AL East Preview

29 07 2010

This division sucks. I’m expecting the division winner tohave the 8th best record in the AL. Might not even hit .500.

As with the last division, I’m doing this in projected order of finish. I’m looking mostly at ML transactions and current depth charts.

1. New York (hugenuge)

Nobody has lower expectations for this team going into this season than nuge does, himself. Despite publicly stating he’ll be picking in the 14-18 round in next season’s draft, I still think that’s good enough to win the division.

Yeah, they’re old. Nuge might be starting more players over 30+ than anyone in the league. But there hasn’t been a real drop-off yet for the talent of his players, and there’s a good shot that just by being there, he might get into the playoffs.

The biggest activity in the offseason dealt with moving longtime ace Jeremy Roosevelt, and adding a ton of dudes onto the trade block. So there’s always the chance that New York will continue selling off its aging pieces, but in the meantime they might just be good enough to win this division again.

2. Buffalo (tracyr)

On talent alone, they should be the favorites. There is a lot of stockpiled talent on the ML roster is impressive, and probably the best current ML lineup in that division.

The pitching is adequate. It suffered from too-early promotionos, and missed out potential. Like a lot of the Fat Crazy WHores.

This leads us to my biggest concern for this team: Its owner. Tracyr knows sports, but he isn’t always the most competent manager of teams. Last year’s team actually had Wolf Miller and probably more overall talent, and still was in the league’s basement. I can’t bet that this team, despite having the best lineup in its division, could make it to the playoffs.

3. Norfolk (stu)

Last year’s division champs, and probably the champs for the forseeable future. Why not this year? Because it doesn’t look like stu has them playing for this year.

Perhaps the trade of SS Neil Watkins wasn’t a move for the future in lieu of the present, but the fact that four of the top players in all of Norfolk’s organization (Mulder, Zapata, Prieto, and Villafuerte) are all sitting in AAA either means stu is waiting another season for these guys to develop simultaneously, or he’s just waiting until the point where they won’t earn a year towards their arbitration clock.

If he promotes two of those four, he’ll win this division. But if he keeps seasoning them so they come as close to their projections as possible, he might win a pennant in due time.

Between dealing a useful and cheap ML piece and harboring three Rule V picks, I’m just going to assume stu isn’t looking for just a division title.

4. Pittsburgh (mbriese)

It was an eventful offseason in Pittsburgh. Perhaps nobody lost the amount of players that mbriese did, from Cannon to Guzman to Lee to even Glauber. Pittsburgh lost quite a lot from its ML roster.

Cannon and Guzman each secured themselves hefty deals, and many bit players departed as well. In response, mbriese became much more active, himself, in the free agent market. His top pickup is pitcher Javier Vazquez, for what might be a little too high of a contract.

Other than that, mbriese signed 7 ML roleplayers, each of them to contracts under $3,000,000. He filled out his roster with n iche players, and there’s a chance they could somehow exceed the expected winning percentage and potentially win the division, however, the talent really just is not there. It looks like all those supplemental draft picks will be needed for the rebuilding project in Pittsburgh.




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