AL’s Best & Worst Moves & Non-Moves

All right, time for teams that actually matter, time for the American League. They’ve dominated the National League for about a decade now, and it doesn’t seem to be headed for a turnaround any time soon. The NL’s better players keep heading over to AL teams and the American League keeps pumping out elite prospects.

AL EAST

Baltimore Orioles
Best Move: Trading Miguel Tejada to Houston. Visa and steroid problems non-withstanding, Baltimore needed to start rebuilding and bringing in a handful of decent prospects for a guy past his prime isn’t too bad.
Worst Move: Doing nothing else. Bedard still hasn’t been moved and if the Cubs had offered me two young arms for Brian Roberts, I’d have done it. Just ship all your guys off for prospects wait.

Boston Red Sox
Best Move: NOT trading for Johan Santana. They already had a World Series caliber rotation, and if the Yankees weren’t in for him, there was no need to ship off a Jacoby Ellsbury or Jon Lester just to add $157MM.
Worst Move: I don’t think they have one. Everything they’ve done is pretty much smart baseball. Even when everyone’s least favorite loudmouth found out his shoulder sucked, they’re still the favorites for the World Series.

New York Yankees
Best Move: Re-signing A-Rod. The Yankees needed Alex Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez needed the Yankees. $275MM will most likely keep the best player in the Bronx for the rest of his career.
Worst Move: Not addressing their bullpen issue. With Joba Chamberlain looking to start and the only significant addition being LaTroy Hawkins, getting the ball from the starters to Rivera is still looking to be decided. Given, any number of the young arms could emerge as another Joba, but it probably isn’t something the Yankees are too confident in counting on

Tampa Bay Rays
Best Move: Actually doing something. They started the offseason by dropping the “Devil” from their name and then spent some money locking up their young talent. They also used their extra outfielder to grab one of Minnesota’s extra young starter.
Worst Move: Signing Troy Percival. He’s probably not $11MM better than anything they could pull out of a loaded farm system. Maybe it’ll help a little, but the dude’s tossed 40 innings since 2005.

Toronto Blue Jays
Best Move: Trading Glaus for Rolen. Rolen may have the longer and larger contract and no bat, but he’ll immediately help an already impressive pitching staff.
Worst Move: If there was a year that someone other than New York or Boston could win the division since the mid-90s, it would be this year. So what does Toronto do? Stockpile average-to-useless middle infielders like Marco Scutaro, David Eckstein, Russ Adams and Joe Inglett.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox
Best Move: Obtaining Carlos Quentin? The whole Brian Anderson experiment failed and Ryan Sweeney proved to be nothing as well so Quentin’s as good a move as any.
Worst Move: Thinking they’re a contender this year. They re-signed Juan Uribe then traded an average arm for Orlando Cabrera. They traded three prospects for Nick Swisher. And they’ll still finish third at best in their division.

Cleveland Indians
Best Move: Signing Betancourt. He’s been extremely reliable and consistent and $5.4MM isn’t bad for two more reliable years.
Worst Move: Not adding to their offense. I’m probably talking about Jason Bay. They’re weak at the outfield corners and even a Jason Bay down year is an upgrade. He’s easily worth Cliff Lee and Kelly Shoppach

Detroit Tigers
Best Move: Obtaining Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins. Lots of teams talk about making a big move, but never do. The Tigers actually did. Cabrera gives them arguably the best offense in the game. Now if only Zumaya could stay healthy…
Worst Move: Extending Dontrelle Willis. That 5.17 ERA isn’t going to look good once it gets through the AL exchange rate. I’d have waited until after this year to talk about an extension.

Kansas City Royals
Best Move: Moving their April 10 game from 1:00PM to 8:10PM. Now I can go.
Worst Move: Letting Arizona steal Billy Buckner from them for a middle infielder they have no room for.

Minnesota Twins
Best Move: Getting Delmon Young from Tampa Bay. The Twins had extra pitching and the Rays had extra outfielders. Very even swap and beneficial for both teams.
Worst Move: Well .. other than the Johan Debacle .. signing Adam Everett. He’s just a good-glove, no-bat shortstop. But they already had Nick Punto…

AL WEST

Anaheim Angels
Best Move: Trading Orlando Cabrera. They’ve got a bunch of young shortstop prospects that are probably better than Cabrera. Getting a durable arm is just a plus.
Worst Move: Torri Hunter, easily. Along with GMJ2, they’re paying $30MM for centerfield through 2010. And now the Angels have 6 outfielders capable of starting.

Oakland Athletics
Best Move: Gobbling up everyone’s prospects. Some from the Braves for Kotsay, a bunch from Arizona for Haren and more from the White Sox for Swisher. And they still might deal Blanton.
Worst Move: Not trading Ellis and Johnson. They traded everyone else, and they want to rebuild. These guys don’t belong anymore.

Seattle Mariners
Best Move: Finish the Bedard deal already. I’ll tell you then.
Worst Move: Carlos Silva. Seattle is going to pay him like a #2 starter and he’s probably more like a #5. Safeco helps flyball pitchers. Silva isn’t one. Not even lose.

Texas Rangers
Best move: Stockpiling one-year contracts. They won’t compete, but they’ll stay respectable until that farm system starts paying dividends.
Worst Move: Hanging onto Hank Blalock. Chris Davis is quickly approaching. Move Blalock now for a prospect or two. San Francisco or Philly would give up a decent prospect for this guy.

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Posted on February 11, 2008, in Sports. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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