Unlike past seasons….the three teams that made the boldest moves during the off season were the Royals, Mariners, and Indians. Congratulations to the teams for making the moves that they made. Many teams stood on the sidelines and did nothing significant during the off-season. Even if these three teams do not succeed, it won’t be for a lack of trying. A look now at each team’s moves:
Kansas City Royals : The Royals dealt one of baseball’s best prospects in Wil Myers, along with other talented young players in exchange for James Shields and Wade Davis. While the deal may end up looking lopsided in the Rays favor, this is a huge upgrade for the Royals rotation. What makes this team interesting is having former stars such as Ruben Tejada, Xavier Nady, Willy Taveras, Dan Wheeler, Ervin Santana, and George Sherrill in camp. Brandon Wood is an intriguing invite as well. Rising stars Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Alex Gordon make this an interesting team to watch, and easy to root for. One of these years, Gordon is going to have a monster year.
Seattle Mariners: The Mariners brought in low risk (salary) high reward players such as Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Joe Saunders, Robert Andino, and Jeremy Bonderman. They made great trades to bring in powerful Mike Morse and Kendrys Morales. There are still holes on this team, but the pitching staff should be much improved, and young players like Dustin Ackley should mature. If Justin Smoak can hit above .250 (a tall order for him), he would add stability to the infield, and things could get real interesting in Seattle. Look for Erasmo Ramirez to have a breakout year.
Cleveland Indians: Hiring Terry Francona was perhaps the smartest move the Indians made in the off season. Nick Swisher gives them a consistent and potent bat. Gambling on Scott Kazmir and Dice-K won’t cost much if it doesn’t work out, but will pay huge dividends if they both can return to form. Ryan Raburn could be a big bargain. Matt Capps will help the struggling bullpen. Drew Stubbs has struggled the past two years, but he has talent. It’s too early to give up on him. This team will also be fun to watch….almost as much fun as the Pedro Cerrano/ Willie Mays Hayes teams.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Alex Gordon, Brandon Wood, Cleveland Indians, Dan Wheeler, Drew Stubbs, Dustin Ackley, Erasmo Ramirez, Eric Hosmer, Ervin Santana, George Sherrill, James Shields, Jason Bay, Jeremy Bonderman, Joe Saunders, Justin Smoak, Kansas City Royals, Kendrys Morales, Matt Capps, Mike Morse, Mike Moustakas, Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Robert Andino, Ruben Tejada, Ryan Raburn, Salvador Perez, Scott Kazmir, Seattle Mariners, Terry Francona, Wade Davis, Wil Myers, Willy Taveras, Xavier Nady