Friday, February 29, 2008
.268 AVG, 6 HR, 46 RBI
1B Dmitri Young
.285 AVG, 12 HR, 59 RBI
2B Ronnie Belliard
.272 AVG, 13 HR, 55 RBI
3B Ryan Zimmerman
.286 AVG, 31 HR, 104 RBI
SS Felipe Lopez
.255 AVG, 10 HR, 58 RBI
LF Wily Mo Pena
.273 AVG, 16 HR, 48 RBI
CF Lastings Milledge
.279 AVG, 17 HR, 68 RBI
RF Austin Kearns
.256 AVG, 14 HR, 63 RBI
1B Nick Johnson
.283 AVG, 19 HR, 67 RBI
SP Shawn Hill
9-5 W-L, 3.97 ERA, 74 K
SP John Patterson
8-9 W-L, 4.65 ERA, 92 K
SP Jason Bergmann
11-9 W-L, 4.59 ERA, 106 K
SP John Lannan
10-10 W-L, 4.76 ERA, 76 K
SP Matt Chico
8-11 W-L, 4.86 ERA, 114 K
NOTE: THIS IS A PROJECTION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
The A's have their offseason trades to thank for being on this list twice.
- Nick Adenhart, RHP, Angels. He's going to make everyone want Tommy John surgery. He'll be knocking on the door this year and he's only 21.
- Brandon Wood, SS/3B, Angels. To some, his star has faded. But he's only 23, has big-time power potential and can now play short or third capably. There's still a lot to like.
- Carlos Gonzalez, OF, A's. A lot of people want to hand him a job in the A's outfield now. Even if it's not immediate, he's going to force his way there before the season is over. Eventually, he's going to mature into a prototypical right fielder.
- Gio Gonzalez, LHP, A's. One of my personal favorites because of his infectious personality, he also can flat-out pitch. He's got nasty stuff that allowed him to lead the Minors in strikeouts. I'd give him a rotation spot now.
- Eric Hurley, RHP, Rangers. He's moved steadily along while the vaunted DVD (Danks, Vazquez, Diamond) has long-since split up. He won't crack the rotation right away, but I could see him making an impact at some point in 2008.
A revitalized Padres system produces two top guys.
- Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers. He's the best pitching prospect in baseball, in my opinion. His size, his stuff, his command, his poise, his left-handedness. I know projecting pitching is risky business, but this guy is the real deal.
- Franklin Morales, LHP, Rockies. The National League will learn first-hand this year just how nasty he is. A good choice for NL Rookie of the Year. The young Rockies keep getting better.
- Matt Antonelli, 2B, Padres. Tad Iguchi? Really. As a prospect geek, that disappointed me. Padres fans will have to wait a year because Antonelli will be ready for a shot by then, if not sooner. He can hit with some pop and runs quite well. A move to the OF isn't out of the question.
- Chase Headley, 3B/OF, Padres. Speaking of moves to the OF, that's what Headley's done. With Kevin Kouzmanoff cemented in at the hot corner, Headley will carry his bat to left. At least the Padres realized they need to get his bat into the lineup.
- Andy LaRoche, 3B, Dodgers. Yes, he fizzled in his opportunities in the past, but trust me, this guy can play. He's in great shape and it should be a fun competition for the third base job in Dodger camp. Here's hoping LaRoche wins it.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Now to Brian Roberts. Roberts had a great Spring opener as well but talks won't stop. The Orioles have sent scouts to the Cubs complex in Mesa to get a closer look at players that might be in the deal, and if the Orioles like what they see, we could see a deal get wrapped up pretty quickly. The Baltimore Sun believes Ronny Cedeno and Sean Gallagher will be apart of the deal, along with at least two other players. As for the other two, possibly Matt Murton. Lou Piniella was talking him up to reporters a couple days ago, but I do not think that has too much significance. As for other players, minor leaguer Tony Thomas could go to Baltimore. He is a solid second baseman with a lot of speed to burn. Roberts doesn't seem to worried, and I do not think we should be, for now.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
.268 AVG, 9 HR, 59 RBI
1B Ryan Howard
.282 AVG, 42 HR, 119 RBI
2B Chase Utley
.304 AVG, 33 HR, 116 RBI
3B Pedro Feliz
.264 AVG, 17 HR, 68 RBI
SS Jimmy Rollins
.284 AVG, 26 HR, 86 RBI
LF Pat Burrell
.262 AVG, 28 HR, 103 RBI
CF Shane Victorino
.276 AVG, 14 HR, 53 RBI
RF Geoff Jenkins
.266 AVG, 17 HR, 69 RBI
SP Brett Myers
14-5 W-L, 3.88 ERA, 177 K
SP Cole Hamels
16-8 W-L, 3.57 ERA, 183 K
SP Kyle Kendrick
10-11 W-L, 4.74 ERA, 97 K
SP Jamie Moyer
10-13 W-L, 5.03 ERA, 108 K
SP Adam Eaton
8-12 W-L, 5.69 ERA, 100 K
NOTE: THIS IS A PROJECTION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Bonds not going to New York: The Yankees have no plans to bring in Barry Bonds. That makes sense considering they have several big name players and very few spots left open.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Johnson not stirring pot?: Blue Jays outfielder Reed Johnson has been shopped all offseason but there is no interest out there. Johnson has had back problems and maybe teams are waiting to see if he is okay before making a trade. Johnson hit .236 with 2 HR in 79 games, but when playing everyday he has showed he can hit for power and average.
