- The Blue Jays signed nine time all-star Vladimir Guerrero today to DH starting in June. I think this will work really good The Jays need a veteran who’s a good hitter and he still has it and is better than he showed last season. Guerrero could help propel the Jays to a surprise playoff run, if he can get his bat going and even though he won;t do what he did in 2012, he still has his signature swing that work for him and could help a lot from the six spot in the line-up and split time with Adam Lind, who would be a real good platoon player with power. Guerrero shouldn’t play too much outfield but he could handle that. He could provide that extra spark needed and do enough offensively
- The Rays signed Hideki Matsui, who should come up to the MLB around the same time and I like his fit in Tampa and he may not do quite as good as I think Guerrero will, but he could still do close to as good and be just as impactful. He has had a decent career at Tropicana and should produce similar numbers and he can hit in the playoffs and in the AL East, so he should do well, maybe not great, but help out at DH a few times a week. This is a great move and Matsui should flash some power. This will work.
I went to the Tigers home spring finale today and I saw a lot of good things, here’s a recap of some thoughts.
1. Andy Dirks should get the final spot on the roster and if he doesn’t Worth should
2. Austin Jackson can really hit well and this year and beyond could be his if he cuts his strikeouts and is aggressive at good pitches and not bad ones
3. Drew Smyly could be huge as a fifth starter and he looked amazing today. Didn’t see anything really bad about him
4. Prince Fielder can hit some really, historically long homers and has some HUGE power, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had another 50 HR season, Comerica won’t harm is homer numbers much at all
5. This offense can really click and do big things and the defense doesn’t look to bad
6. Tyler Collins looked good as a prospect note
7. Brett Cecil will probably be streaky, the AL East isn’t the best place for him.
8. Deleon Young will have a big contract year
9. Both teams look and are good but the Tigers are better and will show it.
- The Cubs have signed Paul Maholm, rounding out a rebuilding rotation that figures to do okay. He will join Dempeter, Garza, Volsatd, Randy Wells, and Travis Wood. Garza is likely to be dealt. Maholm is probably the second best without Garza, behind Dempster and not by much. He may have better stats this year and should have good stats no matter what. Maholm isn’t great and never will be but he’s an ideal number four who can be more at times and even though he’s moving to Wrigley, which will hurt a little, he could build on his success last year and even if he does decline he will still do well and be an innings eater. It’s a good deal for one year and a good one for two. He should earn his money if not more and could have a pretty good 2012 or at least part of it. His stats should be good and a WAr of 1.75 isn’t out of reason and maybe a little higher.
- Jason Frasor was re-acquired by the Blue Jays from the White Sox and he will be a good arm in the bullpen and do what he always has in Toronto, he will be another good, late inning guy and I like him. He won;t pitch like he did in Chicago but like he did in Toronto. The Jays gave up Myles Jaye, who is a toss up but has been good so far and has upside and Daniel Webb, who I don;t see going anywhere, both are pitchers. EDGE: Jays
- The Blue Jays traded prospect Nestor Molina, who has a decent to good future to the White Sox for their new closer Sergio Santos. Santos a good closer who may ne day even be an all-star and he fits well in that role and with the Jays. He’s not your ideal closer but he gets the job done and he did well minus a few bumps last year. He will never be the best but he will be good and will be a consistent 30 save pitcher for the Jays. They got a good pitcher in Santos and he will be a good closer for many years for them, especially in 2012. The White Sox received Nestor Molina, who has torn up the minor leagues but probably won’t be just that good in the majors, but he could be a pretty good number two or three starter in about three years and will be a great young talent when he comes up. EDGE: Blue Jays
- The Padres got Huston Street for a player to be named later, now Street isn’t the best closer but expect a huge 2012 from him moving from Coors Field to PETCO Park. He will have a few tough times but he’s a solid closer and should do much better as a Padre. It was a great trade for the Padres and they get the edge. If he stays in San Diego for a while he could be a good closer for them for a while.
