News Season Analysis

2010-2011 Offseason Recap

TeamKey DeparturesKey AdditionsBreakdownGrade
Florida Flamingos2B Freddy Sanchez, C Garett GentryNoneA lot is riding on youth in Florida this year as rookie slugger Rizzo looks to cement himself in between 23 and 24 year old Brantley and De Salazar in their potent lineup, and closer Jansen will look to provide 70 to 80 innings of high leverage shut down pitching. If Ketchner finds his 2007-2008 form again, and the team can stay healthy, Florida may be poised to take a winnable division.C-
Holbrook HawksC Josh Phelps, 2B Arturo Soto, RP Dennis Sarfate, LF Delmon YoungNoneHolbrook has taken the division the last two seasons, and have the same core in place to make another run. Ten Wolde and Valadez headline a strong lineup, and last year's pitcher of the year runner up Lorenzo looks to repeat on last year's success. #2 overall prospect Keuchel will start the season in AAA, but is just about ready to debut should the Hawks run into injury troubles. This is still their division to lose, but the competition will be stiff. C-
Philadelphia BrotherhoodSP Justin Fuller, RP Beau Jones3B Adrian Beltre, CF Vernon Wells, C Josh PhelpsPhilly upgraded their lineup with the additions of Beltre and Phelps, but needed to do more with their pitching staff after losing Fuller in order to be competitive this year. It looks like the Brotherhood will match their win total of 68 from last year, but not exceed.B-
Pittsburgh ChampionsRP Bryan Bullington, SP Randy Wolf, RP Russ OrtizRP Pat Neshek, 3B Wilson Betemit, C Sexto AlvarezThe Champions' squad is well put together, and it will be exciting to see what Hanson can put together in his first full season in the bigs. But after ARod, the lineup is missing sufficient pop, and it looks like Chipper Jones and long time Champions catcher Nakayama are both over the hill, with no clear replacement in the ranks. Overall, they have the depth and resources to battle all the way into September but will most likely miss the playoffs in 2011.C+
Gobbler's Knob Turkeys2B Dan Uggla, 1B Todd Helton, RP Javier Lopez, CF Antonio Estolas1B Todd Helton, 3B Jayson NixThe Turkeys have been quietly building through the draft for many years now, and the result is a stellar rotation led by Kershaw, Greinke and Price, plus a solid lineup featuring young thumper Stanton in the middle. The AC Central Division as a whole is getting stronger, but it will not be a stretch to see Gobbler's Knob in the mix down to the wire.C+
New Orleans Voodoo3B Glenn Williams, LF Edgardo Garcia, CF Rocco BaldelliNoneStrapped for cash, the Voodoo were unable to make any additions this offseason, but are rolling with the same core that won a ring in 2009 and 99 games in 2010. Haren and Holladay are as good of a one-two punch as you can find in the UBA, and Valdez, Votto and rookie catcher Gomes headline a strong lineup. The division is still theirs to lose - look for 95 wins in 2011.C-
Omaha MammothsRP Ezequiel Astacio, RF Seth Smith, 1B Placido Polanco, RP Pat Neshek, SS Francisco OrtizNoneThe Mammoths were quiet this offseason, but enter 2011 with a healthy Shoemaker behind Oswalt and Shields to make it difficult for opponents to win a series against them. Slugger Garcia also missed time to injury in 2010, and hasn't lived up to his billing in Omaha yet. If their offense can put up the runs, their pitching will hold leads, and the Mammoths could surprise for a wild card berth. C-
San Antonio ArmadillosSP Rich Fischer, 1B Jose Cruz, RP Greg Acquino, SP Jason Davis, RP Rob BellSP Scott RichmondA full year of 2010's #1 prospect Sale in the rotation will be fun to watch unfold, but the team isn't as deep in their rotation or lineup as the others in the AC Central. Look for them to be an improved last place team, in the range of 70-75 wins vs. 56 in 2010.C
Cardiff Bay BarrageRP Pat Strange, RP Ryan Madson, CF Vernon Wells, RP Rich HillLF Vladimir Guerrero, RF Matt Holiday, 1B Placido Polanco, SP Kevin Millwood, SP Wandy Rodriguez, SP Jason Davis, LF Carl Crawford, LF Cody Ross, CF Lastings MilledgeThe Barrage made a handful of small moves to fill out their roster but have limited resources to do much more. The best is still yet to come in Cardiff Bay. There is some talent spread around on this team, but they still don't match up well against many other AC teams. Lance Lynn, at 23, will look to step into the lead role in the rotation, which they desperately need.B
