2013 RECORD: 66-96 ADDITIONS: RHP Jason Hammel, RHP James McDonald, RHP Jose Veras (pictured), LHP Wesley Wright, OF Justin Ruggiano, C George Kottaras, OF Chris Coghlan LOSSES: C Dioner Navarro, OF Brian Bogusevic, RHP Scott Baker, RHP Matt Guerrier UNSIGNED FA: RHP Kevin Gregg, OUTLOOK: The Cubs are destined for another year at the bottom of the NL Central standings. Still following the patient plan of team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer, Chicago didn't spend big money again this offseason and its youth will be on display again. The Cubs did make a run at coveted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who signed with the Yankees. Jose Veras and Wesley Wright were cheap and useful additions to a team drastically needing bullpen help, while Jason Hammel will slot into the rotation. The rest of the division is too good to see rebuilding Chicago anywhere but the cellar.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsRick Osentoski
2013 RECORD: 74-88 ADDITIONS: RHP Matt Garza (pictured), RHP Francisco Rodriguez, LHP Will Smith, 1B Mark Reynolds, 1B Lyle Overbay, LHP Zach Duke LOSSES: RHP Burke Badenhop, OF Norichika Aoki, 1B Corey Hart, INF Yuniesky Betancourt UNSIGNED FA: LHP Michael Gonzalez OUTLOOK: What had been a quiet offseason changed with the signing of Matt Garza. The Brewers surprised everyone with the move, but Milwaukee now has a solid starting rotation with Garza joining Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo at the top. Instead of dealing young pitching for a first baseman filled with question marks, GM Doug Melvin opted to add Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay to compete with Juan Francisco. Aoki became expendable with Ryan Braun returning and Khris Davis emerging. Melvin addressed his bullpen by bringing Francisco Rodriguez back into the fold. Jim Henderson still is the closer, but K-Rod provides insurance and an experienced arm.
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY SportsPeter Aiken
2013 RECORD: 90-72 ADDITIONS: INF/OF Skip Schumaker (pictured), LHP Jeff Francis, INF Ramon Santiago, RHP Pedro Beato, C Brayan Pena, LHP David Holmberg, RHP Chien-Ming Wang LOSSES: OF Shin-Soo Choo, RHP Bronson Arroyo, INF Cesar Izturis, C Ryan Hanigan, OF Xavier Paul UNSIGNED FA: None OUTLOOK: The Reds have watched a couple of key cogs leave this offseason, as starting center fielder Shin-Soo Choo leave for a big deal in Texas, while rotation cog Bronson Arroyo is now with Arizona. As far as additions, Cincinnati has been quiet. Brayan Pena will replace Ryan Hanigan as the backup catcher, while Skip Schumaker steps in as a utility player. New manager Bryan Price still has plenty of talent to compete for another trip to the playoffs. The speedy Billy Hamilton will likely get the first shot to replace Choo in center field. He may not hit for a high average, but Hamilton will add an elite base stealer to Cincinnati's lineup.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsGary A. Vasquez
2013 RECORD: 94-68 ADDITIONS: C Chris Stewart, RHP Edinson Volquez (pictured), OF Chris Dickerson LOSSES: 1B Justin Morneau, OF Marlon Byrd, 1B/OF Garrett Jones, C John Buck, C Michael McKenry, RHP Kyle Farnsworth, OF Felix Pie UNSIGNED FA: RHP A.J. Burnett OUTLOOK: The Pirates lost three key members of their playoff team from a year ago and haven't done anything to replace them. Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau joined the team late but were important pieces down the stretch, while A.J. Burnett topped the team's rotation. Pittsburgh's offseason would look a whole lot better if Burnett opted to return. Without him, Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole will be joined in the rotation by three of Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, Wandy Rodriguez and Edinson Volquez. With Burnett, this is essentially the same team that was in the race when Byrd, Morneau and John Buck were acquired.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY SportsEd Szczepanski
St. Louis Cardinals
2013 RECORD: 97-65 ADDITIONS: OF Peter Borujos, SS Jhonny Peralta (pictured), 2B Mark Ellis LOSSES: OF Carlos Beltran, 3B David Freese, RHP Fernando Salas, RHP John Axford, RHP Edward Mujica, SS Rafael Furcal UNSIGNED FA: RHP Jake Westbrook OUTLOOK: St. Louis addressed its need at shortstop with Jhonny Peralta, who was suspended part of last season for PEDs. Peralta is an offensive upgrade at the position. Mark Ellis provides the Cardinals with a veteran behind rookie second baseman Kolten Wong, as Matt Carpenter moves to third base with David Freese gone. St. Louis' biggest loss is Carlos Beltran. Allen Craig will likely move to right field, with Matt Adams at first base. Peter Borujos gives St. Louis a good defensive center fielder and adds speed. The Cardinals got better defensively and still have a powerful lineup. With a strong rotation and hard-throwing bullpen, the Cardinals are division favorites again.