Nathan likely gone?: Joe Nathan is looking for a Mariano Rivera like deal, and the Twins are not interested. I doubt Nathan is with the Twins next season.
Marlins should pay Ramirez soon: The Marlins should show the cash to shortstop Hanley Ramirez before his demands become too great. If they can lock him up to a deal slightly larger than Tulowitzki, it will allow them to lock up other players as well.
Mark Prior on the comeback: Mark Prior is excited about being with the Padres and a fresh start and it is showing by how hard he was working. Some Cubs fans I have talked to have said they are happy the Cubs do not need to worry about him, and hope he can do well, just not against the Cubs. That seems fair. I know a lot of Cubs fans did not like waiting and relying on him.
Sosa waiting for contract?: The agent of Sammy Sosa says they are holding out for a contract that guarantees him everyday playing time.
Mets trying to trade El Duque?: According to Jon Heyman, the Mets tried to trade Orlando Hernandez this offseason but found no interest. Maybe he proves he can perform maybe they will find a suitor and then sign Kyle Lohse in his place.
Milledge in for big year?: Nationals outfielder Lastings Milledge is ready to show that he can live up to his potential. But he is hoping to show the Mets more than anything. He believes the Mets did not ever believe in him.
Shawn Green closing in on a minor league deal?: According to sources, free agent outfielder Shawn Green is closing in on a minor league deal with an unknown west coast team. As for who it could be, I don't know. I thought maybe the Mariners but maybe the Dodgers would give him a shot to make the bench. Or the Padres, who are looking for a corner outfielder.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
.262 AVG, 6 HR, 48 RBI
1B Mike Jacobs
.255 AVG, 22 HR, 66 RBI
2B Dan Uggla
.263 AVG, 27 HR, 84 RBI
3B Dallas McPherson
.245 AVG, 14 HR, 57 RBI
SS Hanley Ramirez
.307 AVG, 26 HR, 78 RBI
LF Josh Willingham
.259 AVG, 24 HR, 72 RBI
CF Cameron Maybin
.272 AVG, 15 HR, 58 RBI
RF Jeremy Hermida
.284 AVG, 21 HR, 60 RBI
SP Scott Olsen
12-13 W-L, 4.92 ERA, 143 K
SP Sergio Mitre
7-10 W-L, 4.87 ERA, 73 K
SP Andrew Miller
10-16 W-L, 4.69 ERA, 149 K
SP Mark Hendrickson
8-13 W-L, 5.09 ERA, 98 K
SP Ricky Nolasco
9-10 W-L, 4.79 ERA, 87 K
NOTE: THIS IS A PROJECTION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Word coming out of Brewers camp is that Braun's agent, Naz Balelo, is working on an extension for Braun, similar to the one Troy Tulowitzki got. "It's certainly something I am open to, but I honestly haven't thought about it too much yet," Braun said. "I'm definitely not opposed to considering whatever they have to say." The meeting was informal, but positive, according to officials. I do not expect something to get done before the season starts, but something next off season seems likely.
Friday, February 22, 2008
ELI: You played baseball, basketball, and ran track in high school. Which was your strongest sport at the time?
LaTroy: Basketball. But I couldn't go pro in the NBA, maybe somewhere else, but not the NBA.
ELI: Was there any doubt in your mind that baseball was not the path you were going to take?
