This offseason was highlighted by the blockbuster deal that saw ace Chris Sale land in Boston and two of the game's best prospects land on Chicago's South Side, expediting the White Sox's rebuilding efforts. Free agents made headlines when the Indians signed Edwin Encarnacion and Aroldis Chapman returned to the Yankees.
However, the biggest free-agent story of the offseason was that more of them returned to their original teams than ever before. The Dodgers retained Justin Turner, Rich Hill and Kenley Jansen. Yoenis Cespedes went back to the Mets, Mark Trumbo returned to Baltimore, and Jose Bautista stayed north of the border.
The Red Sox, Dodgers, Astros, Indians and White Sox had the best offseasons, while the Twins, Padres, Athletics and Tigers had the worst. Here are the grades for all 30 teams by division.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Baltimore Orioles -- Grade: B-
Offseason goals: Catcher, left-handed hitter, right fielder, improve outfield defense
Key acquisitions to date: Mark Trumbo, Seth Smith, Welington Castillo, Jesus Montero, Logan Ondrusek, Logan Verrett, Logan Schafer, Johnny Giavotella
The Orioles deserved a high grade based solely on their negotiations with Trumbo. After he turned down a three-year, $41 million offer, they took it off the table. A few months later they signed him to a three-year, $37.5 million contract -- a great negotiating job by general manager Dan Duquette and ownership. The Orioles solved their need for a left-handed-hitting outfielder when they traded for Smith, who is a strong platoon offensive player with a high on-base percentage.
Baltimore adequately replaced free agent Matt Wieters when it signed free-agent catcher Castillo after he was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks. The Orioles, normally successful at this time of year, still need a strong defensive outfielder and are bargain basement searching right now.
Boston Red Sox -- Grade: A
Offseason goals: Bullpen depth, DH, elite starting pitcher
Key acquisitions to date: Chris Sale, Tyler Thornburg, Mitch Moreland, Josh Tobias
Red Sox president and GM Dave Dombrowski checked off all of his offseason goals in one day during the winter meetings when he acquired a true ace in Sale from the White Sox, picked up a top setup reliever in Thornburg in a deal with the Brewers, and then delved back into free agency to acquire Gold Glove first baseman Moreland on a one-year contract.
The Red Sox are the most improved American League team this offseason and are arguably the best team in the AL East on paper, with a legitimate chance at another World Series appearance.