Palo Alto Pranksters3B Mike Young, 3B Sean Burroughs, RP Zach McClellanLF Delmon Young, RP Taylor Buchholz, C Gerald Laird, CF Chone FigginsProving 2009 wasn't a fluke, their tear down approach from years' past continued to pay dividends, as the Pranksters improved to 98 wins and another wild card berth in 2010. Two time batting champ Dan Murphy leads a solid offense, and they have one of the few rotations in the UBA that is strong from 1 to 5. Still sporting the #1 ranked farm system, you can look for another 90-100 win season for a team build for the present and the future.C+
Portland Sea Dogs1B Nick Johnson, 2B Min-u Lee, SS Marcus Giles, RP Adam Horne, CF Mitch MaierSS Marcus Giles, CL Joe Thatcher, SP Randy Wolf, SP Jeff D'Amico2010 brought the end of the Beavers, the beginning of the Sea Dogs, and most importantly, the first championship win in 14 tries. Not resting on their laurels, the Sea Dogs added Wolf to their rotation, an elite closer in Thatcher, and secured Giles back at short. 2011 will likely put another 100 win season in the books, and there's little reason to think they're not the favorite to return to the WCS out of the Aaron Conference.A
Yellowknife ThievesSP Juan Castillo, CF Lastings Milledge, 1B Luis Figueroa3B Mike Young, 2B Ian Kinsler, C Saul SotoYellowknife has been the odd man out two years in a row, winning 94 games each of the last two seasons but missing the playoffs each time. Sitting in the same division as Portland and Palo Alto, the same may happen in 2011 as well, as their rotation is average at best, and their lineup has some good bats but probably won't score enough to outpace the inter-divisional competition.C+
Atlanta Bandits3B Scott Rolen, C Jason Kendall, 2B Aaron Hill, LF Cody Ross, SS Angel Berroa, 1B Carlos Casimiro, RP Bobby Jenks1B Paul Konerko, SS Ian Desmond, SP Justin Fuller, RP Sadao Tanaka, 2B Roberto Reyes, 3B Mark Reynolds, 1B Howie KendrickAfter after the 2010 moves resulted in only 69 wins, the Bandits continued to throw money around this offseason, adding notables SP Fuller and SS Desmond to their payroll. Strasburg will look to continue to fill out into his sky high potential, but the Bandits will still be on the outside looking in with NYC and Charleston too strong in their division. Look for an improved 80-85 wins.B
Charleston Rebels1B Brandon Gemoll, RP Vicente Padilla, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RF Austin Kearns, 1B Juan Negrete, SS Mike AvilesSS Mike Morse, RP Bobby Jenks, 1B Jose Cruz, 3B Sean Burroughs, SS Francisco Ortiz, RP Scott RandallCharleston surprised with 99 wins and a playoff berth in 2010, and is in a good position to get back to the playoffs this year. Getting another 400+ strikeouts and a sub 2 ERA may be a tall order for King Felix, but with an above average staff and a strong lineup featuring superstar bat Loronha, the Rebels will be nipping at the heals of NYC all season long.B
Coney Island WhitefishRP Wilfredo Rodriguez, 3B Aramis Rodriguez, 2B Joe Dillon, SP Luis HernandezSS Aaron Hill, 2B Joe Dillon, SP Luis Hernandez, 1B Nick Johnson, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RP Pat StrangeThe Whitefish have a formidable lineup with the likes of Costa, Romero, bringing back Dillon and adding AGon, and you can't ever count them out. But the pitching staff grades out well below average, with not much else behind CC and Fiers. Like the Bandits, Coney Island is not a bad team but won't do better than 80-85 wins in 2011.B
New York City Baseball ClubLF Shin-Soo Choo, 2B Jason Giambi, RP Jason Stanford, RP Koji Uehara3B Wu-shiun Zong, RP Dennis SarfateA disappointing end to a 108 win season last year, the Baseball Club isn't just eyeing the playoffs, but is eyeing another ring. With no big moves made for a second offseason in a row, NYC has instead locked in their talent to long deals, with more than 70% of their roster on multi year guaranteed deals. Experts still target NYC as most likely to emerge from the RC in 2011.C+
Washington GeneralsLF Danny Dorn, 1B Howie Kendrick, C Sexto Alvarez, SP Jeff D'Amico, RF Alex Ochoa, RP Josh KinneyRP Josh Kinney, RF Austin Kearns, RF Nick MarkakisThe Generals will be bottoming out in 2011, as they're fielding mostly replacement level talent to get by while the 4th strongest farm system, led by Mike Trout, develops. In a strong division, Washington will be lucky to stay away from triple digit losses.C+
Eden Prairie LandsharksRF Carl Everett, C JC Boscan, SP Glen Perkins, SP Jorge Rivera, LF Carl Crawford, SP Johan Santana, CF John Raynor, SS Mike Morse, 2B Ian KinslerSP Jorge RiveraThe Landsharks don't have the pitching they once had, but still have the best pure hitter in baseball - Morillo - and a strong lineup around him to put up enough runs to get back to the playoffs. What the rest of the RC Central should be afraid of is the pitching they've got coming down the pike in the next year or two, namely Archer, Parker and Pimentel.C+
