When the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves pulled off a seven-player deal involving Justin Upton and Martin Prado last January, Chris Johnson was barely worth a mention in the write-ups that followed. He wasn’t quite a “throw-in,” but he wasn’t expected to play a major role with the Braves as Juan Francisco’s platoon partner at third base. 

The Diamondbacks simply had no room for him with Prado in the mix, so it was a no-brainer to include him in the trade. Little did they know he’d be just as big a reason why the deal could ultimately weigh heavily in the Braves’ favor. 

By early June, Francisco had been traded, and it was obvious that Johnson was going to be an integral part of the team’s success. He finished the season with a .321 batting average, good for second in the National League, to go along with 12 homers, 34 doubles and 68 runs batted in.

Johnson’s acquisition as a secondary piece in that blockbuster trade was one of several offseason moves that were extremely undervalued at the time.

Marlon Byrd and Scott Kazmir each had terrific seasons after signing minor league deals. Jason Grilli, with no closing experience in parts of 10 big league seasons, was re-signed to a two-year, $6.75 million deal by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was an All-Star closer in 2013 and a huge part of the team’s success.

Sometimes, it’s the seemingly little things that help win games. Sometimes, those little things occur in the offseason.

Here are 10 of the most undervalued moves of this offseason.  

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