CUBS WITH PRINCE FIELDER
- SS Starlin Castro
- LF Alfonso Soriano
- 1B Prince Fielder
- RF Marlon Byrd
- C Geovany Soto
- 2B Darwin Barney
- CF Brett Jackson
- 3B Jeff Baker
MARINERS WITH PRINCE
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- 2B Dustin Ackley
- 1B Justin Smoak
- DH Prince Fielder
- C Miguel Olivo
- 3B Alex Liddi
- LF Trayvon Robinson
- CF Casper Wells
- SS Brandan Ryan
MARLINS WITH REYES
- SS Jose Reyes
- 2B Omar Infante
- CF Hanley Ramirez
- RF Mike Stanton
- LF Logan Morrison
- 1B Gaby Sanchez
- 3B Emilio Bonifacio
- C John Buck
Blue Jays With Ortiz
- SS Yunel Escobar
- CF Colby Rasmus
- RF Jose Bautista
- DH David Ortiz
- 3B Brett Lawrie
- 1B Adam Lind
- C JP Arenciba
- LF Eric Thames
- 2B Mark Teahen
TIGERS WITH ARAMIS RAMIREZ
- CF Austin Jackson
- RF Brennan Boesch
- 1B Miguel Cabrera
- 3B Aramis Ramirez
- DH Victor Martinez
- SS Jhonny Peralta
- C Alex Avila
- LF Delmon Young
- 2B Ryan Raburn
All these line-ups look great, especially the Tigers and Marlins
THE YANKEE: Curtis Granderson could end up hitting 45 homers this year and if he get his average up he should bea top three vote getter. He’s the main reason the Yankees are still pacing the Red Sox. He plays really good defense and is the Yankees best defensive player along with Teixeria and Cano. He’s just been really good and I think he’s the best Yankee this season and behind Cano is their best hitter right now. A-Rod and Jeter might be better but not so far this season
THE THREE SOX: Ellsbury is the most valuable and deserving, Gonzalez the best and without Pedroia the Sox would be in trouble. Ellsbury would get my first vote out of the three and then A-Gone. Gonzalez is the best first baseman at all this year and at a strong position which means he has a legit chance. Ellsbury will keep up this performance if anybody doubted. He has enough power to hit bombs at Fenway and speed to change a game. I like him and think he’s going to get even better, he’s very special. Pedroia is the best tablesetter in a awhile and will continue and if the Red Sox win the World Series he is the key.
THE SLUGGER: Jose Bautista has slowed down but he has a better average than last season and will still hit around 50 homers. He deserves the award because he’s carried the Blue Jays but him slowing a bit and the team not contending will hurt
THE PITCHER: Justin Verlander has been the most valuable no doubt but the reason he wouldn’t win is because he’s a pitcher. The Tigers would be worse off without but it’s a myth hat the rest of the staff hasn’t picked up the slack. It’s just the five starters that haven’t who are Coke, Below, etc. Anyways Verlander deserves the award as much as anyone and his performance has been amazing
My Ballot (If I Had One)
- SP Justin Verlander
- OF Jacoby Ellsbury
- OF Curtis Granderson
- 1B Adrian Gonzalez
- OF Jose Bautista
- 2B Dustin Pedroia
- 1B Miguel Cabrera
- 3B Michael Young
- 1B Mark Teixeria
- C Alex Avila
The Diamondbacks traded Kelly Johnson and got Aaron Hill, I think Johnson is pretty much better at everything except power. Johnson will be streakybut the Jays needed a leadoff guy who could hit .270-.280 in a good year and get on, his power is a bonus and I think the Jays not only got better but they won the deal. Hill will return to 25-30 homer power but other than that he’s real good. He’s an average to a little above average defender but in Arizona his average could take even more of a hit and you could see him hitting .250 and only getting up to .265-.270 in a good year. The D’Backs also got McDonald who provides a good platoon, he won’t do bad nor that good in the eight hole but he will play great defense and get some hits. He’s good for depth and is a real nice addition that will help the D’Backs a ton. Hill in Arizona is a moderate fit and he will hit clean-up a lot and regain some power in Arizona and be good down the stretch and with Bloomquist and McDonald splitting time it make the D’Backs infield a little better. Johnson in Toronto is a good fit and he could see some big things ahead and do well in Toronto. Hill still has more upside though. This deal helps both squads as it fattens the D’Backs middle of the order but Johnson will come out of his slump where as Hill may have a tougher time, so there is a chance this hurts the D’Backs. Both Second Baseman will do well and get betetr in their new homes and stay close as far as overall rating though I think Johnson will remain a little better, almost always.
