2013 MLB Winter Meetings: 5 Teams That Desperately Need An Upgrade

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MLB Winter Meetings: 5 Teams That Need Upgrades

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter Meetings are like holiday door-buster sales at the mall, where money is being spent left and right to get that perfect gift. In this case, teams are trying to find those perfect pieces to fit into their budget and clubhouse to make a playoff run.

It could also be called the Boston Red Sox' blueprint after last season. The Red Sox cleared tons of payroll during the season, and signed multiple "clubhouse guys" to remodel the roster in the winter. That plan of attack turned out pretty well for the faithful on Yawkey Way.

Even before the Winter Meetings have officially begun, teams are already hitting the stores early. This week alone, close to two dozen moves have been made involving a dozen teams. Those numbers point toward busy and active shoppers this winter.

Arguably the most active team thus far has been the Oakland Athletics. The A's have added six players -- could they add more? Team Moneyball has assembled one of the best bullpens in the league thus far with the moves they have pulled off.

However, teams that will not be featured on this list of teams needing an upgrade are the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. Those two teams have a few similarities between them. They are both in the AL West and both need several upgrades to the point where it is hard to pinpoint just one need. The Astros did make a deal for Dexter Fowler to their credit, but they still need more upgrades and even Kris Kringle might not be able to help.

In Seattle's case, they are consistently "rumored" to be in on several free agents, but they are unable to seal any deals to this point. While they do have Felix Hernandez and money to spend, they lack ideal conditions to attract top free agents. However, it only takes one miracle or signing to perhaps change the mindset. With a front office in flux, could Robinson Cano be that one player?

Here are five additional teams that need a desperate upgrade this winter.

Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Pittsburgh Pirates

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates need an upgrade at shortstop. They are developing a nice core of players and are coming off a trip to the playoffs. However, they could use an upgrade up the middle to help their reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen.

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4. Chicago White Sox

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

As somewhat of a surprise, the Chicago White Sox have yet to address their backstop position. Last year, the team's production from that position was subpar, to put it kindly. There were a few catchers available on the market that have since signed elsewhere. Did the White Sox miss their chance to upgrade at catcher, or do they have something up their stockings for later?

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3. Baltimore Orioles

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

You can make a case that most of the teams in the league are looking for pitching. As they say, you can never have to much pitching. But the Baltimore Orioles need an ace to help upgrade the rotation. Chris Tillman had a nice season a year ago, but he is not quite a no. 1 starter.

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2. Chicago Cubs

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Some would say that the Chicago Cubs could have used an upgrade or two every year for the last century. But the Cubs are trying to put something together. They are a team of mystery in the upcoming months. One area that they do need to address with an upgrade is the bullpen. The Cubs ranked close to the bottom the last two seasons in blown saves, and that has to change.

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1. New York Mets

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The Mets do have some promising young pitchers, but sadly one of them (Matt Harvey) will miss next year with an injury. They also have David Wright at the hot corner, and needs to pair him up with another hitter that fans have actually heard of. Will they be able to close the deal for Curtis Granderson?