Season Analysis

2005-2006 Offseason Recap

TeamKey DeparturesKey AdditionsBreakdownGrade
Florida FlamingosNoneNoneFlorida fans were happy to see their team make their first playoff appearance last season, but those feelings have faded as management made no moves to add to that momentum. The maturation of a young lineup (Wright, Young, Ten Wolde) will be key to Florida's success, as their rotation is not as strong as it's been the last couple of years. They could be a trade or two away from running away with the division, but a lot will have to fall into place for that to happen.C
Holbrook HawksRF Larry Walker, RF Roger Cedeno, RP Henry Owens, RP Randy Flores, 1b Dmitri Young1B Richie Sexson, LF Raul IbanezMissing the playoffs in '05 was a bit of a surprise for the Massachusetts squad, but the likes of Piazza, Lee, Lorenzo, and others, are a well balanced team who will look to bounce back in a big way after last season's slip.B
Philadelphia Brotherhood3B Willie Bloomquist, 1B David Ortiz, RP Ramon Sanchez, C Ben Petrick, CF Coco Crisp, CF Pat Watkins, SP Zozimo Malva, C Eli Marrero, 2B Haley Frias, CF Jim EdmondsSS Roberto Rodriguez, C Josh Willingham, RF Bernie Williams, RF Jonny Gomes, 2B Tae-kon Lee, SP Tim WakefieldThe Brotherhood added a couple of strong pieces this offseason like Lee, but are in a super competitive division, and will likely finish last, albeit with a record of .500 or above.B+
Pittsburgh ChampionsSP John Smoltz, 1B Mike Kinkade, LF Doug Clark, 3B Jim Thome3B Jim Thome, 1B Chipper Jones, RP Paul Spoljaric, 1B Troy GlausAdding Chipper Jones and flipping Jim Thome puts Pittsburgh in a good position to contend deep into the season. Analysts have questioned whether the A-Rod contract was too rich, but no one will be talking about that if the Champions can get back to the playoffs.A-
Gobbler's Knob TurkeysRP Nate Teut, RP Seth Etherton, RP Eric DuBose, SP Jimmy Haynes, RP Desi Relaford, C Phil Nevin, C Craig Wilson, RP Tim Crabtree, SS Russ Johnson, SP Ryan DreseNone2006 won't be the year of the Turkey, especially after losing Pujols to a long term injury in Spring Training, but the future is very bright for a team who's fans deserve a turnaround after going 692-1090 in their first 11 seasons. 4 of the top 12 pitching prospects in baseball are all in this #1 ranked system, so it's only a matter of time before they're all in the show, working to take the division away from New Orleans.C+
New Orleans Voodoo1B Juan Negrete, RP Steve Cooke, 2B Tae-kon Lee, LF Cliff Floyd, RP Paul Shuey, LF Raul Ibanez, SP Ienobu Asano, 1B Guillermo BatistaLF Edgardo Garcia, SS Juan Uribe, LF Ray Lankford, 1B Dmitri Young, LF Adam DunnSuccess of rookie 1B Votto will prove whether the Uribe deal will be enough to replace Lee and Batista (last year's 3 and 4 hitters). The Voodoo was looking like another early favorite until a Spring Training injury sidelined reigning pitcher of the year Haren well into the season, leaving the door open for the rest of the field to stake a lead. Their lineup is still above average, and their bullpen is still one of the strongest in baseball, so New Orleans may still be playing October baseball in 2006.B
Omaha MammothsRP Ryota Igarashi, RF Edgardo Garcia, SP Wade Miller, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, SP Tim Hudson, SP Kazuhisa Ishii, 1B Ross Gload, RP Dennis Tankersley1B Juan Negrete, 2B Luis GarciaOmaha fans were disappointed with only 76 wins in 2005, and are hoping for things to turn around while Ageda and Oswalt are still in their prime. There are enough pieces there to make some noise in a weak division. The Mammoths will also be a team to watch approaching the deadline, as they could be big sellers or big buyers.B
