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2016-2017 MLB Offseason 'Recruiting' Updates for All 30 Teams

Let's pretend for a moment that each MLB team's offseason was evaluated in a way similar to that of a college football or basketball program. Free-agent signings and trade additions would be assigned a rating from 1-5 on the "star" scale, and the complete class of new additions would be graded from there.

Rather than assessing how well needs were filled, how much money was spent by each team or how much cumulative talent was added compared to who was lost in free agency and trades, the focus would solely be on how much overall talent was added to the roster.

First, we need to decide what constitutes a 5-star player, 4-star player and so on. Here is my take on who belongs in each category:

  • 5-Star (10 points): A superstar-caliber position player, front-line starting pitcher or elite closer.
  • 4-Star (7 points): An above-average everyday position player, middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher or plus late-inning reliever.
  • 3-Star (3 points): A league-average everyday position player or reserve likely to see extended playing time, No. 5 starting pitcher/swingman or above-average reliever. High-upside bounce-back candidates can be found here.
  • 2-Star (1 point): Solid organizational depth likely to be on the big league roster at some point, if not on Opening Day. Rule 5 draft picks can be found here.
  • 1-Star (N/A): Everyone else. Players signed to minor league deals and unlikely to make any sort of impact at the big league level this coming season. Not included here; don't count toward a team's overall offseason rating.

From there, points were awarded to each recruit as listed above, and each team's total recruit point total was determined. Players were graded based solely on their expected contributions during the 2017 season, so prospects were evaluated on their expected big league contributions for the upcoming season and not their overall ceiling.

Teams were then ordered from worst to first based on the overall level of talent they've added so far this winter. The tiebreaker in the case of two teams having the same score was which team has added more high-star players.

For example, a team that added one 5-star player (10 points) ranks ahead of a team that added one 4-star player and one 3-star player (10 points).

As with college rosters, returning players are not considered recruits, so anyone re-signing with the team he played for last year was not considered for this. That means no Yoenis Cespedes, Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Rich Hill or Carlos Gomez, among others.

The end goal here was simply to put a different and fun spin on evaluating what each MLB team has done so far this offseason. So take this for what it is, and enjoy.

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