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NL offseason grades: Mets spent wisely, but did Dodgers do enough?

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Welcome to theScore's MLB offseason grades. Here, we look at where each NL team stands heading into the 2023 season. Click here for AL grades.

Arizona Diamondbacks: B

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The D-Backs are oozing with promise after an under-the-radar winter. The front office added Moreno - arguably the top catching prospect in baseball - to an organization that already owns three top-15 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. Arizona traded from a position of strength by dealing Varsho but still acquired outfield depth in Gurriel and Lewis, the latter of whom is a former AL Rookie of the Year but has battled a number of injuries. The bullpen also looks better with Chafin as a potential closer after posting a 2.83 ERA with a 10.5 K/9 in 2022 for the Tigers.

Atlanta Braves: C

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The Braves let some big pieces leave via free agency and trades. The club is hoping Vaughn Grissom can replace Swanson at shortstop. That's a big ask given the latter posted the second-best fWAR in baseball at the position last season. Atlanta already had a great catching tandem with Contreras and Travis d'Arnaud but dealt for and extended Murphy to provide long-term stability. The team also said goodbye to its closer, Jansen, but added a few intriguing arms in Jimenez and Luetge. The Braves are banking on a healthy Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies for internal improvements after the club's mediocre offseason.

Chicago Cubs: B+

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The Cubs will look very different, but it remains to be seen if the changes will turn them into contenders in the weak NL Central. Swanson brings a solid bat and great glove with championship pedigree but will likely be hard-pressed to repeat his 2022 season. The team could get to another level if Bellinger comes close to finding his MVP form from 2019; that's a big if, though. Taillon and Marcus Stroman aren't top-of-the-rotation arms but will provide stability. Ownership delivered on its promise to spend, bringing the team much closer to being competitive than it was last year.

Cincinnati Reds: D

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The Reds continue to rebuild without making any big transactions. As a result, it should be another painful growing year filled with losses. Myers is a former Rookie of the Year and All-Star but is coming off an injury-filled campaign in which he went deep seven times over 77 games. The best-case scenario for Cincinnati is to flip him for a prospect or two before the deadline. The club's offseason was underwhelming, but there was no prior indication that it would be anything but that.

Colorado Rockies: D

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Rockies owner Dick Monfort did a lot more talking than adding to his roster. He said he's skeptical of the way the Padres splashed money. The 68-year-old also believes Colorado can be competitive in 2023, which seems far-fetched after bringing in the likes of Jones, Johnson, and Suter. A healthy Kris Bryant should help, but the club will be in tough to get out of the NL West basement.

Los Angeles Dodgers: C-

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It felt strange seeing the Dodgers pass on every star free agent. Los Angeles is usually a major player but appeared to be focused on resetting its luxury-tax penalties. The club also released Trevor Bauer despite owing him roughly $20 million. Martinez, Peralta, Syndergaard, and Reyes are nice bounce-back candidates. However, the Dodgers lost a lot of talent, including star shortstop Turner. The division still runs through L.A., but the perennial World Series favorite might finally be starting to show signs of vulnerability.

Miami Marlins: C-

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The Marlins desperately needed to improve their dreadful offense but failed to bring in any middle-of-the-order bats. Miami used its great pitching depth to land Arraez from the Twins and then signed Cueto to replace Lopez in the rotation. The reigning AL batting champ is nice to have at the top of the lineup, but who's going to drive him in? Arraez is also predominately a slap hitter without much power. It will be interesting to see how long the Jazz Chisholm Jr. experiment in center field lasts. The club wants to start Arraez at second despite his defensive shortcomings and veteran newcomer Segura at third. That's a lot of moving parts for potentially little gain.

Milwaukee Brewers: B-

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For a second straight winter, the Brewers focused on adding offense, and they picked up some potentially big bats. Contreras is an instant upgrade behind the plate. He's not the greatest defensive catcher, but Milwaukee will live with that if he continues to put up All-Star-caliber offensive numbers. If Winker, acquired from Seattle for Wong, can get back to his former All-Star self, the lineup will be that much stronger. But his splits suggest he's better off in a platoon, perhaps at DH with fellow newcomer Anderson. So much of this lineup's success will still depend on Christian Yelich finding even a semblance of his MVP play once again. The Brewers also added some pitching in the form of Miley, whose career they revived once before in 2018, and some bullpen depth. Rogers' departure means Devin Williams is the lone star reliever left in the 'pen.

