News Season Analysis

2004-2005 Offseason Recap

TeamKey DeparturesKey AdditionsBreakdownGrade
Florida FlamingosC Charles Johnson, RP Keith FoulkeSP Luis Ibarra, SP Darren Dreifort, RP Joaquin BenoitThe Flamingos are a very young squad (2nd youngest in the UBA), but have the opportunity to finish +500 should they stay healthy. They may be in the Wild Card hunt, but need another year or so before pushing for the division title.B
Holbrook HawksSP Mac Suzuki, 2B Jamie LopezRF Larry Walker, C Mike PiazzaAdding Piazza and an aging Larry Walker to an already potent lineup will help solidify the Hawks' stranglehold on the AC East Division in 2005.A
Philadelphia BrotherhoodRF Manny Ramirez, C Ben Davis, C Scott Hatteberg, 1B Eric Karros, 2B D'Angelo JimenezCF Jim Edmonds, 2B Hanley Frias, CF Pat Watkins, RP Chuck Ricci, C Eli MarreroThe Brotherhood took a step back this offseason with the departure of Manny Ramirez, and no replacement from outside or within. Given the climate in the division, Philly should look to be sellers and ship Everett to a contender for a haul to expedite the rebuild efforts.C
Pittsburgh ChampionsRP Scott Strickland, RP Andres Berumen, CL Ed VosbergRP Marc Kroon, SP Tim HudsonThe Champions, on paper, look to be about half a beat behind the Hawks, but have a solid core, and can be very dangerous if ARod puts up another MVP caliber season, and 22 year old pitching sensation Francisco Silva can fill out his potential. Look for Pittsburgh to be in the divisional and wild card hunt this season.B-
Gobbler's Knob TurkeysLF Jeremy Burnitz, SP Ariel Prieto, RF Reggie Sanders, RF Raul Mondesi, C Ed TaubenseeSP Victor Zambrano, RP Ryan Drese, RP Nate Teut, SP Jimmy Haynes, SP Rick HellingThe Turkeys retooled a lot of pitching, but are still in need of one or two more arms to sustain success. Young star Aramis Ramirez worked out at SS this spring, and looks like he doesn't have the range to help his pitching staff. Until these holes are plugged, the Turkeys will struggle to keep up.B-
New Orleans VoodooRP Scott MacRae, RF Larry Walker3B Glenn Williams, RP Paul ShueyWhile not losing much after winning the championship, the Voodoo scored a big catch in 3B Williams - a position of need in New Orleans. A strong and balanced lineup complimented with a dangerous bullpen should be enough to take another division title, although the starting rotation is very average and could become a weak spot with a couple of injuries.A-
Omaha MammothsC Eli Marrero, SS Jack Wilson, RP Yoritomo Mori, RP Brian SikorskiCF Shihei AgedaThe entrance of Ageda into the UBA from Japan last November had many GM's rearranging their budgets, but in the end the Mammoths roped him in. Rumors were that the move to Omaha from Regina helped their cause. Aces Oswalt and Shields should lead this team deep into the wild card race, and possibly the division as well.A
San Antonio ArmadillosC Todd Hundley, 2B Quilvio Veras, SP Bobby Jones, 1B Brad Wilkerson, RP Victor Alvarez, LF Pat Watkins, 2B Russ Johnson, LF Luis GonzalezSP Livan Hernandez, SP Mac Suzuki, SP Ryan JensenWith the acquisition of Jensen, the Armadillos become one of the deepest rotations in the AC. However, aside from an aging Giles, their lineup leaves a bit to be desired. Look for a finish of about 75 wins this year. B+
Cardiff Bay BarrageLF Bobby Kielty, LF Ichiro Suzuki, SS Mark Loretta, LF Danny Bautista, LF Gabe Kapler, SP Sterling Hitchcock, SP Rick HellingSS Marco Scutaro, LF Garret AndersonBudding superstar Andres Rodriguez looks to build on his 222 hit performance of last season and lead the up and coming Barrage to their first +500 season in California. It will be no easy task in the powerhouse AC West, however, so a finish of 80-85 wins could still find them in the basement.B-
Palo Alto PrankstersCF Pedro Anaya, CF Chip Ambres, C Toby Hall, C Gregg Zaun, RF Brady Clark, 1B Mo Vaughn, RP TJ MathewsLF Makoto Shimizu, CF Chone Figgins, 1B Talmadge NunnariThe Pranksters finished 2004 with a disappointing 75 wins, but retooling with big bats Shimizu and Nunnari will compliment their strong pitching staff very well. Reports are fan favorite Jeter came to camp looking like he lost a step or two, and may be out of a job soon.A
Portland BeaversCF Nestor Smith, C Chad Moeller, RP Justin Lehr, SP Tony Saunders, 3B Jim ThomeNoneThe Beavers made sure workhorse Scott Karl was secured this offseason, and they hope he can put up a few more 5+ WAR seasons as he approaches his mid-thirties. Insiders report Beavers are having closed door conversations on how to handle 40 year old $35M Bonds, who's legs have left him and he can barely hobble around the outfield. Nevertheless, the Beavers have more than enough to win 90-100 games in 2005.C+