Blue Jays New Batting Order (Or How I’d Do It)
- 2B Kelly Johnson
- SS Yunel Escbar
- RF Jose Bautista
- 1B Adam Lind
- CF Colby Rasmus
- 3B Brett Lawrie
- C JP Arenciba
- LF Eric Thames
- DH Edwin Encarnacion
Diamondbacks New Batting Order (Or How I’d Do It)
- 3B Ryan Roberts
- SS Willie Bloomquist
- RF Justin Upton
- 2B Aaron Hill
- CF Chris Young
- 1B Paul Goldschmit
- C Miguel Montero
- LF Gerardo Parra
A look at who won and lost so far and if things can change
TIGERS- Disregard Fister’s two middle starts for the Tigers and he’s been really good. He will show up even more and be a reliable number three on the Tigers staff. Pauley looks good and should do around as well as he did with the M’s and be one of the top relievers in the division. Betemit fits right in with he team and will continue too, awesome at the bottom of the line-up, more average and RBIs with some homers sprinkled in. Delmon Young was a waiver trade that should do some good too.
MARINERS- Casper Wells could very well reach 20-20 if he gets full playing time and is a good option to hit second in that line-up too and him and Carp might cool off a bit there but there both really good and Wells might even be a smidge better. Carp wasn’t acquired at the deadline but him and Casper have both been awesome for the M’s. Furbush could be a good option at the end of the rotation or a really good long reliever or middle reliever and should keep it up. Ruffin and Martinez will show their talents soon, Ruffin sooner and could he could be a setup man real quick. Robinson is the best player they got and Chiang shows up under any circumstance and could be very good for them soon too.
PHILLIES- Hunter Pence will do even better and thrive in Philly. He and Victorino are young and explosive and think in 2012 with Brown being added. He may have made the Phillies pull away from the pack and will continue to do great things and play great defense and great all-around and he could heat up even more
RANGERS- They got Mike Adams, who has had a few struggles since joining the AL but he will give up a few more runs out of San Diego and even with his struggles he’s still a top setup man and pair him with Uehara, who could do even better with his new and team and you have a team that I can’t see NOT making the ALCS at least along with their whole other team.
BRAVES- Bourn is a true leadoff man and that will help them a ton. He will propel them a ton and this team was already good almost all-around too. The best part is they didn’t give up anybody who will be more valuable, pretty much ever! Bourn’s running game will add to the offense too and those stolen bases were needed. This makes the Braves maybe the most well-rounded team in the MLB. Aces- Jurrjens, Hudson, Hanson. Speed: Heyward, Bourn Defense: Heyward, Bourn, Gonzalez Relievers: Kimbrel, Venters, O’Flaherty Power: McCann, Uggla, Freeman Hitting: Jones, McCann, Bourn. Bourn adds a ton
INDIANS: The Fukudome deal was dumb because he won;t do anything for them and will stay around the Mendoza Line. If Jimenez turns out it was worth it. He can get beat up from time to time but now he’s in a better park and if he gets his delivery fixed up a bit they have a guy who will keep them going and they might not fall out
BLUE JAYS: Rasmus for what they got was a steal and they got some supporting cast members. Now that the Jays have a five tool, middle of the order center fielder they might be able to sneak in the AL East race real soon. Rasmus should do even better and continue to develop in Toronto and reach his prime real soon
METS: Beltran wasn’t coming back, so they got a future ace which is good for them because the only current members of the rotation (Or DL) I can see in a Mets uniform in a couple of years is Niese and Santana, so Wheeler could be the co-ace if he reaches his potential.
