With the holidays behind us, teams are beginning to go full force into Spring Training. It's been a bit of an unusual offseason, as there are plenty of big names left on the free agent market, but they'll be finding homes soon -- pitchers and catchers report in just over a month and games are soon after that. With that in mind, what grades have the NL East teams earned so far this offseason?
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Atlanta Braves: A+
What more could you want from a team committed to a rebuild? In trading Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels, the Braves acquired a future potential ace Sean Newcomb, pitching prospect Chris Ellis and veteran shortstop Erick Aybar. If they stopped there, it would be considered a win this offseason, but they traded also Shelby Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a king's ransom: Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte. And they might not be done. Nick Markakis, Michael Bourne and Nick Swisher could all be moved, if they find somebody willing to take on their salary. Bud Norris is a possible trade chip. All of this to clear room to sign players with the intention of being competitive in 2017. The only way their grade could go down is if they settle in trading Freddie Freeman.
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Miami Marlins: C
The Marlins have been playing the wait-and-see game this offseason, but, as always, they've been at the epicenter of rumored huge moves. It's been reported they're shopping outfielder Marcell Ozuna and their ace Jose Fernandez. Despite the denial of the latter by the front office, the rumors have persisted. They've reportedly added Wei-Yin Chen on a five-year, $80 million deal, but that's the only change they've made to the roster. The most significant move(s) the Marlins have made have been in the dugout: Don Mattingly will be at the helm with Barry Bonds as the hitting coach. It'll be an interesting dynamic to watch, but for now, those two moves aren't big enough to warrant a better grade. Even after signing Chen, the Marlins could stand to add another low-cost starter -- Doug Fister could be an option.
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New York Mets: C
It's tough to fault a team for sticking to their offseason plan -- it seems the Mets plan was to stick to complimentary pieces and stay away from the big name guys, namely Yoenis Cespedes. Instead, they've acquired Asdrubal Cabrera, Alejandro De Aza, Neil Walker and Bartolo Colon. One (somewhat) unexpected thing happened though -- Michael Cuddyer retired, leaving his $12 million 2016 salary on the table. Last season, the Mets tried Juan Lagares in a full time role and it didn't work, instead trading for Cespedes and making a run to the World Series. It made sense to bring him back, but they're going to be relying on a Lagares/De Aza platoon. It'll be interesting to see if they add an impact piece at the trade deadline, but it's tough to strike gold in back-to-back seasons.
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Philadelphia Phillies: A
One of the most important things the Phillies could have done this offseason was hire a new general manager, replacing longtime GM Ruben Amaro. They hired Matt Klentak, formerly the assistant GM for the Angels -- and while it's too early to judge how he will run the team, he's analytically-inclined with a playing background. He's made a litany of moves, acquiring Jeremy Hellickson, Peter Bourjos, Dan Otero, to name a few, but the biggest move he's made was trading Ken Giles to the Astros. Giles, the 25-year-old closer, brought back pitchers Harold Arauz, Thomas Eschelman, Brett Olberholtzer, Vincent Velasquez and 2013 first-overall pick Mark Appel. It's been a great offseason that could only improve by the unloading of Ryan Howard's contract, but with the amount of money they'd have to eat, they're probably better off holding on to him.
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Washington Nationals: B
It's been a quietly busy offseason for the Nats. They failed to sign Jason Heyward and a trade for Brandon Phillips fell through, but they've still shored up the roster following the departures of Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond and Denard Span. They traded Yunel Escobar to the Angels for reliever Trevor Gott, signed Daniel Murphy to a three-year deal, and acquired Ben Revere in a trade with the Blue Jays, giving up Drew Storen. They've also found a manager in Dusty Baker, who seems to be a natural fit for that clubhouse. The only reason why they aren't getting an A grade is the inability to move Jonathan Papelbon, though it's tough to fault them for that. His expensive contract and potential nightmare in the clubhouse (as we saw last season) has made him untradeable.