LaTroy: No, not really. My grandpa said baseball was my best sport so I took his word for it.
ELI: Back in 1994, you played in A, AA, and AAA. Do you remember what kind of adjustments you had to make to continue doing well at the higher levels?
LaTroy: I just kept doing what I was doing. Throw strikes, limit walks. I had a solid defense which was good to have and it worked to my benefit.
ELI: Can you tell me about when you were called up? How were you told? Where were you?
LaTroy: I was taken out of Spring Training. They extended the rosters coming off the strike, so we had thirty players for the first two weeks. So that is how I got my big league review, off the expanded rosters.
ELI: 2002 and 2003 were great years for you. What sorts of things were working well for you those years?
LaTroy: I was comfortable in my role. I was able to throw a lot of strikes, get a lot of ground balls. I was thinking ahead in the count. I could get the ball down and away on lefties and righties, so I was hitting my spots well.
ELI: You were a free agent in 2004, what was the experience like for you?
LaTroy: It was cool. A lot of teams wanted me, a lot were interested in my services.
ELI: This past season, you got out and helped the grounds crew with the tarp during that storm. Was it hard to handle?
LaTroy: No, it was not a big deal. I was out there for probably five minutes. Some of those guys were out there for twenty. I got a lot of credit for nothing.
ELI: What was the Colorado clubhouse like during the late season playoff run? Were a lot of guys superstitious?
LaTroy: You know, if you play well, good things will come. If you don't, bad things will come. Everyone was pretty excited. We started off poor, found every which way to lose, and now we were finding new ways to win. It was great.
ELI: You pitched in the playoff game against the Padres, how were you feeling after pitching a scoreless inning?
LaTroy: I felt good. That was the greatest game I have ever been apart of. I was there for David Wells' perfect game, but the energy, emotion of this game was different. I had all my adrenaline pumping. We knew they had no shot, they were down and out at that point.
ELI: You nearly signed with the Yankees back in 2004, was it pretty easy getting a contract done because you understood where they were coming from?
LaTroy: It is always easy with the Yankees. They don't mess around. If they want you, they will get you.
ELI: What is the typical Spring Training day like for a relief pitcher?
LaTroy: You have to be dressed by 10:15, but guys get there earlier to do their own workout. Then, we stretch as a team. After that, we do fundamentals: run downs, pop ups, ground balls, stuff that might happen during games. Then you do some individual stuff. Someone will hit the ball to first and you will run over and cover it. There are three stations of that. Then you go over signals, like for pitch outs. Then you do conditioning and that is when all the pitchers run together. Then you are done, but most go and work out individually in the gym.
ELI: You have pretty good deception, at what time in your career did you really work to make that better?
LaTroy: It was God given. It just comes out of my hand hard. I have always pitched like this so it was God given.
ELI: Do you have a favorite stadium to pitch at?
LaTroy: Yankee Stadium.
ELI: If you could give out one piece of advice to young, aspiring pitchers, what would it be?
LaTroy: Take care of your arms.
.293 AVG, 8 HR, 56 RBI
C Kenji Johjima
.282 AVG, 12 HR, 59 RBI
1B Richie Sexson
.237 AVG, 19 HR, 65 RBI
2B Jose Lopez
.266 AVG, 10 HR, 64 RBI
3B Adrian Beltre
.273 AVG, 24 HR, 90 RBI
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
.294 AVG, 11 HR, 72 RBI
LF Raul Ibanez
.279 AVG, 18 HR, 92 RBI
.337 AVG, 8 HR, 64 RBI
RF Brad Wilkerson
.242 AVG, 16 HR, 58 RBI
SP Erik Bedard
15-7 W-L, 3.34 ERA, 215 K
SP Felix Hernandez
16-8 W-L, 3.76 ERA, 184 K
SP Carlos Silva
13-11 W-L, 4.39 ERA, 82 K
SP Jarrod Washburn
9-11 W-L, 4.76 ERA, 106 K
SP Miguel Batista
12-10 W-L, 4.48 ERA, 114 K
NOTE: THIS IS A PROJECTION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Reds: Craig Wilson failed his physical and is no longer in Reds camp. I think Wilson would have made the team, and it is possible they will resign him once he gets healthy, but they have other options. Maybe if they trade Scott Hatteberg, they will try and sign him again. Josh Fogg is officially a Red.
