Approximately one quarter of the teams in baseball won between 80 and 89 games last year. None of the seven clubs made the playoffs, but all of them were within striking distance of a postseason berth. The teams have had wildly different approaches to the 2011-12 offseason — at least so far. I've broken the clubs down into two groups, with their 2011 win totals in parentheses and links that send you to the club's offseason transactions summary:
- Angels (86) - The Angels signed Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson and LaTroy Hawkins and traded for Chris Iannetta. GM Jerry Dipoto's debut offseason has been a busy one.
- Dodgers (82) - The Dodgers haven't quite kept up with the Angels, but they've spent considerably since the season ended. Matt Kemp signed a $160MM extension and Tony Gwynn, Aaron Harang, Jerry Hairston, Chris Capuano and Mark Ellis obtained two-year deals. Adam Kennedy, Juan Rivera, Matt Treanor, John Grabow and Josh Bard also signed with the Dodgers.
- Braves (89) – GM Frank Wren exercised Eric Hinske's option, but that $1.5MM commitment represents the Braves' biggest offseason expense so far.
- Giants (86) - GM Brian Sabean has had a relatively quiet offseason so far, bringing back relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Guillermo Mota and trading for outfielders Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan.
- Blue Jays (81) - The Blue Jays traded for Ben Francisco, Sergio Santos, Jeff Mathis, Luis Valbuena and picked up Edwin Encarnacion's option, but many Blue Jays fans continue salivating over the possibility of a major free agent acquisition.
- Nationals (80) - The Nationals traded for Gio Gonzalez and signed Mark DeRosa, Chien-Ming Wang, Jeff Fulchino and others. GM Mike Rizzo may not be done yet.
- Indians (80) – GM Chris Antonetti picked up Fausto Carmona's option, traded for Derek Lowe and re-signed Grady Sizemore, but otherwise the offseason has been quiet for Indians fans. The team also added a few former big leaguers on minor league deals and traded for Aaron Cunningham.
Two teams — the Cardinals and Tigers — graduated from the 80-89 win club to the postseason in 2011.