San Antonio ArmadillosRP Cliff Politte, RF Melvin Nieves, 3B Wes Helms, RF Yamil Benitez, RP Paul Quantrill2B Brendan Harris, SP Wade MillerStrong pitching will keep the Armadillos in many games, but a sub-par lineup won't help them win enough games this season. San Antonio could stand pat and be one year out, or could opt to feed on the rebuilding teams and make a push in a weak division. C+
Cardiff Bay Barrage1B Lyle Overbay, SP Aaron Sele, LF Garret AndersonRF Brady Clark, C Bob HenleySuperstar Andres Rodriguez might be worth 10 wins in 2006, but won't be enough to put the Barrage over the hump this season. Look for Cardiff Bay to finish around .500, and possibly sell around the deadline, too.C+
Palo Alto PrankstersLF Ryan Church, RP Scott Downs, RP Matt Thorton, SP Tim Wakefield, RF Butch Huskey, 2B Joe Dillon, 1B Talmadge Nunnari, SP Jeff Juden, RP CJ Nitkowski, CC SabathiaSP Geraldo Padua, 1B Jeff BagwellPalo Alto has gone full rebuild, which considering the divisional landscape, may have been the best decision. Moving CC for 5 PTBNL players over the next two years should, plus a solid draft position this season should put the Pranksters in a great position to ramp up as their rivals could be coming down.B-
Portland BeaversSP Matt Bruback, RP Adam Butler, CF Bernie WilliamsRP Jamie Brewington, CF Ryan FreelWith 2006 being the last year Portland needs to pay Bonds, they are being slow with their prospects. SPs returning from injury during the season will help dictate how much winning the Beavers do, but their lineup is fierce from top to bottom, and can be supplemented with the 4th best farm should any more injuries transpire.C+
Yellowknife Targaryens1B Richie Sexson, RF Lou Stoops, C Paul Lo Duca, RP BJ Ryan, RP Heath Bell, 3B Olmedo Saenz, SP William VanLandinghamNoneThe Targaryens will again be one of baseball's best in 2006 after exiting the playoffs in the Final Four last season. Valadez is worth 12 wins in Center, and the bullpen is top of the line. Rumblings of a 6-man rotation will be an interesting story-line to follow as the season progresses.C+
Charleston RebelsLF Chris Williamson, 3B Ty Wiggington, CF Dustin Delucchi, LF Henri Stanley, LF Matt Diaz, C Kenji Johjima, RP Aaron Looper, SS Juan Uribe1B Guillermo BatistaThe Rebels got creative with their money this offseason, but will be missing a true SS for the time being. Wainwright / Hernandez / Weaver is the scariest trio of pitchers under 24 the UBA has seen in some time, and the Rebels should be fighting for at least a wildcard spot this season.B
Coney Island WhitefishRP Yoshinori Tateyama, 1B Chipper JonesRF Lou Stoops, 3B Keith Ginter, 2B Joe DillonBeat writers expected more trade activity out of Coney Island this offseason, as the Whitefish look to be stuck in the middle. A talented rotation that's constantly hurt with a mediocre bullpen won't be enough, and adding Dillon to replace Chipper is also a step backwards. Look for Whitefish players to be on the block come deadline time.B-
New York City Baseball Club2B Quilvio Veras, 3B Jim Thome, RP Mac SuzukiRP Jason Stanford, 3B Jose Leon, RP Kazuhisa Ishii, 3B Nobukazu Watanabe, RP Heath Bell, CF Coco CrispNYC spent big again this offseason, acquiring Japanese slugger Watanabe to plug into their extremely scary lineup, which truly has no holes in it. Having Halladay healthy all season will be key, but expect the Baseball Club to battle the Landsharks for top position in the RC.A
Old Bridge TitansCF Juan Pierre, RP Brian Lawrence, C Bobby Estalella, RP Jason Stanford, 2B Luis GarciaRP Dennis Tankersley, RP Chris Reitsma, SP Aaron Sele, SP William VanLandingham, RP Yoshinori TateyamaA disappointing 68 win season in 2005 will not be followed by much more success in 2006, as a lackluster lineup won't be able to hack it in a division with a ton of top notch pitching. Respectable, but rebuilding.B
