All offseason we talk about the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, but the Tampa Bay Rays always end up in the discussion at the end of the season. They build through the draft and develop their own, so they stay quiet while the Sox and Yanks throw around big money.
The Rays were second in the AL East, just behind the World Series champs. Matt Moore had a career year with 17 wins and they called up their gem prospect, Wil Myers. With all the young arms in the rotation, it’s hard to predict a win total this season. They could all have double-digit wins and lead the team to a 100-win season or a few could implode. I think it’s fair to say the Rays will land somewhere in the middle
Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Seattle made a few headlines this offseason. They paid Felix Hernandez the most paid to a pitcher in Major League history and made two different trades to acquire much-needed power.
The three best teams in the AL West got much better, so Seattle had to make a decision. Do they stand pat and slowly build their team back up or make some big moves in hopes stealing a Wild Card spot? They went with the second option.
Did Seattle make a smart move by acquiring talent to win right now?
The San Francisco Giants did the improbably in today’s game. They won two World Series in the last three seasons. They did this one after overcoming Melky Cabrera’s PED scandal and without ace closer Brian Wilson.
Buster Posey had a breakout season in returning from a scary injury that happened during a collision at the plate.
The biggest news to come out of San Diego this offseason is the Padres moving in the walls at PETCO Park. I’m not sure if doing that is a good move strategically. The team has been built around pitching since the park opened (13 of their top 20 prospects are pitching). Is this move a not-so-subtle way of increasing attendance?
Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin will benefit from the walls being moved in, but can their pitching hold up?
Can San Diego keep up with the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West?
The St. Louis Cardinals did the impossible last season. They lost Albert Pujols to the Angels and their longtime manager Tony LaRussa retired. Most people wrote them off, but they scratched and clawed their way into a Wild Card spot.
The Cardinals didn’t do much this offseason. Was standing pat a poor decision? Can they catch lightning in a bottle for a second year in a row?
Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the St. Louis Cardinals.
(Yes, that is Nelly wearing some Cardinals gear….excuse me while I go listen to “Air Force Ones”.) Continue reading →
The last time the Pirates ended the season with a record better than .500 was 1992. I included a picture of Russell Crowe wearing a Pirates jacket, because it he’s had a streak of bad movies to rival the Pirates futility.
I picked Pittsburgh to win more than 81 games last season, but they fell just shy of that. They are headed in the right direction, but they are still a few players away from being on the same level as Cincinnati and St. Louis.
Can Andrew McCutchen repeat his MVP-level 2012 season?
The Philadelphia Phillies have been perennial World Series contenders since Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley were in their first years in the Majors. The Phillies have spent a king’s ransom on pitching, yet the rest of the lineup have aged poorly. Could Philadelphia become sellers at the trade deadline this season?
Will Philly regret signing Cole Hamels to a superstar contract when he is the team’s third best starter?
The Oakland A’s were one of the major surprises in 2012. Not only did “Moneyball” do well at the box office, but the A’s made their first playoff appearance since 2001.
The A’s have a few breakout performances last season. Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook pushed Oakland to the next level. Manager Bob Melvin really outdone himself with his roster.
Can Oakland repeat last year’s performance or was it a case of being lucky in one-run games?
Are the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers too talented to surpass in the AL West?