The 80-89 Win Club

Adrian Gonzalez
A third of the teams in baseball won between 80 and 89 games last year. None of them made the playoffs, but all of them were within striking distance of a postseason berth. The ten teams have had wildly different approaches to the 2010-11 offseason – at least so far. I've broken the clubs down into three groups, with their 2010 win totals in parentheses and links that send you to the club's offseason transactions summary:

Aggressive Acquirers

Moderate Spenders

Restrained Spenders

  • Blue Jays (85) - Octavio Dotel has been the Blue Jays' biggest offseason addition so far and the club traded one of its top starters, Shaun Marcum, to Milwaukee. The Blue Jays could have a surprise in store, but to this point, their winter has been a quiet one. The team appears to be biding its time for a sustained run in the competitive AL East; they certainly aren't going for broke in 2011.
  • Angels (80) – Yes, the Angels have added Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi, but no, this is not the offseason most observers expected. Crawford and Beltre signed elsewhere and the Angels have significant needs at third base and in the outfield as a result.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


Full Story | 68 Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

68 Comments on "The 80-89 Win Club"


j6takish
4 years 7 months ago

Toronto is likely to be a baffling team again next year. Losing Marcum will hurt, but losing Brian Tallet and Cito will help. Lind and Hill rebounding will offset Bautista’s inevitable decline, plus all the kids are a year older. 85 wins? 90 wins? 65 wins? None would surprise me at all

4 years 7 months ago

90 would surprise me some, but it sure would be awesome. It is hard to calculate the WACR (cito-replacement).

Andy Mc
4 years 7 months ago

65 wins would be a major surprise, and a total disaster. Look for 82-88 wins.

bluejaysstatsgeek
4 years 7 months ago

Considering the age of many of they players and that they are on the upward slope of their productivity, their may be some improvement. While I don’t expect as many HRs, I expect the offense to be at least as productive: regression for Bautista and possible Wells, but more from Lind, Hill, Snider and Encarnacion. Losing Marcum and Downs cannot be a good thing, but the organization has a lot of depth in the pitching department. I sense that Farrell will be a better in-game tactician than Cito, but I doubt that translates into many wins. To me, the biggest wildcard for the Jays 2011 will be the catching position: we might endure JPA having a rough transition, or he could be 2011’s Buster Posey.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 7 months ago

With the White Sox, Tigers, and Twins all improving for the long haul and with the Royals farm the AL Central is about to become a very fierce division.

Between the White Sox, Tigers, and Twins… well it’s kinda hard to predict a favorite for the division this year.

Motor_City_Bombshell
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t mean to present a bias, but allow me to make it easy for you… :)

No, but in all honesty, I can’t predict a winner myself, it comes down to the Chisox and Tigers to me.

baconslayer09
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t think the Twins improved this off-season…

If anything, they downgraded. Even if they get Pavano back.

bglaszcz
4 years 7 months ago

Morneau will be back for the full season, and Valencia will be a year older. Don’t count the Twins out.

Donskoy
4 years 7 months ago

It doesn’t really matter what the Twins get back, in my opinion. They’re the Twins. I’m sure that they could trade away there entire team and somehow would still be competing in the end.

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

Took the words right out of my mouth, at what point do we call Gardenhire a genius? I don’t really want to, but 6 1st place finishes in 9 seasons (and could have very easily been 7 if you look at 2008 losing by 1 game) means we kind of have to, don’t we?

Steve_in_MA
4 years 7 months ago

Yeah, but when are they going to be the bride instead of always the bride’s maid? Genius needs to transcend and get to the WS, not just the ALDS.

alphabet_soup5
4 years 7 months ago

Ron Gardenhire hasn’t even won a postseason game since 2004. The man is most definitely not a genius.

baconslayer09
4 years 7 months ago

Nobody said they’d be out. I still think they’re on par with the Tigers and White Sox.

