Washington Nationals: A-minus -- By acquiring No. 4 starter Doug Fister without giving up much in return, and adding left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins and fourth outfielder Nate McLouth, the Nationals directly answered three top weaknesses on a team that failed to meet expectations in 2013. The club might have overpaid for McLouth at two years and $10.75 million, however. The Nationals still need to look for a backup catcher and a fifth starter, but those solutions will most likely come from within. Getting shortstop Ian Desmond and right-hander Jordan Zimmermann signed to contract extensions remain the goal as the offseason winds down.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Houston Astros: B -- Considering their payroll last year was around $14 million, the Astros have made significant improvements with the addition of veteran starter Scott Feldman and veteran reliever Chad Qualls. The Astros desperately needed to address the rotation and the bullpen, and Qualls along with right-hander Anthony Bass should drastically improve a bullpen that was lost in the two months of the season. Feldman is a quality veteran leader for a rotation that lacked veteran leadership in 2013. Outfielder Dexter Fowler gives the team a true leadoff hitter for the first time since center fielder Michael Bourn was traded in July 2011.
Los Angeles Angels: B -- The Angels filled all of their holes, but the jury is still out as to how effectively they filled them. Left-handed starters Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago could be talented, cost-controlled pitchers, or each could be a bust. Third baseman David Freese is coming off an injury-marred season in which he didn't perform. If the Angels can get sign a pitcher such as Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka or former Texas Ranger right-hander Matt Garza, their offseason suddenly would become much better.
Oakland Athletics: B -- Some significant departures, with the A's losing two All-Stars in right-handers Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour, plus Opening Day starter Brett Anderson, but right-hander Jim Johnson replaces Balfour and lefty Scott Kazmir -- who was pitching in independent ball in 2012 -- takes Colon's spot in the rotation. Oakland could still use more power in the lineup to go along with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and first baseman Brandon Moss, but the low-payroll A's look as if they might be finished for the winter.
Seattle Mariners: B-plus -- Signing second baseman Robinson Cano was as big a move as any team made in free agency, and it went against the Mariners' typical offseason grade. What made almost as big a ripple in the fan base was the decision for team president Chuck Armstrong to step down at the end of the season. Armstrong had become a symbol of the Mariners' decade-long suffering, and a recent Seattle Times story on the dysfunction of the front office didn't help his reputation. That story took some of the shine off the Cano signing, but in between the lines this franchise can point to its offseason as a success. Things started with a collective yawn when the Mariners added infielder Willie Bloomquist, but they woke up the entire American League with the Cano signing a few days later. Getting first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart and first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison could turn out to be productive under-the-wire moves.
Texas Rangers: B-plus -- The acquisition of first baseman Prince Fielder addressed the club's most glaring a need: a power left-handed bat for the middle of the order. And it was the splashiest. It was hardly the only move. The Rangers have spent the offseason fortifying their core by adding depth to the bullpen (re-signing right-hander Jason Frasor) and the rotation (re-signing righty Colby Lewis), putting together a low-cost catching tandem of Geovany Soto and J.P. Arencibia and adding a potential long-term answer for left field (trading for Michael Choice). There is more that can be done. Most notably, the Rangers could use another bat. But they have put themselves in position to pick and choose the best fit/value on the market. It's been a strong offseason.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Chicago White Sox: C -- The Sox have gotten younger, acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton and signing first baseman Jose Abreu, but that doesn't mean they've gotten better. Then again, 63-99 last season means they can really only go up. The team feels that its strength moving forward is still pitching, and it's built around Chris Sale, followed by Jose Quintana and John Danks. But unless players like Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo can have bounce-back years, the changes made to the lineup won't mean much.
Cleveland Indians: C -- The Indians have been relatively quiet in the offseason. Through the end of the winter meetings, their only significant addition was free agent outfielder David Murphy. However, with the losses through free agency or release of right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, left-hander Scott Kazmir, right-hander Joe Smith and closer Chris Perez, the team is expected to add some pitching before the start of spring training.
Detroit Tigers: B-plus -- Getting out from under first baseman Prince Fielder's contract reduced the Tigers' power potential, but the team's other changes, including getting second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Texas Rangers in the trade, improved the overall infield defense and club speed. Signing right-hander Joe Nathan filled the hole at closer, and right-hander Joba Chamberlain will provide veteran backend help. Replacing traded right-hander Doug Fister with young left-hander Drew Smyly is fine except for the hole it left in the back end of the bullpen; whether lefty Ian Kroll, part of the deal with Washington for Fister, can handle the load remains to be seen. The money Detroit saved by dealing Fielder isn't nearly enough to sign right-hander Max Scherzer, the American League Cy Young Award winner who can be a free agent after the next season, but it could help.
Kansas City Royals: C-plus -- The Royals signed left-hander Justin Vargas to supplement their rotation and traded for outfielder Norichika Aoki, who should fill the void as a bona fide leadoff hitter. But the Royals fell short in landing free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran, who went to the Yankees. They would like to add another proven starter to the rotation and where they go, if anywhere, for a second baseman remains a question.
Minnesota Twins: B -- The signings of right-handers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, though not earthshaking, provide an immediate upgrade to Minnesota moribund rotation. The Twins have more to do, which includes finding a leadoff hitter, a veteran catcher and additional power for the middle of the lineup.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Baltimore Orioles: C -- Dealing right-hander Jim Johnson before the deadline to tender him a contract came down to the wire and the club got little in return for its closer, but the deal gave the Orioles some financial breathing room. But where that financial breathing room helps wasn't immediately clear. The Orioles won't offer a big deal for a starter, and it seems they're comfortable shopping for bargain basement deals.
Boston Red Sox: B-plus -- By re-signing first baseman Mike Napoli to a two-year contract, the Red Sox were able to retain an important middle-of-the-order bat. And they believe they may have upgraded behind the plate, replacing catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia with grizzled veteran A.J. Pierzynski. But the loss of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will be felt, if not defensively than definitely at the top of the order. The Sox are hoping either right fielder Shane Victorino or left fielder Daniel Nava is able to take over in the leadoff spot, which had been primarily Ellsbury's domain since 2008.
New York Yankees: B -- The Yankees were uncharacteristically outbid for All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, losing him to the Mariners for a 10-year deal worth $240 million. The Bombers still must replace Cano. They used that money to overhaul their lineup with the additions of catcher Brian McCann and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. The Yanks also re-signed right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal, but they still were looking to add another starting pitcher and relief help following the retirement of closer Mariano Rivera.
Tampa Bay Rays: C -- Incomplete would be more appropriate, as the Rays left the winter meetings without a first baseman and no resolution to trade talks involving ace David Price. They have added two experienced bullpen arms in Heath Bell and Juan Carlos Oviedo but technically haven't replaced free-agent closer Fernando Rodney. They did pick up a frontline catcher in Ryan Hanigan.
Toronto Blue Jays: D -- That rating might be good news considering last offseason it would have been an A and look how that turned out, last in the American League East. There remain too many loose ends and too many ifs at this stage concerning a starting pitcher and second baseman. But signing catcher Dioner Navarro filled a glaring need.