Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Kansas City Royals acquired Dayton Moore last summer, as Pos writes; it is impossible not to like Francouer as a guy but you really do have to hate how terrible he is. He came to the majors extremely hot but it was mostly an illusion and major league pitching adjusted to him quickly thus eliminating any threat he might pose. It's possible he might put up another 29 HR/100 RBI season but he'll do so with a sub 800 OPS and deteriorating fielding skills. The Royals GM Dayton Moore has a thing for acquiring terrible players, like Francouer and Yuniesky Betancourt, and despite their number 1 farm system they seem likely to be terrible for at least a few more years.
The Cleveland Indians had a lot of talent just a few years ago, unfortunately they were unable to keep those who would become Free agents and signed their DH to the biggest contract in team history. They still have Hafner and Grady Sizemore (who up until last year looked like one of the best CF's in the game) but they really don't have much else. The formerly good pitching staff with CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Fausto Carmona now has neither of the first 2 (two highest per year paid pitchers in major league history, to be fair) and Carmona has disappeared. It'll be a battle between these two teams for second to last place in the AL Central.
The Tigers are a solid enough team with 2 of the best players in the entirety of baseball. Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the American League and actually still quite young. Whenever I personally go to a Tiger's game he is the one dude who seems to scare every pitcher he encounters. Justin Verlander is also quite excellent, though he did have a down year a few years back. Last year he was second or third in pitching WAR. If Zumaya would stay healthy they'd have a pretty good bullpen as well, but unfortunately they don't have much else going for them and look to be right around .500 this year. They're the best major Detroit franchise at this point aside from the dominant Red Wings.
The Twins are a pain in the ass, no matter how terrible their team looks or how little they paid for it they will eventually get to 90 wins every year. While the White Sox have more or less split division titles over the past 10-15 years it's still annoying to have them close every single year. It looks like they might get slightly hampered by injuries this year but I'd be stunned if they didn't magically get 90 wins somehow. Next to the only recently good Rays they are the best run organization in baseball.
The White Sox have labeled this season "All-In" as they've resigned every good player on the team and additionally signed Adam Dunn. Last year they picked up Rios and Jake Peavy so we now have the highest payroll in team history by about 20 million. I guess Jerry Reinsdorf's idea is that the Sox could supplant the Cubbies with another WS win. I don't know if that's the case but it sure makes me happy that the White Sox have a competitive team every year and the GM knows how to acquire talent (though he is admittedly poor at not trading young talent). It's pretty much a tossup who wins the division but I'd give a slight edge to the beloved White Sox.
Blogger changed the format of posting for some reason so subsequent posts will be somewhat less impressive, alas.