Athletics: Some of the newly acquired A's are turning some heads in Spring Training. Not a surprise. The A's acquired some very good players who should be playing everyday in the MLB in a couple of seasons.
Yankees: The Yankees will be watching very closely to see if Derek Jeter can still play shortstop everyday. With a lot of players leaving via free agency, it is possible we could see him play first base, move Juan Miranda to DH, and sign a new shortstop, perhaps Rafael Furcal. If they were to go through trade, Michael Young is available, Chin-Lung Hu, if they are willing to take a chance. Otherwise, there are not many other options unless they were to pull off a big splash.
Marlins: Dallas McPhearson is hitting the ball really well in Marlins camp. If this continues, I doubt they will pursue a Wes Helms trade.
Blue Jays: Roy Halladay and Frank Thomas are looking really good in their first spring training workout. Also, the Blue Jays are really excited about young catching prospect Brian Jeroloman.
Twins: The Twins morale is already low, but Joe Mauer is looking good.
Cubs: The Cubs really like what they are seeing from Kosuke Fukudome, along with pitcher Esmailin Caridad. Also, the closer spot will be decided when games start, but it will likely go to Bob Howry over Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol to start.
Red Sox: Manny is no longer being Manny. Meaning, he is no longer asking for a trade every off season. He loves Boston, for now, and is hoping the Red Sox will pay him 20 million dollars. I doubt that will happen, but I do not doubt they will decline it and then sign him to something cheaper.
Indians: The Indians have a lot of chemistry, and it helped by not making too many moves. I think they are in for another good year.
Rays: Number one pick David Price is turning some heads in Spring Training, and so is Evan Longoria.
Nationals: Lastings Milledge is ready to be a National, and is excited about the opportunity to play everyday.
Dodgers: Nomar Garciaparra continues to be a leader, but he will have to adjust to a new role with the Dodgers.
That is all for now, check back soon.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
This list would have been more balanced had the White Sox and Tigers not traded away a large amount of their respective farms in offseason trades. The Twins brought in some young players, but none who qualify for Top 5 status, in my opinion. (As an aside, a guy like Kevin Slowey or Carlos Gomez of the Twins didn’t qualify because they are no longer considered rookies by Major League Baseball).
1. Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland: Yes, I know he’s had injury problems and needs to stay healthy. He’s also still got one of the best arms in the Minors. He could break through in a bullpen role to start the year.
2. Rick Porcello, RHP, Detroit: He hasn’t thrown a competitive professional pitch yet, but there is much excitement about his right arm, especially since he’s more or less the farm now.
3. Mike Moustakas, SS, Kansas City: Simply, the kid can just flat-out hit. I can’t wait to see what he does in his first full season. He’s at short for now, but he won’t stay there long-term.
4. Luke Hochevar, RHP, Kansas City: The 2006 No. 1 overall pick has top of the rotation-type stuff, but will start the 2008 season in the bullpen. Don’t expect that to last, though.
5. Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Cleveland: A lefty with arm strength and good stuff, he just needs to refine some command issues. Look for things to click for him in 2008 and he’ll pass up some of the softer-tossing lefties in the organization.
Others of note: Of the prospects the Twins got from the Mets, RHP Deolis Guerra rates the highest; the White Sox have a couple of pitchers who could help soon in Jack Egbert and Lance Broadway, both right-handers.
This is an exciting division for prospects, with the top three all coming from the first round of the 2005 draft.
1. Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati: He’s the No. 1 prospect in baseball, not just according to me, but most who do these kinds of rankings. I hope that Dusty Baker actually lets him play CF to start the year, but I also know that may not be realistic.
2. Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis: There’s a reason the Cardinals dealt Jim Edmonds away. Rasmus is very close to being ready. He’ll get a long look for the CF job on Opening Day, but even if he starts the year in Triple-A, he won’t be there long.
3. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh: That 2005 draft class that featured HS talents Justin Upton, Cameron Maybin, Bruce and Rasmus also produced McCutchen. He started slowly last year, but came on strong and has the makings of a five-tooler who can flat out play center. Whoever starts the year in center for the Pirates may not finish it there because of him.
4. Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati: Pay no heed to his early stats from last year. Look instead at his September starts. You’ll see the real Homer Bailey, the one who’s got ace potential, in 2008.
5. Josh Vitters, 3B, Chicago: Another 2007 draftee to make these lists (see Porcello and Moustakas above). His summer debut deserves a mulligan. With a full offseason to prepare, he’ll hit the ground running in ’08.