They were clearly the best team in the division last year, but it doesn’t look like the case right now for 2011.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 7 months ago

Poor Indians…

4 years 7 months ago

If we get a full season out of both Morneau and Nathan, that’s a pretty big internal “upgrade.” Of course, they’re both pretty big question marks, especially Nathan. I don’t think the Twins have improved, but they’re not so much worse, and Dunn and V-Mart hardly transform the Tigers and White Sox into juggernauts.

southloopsoxfan
4 years 7 months ago

I’m looking for the White Sox to get off to a hot start them catch fire in the summer again. If that happens we should take the Central

okbluejays
4 years 7 months ago

Dana Eveland got a contract? I hope for the the Dodgers sake, he doesn’t actually make the team, wow is he terrible.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

It was a minor league deal….don’t go crazy.

sadp
4 years 7 months ago

He did his job on the Jays – kill time while Brett Cecil’s finger recovered from chicken-slicing mishap.

4 years 7 months ago

why isnt anybody talking about the most underrated pitcher on bj’s staff??? MORROW, hello???

sadp
4 years 7 months ago

He did his job on the Jays – kill time while Brett Cecil’s finger recovered from chicken-slicing mishap.

okbluejays
4 years 7 months ago

The Dodgers added a lot of mediocrity imo…Sure Lilly and Kuroda will probably be solid, but both were re-signs. Garland could be a solid add, especially in that park, but the rest is a big MEH.

$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

A 1-5 that features Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda, Lilly, and Garland is VERY solid though. If only they had a real first baseman, third baseman, and left fielder…

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

they have a real left fielder, his name is Andre Ethier. The only problem is they need a real right fielder and until then have to keep Andre there…

4 years 7 months ago

If you’re looking at Eveland and Redding as part of that “meh” comment, you shouldn’t. Both are minor league deals and likely won’t even be on the team. Guerrier is a solid add tho the 3 yr contract is questionable his usefulness isn’t. Uribe will be better than who they had at 2nd last year. They still have needs as noted above (especially that elusive other outfielder) but I wouldn’t say their offseason was full of mediocrity at all.

4 years 7 months ago

I’d hesitate to call the Rockies “Aggressive Acquirers”. Signing CarGo and Tulo to extensions isn’t acquiring anything at all. (Unless you count potential financial downside a few years from now.) The closest to an aggressive acquisition they’ve had is De La Rosa, who would be at best an Aggressive Reacquisition. Even if you count DLR as an acquisition (he was a FA, so, okay, fine, that’s one way to look at it), the rest of the pieces they’ve acquired aren’t starters on a contender.

Good piece otherwise and interesting way to look at it. I just think you’re off on your COL characterization.

4 years 7 months ago

Considering the other categories were termed “moderate spenders” and “restrained spenders”, he made the right choice with COL.

Jonathan Stone
4 years 7 months ago

Locking Up Tulo and CarGo, both entering their prime, at reasonable rates strikes me as much smarter than hanging $100M+ on the like of Werth or Beltre. Tulo and CarGo will be about the same age as Werth and Beltre are now when their deals complete. They are both considered monster talents and their contracts make them both affordable long term and tradeable if necessary. The only mystery to me is why they didn’t lock up Olivo for a couple of more years.

4 years 7 months ago

You’re not taking into account the fact that both players were already signed cheaply for many more years. Extending them now at market price means you’re not even getting a discount for taking the risk of signing a player early.

For an example of how to do something like this, see the Pedroia or Cano or Upton contracts, where the team got a significant discount for taking on that risk. For another example of how not to do it, see the Ryan Howard or Chris Carpenter extensions. For an example of how REALLY to do it, see the criminally team-friendly Longoria deal.

But if you do a little digging you can find plenty of more completely argued blogs about how foolish those extensions were. My point was that calling extensions “acquisitions” is really stretching the meaning of it.

4 years 7 months ago

I dunno, seems like the As acquired more and better players, and they’re in moderate.

