Thursday, December 19, 2013

AL East

New York
New York Yankees (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Incoming outfielders, Danny Waters and Kid Peters, should produce nicely for the Yankees. The Yankees made some very solid moves. They improved their offense last year by trading non-producing players for those that produce. OE isn’t afraid to make a move. Expect more this year. The new free agents will provide pop. The Indians should be looking over their shoulders.

OUT: Nigel Montague, Danny Waters, Stan Cheny, Armando Tavaras.
IN: SP Javier Gonzalez, SP Donatello Bollea, SP Wade Taylor, OF Furio Becker, Alberto Puente,

The Yankees put up a solid season, winning 94 games and making it into the ALCS. Sadly, they were knocked out by eventual champs Texas. Stan Cheney (who didn’t contribute last year) was traded to the Padres for OF/3b Furio Becker (a barely above replacement level player with the Padres that will be a huge producer in NY…at least 4 war, and 100 RC). As owner Overeasy stated in our interview “The offensive additions should give us an extremely high-powered offense without any easy outs all the way 1-9 and an outfield that could possibly have all three guys with 40+ homers.”
The biggest change is the pitching staff. The dead weight was cut, and the trio of Gonzalez, Bollea, and Taylor provide an already formidable pitching staff three new stars.  
Overall, the Yankees feel they can win 100 games and earn another division title. I would have to agree. This team is stacked and should push their way into the ALCS once again with the hope of a World Series title.

PREDICTION: 101-61, Division Title, ALCS Champ


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: I hate having to say, “I told you so” about a team. It was just obvious that the Red Sox were on the decline and that the window closed. The Sox have lost a TON of offense. They are down again this year, but hopefully not for too long.

OUT: none worth noting
IN: Francisco Sanchez, Nick Goodwin, Geraldo Hernandez

Boston is another team that failed to provide any insight into their team. I don’t blame them. The team is in a free fall with little to no hope of pulling the rip cord.
This is basically the same team that jclark threw out last year. This team only scored 608 runs last year, while their pitching was actually the best in the AL East.
PREDICTION: 68-94, last place

Cleveland Indians (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Age finally caught up to the Indians, but young players are ready to step up. This year’s big move is pitcher Brent Barker. While he can’t single handedly turn back the hands of time, he can ease the transition a little. This time got old quick, and everyone should expect production drop off and it may be enough to lose the division.

OUT: Brace Watkins, Wellington Rojas
IN: Justin Lidge (Mon), Rod Conway (ruleV), Carlos Rodriguez, Sherman Coleman (ChiCubs)

Cleveland couldn’t find the time to send me a preview, so there is very little to go on. As expected the team took a step backward and struggled to make .500 a year after winning the Division and AL.
Brace Watkins’s option was declined as was Wellington Rojas. Tom Gordon is still one of the better players in the league, and Darrell Franklin is a substandard defensive SS that can hit and run. Les Brown showed some significant improvement and is ready to take on a leadership role on the team. The big problem looking at this team was Javier Valdes who got very old in the off season and certainly will not contribute the 4.1 war that he put up last year.
The pitching staff isn’t any better, and I’m afraid to say that the Indians are becoming a one hit wonder after their miraculous season.
PREDICTION: 74-88, 3rd Place

Baltimore Orioles (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Orioles came in with high hopes for building off their championship season. Things went horribly wrong and they clawed their way to a winning season but failed to win the division or make the playoffs. The O’s got started revamping their team with a big trade sending superstar Vance for outfield sluggers Charles Bando  and Terrence Smoltz  Another piece to the trade was future 2b Bobby Blair, who projects to be a very solid player. All told, the O’s won this trade, especially if Smoltz gets full playing time.

OUT: All those annoying replacement level players.
IN: Brian Russell, Dickie Wallace

The O’s just barely missed the playoffs as a wild card, and were in it until the end. When asked about Terrence Smoltz, owner crabman slyly said “Smoltz will finally get full playing time as he will replace Newson at 1b.”
“Brian Russell and Dickie Wallace replace league average guys, and Felix Turner makes a return to Baltimore to fill in the utility gap,” Crabman went on to explain.” On the pitching side Sherm Thompson replaces a horrible Juan DaSilva and Sven Hammonds replaces Stephen Dimaggion so I believe the rotation has been upgraded.”
Overall, I would have to agree. But this year…it just won’t be enough for the O’s to overcome the rest of the AL and steal a playoff spot. BUT if Smoltz and Bando perform over their heads, and the pitching is better than expected…you never know.

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