Others of note: The aforementioned Cueto, who sometimes gets lost in Homer Bailey’s shadow; fellow Reds 1B Joey Votto, who should be their starter at that position, but you have to wonder if veteran-lover Dusty Baker will allow it; Brewers OF Matt LaPorta, the 2007 draftee who could start this year all the way up in Double-A and Brewers SS Alcides Escobar, who’ll play the 2008 season at age 21 in Triple-A.
Cardinals forgive Weaver, put in call: The Cardinals are desperate for pitching and are calling on former Cardinals Jeff Weaver, who spurned the team to sign a one year deal with the Mariners. I doubt he can repeat the numbers he put with the Cardinals, but maybe he can help the bottom part of the rotation.
Reds close in on Fogg: The Reds and Josh Fogg are in the process of finalizing a contract. I do not think this will stop them for pursuing Joe Blanton, but maybe they will not go as hard for him.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
UPDATE: Omar Minaya said the Mets are not interested and that Garcia was just visiting two friends, Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
.272 AVG, 29 HR, 110 RBI
C Victor Martinez
.305 AVG, 22 HR, 102 RBI
1B Ryan Garko
.284 AVG, 18 HR, 72 RBI
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
.274 AVG, 9 HR, 58 RBI
3B Casey Blake
.258 AVG, 15 HR, 66 RBI
SS Jhonny Peralta
.277 AVG, 19 HR, 83 RBI
LF David Dellucci
.248 AVG, 13 HR, 57 RBI
CF Grady Sizemore
.293 AVG, 28 HR, 88 RBI
RF Franklin Gutierrez
.269 AVG, 14 HR, 54 RBI
SP C.C. Sabathia
17-8 W-L, 3.48 ERA, 175 K
SP Fausto Carmona
15-6 W-L, 3.56 ERA, 146 K
SP Paul Byrd
9-14 W-L, 4.88 ERA, 76 K
SP Jake Westbrook
12-10 W-L, 4.47 ERA, 109 K
SP Cliff Lee
10-11 W-L, 4.69 ERA, 112 K
NOTE: THIS IS A PROJECTION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Quote of the week: "I just didn't see the door and jumped through it," he said. "I have small cuts everywhere." Hunter Pence cut his hand and legs, but should not miss major time.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Jay Payton likely to be traded?: Jay Payton is the odd man out in the Orioles outfield, and they have yet to find a suitor for the thirty-five year old making five million dollars. Not only
that, but his numbers in 2007 leave the Orioles in no position to make demands.
Willie Randolph on hot seat?: Bob Klapisch belives that Willie Randolph's job is on the line if he fails to make it to the playoffs. I can't say I disagree. Randolph was helpless towards the end of the last season and did hardly anything to turrn it around. However, the players love him and if they rally for him, he might stay.
Trevor Hoffman still caught on Rockies game: Hoffman has said before that he still thinks about the Rockies game. This spring he has been working from the windup, moving away from his trademark stretch. Why would he move away from the stretch? It has only been his style that has gotten him 524 saves, the most all time.
Cubs plan to make more trades?: Matt Murton has no place in the Cubs outfield despite his ability to hit for power. He is pretty good off the bench, but if he can"t get 400 at bats, I think they should trade him. Another name is Sean Marshall, who is very similar to Ted Lilly and Rich Hill. I think he has the potential to be very good, but it is obvious that the Cubs do not want him behind Hill or Lilly.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
.246 AVG, 6 HR, 48 RBI
1B Carlos Delgado
.262 AVG, 23 HR, 86 RBI
2B Luis Castillo
.295 AVG, 3 HR, 46 RBI
3B David Wright
.312 AVG, 34 HR, 123 RBI
SS Jose Reyes
.289 AVG, 14 HR, 62 RBI
LF Moises Alou
.272 AVG, 16 HR, 73 RBI
CF Carlos Beltran
.273 AVG, 28 HR, 105 RBI
RF Ryan Church
.269 AVG, 16 HR, 71 RBI
SP Johan Santana
16-10 W-L, 3.42 ERA, 243 K
SP Pedro Martinez
12-5 W-L, 3.58 ERA, 137 K
SP John Maine
13-10 W-L, 4.10 ERA, 163 K
SP Oliver Perez
10-13 W-L, 4.34 ERA, 156 K
SP Orlando Hernandez
8-10 W-L, 4.45 ERA, 118 K
NOTE: THIS IS A PROJECTION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Padres still looking to make a trade: The Padres are still trying to make a trade for an outfielder an are eying Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and Matt Murton. I think Nady is the most likely to land in San Diego, just because the Pirates are more willing to deal him.