Dallas Daredevils1B Troy Glaus, SS Jack Wilson, 1B Adam Dunn, LF Gabe Kapler, LF Ray Lankford, SP Bobby Jones, C Bob Henley, RP Troy Percival, RP Reid Cornelius, 3B Keith Ginter, SP Geraldo Padua, 1B Jeff BagwellSP CC Sabathia, 1B Ken Harvey, 1B Jim ThomeDallas went all-in this offseason by picking up Sabathia for a ton of future talent, so the true winner of the deal won't be known for many years to come. But the 1-2 punch of CC and Wolf will have batters throughout the Ruth Conference dreading their matchups. While a solid squad, it is hard to predict playoffs for the Daredevils based on the intra-division competition.B+
Eden Prairie LandsharksSP Mike MussinaNoneNo movement made, no movements necessary in from the perennial playoff squad from Minnesota. The #2 ranked farm system has talent ready to explode onto the scene to add to the already deep lineup and rotation, including SP's Verlander and Maine and 2B Kinsler. Look for the Landsharks to repeat their 103 win performance from 2005.C
Fargo RageCF Adrian Brown, RP Kurt Ainsworth, RP Paxton Crawford, RP Gary Knotts, RP Paul Spoljaric, RP Hideki Okajima, SP Mike HamptonRP Henry Owens, RP Randy FloresThe Rage are a very well balanced team that skipper Scioscia will be able to get the most out of. A crowded division will keep Fargo's win total around 85 instead of 95, but they will be fighting for a playoff spot deep into September.C+
Toledo Troutheads3B Edgar Martinez, 1B Morgan EnsbergC Robby HammockIt's difficult to say goodbye to a potential future HOFer in Martinez, but Toledo needed to get a bit younger with Sheffield, Thomas and Knoblauch all aged 37. Should health not become an issue, the Troutheads have a good enough pitching staff to outplay their 83-79 record each of the past two seasons.C+
Hollywood StarsSP Dong-chan Lee, 2B Cody Ransom, RP Justin Speier, LF Jeffrey HammondsSP Andres Ayala, C Ben Petrick, RP Shusaku Matsuda, SP Tim Hudson, SP Mac SuzukiTwo-time defending divisional champs Stars are still favorites, and might be even more dangerous in 2006 if rookie 2B Cano can live up to his billing. Ramirez/Beltre/Cano is as tough a core as any team in the UBA has to offer.B
Oregon DucksRP Scott Atchison, SS Kazuo Matsui, LF Dustin MohrCF Shannon Stewart, 3 Mike Kinkade, LF Cliff Floyd, RF Roger CedenoUp and coming bats feature Montero behind the dish and Adrian Gonzalez at first look to build on rookie success and fortify an offense around veteran star Giambi. Pitching depth is a little thin, but the Ducks have the room to make deadline moves if they come out of the gate hot.B+
Phoenix FirebirdsCF Ryan Freel, RP Curt Leskanic, RP Joey Hamilton, RP Chris ReitsmaNoneAsking a fan base to trust the process is tough after appearing in the playoffs every year from 1995-2000, but the Firebirds boast the 3rd ranked farm system (#2 prospect OF phenom Andrew McCutchen) and the #1 overall selection in the 2006 draft, so a competitive ball club should take the field in Phoenix sooner rather than later.C+
Seattle SteelheadsRP Adam Bernero, RF Dave Roberts, RP Jamie BrewingtonC Eli MarreroThe trend has not been their friend in Seattle after a playoff appearance in 2003, the Steelheads finished with a disappointing 78 wins in 2005. The ultra-young squad could be to blame - everyone is back with one more year of experience and will again look to make some noise in a winnable division with a very talented rotation and better than average lineup.C+

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