Out: RP Fernando James, SP Ossie Flynn
Impact Rookies: 2B Hector Bennett (Sea 5 IFA, $15.3MM bonus), CF Alex Suzuki (Sea 7 IFA, $12MM bonus - still in AAA), SP's Andy Daly (Sea 5 #13 overall - still in AAA) and Mike Gonzalez (Sea 7 IFA, $11.6MM bonus - still in AAA), RP Gerardo Rodriguez (Sea 8 IFA, $$13.8MM bonus - still in AAA).
Of the 22 players currently on Oakland's ML roster, 14 are home-grown and promoted to the majors in the last 4 years. And there are 4 more good ones in AAA ready to go. They're set to dominate the division for the next 10 years.
Out: CF DaRond Wagner, SP Felipe Tejada, RP's Bennie Chouinard and Jorge Guapo
In: SP's Haywood Charles, Josias Rosado, and Frank Montgomery
Impact Rookies: SP Marty Kelley (Sea 4 #52 OVR), RP Geronimo Ramirez (Sea 4 IFA by CLE, $8.2MM bonus), IF Phil Kojima (Sea 7 IFA, $5.1MM bonus - still in AAA)
Anaheim has almost completely reworked its starting rotation...it has probably improved a staff that put up a 4.53 ERA last year (8th). The lineup that was 10th with 761 runs last year is back pretty much intact. They could top last year's 74 wins but aren't likely to hang with Oakland this year.
Out: C Rico Ayala, LF Harry Reid, 3B Justin Griffiths, SP's Rabbit Tracy and Adam Anderson
Impact Rookies: DH Bobby Raggio (Sea 7 #58 overall), RF Juan Pulido (Sea 3 #132 overall), SP's Davey Aquino (Sea 5 IFA, $9.2MM bonus) and Bryan Karl (Sea 4 #83 overall), C Rick Hall (Sea 5 #31 overall still in AAA).
Reid's a big loss from LF, but Portland should be able to get a little bump to its offense from the slugging C platoon of Hall and Louie Mercedes, plus DH Raggio. It's an all-out youth movement for an already-young Portland team. If they can get some pitching improvement, they could pass Anaheim for 2nd.
Out: SP Kordell Becker, RP James Hutton
In: C's Nick Gonzalez and Earl Duffy
Impact Rookies: SP Ted Dirks (Sea 7 #20 overall)
End of the Becker/Hutton era in Seattle...9 All-Star appearances and 2 FOY's out the door, and that's tough to replace. We're likely seeing the beginning of a serious rebuilding effort.
Sizing Up the Race:
This one could be over early. Oakland won by 4 games last year ad has clearly improved way more than the other 3 teams. The only suspense here might be whether Portland's kids can make up 7 games on the Angels and get 2nd. Seattle suffered 2 huge FA hits and is a good bet to bring up the rear this season.