Yellowknife Targaryens1B Carlos Delgado, C AJ Pierzynski, C Robinson Cancel, RP Scott Downs, 3B Keith Ginter, SP Roy HalladaySP William VanLandingham, 3B Olmedo SaenzYellowknife has a well balanced and dangerous offense built around superstar CFer Valadez, but dealing injury prone Halladay may be putting too much on the shoulders of Beckett and Bedard, who combined for 193 walks in 2004. But, that's nitpicking, and 2005 looks like it could be Yellowknife's year.B-
Charleston RebelsRF Richard Hidalgo, 2B Akinori Iwamura, 2B Chone FigginsCF Carlos Beltran, 2B D'Angelo JimenezThe Rebels surprised everyone by just missing the playoffs last year, and even with the league's youngest roster, are poised to surprise again. They could get even younger if they decide top prospects Felix Hernandez and Jered Weaver are ready for the show. Look for the Rebels to be in the Wild Card race down to the wire.B
Coney Island WhitefishRP Ugueth Urbina, 3B Olmedo SaenzC AJ PierzynskiWith no major moves, the Whitefish did lock up superstar infielder Belliard to a long term deal to keep him in teal. The achilles heel of this team has been injuries, and the Whitefish can easily be a 100 win team should they stay healthy.B-
New York City Baseball ClubSP Kirk Reuter, 1B Dmitri Young, DH Ryan Klesko, 2B Hanley Frias, CF Preston WilsonSP Roy Halladay, RF Juan Cervantes, 3B Jim Thome, 2B Quilvio VerasThe Baseball Club front office was crushed after missing the playoffs for the first time in UBA history in 2004, and they made all the right moves to make sure 2005 wasn't a repeat. Cuban slugger Cervantes and ace Roy Halladay front-line the offseason moves made to make a good team a great one. In a crowded division, look for NYC to finish on top.A+
Old Bridge TitansSP Chad Ogea, SP Jimmy Haynes, C Robby Hammock, 1B Talmadge Nunnari, RP Joaquin Benoit, LF Garret Anderson, 2B Marco ScutaroRF Brad WilkersonThe Titans are a very balanced team - not too weak or strong in any one area - but probably don't have the star power to produce this season and will be a 75 win team finishing in last this year.B-
Dallas DaredevilsRF Angel Echevarria, SS Alex Cora, RF Roger CedenoLF Ray Lankford, RP Bobby Jones, RP Yoritomo Mori, LF Gabe Kapler, C Robby Hammock, SS Jack WilsonThe Daredevils retooled well this offseason, but are still short on starting pitching. In season acquisitions could make them a sleeper pick on the wild card and possibly the division.C+
Eden Prairie Landsharks1B Bucky Jacobsen, C Steve TorrealbaNoneThe Landsharks probably have the strongest and deepest pitching staff in baseball, and have a better than average lineup. Coming up just short in game 7 of the championship series was no fluke, and the Landsharks will be one of the early favorites to represent the RC once again.C+
Fargo RageSP Tim Hudson, RP Marc Kroon, 2B Rob MackowiakRP Kevin OlsenThe Rage have a good looking rotation, but may not be able to sustain the run support to win enough this year. Catalyst Rollins will need to score more than 71 runs to translate into more wins, but that is unlikely to change much this year.C+
Toledo TroutheadsRP Chad Qualls, SP Nate Robertson, C Craig WilsonC Charles Johnson, CF Antonio EchevarriaToledo was fired up bringing in backstop Johnson to get the most out of their young rotation. Aging legs in the field will make that a bit more difficult, but Toledo looks like an 80 to 85 win team.B
Hollywood StarsCF Ray Lankford, RP Chuck Ricci, SP Livan Hernandez, RP Bruce Chen, C Mike Piazza, C Jason Varitek, RP Desi RelafordSP Tony Saunders, C Javier Valentin, RF Manny Ramirez, RP Victor AlvarezThe Stars moved on from a lot of talent, but brought almost as much. Bash brothers Beltre and Manny Ramirez will probably fight each other for MVP, but will not be able to hide the weak rotation Hollywood has, and their success will be limited until more pitching is brought in.B+
Oregon DucksCF Carlos Beltran, CF Jim Edmonds, SP Steve Avery, C Bob Henley, LF Shawn Green, 1B David OrtizLF Richard Hidalgo, SP Chad OgeaThe Ducks' offense looks promising - even at 34, Giambi is still one of the best - but Oregon needed to add more than Ogea to their staff this offseason if they wanted to compete down the stretch. The Ducks look to finish in third this year, just under 500.B
Phoenix Firebirds2B Nick Green, SP Ryan Jensen, RP Paul Shuey, SP Darren DreifortNoneAlthough working through a post-Bonds rebuild, the Firebirds will still play respectable baseball in 2005. They are still a few seasons away from any true contention, though.C
Seattle SteelheadsC Javier Valentin, SP William VanLandingham, SS Nomar Garciaparra, RP Ryan Drese, 3B Glenn WilliamsNoneThe Steelheads boast the best starting 5 in baseball - all 25 and under - and are a half step behind the Landsharks as far as complete pitching staff depth. But the loss of Williams without a true replacement will hurt their offensive production. They should still easily win the division, and might be able to make some noise in the post season with the acquisition of a bat or two during the year.C+

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