No Dave Dombrowski? No problem for the Tigers -- at least not in the short term.
It's still surprising that owner Mike Ilitch dismissed Dombrowski last August. It's tricky to deconstruct that move, especially since the Red Sox pounced on Dombrowski only two weeks after he cleaned out his office at Comerica Park.
But make no mistake about it: Ilitch was not doing Dombrowski a favor by releasing him to pursue chances elsewhere. Detroit's owner has been clear that winning a World Series is his ultimate goal, and while Dombrowski led the club to the precipice on a pair of occasions, Illitch decided to it was time to give someone else -- longtime lieutenant Al Avila -- a chance to steer the ship.
In fact, Ilitch made it clear he wasn't looking for a change of philosophy when he signed Avila to a five-year contract. He proved it by providing Avila resources that most other general managers can only envy.
The Tigers' moves this offseason haven't been as splashy as the ones Dombrowski made while finding his way around Fenway Park. But score the first round to Avila. Detroit heads my list of most improved teams.
Depth was a strength for the Cubs during their 97-win season in 2015, but they are much deeper after investing $272 million in Jason Heyward, John Lackey and Ben Zobrist.
Those three guys produced 12.3 WAR between them last season -- and Zobrist's production in Oakland and Kansas City lagged far behind his last six seasons playing for Joe Maddon, when he averaged 6.2 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference.
There are rumors that they aren't done, either. Second baseman Howie Kendrick is a possibility.
4. Red Sox
A lack of a No. 1 starter and a bullpen that was 13th in the American League with a 4.24 ERA contributed to the Red Sox's last-place finish in the division. But by adding Price, Kimbrel and powerful setup man Carson Smith (11.8 strikeouts per nine innings), Dombrowski has put Boston in business again.
Jerry Dipoto knew he wouldn't have much payroll flexibility when he took the Seattle GM job. After all, the Mariners were already holding more than $470 million in future payroll obligations, mostly to Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz. But you can't judge the impact of the move by the size of headline it receives.
Dipoto hit the ground running in the Hot Stove season. He dealt away two potential run producers in Mark Trumbo and Logan Morrison, but he wound up with two potential 200-innings arms in Miley and Nathan Karns, and a more reliable hitter in first baseman Adam Lind (who should improve Seattle's .311 on-base percentage). If they're average, newcomers Chris Iannetta and Steve Clevenger will be major upgrades at catcher.
Dipoto surprised even himself by re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma, who was headed to the Dodgers before questions about his health. He added veterans Steve Cishek and Joaquin Benoit to anchor the bullpen, and Leonys Martin to go get the ball in center field. By re-signing Franklin Gutierrez and adding Nori Aoki, Dipoto gives rookie manager Scott Servais the option of using Cruz as his DH. All together, pretty impressive list of medium and small moves.
Honorable mention: Athletics, White Sox and Giants
It's fashionable to praise San Francisco's addition of Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Denard Span, but all three have been around. They come with caution signs. Same goes for not-so-new White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier, who simply seemed worn down at the end of 2015 in Cincinnati. Billy Beane quietly retooled with a series of low-cost moves. His biggest investment was adding Ryan Madson and John Axford to the bullpen, but starters Rich Hill and Henderson Alvarez, first baseman Yonder Alonso and infielder Jed Lowrie should give Bob Melvin a run at a winning season.
Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.