Forget Robinson Cano, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Brian McCann and everyone else who landed a lucrative long-term contract this offseason. It’s obvious that those players are expected to make an impact with their new organizations in 2014.
The best offseason moves often are the ones that initially fly under the radar. The Boston Red Sox, for example, loaded up on second-tier free agents last offseason, and it helped them win a World Series in 2013. Other teams appear to be adopting Boston’s philosophy, although the New York Yankees’ spending spree suggests that big money will continue to be tossed around.
There were plenty of moves this winter that fall into the “low-risk, high-reward” category. A lot of those transactions won’t work out, but others could be difference-makers, especially since they’ll allow teams to be more flexible at the trade deadline by virtue of not overspending.
So, which moves this offseason were the most underrated? A lot of factors go into defining the term, “underrated,” but the following 10 transactions should give teams plenty of bang for their buck.