Crisp could be traded soon?: According to the Providence Journal, the Red Sox are looking to acquire a starting pitcher and have talked to the Rangers, White Sox, and Cubs. Jason Marquis to Boston? Jose Contreras?
Noah Lowry still on block?: The Giants are still looking to trade Noah Lowry and is drawing some minor interest. I assume the Red Sox might be interested, and probably the White Sox as well.
Colon still jobless: Bartolo Colon is still looking for a job and might have to take a non-guaranteed deal to show that he can pitch effectively. Other notable players still unsigned include Kenny Lofton, Kyle Lohse, and Corey Patterson.
Bush to pardon Clemens?: According to McNamee's lawyer, if Roger Clemens is charged in the steroid scandal, President Bush will pardon Clemens because of their close relationship.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
1. Detroit Tigers
- Not only did they add Edgar Renteria to get their shortstop, but they acquired Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to give them one of the best offenses in baseball. The bullpen is still weak, but the rotation and lineup should allow for the bullpen to make a couple of errors here and there. Obviously the Tigers went out to get a World Series and I would not be surprised if they were back playing October ball this October. After acquiring Willis and Cabrera, they locked up Willis, and are currently working on Miguel Cabrera. Aside from them, they signed Granderson long term, and also acquired Jacque Jones to play left field.
2. New York Mets
- The Mets kept pretty quiet this off season after their heart breaking collapse in the final weeks of the season. However, they played hard to get with the Twins and finally pulled off a huge deal to land the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana. Not only that, but they gave up four decent minor league players who are still unproven. I do not think this locks up the division, but it makes them a lot better than last season with just one major addition. Other notable additions are Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, who should adjust nicely to Shea Stadium after playing in D.C.
1. Minnesota Twins
- Yes the Twins were able to unload Johan Santana but did not get anything in return that will help them significantly in 2008. If they had taken an earlier offer, they could have had Jacoby Ellsbury and four other prospects that were a lot better than the ones they got. With the trade, they have no number one starter with Liriano still in question and although they landed Delmon Young, did nothing to improve their infield by signing Mike Lamb and Adam Everett. In the division they are in now, I think they will be fighting for third, possible fourth if the Royals turn it around.
2. St. Louis Cardinals
- Just a year after winning the World Series, the Cardinals finished in third place. They had no pitching, and did nothing this off season to improve that. Yes they added Matt Clement, but he has not pitched successfully in two seasons. Cesar Izturis is not the answer at shortstop, and hopefully Troy Glaus can perform at third. Who knows if Ankiel can repeat his impressive numbers now moving to center, and who is playing right field again? Skip Schumaker, or the rookie Colby Rasmus.
Honorable Mention: Scott Boras
1. Andruw Jones, Dodgers
- To sign Andruw Jones to a two year deal worth 36.2 million dollars does not seem like a good signing considering he hit .222 with 26 HR, but that was obviously a fluke. He had 50 HR just two seasons ago. Yes, we can see his is on the decline but he still has two solid years left and if Dodger pitching can hold the line, I think they will be up for a playoff bid.
1. Mariano Rivera
- Mariano Rivera is one of the best closers in the history of the game, but in no way did he deserve a three year deal. I am going to avoid the money and the type of player he is for one second. The Yankees are an old team and in order to compete with the Yankees, need to get younger. Signing him to a one year deal or even two year deal would allow them to go out and try and land someone like Joe Nathan or Francisco Rodriguez in the next off season. Instead, they are stuck with the closer who is expected to struggle.
2. Aaron Rowand
- For the Giants, they are in no position to be injury prone players. The Giants are a last place team and keep signing players when they should be trading the good players they have left for younger players with better potential. Just not a smart signing on the Giants part.
Best Trade: Athletics traded OF Nick Swisher to the Chicago White Sox for LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Fautino De Los Santos and OF Ryan Sweeney.
- Wow. What a move by the A's. Not only did they acquire three solid prospects but they got rid of a decent player locked up for a long time. Don't get me wrong, I think that Swisher can perform, but not enough to help the A's. The White Sox traded away three players key to their future for one player who may or may not help. Big win for A's.
