zach Duke, Gordon Beckham and Denard Span elected free agency. As of February 5, Maybin, Warren, Duke and Span had yet to sign contracts.
In November, the Mariners traded Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia and Michael Plassmeyer to Tampa Bay for Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley. Seattle traded James Paxton to the Yankees for Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson and Dom Thompson-Williams days later, and traded Alex Colome to the White Sox for Omar Narvaez after that. It also signed Dylan Moore and Ruben Alaniz to contracts, and released Casey Lawrence.
Trades continued in December, as the Mariners traded Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz and cash to the New York Mets for Jay Bruce, Jarred Kelenic, Anthony Swarzak, Gerson Bautista and Justin Dunn. They also traded Ben Gamel and Noah Zavalos to the Milwaukee Brewers for Domingo Santana. Seattle agreed to terms with Zac Rosscup on a one-year contract.
The Mariners did not make any trades in January, but signed Hunter Strickland, Roenis Elias, Corey Gearrin, Domingo Santana and Tim Beckham to one-year deals. Seattle made big signings, inking a four-year deal with Yusei Kikuchi and signing Ichiro Suzuki to a minor league deal.
Texas Rangers: 2018 record – 67-95
The Rangers finished last in the AL West, going 67-95 with many veteran players on the roster.
In October, Tony Barnette, Bartolo Colon and Yovani Gallardo elected free agency. As of February 5, each player had yet to sign with an MLB team.
In November, Texas announced the retirement of Adrian Beltre. It also signed ex-D-back Jeff Mathis and Jesse Chavez to two-year deals. The Rangers claimed Jack Reinheimer off waivers from the Cubs. Ricardo Rodriguez, Matt Moore, Martin Perez, Robinson Chirinos and Doug Fister elected free agency. As of February 5, Rodriguez and Fister had yet to sign anywhere.
December saw the Rangers trade Drew Robinson to St. Louis for Patrick Wisdom and claim Carlos Asuaje off waivers from San Diego. The Rangers traded Alex Cladio and cash considerations for Jordan Romano from the White Sox and a draft pick from the Milwaukee Brewers. They also traded Jurickson Profar and Rollie Lacy for Eli White and Future Considerations from Oakland and Kyle Bird, Brock Burke and Yoel Espinal from Tampa Bay. Texas signed Lance Lynne to a three-year contract.
In January, the Rangers signed Shelby Miller, Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields, Asdrubal Cabrera and Shawn Kelly to one-year contracts. They claimed John Andreoli and Luke Farrell off waivers and announced the retirement of Shawn Tolleson.
For more information, visit our Spring Training Guide.