I could certainly quibble here and there, but COL seems totally misplaced, to me.

Heliosphan
4 years 7 months ago

Tigers need a fifth starter, the team would be much better with Coke as an set up man.

osbornetorun1
4 years 7 months ago

Don’t agree with the Rockies in that category. They’ve acquired almost no incremental talent, instead re-signing or extending players from their 2010 roster. I think they spent a lot but did little to improve their team.

aliendna
4 years 7 months ago

How about calling it the “80-90 Win Club” and include the Padres. I realize the Rangers got into the postseason with 90 wins but San Diego only got eliminated on the last day with 90 wins. The Padres are Restrained Spenders but yet very active in turning over their roster. Unfortunately their small market revenue prevented losing Andrian Gonzalez.

aliendna
4 years 7 months ago

How about calling it the “80-90 Win Club” and include the Padres. I realize the Rangers got into the postseason with 90 wins but San Diego only got eliminated on the last day with 90. The Padres are Restrained Spenders but yet very active in turning over their roster. Unfortunately their small market revenue prevented losing Andrian Gonzalez.

kirkdavenport
4 years 7 months ago

Despite either aggressive or restrained spending, I see all of these teams performing about the same next year. Boston may have the biggest chance to move up – more from the weakening of their biggest competitors. They added but also lost key players. The biggest change will be how their existing pitchers get back on track on slide backwards. White Sox and Tigers added a bit, but not enough to make an impact.
None of the others added an impact bat or pitcher, with the A”s probably making the wisest choices. Despite the hopes of the Dodgers, Rockies, Cardinals, Marlins and Blue Jays, simply adding multiple mediocre players will not move you up to be a contender. Their hope may only lie in the likely fall of the Padres, Rays, Rangers and a few others who did well last year.

sadp
4 years 7 months ago

The Jays are in no way attempting to be a serious contender this year. If they contend though, I won’t complain.

sadp
4 years 7 months ago

The Jays are in no way attempting to be a serious contender this year. If they contend though, I won’t complain.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

Not sure losing Beltre was exactly losing a “key” player since there was no place for him.. Would you rather have Youkillis or Beltre? Youkillis is signed for 3 more seasons (incl 13′ option) at 37m total and moved to 3B. They picked up Agone to play 1B and let Beltre walk when he turned down 4/52m from them. Sounds pretty smart to me and Boston knows Youkillis will put up good numbers every year.

firealyellon
4 years 7 months ago

Note, Mr Hendry, that your club is NOT on this list

4 years 7 months ago

Not a mention for the Braves? Acquired Dan Uggla for peanuts, extended him to a relatively fair deal, and traded for Scott Linebrick and signed George Sherill and Joe Mather. Not a whole ton, but the Uggla deal is the big one.

4 years 7 months ago

The Braves finished with 91 wins. This article is for those with 80-89 wins only. Sorry.

4 years 7 months ago

No need to apologize, for whatever it is you’re apologizing for.

That’s what I get for reading too many comments and forgetting the headline. And I was convinced the Sox won over 90 games in 2010…

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

No, sadly, they only won 89.

4 years 7 months ago

Edited: Double-post.

4 years 7 months ago

To go back in the convo a little bit… I love the addition of pictures at the rate they’ve been being posted. Just a nice touch, IMO.

umair56
4 years 7 months ago

whoa thats a lot of color on the MLBTR front page

$6101468
4 years 7 months ago

As a charter member of “The Fellowship Of The Miserable” the Red $ox have loaded up. Reasonable health and a bit of upside performance from a select group of starters and “The Nation” should enjoy a very enjoyable October. The major issues were addressed.

Green_Monster
4 years 7 months ago

Every time you say Red Sox you use a $. Why? It makes you look like a 5 year old.