So what can we look for next off season? Obviously there will be more moves with a lot of good players on the market, but who might be traded? What will the biggest contract come out to?
.286 AVG, 17 HR, 82 RBI
1B James Loney
.292 AVG, 18 HR, 88 RBI
2B Jeff Kent
.272 AVG, 14 HR, 65 RBI
3B Nomar Garciaparra*
.266 AVG, 14 HR, 60 RBI
SS Rafael Furcal
.301 AVG, 8 HR, 48 RBI
LF Andre Ethier*
.288 AVG, 18 HR, 72 RBI
CF Andruw Jones
.262 AVG, 34 HR, 104 RBI
RF Matt Kemp
.298 AVG, 17 HR, 84 RBI
3B Andy LaRoche*
.258 AVG, 16 HR, 58 RBI
LF Juan Pierre
.300 AVG, 0 HR, 32 RBI
SP Brad Penny
15-5 W-L, 3.49 ERA, 138 K
SP Derek Lowe
11-11 W-L, 4.24 ERA, 133 K
SP Chad Billingsly
14-8 W-L, 4.04 ERA, 157 K
SP Hiroki Kuroda
10-9 W-L, 4.34 ERA, 123 K
SP Esteban Loaiza*
7-10 W-L, 4.89 ERA, 82 K
8-11 W-L, 4.78 ERA, 109 K
*assuming they start.
NOTE: THIS IS A PROJECTION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
More details soon...
Monday, February 11, 2008
Some pretty good arms with a pair of potent bats here. It’s fun to think about the guy atop this list and how he’ll hopefully get to face the pitchers on this list numerous times over the next decade or so.
1. Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa: I don’t really see the need to hesitate here. He’s ready, and he’s going to be an asset immediately. Just give him the 3B job and leave him alone.
2. Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox: That no-no was no fluke. And while no one wishes injury on a player, Curt Schilling’s ailment could help Buchholz land in the rotation on Opening Day. Otherwise, he may have begun the year in Triple-A. Either way, he’s going to contribute this year.
3. Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Yankees: Think you liked what you saw as a reliever? While it would be unreasonable to expect that kind of dominance all the time as a starter, he’s pretty darned good and you’ll get to see all of his pitches this time around. The Clay vs. Joba debate should be a good one for years to come.
4. David Price, LHP, Tampa: The guy hasn’t even thrown a professional pitch yet, but scouts everywhere rate him this highly. He is extremely polished and is the real deal. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him in Tampa in September, though their glut of pitching talent (Wade Davis, Jacob McGee to name just two) may allow the Rays to take their time.
5. Travis Snider, OF, Toronto: This guy just flat out hits. Against all levels of competition. He was the Midwest League MVP last year then went to the AFL and dominated there as one of the younger performers. Even if the Jays wanted to proceed cautiously, this guy’s bat is going to move him quickly.
If I were to include a player from every team in the division, the O’s representative would be Matt Wieters, their first-round pick last year.
A quick scan of this list compared to the one above shows you it’s clearly the American League with the better elite prospects right now, though the trade the Marlins made with the Tigers makes it a little more even.
Cameron Maybin, OF, Florida: He can do it all and is just beginning to scratch the surface of his enormous potential. There might be some early bumps as he begins his first full season in the bigs, but the payoff is going to be huge.
Fernando Martinez, OF, New York: The guy the Twins didn’t get. I still can’t get over that. The Mets did well to get him. This season is a big one for him as it’s time for him to start turning potential into performance…and stay healthy. I think he’ll do so.
Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Philadelphia: Not everyone who does this sort of thing is as high on him as I am, but scouts love his stuff. He needs some fine-tuning, but should be ready to slot in right behind Cole Hamels by 2009, at the latest.
Chris Marrero, OF, Washington: This guy is ready to fast-track, big time. He reached High A ball in his first full season and wasn’t overmatched there. He’s going to hit for average and power and the Nats will make room for him as soon as he’s ready. Oh, and he won’t turn 20 until July
Jordan Schafer, OF, Atlanta: Before the Mark Kotsay deal, there was actual talk about giving Schafer a long look for the big-league job this spring, even though he hasn’t played an inning above A ball. Performing well in the AFL probably helped him, but another year in the Minors will serve him well.
Just misses would be Washington’s first-rounder from last year, Ross Detwiler, and the Braves’ top pick from the previous June, outfielder Jason Heyward.
I’ll be back next week with the Central Divisions…