(CBS) There’s really no way to know who “won” the offseason until games are played this summer, but many prognosticators are making their predictions.
Using WAR (wins above replacement) projections, the Wall Street Journal has determined the winners and losers of the offseason and the marks are high for the Cubs, but low for the White Sox.
With a +8.2 WAR, the Cubs are ranked second overall, behind only the Blue Jays (+10.7). Edwin Jackson has a projected WAR of 2.8, while Carlos Villanueva has a projected WAR of 1.4.
Meanwhile, the White Sox are ranked third-t0-last at N0. 28 with a -6.5 WAR. The Wall Street Journal notes the loss of Kevin Youkilis, who has a projected WAR of 2.7 and is being replaced by Jeff Keppinger, who has a WAR of 1.6. Meanwhile, losing A.J. Pierzynski (1.8) hurt the Sox in the rankings as well.
Of course, to apply these rankings to projected success this season, last year’s win total has to be taken into account. The Wall Street Journal did that with this graph, and you can see that the White Sox are still projected to fare better than the Cubs this season, although the gap between the two teams is closing.
The forecasts were made by Dan Szymborski, a sabermetric analyst who uses a projection system called Zips. The system uses four years of weighted averages while adjusting to aging trends of similar players. The rankings only account for additions and subtractions to each ballclub, excluding contract extensions and promotions within organizations.