Fargo Rage1B Paul Konerko, RF Nick Markakis, RF Matt Holliday, CF Chone Figgins, 2B Eric YoungCF Rocco Baldelli, 1B Brandon Gemoll, LF John Raynor, RF Edgardo GarciaLiriano has been good for about 13 wins on his own the last three seasons, and the Rage made a couple strong additions of Garcia and Gemoll to create more runs. They are a strong contender for the Wild Card, or if a few things fall their way, could walk away with the division.A-
Salt Lake City StingersRP Victor Santos, CF Lance Berkman, 2B Roberto Reyes, RP Brandon Medders, RP Kenneth Trapp, C Ben Petrick, RP Scott Randall, SP Wade LeBlanc, SP Mike Penn, 1B Mark Reynolds, SP Scott RichmondSP Jake McGee, SP Clay Buchholz, LF Danny Dorn, 2B Rickie Weeks, 2B Freddie Sanchez, RP Brandon Medders, RP Kenneth Trapp, 2B Eric Young, CF Austin JacksonAfter a surprise move away from Dallas to Salt Lake City, the rebranded Stingers look towards the future, as the team who's finished 4th in the AC Central doesn't have the ML talent to do much better in 2011. Look for management to dangle pieces like Donaldson, Soto, and Papelbon as the trade deadline approaches.B+
Toledo TroutheadsSS Jhonny Peralta, RP Joe Thatcher, SP Odalis Perez, RP Jack Cassel, RF Jose Roman, RF Salvador Gonzalez, SS Felipe LopezCF Mitch Maier, CF Antonio Estolas, SP Juan Castillo, 2B Jason Giambi, SP Jacob SchmidtNew management entered Toledo this offseason and immediately started putting their stamp on the roster, shipping Gonzalez and Lopez to San Francisco, but bringing in Estolas, Giambi, and Castillo as important players to their 2011 roster. Overall, the lineup looks strong, rotation average, and bullpen subpar. A weak defense may result in a negative run differential this year, and Toledo will finish in third with 75 wins.B-
Hollywood Stars3B Adrian Beltre, RP Will Ohman, 1B Carlos Pena, CF Austin JacksonSP Carlos Diaz, RP Carlos CarrascoThe Stars have built a powerhouse team, and look to take another division title and beyond in 2011. This is probably the strongest lineup in the UBA from top to bottom, and the pitching is also strong led by an Ace in Cruz and one of the best shut down closers in Doolittle. In a weaker division, look for the Stars to eclipse 100 wins and battle NYC for top spot in the RC.A-
Oregon DucksSS Ramon Arroyo, 1b Javier Brito, 1B Carlos Avila, SP Kevin Millwood, RP Brent Franklin, RP Jon Rauch, SS Ian Desmond, RP Tyler Clippard, RP Jim Hoey, SP Carlos CarrascoRP Sadatake Kouda, 2B Min-u Lee, SS Lorenzo Martinez, RP Victor Santos, RP Bryan Bullington, 1B Juan Negrete, SP Sergio Mitre, SS Jhonny PeraltaThe Ducks have a few stars ready to build on their early successes in Anderson and Posey, but the cast of characters around them isn't strong enough to win on a regular basis. Look for the Ducks to improve on the last three years and not lose 100 games, but not do too much better than that.B
Phoenix FirebirdsRP Paul Maholm, RP Yhency Brazoban, RP Taylor BuchholzRP Zach McClellanThe Firebirds are this year's sleeper pick, if you're into that sorta thing. They have drafted extremely well, and now sport home grown studs all over the diamond: Goldschmidt, Upton Jr, Butler, Colvin and Cutch. A strong rotation led by Gee and Torres should make it difficult for opponents to take more than one game per series against Phoenix this year. Look for them to hit 90 wins and take the Wild Card spot in 2011.C
San Francisco Spartans3B Wilson Betemit, C Gerald Laird, SP Wandy Rodriguez, LF Vladimir Guerrero, 2B Rickie Weeks, 3B Jayson Nix, C Saul Soto, 1B Scott Hairston, SS Lorenzo Martinez, SP Jacob Schmidt3B Aramis Ramirez, C JC Boscan, CF Coco Crisp, 2B Ryan Roberts, RF Salvador Gonzalez, SS Felipe LopezThe Spartans improved by 21 wins last year, but don't look to have brought in any further firepower to do better than that in 2011. Gonzalez and Lopez from Toledo will help solidify their defense and offense, while sophomores Eaton and CarGo hope to build on last year's success at the dish. Their AAA affiliate is ripe with top talent (deGrom, Salazar, Gennett, Gregorius, Stanton), so watch out for more auditions in 2011, and a dark horse in 2012.B+
Seattle Steelheads3B Ryan Roberts, SP Carlos Diaz, SP Shawn Hill, SP Sergio Mitre, RP Danny KolbNoneThe Steelheads took a big step backwards in 2010, finishing with 90 losses in fourth place. A quiet offseason saw free agents depart, and no one replace them, so it's looking like Seattle's run is over, and a rebuild is imminent. Look for Gonzales, Melancon, de Smet and Pagan to all be on the move at some point during the year.C-

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