Sunday, June 10, 2007

Biggest Off-season waves

Below is the list of 10 teams that made the most waves during the off-season/free agency period. This list focussed on FA and trades, not minor league call ups.

St. Louis Bluebirds – Made the biggest splash in free agency when they signed All-Star caliber SP’s Joel Coleman, BC Sierra, and Donald Nakajima, plus an offense minded C in Barry Durocher. They focused on pitching, and now have a world class pitching rotation, but you can’t win games 0-0 and they will need to find offense somewhere.

Houston Texans – Picked up perennial all-star/MVP candidate Tim Smith. They bolstered their bullpen with a young closer in Ralph Kell, and solid setup men in Placido Ayala and Moises Ordaz. Adding a star player and patching up their bullpen should put this team on the short list of championship contenders.

Salem Mad Monks - Didn’t sign the hottest names on the market (like last season) but made a couple of solid RP signings and picked up a top notch defensive SS. This is exactly what this team needed, the fastest way to fix a bad defense is to get a superior defensive SS. Their solid SP core will appreciate having a great closer.

Chicago Knights - This team didn’t need much to improvement. They didn’t sign the best FA on the market, but they might have signed the best FA for them. Buddy Parrish will add punch to their potent lineup while helping out the pitching staff too. Plus they re-signed their closer to one more season.

Boston Blood Sox – This team did a modest amount to help their ML staff. Traded for young SS, signed power hitting Michael Hernandez, and 2B Jim Purcell. But they really added to minor league system by adding four young guys that should all make the majors. Obviously their plan is to build a solid foundation for this team in the future, even all their FA signing were young players.

Scottsdale Mad Jesters – A curious off-season for this team. They lost Cy Young winner Coleman, and gold glove 2b/leadoff hitter Sikorski, then traded All-Star 3B Tim Smith. Teams usually don’t improve by getting rid of great pitching, gold glove defense, and power hitters. What they did do was trade for last year NL ROY Benji Clark, sign a washed up season 1 Cy Young winner JP Mercado, perfectly average SP Garrett Judd, and OF Kyle Carroll. They do have 6 picks in the top 75 draft picks so something can be said about not giving up on the future, but should they have focussed more on the current.

Sacramento Air Force - Their big move this year was to trade for Dorian Tracy, a young SP who has pinpoint control and is very effect against righties. They also resigned Mac Ramirez and signed 2B Carlos Lee. Not a bad off-season for them, but they will be asking if it was enough to catch the Mad Jesters.

Memphis Elvi – They went for quality over quantity. Signed Eric Monroe, a pitcher with the stuff to be an ace, but has not yet played for a team that has gotten the best out of him. His huge contract obviously kept them from making many other deals, but they are a solid team and he should do well for them.

NY Mugger Funk – Traded for Phil Hernandez and Kiki Lopez, both are under 26 years old and solid players. Hoping they return to their season 2 forms when both had better than .425 OBP. Plus he resigned Kirk Jenkins at a reasonable rate for the next two seasons.

Montreal Beaver Tails – Signed a top of the order OF in Louis Henderson and an interesting SP in Vladimir Johnson. They can really make a statement on the draft since they now own picks 3, 18, 33, and 38

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