Baseball's winter meetings began slow, but ended with a bang as the New York Mets and New York Yankees flexed their financial muscles and addressed their biggest needs.
The Mets, Yankees and others left Las Vegas clearly better off than when they arrived, while more remained in a holding pattern.
Here are a few teams that improved this week, along with a pair of clubs that left town shaking their heads.
New York Mets: For all the criticism Omar Minaya received last season for firing manager Willie Randolph and for the team's second consecutive September collapse, he may deserve an equal amount of praise after his wheelings and dealings this week.
Minaya identified his team's biggest weakness and set about fixing it (though, to be fair, it was an obvious weakness).
Minaya made no secret about his desire to upgrade a bullpen that blew 29 saves last season and started by introducing new closer Francisco Rodriguez to the lineup.
Rodriguez was the prize of a closer pool that was unusually deep this offseason.
With the ninth inning all set, Minaya went out and acquired a reliever who may be even better than Rodriguez, bringing in J.J. Putz in a three-team, 12-player deal.
In the process, Minaya somehow managed to give up nothing of real use, at least not to the Mets next season. He included fourth outfielder Endy Chavez, but got back fourth outfielder Jeremy Reed. He also threw in right-handers Joe Smith and Aaron Heilman, but got back right-hander Sean Green.
Putz will take care of the heavy lifting in the eighth inning, while Rodriguez gets the glory in the ninth.
New York Yankees: GM Brian Cashman, like Minaya, is learning from his mistakes. After failing to address the starting rotation last offseason, Cashman this week did what the Yankees do best -- he threw money at the problem.
New York identified CC Sabathia as the best pitcher on the market and agreed with the left-handed behemoth to a seven-year, $161-million deal.
Friday, Cashman added A.J. Burnett, who is coming off an 18-10 season with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yanks are still in the running for Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe and Andy Pettitte.
Detroit Tigers: Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski, who was the star of the 2007 winter meetings after swinging a deal for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, quietly went about filling the holes on his roster in a cost-effective way.
After a hugely disappointing season in which the Tigers spent close to $140 million and finished in last place, Dombrowski identified pitching and defence as two of his team's biggest problems and found a few solutions.
After finishing 27th in the majors in team earned-run average in 2008, Dombrowski grabbed a right-hander with a big arm in former Tampa Bay Rays hurler Edwin Jackson.
San Diego Padres: Owner John Moores's divorce and the horrible economic climate have forced San Diego to slash payroll, and the club's biggest contract number and brightest star, Jake Peavy, was most decidedly on the market all week.
Peavy's no-trade clause is a problem and GM Kevin Towers spent most of the week trying to extract the Chicago Cubs' top four prospects along with a player or two from a third team.
It didn't happen.
Talks have reportedly broken off between the Padres and Cubs and no other teams appear to be in the mix, meaning San Diego is stuck with Peavy's contract and has its rebuilding plans in an indefinite holding pattern.
Additionally, the focus on Peavy all week prevented the Padres from filling other holes on their roster in the middle infield and behind the plate.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: It's not that the Angels really lost anything in Vegas, it's just that the players they want seem to be slipping from their grasp.
Mark Teixeira was the No. 1 priority for the team, but the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals seem to be closer to pulling in the slugging first baseman than Anaheim.
It widely was believed if the Angels couldn't entice Teixeira to come back, they would go hard after Sabathia, who, of course, is unavailable.
Their record-setting closer, Rodriguez, is gone as well, though the Angels never made resigning him a priority.
The bigger problem is the other teams in the American League West all are making moves to improve themselves, even the lowly Seattle Mariners.