Wednesday, October 24, 2012

AL North by byers61

Detroit management decided that it is time to go all in. After getting their first ever taste of postseason play, the Tigers are hungry for more. After failing several times to land the ace starter they coveted via trade, they switched gears and settled for the aging but still talented Willie Diggins as a stopgap until more of the youngsters are ready to contribute.

That relative bargain signing left enough payroll to add native son Douglas James to be the teams new closer.
Then the Tigers landed the big fish of the draft: David Davis who will switch from 2B to CF. The Tigers feel that the addition of Davis to holdover stars Juan Aguilera ,
Henry Crosby, Kane Duncan and Monte Randall will give them as strong a lineup as any team in the AL, and should be enough to overcome some of the question marks in the pitching staff.

Finally, Detroit management is ecstatic over the next wave of young talent ready to move up from AAA at some point this season. Victor Rodriguez will provide another huge power source at DH/1B to complement Aguilera. Ruben Pulido and Edgard Rojas are also expected to make the jump sooner rather than later, and should provide a big lift to the starting rotation.

After 6 straight seasons of competing for the division title, but not developing a strong enough team to go deep into the playoffs, the White Sox let a number of veterans become free agents. Only 3B Hal Bell earned the White Sox a type B pick. Gone also are power hitters Trevor McEnerney and Gregory Courtney, as well as speedster Henry Costello.

Replacing Bell is SS/3b Delwyn Owen. R.J. Rosado, signed very cheaply, brings a mix of power and speed to the offense. The remaining roster spots will be filled by prospects who have been waiting for their moment in the spotlight. Reigning Rookie of the Year Adrian Barton will lead the youngsters by example. This could be a rebuilding year for the White Sox.

After 3 losing seasons, the last two finishing 4th and 3rd in the division, Toronto must feel they are close enough to competing without any major FA acquisitions. Toronto did sign Hal Bell to replace outgoing Hack Farquhar, and resigned CF Rob Woodson to a $2.4 million dollar contract after his $9.2 contract expired and he found no takers in FA. Toronto signed 2 Rule 5's, 3B Willie Benavente and LR Peter Doerr.
foxspor54: Coming off of a below .500 season Toronto has added free agents : Hal Bell and Woodsen resigned.This Blue Jays team is built on strong fundamentals on defence and quality pitching. Failure to make the playoffs will be unacceptable. The future looks bright for Toronto with Stu Grissom a top prospect in an excellent farm system given a shot a the bullpen job, If the team stay healthy they will contend with the division leaders. The GM wants to restock the farm system add more speed and develop a quality bullpen.

Coming off a 59 win season, it appears to be totally rebuilding mode for the Twins. They let SP Nerio Hawkins and RF/2b Ernest Burroughs go to free agency, and were basically a no-show for any significant FA or Rule 5 signings.

Detroit is the team to beat. The battle for second place will depend on whether Toronto has correctly judged that their players simply underperformed last year. It should be close between Chicago and Toronto, with Minnesota quietly enduring another rebuilding season.

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