$6101468
4 years 7 months ago

I happen to be a 66 year old who has constantly used exactly this notation in the past to describe the NY team “yankee$” using small caps and a dollar sign. I have posted on numerous sites about NY’s ability to buy players and be patent zero in the driving up of the salary scale. So if Boston does similar I am suppose to ignore it? Boston is now just a notch below NY in that department and certainly deserves a $ in their name and that is a $ we all pay for. I just love the love them or leave them attitude of some Red $ox fans. Maybe those are the real 5 year old folks?

Tko11
4 years 7 months ago

The Yankees started the trend and in order to keep up other teams in the division either have to spend or they will not be making the playoffs. The Rays are an exception but thats after a bunch of years of last place finishes.

$6101468
4 years 7 months ago

NY and Boston spend more on payroll than most teams collect in revenue. Tough to compete under those circumstances.

Tko11
4 years 7 months ago

Which is pretty much the point I was making except I dont see how you can blame Boston too when they barely ever came near what the Yankees payroll was before. They got closer this year but if the Yankees had not had a lineup of all stars do you think the Sox still go so hard after Gonzalez and Crawford?? No need to pay big bucks for overkill.

Tko11
4 years 7 months ago

Which is pretty much the point I was making except I dont see how you can blame Boston too when they barely ever came near what the Yankees payroll was before. They got closer this year but if the Yankees had not had a lineup of all stars do you think the Sox still go so hard after Gonzalez and Crawford?? No need to pay big bucks for overkill.

Green_Monster
4 years 7 months ago

Every time you say Red Sox you use a $. Why? It makes you look like a 5 year old.

$6101468
4 years 7 months ago

Boston has consistently been near the top in payroll for years. Information is readily accessible. The RS pay because they can. If they did not have such a supportive fan base they’d been dead years ago competing with the yankee$.

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

Completely disagree, keep using the pictures.

j6takish
4 years 7 months ago

Haters gonna hate

dwarfcatt
4 years 7 months ago

Respectfully, what do they add, from your perspective?

4 years 7 months ago

The pictures add nothing but a little extra flavor. Of course, this is a baseball site dependent on people who like watching balls get thrown and hit. Can you blame them for thinking we’d like to have some eye candy?

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t know that they add anything specific as far as baseball trades go, but they don’t detract anything either as far as I’m concerned. They also add a look of professionalism in my opinion, it looks like a site that employs people to maintain it instead of a site that someone put together in their spare time. The content has always been (and likely always will be) great, this just adds a better look in my opinion.

4 years 7 months ago

Seems like there are people on both sides of the fence. Content’s the same and load time hasn’t been affected, so it doesn’t seem like it should be a problem for anyone. We’ll probably be tinkering here and there to get the placement of the pics right.

AJCBE
4 years 7 months ago

If this is the biggest complaint about the site I’d say you guys are doing a pretty outstanding job. One thing that I think would make the pictures better would be if the backgrounds were photoshopped out and you wrapped the text around the player, but that’s just me. Keep up the great work.

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

Yeah, I’ve definitely seen plenty of people on both sides. As you said it hasn’t affected content or load time, and they certainly aren’t to the point of cluttering up the page.

Personally I’m just glad that there’s someone out there to put this page together for us to easily follow what’s going on around baseball.

4 years 7 months ago

I don’t mind a picture or say a graph/chart thrown in from time to time. You blog a ton with only text and links so for anyone to complain, well they’re just complaining to complain. Personally I love MLBTR and adding some imagery here and there is not a bad thing. The site is pretty terrific no matter what.

4 years 7 months ago

I also don’t mind the pictures but I do think you ought to be aware of copyright/trademark violations. This isn’t some blog from your mother’s basement; you guys are very high-profiled and if you don’t at least cite the sources of the pictures and give credit where credit is due, it could bite you in the butt in the future. Perhaps the very near future.

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

They cite every single one at the bottom of the article.

4 years 7 months ago

All photos are used with permission and credited the way our provider requested.

4 years 7 months ago

Serves me right for not reading it all the way through!