We still have more than a month to go until the official start of spring, the vernal equinox, but baseball fans go by a different reckoning than the astronomers. For us, spring training means spring, even if there's a foot of snow on the ground -- and no scientist or groundhog can convince us otherwise.
To wrap up the winter festivities, I asked ZiPS to evaluate team winters based on 2017 wins resulting from trades and signings by estimating the projection difference between two depth charts: a theoretical depth chart for 2017 if the team retained every single player that was traded or lost in free agency and the actual, current depth chart.
This is not an evaluation of how smart an offseason was, simply because not every team's front office has the goal of maximizing wins in 2017. It's a 2017-only evaluation, so a team like the White Sox will rank low here, but that's not a reflection on the front office's overall performance.
Seattle didn't make one huge Chris Sale/Adam Eaton-type blockbuster trade this winter, but the Mariners did make an impressive number of incremental gains, similar to how you win a game of chess against a competent foe.
ZiPS sees Jean Segura, Drew Smyly, Mitch Haniger and Jarrod Dyson as safer bets than the players general manager Jerry Dipoto traded away, and some of the lesser names involved, such as Danny Valencia or Carlos Ruiz, provide real value as role players.
Now, the Red Sox did make one huge Chris Sale-type blockbuster: Chris Sale. That's enough to put them close to the top of the list, but Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech both project to provide real 2017 value -- if they were still in the depth chart, especially Moncada. The Red Sox would have had a lot more trouble getting them playing time than the White Sox will.