ATHLETICS: Ziegler may be good but Allen should be a starter who does well and Norberto could do almost as well as Ziegler down the road, possibly.
DODGERS: They gave up a good and explosive center fielder that could be a big player starting next year for two future relievers, one of which seems to be a hit or miss (Rodriguez and a platoon catcher. The deal was dumb for the Dodgers and it could hurt them a little more than they think. The Furcal deal was good for them though.
RED SOX: Aviles si a good utility man for them who can fill in for an injured guy and do well and could get even better with the Sox in Fenway but Bedard probably won’t do much and the rotation of their’s might get beat up in the playoffs. Beckett and Lester are the only guys who could really do well and Bedard could do something but coming off an injury he may not do much. In the future he could return to doing well, so maybe they can re-sign him.
CARDINALS: The bullpen hasn’t gotten much better because Dotel is nearing the end of his career and behind him their bullpen just isn’t strong enough. Salas and Rzepcynski are good but now I think they are out of it and they gave up Rasmus and got back a bad return and though Jay won’t be bad he won’t be able to replace him. Furcal is only a small upgrade over Schumaker/Theroit too. Castellanos has potential too.
YANKEES: No moves, still problems. Not enough pitching for them could mean a playoff exit before the ALCS. The Rangers and Red Sox are better and the Tigers have a better ace at this point and Scherzer and Fister are starting to show up. No deal could be a huge loss and even Wandy Rodriguez looks good for them now.
WHITE SOX: They got one good future arm who won;t be an ace but good and a veteran reliever and that’s not enough for them to compete I think.
ASTROS: The really didn’t get back a lot of really good prospects but they aren’t complete losers, they just could have gotten more. Singleton and Zied look good along with Santana and Cossart. Oberholtzer also a good pickup.
ANGELS: They didn’t need to really make a move but they could have. They probably won’t the division and some oft he other hitters will heat up down the strecth anyway, so they are fine. Their biggest problem is figuring out how to get rid of Wells so next year Trout and play with Hunter and Bourjos in the outfield and Abreu will DH. Something going to have to happen.
GIANTS: Beltran is hurt but he could give them major production is September and even more in the playoffs and Keppinger is a number two guy they needed but not sure why they got Orlando Cabrera, at this point Tejada is better. So they are winners if Beltran shows up, which is more likely and losers if he doesn’t
DIAMNDBACKS: Ziegler is another good arm who will have success ad Marquis was good but they may still have enough to beat the Giants anyway and the Goldschmit call-up, could be, well, gold.
