First off, this piece ranking the offseasons of different franchises (Winter Winners):
1. Phillies: The world champions did an amazing job locking up their best young players, getting both Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard under contract for three years to avoid the arbitration process that blew up on them last year when Howard won an unprecedented $10 million as a first-year arbitration-eligible player. By all accounts Raul Ibanez will be great for the clubhouse and lineup -- though a right-handed hitter might have made a little more sense.*
The Phillies did a nice job redeeming for the strangeness that was the Raul Ibanez signing. Yes, Mr. Heyman, the deal was plain odd. Not only did they fail to offer arbitration to a right-handed hitter you thought they should have (Burrell), but also they give up two picks for signing Ibanez who is a worse offensive player and, at best, a few runs better defensively for a guy who is older. Even taking account of Burrell's old player skills, the decline of both players is likely a wash. I know they won the World Series last year, but why are they number one?
Well, I do expect you to cover every team with care, right?
16. Tigers: Nobody underachieved like them last year. And while they didn't continue their spending spree this winter, a return to the mean by their key players would still put them in contention
Why do you disappoint me so?
13. Royals: They are Exhibit A in the argument against collusion as that rare small-market team that spent liberally. If there was something funny going on behind the scenes, certainly nobody let them in on it. While Mike Jacobs, Coco Crisp and Kyle Farnsworth probably won't transform the Royals into a playoff contender, they should make them better.
They improved considering that they replaced some utter crap with lesser crap but don't you think they could have spent that money better? 2 years apiece for Farnsworth and Bloomquist? Mike Jacobs and his near Balboni-esque skillset? If the Royals happen to contend, I just look forward to people praising Dayton Moore for these moves and not for how guys like DeJesus, Greinke (a good move by locking him up, I should add), Gordon, and Butler do. Those new guys might end up "Meche-ing" but I'm a bit skeptical.
14. Reds: They lost out on Jermaine Dye, but Willy Taveras is the leadoff hitter they need. That young nucleus may be ready to win.
You're praising the Reds for using Willy Taveras as a leadoff man? Granted, the Reds offense is projected to be blah and it's best to use base stealers in front of poor hitters but leadoff?
19. Mariners: Ibanez and Putz have been removed from the 100-loss team. The rebuilding process is needed, new GM Jack Zduriencik seems to know what he's doing and they are strong on scouts. But it's going to be painful, at least at the start.
Yes, you love Raul. Raul seems to be a decent guy and hard worker. That said, you do realize Mariners fans had to watch him become this in the field From Lookout Landing:
Not to mention that adding Gutierrez and Chavez to Ichiro, they have a very nice outfield defense. I'm surprised you didn't mention Griffey who is a marginal upgrade to the DH spot.
There's more to add from this piece but my fellow writers can handle that.
*bold emphasis mine