This offseason has been filled with record-breaking signings but relatively few trades as player evaluation has become more similar from team to team thanks to sophisticated analytics and algorithms. There were still some terrific trades made this winter, highlighted by the three-team deal in which the Braves landed one of the game’s best all-around catchers (Sean Murphy), the Brewers acquired a middle-of-the-order bat (William Contreras) and the A’s added several prospects to help their rebuild. In other trades, a batting champion (Luis Arraez), a former Silver Slugger (Teoscar Hernández) and an ex-Gold Glover (Kolten Wong) found new homes.

What has been most interesting about this offseason’s major trades is how well-balanced most of the deals are. In my view, there weren’t any truly lopsided trades; most of them helped both teams address their respective needs. That said, I liked some trades more for certain teams, and some deals raised questions.

So what have been the most impactful trades thus far this offseason? Here’s how I’d rank the top 10 deals, with trade grades for each team.

1. The Braves-Brewers-A’s blockbuster deal

Braves acquired: C Sean Murphy (from Oakland)

Brewers acquired: C William Contreras (Atlanta), RHP Justin Yeager (Atlanta) and RHP Joel Payamps (Oakland)

A’s acquired: OF Esteury Ruiz (Milwaukee), LHP Kyle Muller (Atlanta), RHP Freddy Tarnok (Atlanta), RHP Royber Salinas (Atlanta) and C Manny Piña (Atlanta)

Trade grades: Braves — A; Brewers — B; A’s — C

The Braves deserve credit for landing the best player in this nine-player, three-team trade, and doing so at a reasonable price. Murphy, the 2022 American League Gold Glove Award winner, is one of the top five overall catchers in the sport, and Atlanta then signed him to a six-year, $73 million contract extension after the trade. Last year was his best offensive season as he slashed .250/.332/.426 with 37 doubles and 18 home runs. The Brewers made out well as they added Contreras, a middle-of-the-order bat who was the starting DH for the National League All-Star team last year. Contreras is a below-average catcher but he can hit, with 20 to 30 home run power (per season), and he’s not arbitration-eligible until 2025. Meanwhile, the A’s acquired more quantity than quality, but their haul included an intriguing prospect in outfielder Esteury Ruiz, a tremendous athlete with 15 to 18 home run power and explosive speed. (He had 85 stolen bases and slashed .332/.447/.526 between Double A and Triple A last year.) The big question with Ruiz, 23, is how well he’ll hit in the majors. In this deal, the Braves got their long-term answer at catcher, the Brewers got an affordable bat to bolster the middle of their lineup and address a huge need, and the A’s got more prospects to build around.


2. Twins traded 2B Luis Arraez to Marlins for RHP Pablo López, INF Jose Salas and OF Byron Chourio

Trade Grades: Twins — A-minus; Marlins — B

The Twins’ top offseason goal after re-signing shortstop Carlos Correa was to acquire a starting pitcher and they did an excellent job in landing López, who was 10-10 with a 3.75 ERA in 32 starts last season. López has pinpoint control and excels at locating his pitches in and out of the strike zone when pitching ahead in the count. He is under team control for two more seasons and fits nicely into the Twins rotation around right-handers Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan and Tyler Mahle. I thought a one-for-one trade for Arraez would have been fair, so I gave the edge to Minnesota in this deal because they also acquired a legitimate infield prospect, Salas, along with a fringe outfield prospect, Chourio. The Marlins needed more offense and a table setter; no one in their lineup had an on-base percentage above .333 last season. Arraez, who reached base at more than a 37 percent clip, will create traffic for the middle of their lineup. He hit .316 and won the AL batting championship. He’s under team control through the 2025 season. The trade also allowed the Marlins to solve their center-field problem: Arraez will play second base for the Marlins and they’ll move Jazz Chisholm to center. Bottom line: Their offense is much-improved with an elite table setter, and they should be strong up-the-middle with an athletic center fielder in Chisholm, who should have well-above-average range out there.