As part of another United Cardinal Bloggers project, below are our (largely uninformed) predictions for the American League standings in 2009.
Just an absolutely brutal division, could easily have three playoff teams if not for that silly “one from each division” rule.
- New York Yankees – they bought up every player under the sun this off-season, Hank and Hal are in it to prove they can win too.
- Tampa Bay Rays – No reason to believe this team should fall off, they are young, hungry – and could even improve upon last season. David Price should be up by June or so.
- Boston Red Sox – They’re going to have to start throwing some ridiculous cash around to play catch up again. No reason to believe they won’t.
- Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays lost AJ Burnett and didn’t really add anyone of note. That Vernon Wells contract may hamstring this team for a long time.
- Baltimore Orioles – Well, they can’t get much worse than the last ten years, can they?
Perhaps the most “up-for-grabs” division in the Junior Circuit, could depend on some breakouts and health.
- Cleveland Indians – I should note that I’m a bit of an Indians homer, but this team has some solid young talent and pitching. They fleeced the Cubs for veteran swingman Mark DeRosa and a healthy Victor Martinez could make all the difference in this division.
- Detroit Tigers – Probably the most talent on paper in the league, but aging. Will need good seasons from their pitching staff. Is Jimmy Leyland on the hot seat? Given his typical snarl, does he care?
- Minnesota Twins – Difficult to ever count this team out. Ron Gardenhire deserves a lot more credit and attention than he gets.
- Chicago White Sox – I hope Ozzie Guillen doesn’t beat me up with a bat after he reads this. He did not take kindly to Baseball Prospectus‘ choosing them fourth, but apparently Ozzie is in the minority here.
- Kansas City Royals – The depressed market allowed them to sign some veterans they might not otherwise have approached. Can the elders teach some of these young kids to play? I think KC is heading the right direction – they just need time to continue on that path. Of course, they will still sweep the season series with the Cardinals.
I have yet to see any reason why this division won’t continue to begin and end with the Angels.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – They won’t miss a beat without KRod. Pitching, a potent lineup, good enough defense – not much more needed to win this division. The question is if they can put together something resembling a post-season run again.
- Texas Rangers – The Rangers scored a metric ton of runs last season. The problem? They allowed an imperial ton. Bonus points to the reader who knows which is more.
- Oakland Athletics – Billy Beane is another GM who preyed on players who wound up settling for a lot less than they hoped to make in free agency (see: Jason Giambi). Will the A’s find their next breakout star from their farm system, or has Moneyball jumped the shark?
- Seattle Mariners – Well, they’ve at least got a good management team in charge now. Perhaps they can actually get some starts out of Erik Bedard this season to go along with it?
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