New York Mets: A

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It's rare that a team can lose a pitcher like deGrom and have Carlos Correa slip through its fingers but still walk away as arguably the winner of an offseason. But that's what happens when Steve Cohen is your owner. The Mets loaded up over the winter, replacing deGrom with reigning AL Cy Young winner Verlander, who now forms one-half of a fearsome duo atop the rotation alongside Max Scherzer. New York also shelled out to re-sign Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, and Adam Ottavino, as well as import Japanese star Senga. Then there are the complementary pieces, which might have been overlooked. Quintana, Raley, and Robertson are all very capable arms who make this team better. The Mets spent but didn't spend just for the sake of it. They're a much improved club in every aspect.

Philadelphia Phillies: B+

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There was no way that Dave Dombrowski was going to rest after his Phillies came so close to winning it all last year. He made his usual splashes, shoring up both shortstop and the leadoff spot by landing Turner and swapping Walker in for Gibson to improve the middle of the rotation. Although the end of his contract could prove disastrous, Turner is a great fit for the Phillies today - and that's all that matters on a Dombrowski club. Trading for two-time All-Star Soto was a stealthy move that lengthened manager Rob Thomson's bullpen behind Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez. It's impossible to ask anybody to fully replace Bryce Harper, who's out for at least the first half while recovering from elbow surgery, but a return to form for Nick Castellanos would go a long way toward doing that. The Phillies aren't perfect, but they're probably better than they were last year.

Pittsburgh Pirates: C+

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The Pirates' grade lands in the C range because they didn't do nearly enough to vault themselves back into contention. But for a rebuilding club that was never going to swim in the deep end, they actually had a quietly solid winter. The return of franchise icon McCutchen for his second go-around grabbed the headlines and is a feel-good story that will pay dividends for the young players who will learn from him. Three other veteran additions in Choi, Santana, and Hill can all help set the tone for an inexperienced yet talented team. Oneil Cruz and Ke'Bryan Hayes are poised to continue growing into cornerstone pieces. David Bednar remains a rock in the bullpen, with newcomer Garcia giving him a bit of help.

San Diego Padres: B

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The Padres once again threw money around. Bogaerts adds even more star power to an already great lineup and allows Fernando Tatis Jr. to move to the outfield permanently once he returns in late April. The pitching staff is versatile and features plenty of weapons capable of being deployed in multiple roles. They also now get full seasons from Juan Soto and Josh Hader. Still, the question marks that remain are significant. Can Lugo, Wacha, and Nick Martinez (who re-signed) perform up to their capabilities as starters? Will Gold Glove center fielder Trent Grisham find a way to hit above his weight? Does Cruz have anything left? Was Bogaerts' contract too big? Depth could also be an issue, even with the additions of Carpenter and Engel as serviceable platoon pieces.

San Francisco Giants: C+

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The Giants came up short in their attempts to land a big fish - first when Aaron Judge rejected their advances, then when Carlos Correa's physical results showed up. To add salt to the wound, their ace, Rodon, followed Judge to the Bronx. San Francisco did recover nicely and made some useful additions. Stripling and Manaea should enjoy pitching in spacious Oracle Park. Haniger and Conforto have had their share of injury troubles, but if healthy, they could form a very good duo in the middle of the lineup. Logan Webb should also continue his rise as an ace. All that said, the Giants are obviously disappointed after coming up empty in their quest for a superstar. Big question marks remain behind the plate, where they're still waiting for Joey Bart to break out, and at first base.

St. Louis Cardinals: C

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Nabbing Contreras to take over for Yadier Molina was a smooth piece of business for the Cardinals. It was also the only thing they did during a mostly silent offseason. The team's core, anchored by Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, remains as good as it gets. Adam Wainwright is back for one more year, Jack Flaherty is healthy, and Jordan Montgomery is there for a full season. So was Contreras by himself enough? It's hard to say. The Cardinals might still be the best team in the NL Central, but that's not necessarily anything to crow about. The move they made was good, but they could have done much more.

Washington Nationals: D

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This is about what you'd expect from the rebuilding Nats, who bottomed out last summer when Juan Soto was traded. If Dickerson Kuhl, Colome, and Peralta perform well, they'll be July trade bait. Smith and Candelario are hoping to resuscitate their careers in this low-pressure environment. It's going to be a long summer in Washington.

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