ESPN Insider Jim Bowden Releases MLB Offseason Grades

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Sep 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) delivers a pitch to the Texas Rangers during a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox (MLB Rank 2, Grade A+)

Bowden says:

"GM Rick Hahn made the trade of the offseason when he acquired Samardzija from the A’s without having to give up an above-average prospect. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf then opened his checkbook, committing more than $132 million to free agents, which resulted in the team improving in almost every aspect. When the work was completed, the White Sox went from a fourth-place team to a contender."

We say: There’s no question that the White Sox did the absolute most this offseason amongst AL Central foes. Samardzija gives Chris Sale a legitimate starter to pair with. Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche make what should be a good lineup, even better. This team is not a bottom feeder anymore.

Interestingly enough, Jim Bowden’s grades for the AL Central shake out the exact same way we see the division finishing when the 2015 season comes to a close. Maybe there’s something to that?

Next: 2015 AL Central Predictions

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