- Phillies- The best, no question
- Red Sox- Really Good, easily better than the Yankees
- Braves- I can’t find many negatives
- Yankees- Starters and Injuries a concern but a good team
- Brewers- Hottest in baseball and Weeks isn’t even back yet
- Rangers- Ready for another deep postseason run
- Diamondbacks- Look better than the Giants but not very established yet
- Giants- Lincecum has been a n ace as has Cain and Vogelsong and Sanchez have been a great supporting cast. No offense though
- Tigers- If the starters can come around they are a pretty deep team
- Rays- The wrong division, one of the most talented teams in the MLB, bright future
- Cardinals- Berkman, Holliday and Pujols won’t make it easy on Brewers but Garcia struggles are big trouble
- Indians- Ubaldo will help but just aren’t THAT good
- Angels- Wells is killing them but Santana is hot and Trumbo is a very talented player
- White Sox- If Dunn comes around, watch out, Humber being out hurts though
- Blue Jays- Above average but this isn’t their year to shine
- Pirates- A .500 team, finally. If Alvarez comes around and they stay healthy could be much, much more
- Reds- Could climb up the list and come back very strong
- Rockies- Another team that had just one bad year and Tulo could light up September
- Marlins- Should being doing a lot better but dumb moves like demoting Morrison hurt
- Mets- Not a bad team but not a contender, yet
- Nationals- Could be next year’s surprise team with Strasburg back, both Zimmerman(n)s and a good year from Werth, don’t forget Harper, at the end of the year, either
- Twins- Need to come out the gate better but Nishioka is a bust and an easy out, the double play combo needs work
- Athletics- They look very good and I can’t see them not improving a lot next season
- Padres- Have some young and promising players but still a few years away
- Dodgers- Kemp is an MVP candidate and Ethier should come back strong starting this year
- Mariners- The starters look good and Wells and Carp look like future players but after that it’s hazy
- Orioles- Not a really good team and still years away from contending
- Cubs- With Hendry gone it could get better from here
- Royals- Their outfielders all look good and prospects are bright a better record is ahead
- Astros- Not much other than Altuve
JAYS: They ended up with Colby Rasmus, Trevor Miller, Brian Tallet, PJ Walters and Mark Teahen. Personally I think Teahen’s best days are behind him but he can still play well as a utility man and provide some occansional good hitting. He’s a bench player the Jays should stick with for a while and maybe a platoon of him and Edwin Encarnasion would be good. Brian Tallet is a guy who can do well in any role and returns to the Jays, where he fits well. He should do decent for them overall, when he comes back from injury. Miller is a LOOGY and he can do the same things with the Jays as he did with the Rays and is a great veteran to have around. Miller will not be as successful as used to be but he’s not washed up and is also a very nice fit. Walters is a former top prospect who was turned into a very good future reliever and that future will start soon and he could be a very valuable arm. Rasmus is the big addition. He’s only going to get better and soon. He should mash AL East pitching and start off good right off the bat. He can hit anywhere and do so many things for them and I think he will play a good center field at Rogers Centre. He will also flash more and more power and be big in the Jays running game. His potential is big and he could be the centerpiece of this team for many years behind Bautista. He was worth them giving up Stewart and Rzepcynski.
CARDINALS: They received Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson, Marc Rzepcynski and Octavio Dotel. Dotel has been traded a few times to contenders and he will show why down the stretch. He’s an arm the Cards really needed and a veteran. With him, Rzepcynski, Salas, Motte and Lynn this team has a deep bullpen and he could do outstanding, look for an ERA under 2.50 for him the last two months of the season. That brings me tp Rzepcynski, who I still believe in and for the rest of the year he will be a premier middle reliever and could double as a LOOGY, though not as well. After this season I think he could very well be an end of the rotation starter and have a spectacular season, especially under Dave Duncan. Expect great things for him in St. Louis. Patterson is a fourth outfielder who can play center when Jon Jay needs a rest, he has been doing really well all season but he won’t be anything astonishing in St. Louis. Good numbers all around and okay play on the field with some steals. Jay and him are a huge downgrade from Rasmus and I think it was a mistake for the Cards to trade him and it could hurt them down the stretch, They needed more for him. Jackson is a power righty and could have one of his better stints in St. Louis. He will do nice down the stretch and is their third bests startar. Look for him to do some good things for St. Louis and if he stays he can possibly be a real good starter and behind Carpernter, Wainwright and Garcia, dominate.
WHITE SOX: They got Zach Stewart and Jason Frasor and gave up[ Jackson and Teahen, which is fair. Stewart will be about the same pitcher Jackson is if he’s a starter but he could be a little better because he’s more consistent and just has more flair right now. He’s a good addition and Frasor is a good arm to setup and he could even close very well. Frasor shouldn’t struggle too much in Chicago and is a good pickup, for Stewart it’s not as good a fit but he won’t be greatly affected by it.