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MLB free agency - Ranking every team by how much it has improved

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Passan: Rangers have best middle infield in MLB after spending splurge (1:23)

Jeff Passan reports on the Rangers committing $500M to sign Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to big contracts. (1:23)

If we think of the lockout that has mostly shut down baseball's offseason as a holiday break, it's not so bad, right?

For a couple of weeks at the end of November and into the first day of December, the transaction wire was buzzing. Then: Nothing. The upside is that with 40-man rosters in hibernation, it gives us plenty of opportunity to pick apart what's happened so far and suggest what needs to happen when baseball's machinery starts rolling again. It's like handing out mid-term grades.

For today's stock watch, we're handing out those grades based on one criterion: How much has each team's chances to win a pennant in 2022 changed since the offseason began? Using this criterion makes for some wild-looking rankings, but it's good to mix things up once in a while.

The teams that fare the best are the aggressors. Teams that do the worst are the contending teams that have mostly sat on their hands thus far during the offseason. When a team adds a good player, it adds to their pennant chances, but those chances must come out of someone else's bucket. Thus, a good team (like the Dodgers) that hasn't done much is going to see their chances erode.

Above all else, remember that these are but mid-term snapshots, not the last word on the offseason. For every team, when the lockout ends, there is time to fix what is broken, but also to break what has been fixed.