2014 Winter Meetings Winners and Losers: NL Central


With the 2014 Winter Meetings completed, it is time for teams and fans to evaluate where their teams stand and decide how much better, or worse, each team is. Though the Winter Meetings are not the end of the offseason, the meetings do gain the most attention. With many free agents still waiting for teams to start bidding on them, we will begin to see less trades, and more free agent signings from here on out. For now, we focus on simply the Winter Meetings in the National League (NL) Central:

Chicago Cubs: Winners – We kept hearing that the Cubs were going to make a splash, then they lost a bidding war for Russell Martin to the Toronto Blue Jays. Typical Cubs right? Nope, they traded for All-Star catcher Miguel Montero and signed pitcher Jason Hammel, then went and landed former World Series Champion and All-Star pitcher Jon Lester to anchor their pitching staff. Right now the Cubs still aren’t a division favorite, but they won’t be a cellar dweller anymore.

Cincinnati Reds: Losers – Going into the Winter Meetings, the Reds had 80 percent of their starting pitchers on one-year contracts. So instead of riding the season out and hoping they would make a playoff run, the Reds dealt Matt Latos to the Miami Marlins and Alfredo Simon to the Detroit Tigers. Word is that they may deal even more of their pitchers this offseason. The Great American Ballpark may just become the Not-So-Great American Ballpark.

More from St. Louis Cardinals

Milwaukee Brewers: Push – The Brewers took a stance that about half of the teams this offseason took: silence. They didn’t make any big moves and may have just looked at the end of last season as a fluke. They could afford to add another bat to the lineup this offseason or some middle infield depth, but they seem content, and with their success for the vast majority of last season, why not? They dominated the NL Central Division. It’s a smart move to tweak things from within and see what happens.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Winners – Losing Russell Martin is a big blow. However, they have a serviceable backup in Francisco Cervelli. I gave them a win because they brought back starting pitchers Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett and traded for reliever Antonio Bastardo. They have to squeak it out, but still come out a winner in the end.

St. Louis Cardinals: Winners – The Cardinals made a trade before the Winter Meetings that does not factor into this. They didn’t do much at the meetings, but filled their biggest needs, a backup first baseman and bench power. They signed Mark Reynolds to a 1 year, $2 million-dollar deal. This gives the ability to allow Matt Adams to take days off, or to have a DH if needed for interleague play. A quiet move, but a good one if it pans out.

There you have it, the winners and losers for the NL Central. Agree, Disagree, tell us.