Yes folks you can tell season 18 in officially under way. The Free Agents and coaches have been signed. Trades have been done Rule V draft is over preseason has started. And now that we are having our annual great trade debate we can get this thing going.
As always I will start with the AL and we will see if I have time to work one the second league as time goes by today. In the AL north (still the best in baseball) It looks like three teams will due battle for the top stop and at the very least win one wild card.
The Minnesota Millers are as strong as ever coming off of back to back division championships. The have added SS Vinny Kou Sandy Lowe to pitch Deacon Pierce to hit and Louie Snyder to fill in off of the bench. They lost Enrique Gomez, Glenn Morgan, and lead off hitter Efrain Redman. For the most part the added moves are a push other than the added starting pitching. In my eyes they should run the North again.
Detroit might have the top one two punch in all of baseball. The Added bullpen arms Crash Gabriel and Billy Ray Haywood. They also add needed bat Victor Sanchez to help out with the offense. They should be in the hunt again this season after just missing last year.
Pawtucket has a great line up that can carry the team. This season they added a great starter in Miguel Nieves to top out the Rotation. From what I am looking at this is there only addition this off season. They didn't really lose anybody either. Just adding the pitcher though could be enough to get to the postseason with there deep line up.
One team has won the most offseaon trades in season 18 and it is not Baltimore or Minnesota It is Seattle. After coming with in a game for the division last season The Seattle owner appears to have decided to change the direction of the team. Many all star are gone and many up and comers in the minors. I don't see them in the post season this year.
The Best of the AL East and of Kaline has had a pretty as normal offseason so far. A few trades new faces from the minors and again the best in baseball. There Is no reason that The Baybird should not win the AL again.
Indy Lost Devon Minor but that should be able to be absorbed fairly well. The Devils have a solid Line up and pitching that can win games. They didn't add anyone really this season. They will play for a wild card again this season.
Both New York Metros and San Juan are in a re-built mode this season. Though both teams are not play-off bound neither should be terrible either.
The AL South has been ruled by Memphis for the last four season. I am guessing that their reign in over this season. They still have a high level one though nine line up they don't have top tier pitching anymore. What is working for Memphis though is a weaker South but the gap between Memphis and the pack is closed.
Durham has just about as good of a line up as Memphis but they might have just a bit of better pitching. They lost Thoe Forest in a trade but brought back Erubiel Colome in the deal. I think that Durham can win this division this season. The also added from Memphis Pat Newfield to replace Sid Tracy and that is a fine one season upgrade.
Something about Atlanta is telling me they are winning 84 games this season. Their one though nine is not bad though they need a slugger. They have guys that can hit pretty well and add in one of the better pitching rotation and they may surprise a few teams and win the South. These guys are my dark horse here. *Hint hint add a shortstop sooner than later like right away*
Montgomery is still looking a few seasons down the line and won't win much this year but will still be active in the international signings.
The AL west is Honolulu's to take again. Last season they started slow and still won by 15 games. They are young and ready to challenge for the AL crown this season and future seasons. They lost Louie Lima but that should be absorbed just fine by them. They also made that trade with Durham that was talked about as well as a one other. They added Cory Cohen and he will fill in to there line up well. A good line up a good rotation means another 95 win season.
Scottsdale Slam might win 85 games this season and maybe a few more and sneak into the wild card hunt. Helena is a season away from being in the mix. Omaha should hit and hit well but they won't pitch and in turn... OK so I was not giving a good look at Omaha and after a little more digging I think that they might make a pretty solid team this season. They pitch allot better than I thought and are an alright one though nine. Omaha will surprise other this season as well.
Ok so I got lazy at the end what of it. Maybe I will talk about the NL but why maybe when they win something we can talk about them again.
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