Sunday, March 2, 2014
Salem was looking to grab one more starter in Free Agency, but whiffed. Now, they have money available to make more moves, which they definitely will at some point. This team has been very good under 40-dog, and he has the players available to make another run in the playoffs. If they can get just a little more help (one or two bats, one or two pitchers) this team could win it all. Look out.
The season just started and Boise knows it's time for big changes. Quite a few players are on the block and ready to be moved. The team can definitely hit the ball and are solid offensively (828 runs scored). But the pitching is Horrible (yes…capital H). The pickup of Roosevelt Watson was a move in the right direction. If Boise can balance out the offense and pitching they might improve more than anyone thinks. We will have to see if anyone is willing to make a move with them in order to do so. (And I can think of a few teams with money and prospects that could trade young pitching for offense. Just sayin.)
Don't be fooled by this teams record last year. They are a team on the upswing, and are focused on young pitching. It won't happen right away, but when you have a young stud like Kurt Pride to build a staff around baseball becomes really fun. Another thing to be aware of is that Omaha has an $81 payroll, but only spent $63. They don't have a lot spent on Intl Scouting and only $10 spent on prospects so it makes you wonder a little bit what they have in store. My guess is they will be buyers and a big deal could come to pass at some point. Omaha made a ton of trades last year. Keep an eye out for category 5 storm...
Owner McAndrews became concerned after hearing talking of teams "tanking". It is a serious charge and one that is not taken lightly. I'll admit, there had been some questionable moves (look at the trades last year, as well as the transactions this year, and draw your own conclusions). The plan is obvious that Oak City is rebuilding. They purged salary, picked up some decent young guys, and came into this season knowing that they gave up 942 runs (which is a LOT). Young guys that should be in the minors are making starts this year, but they are being surrounded by other youngsters a. I'm not going to let Oak City off the hook. Tanking is tanking. If a team is not actively being improved to be competitive in the league, I don't know what else to call it. McAndrews seems like a nice enough guy and seems genuinely worried about being labeled. If this league had a minimum win expectation we would be seeing more of an effort not to allow another 100 loss season.
Posted by dodgersgale at 3:33 PM
Vancouver has had a long run of success, and that will not change this year. Although some of the stars are starting to age, there is a nice pipeline of younger players entering their primes to pick up the slack. The Canadians are a powerful offensive team, but rely just as much on a strong and adept pitching staff. Overall, I can easily see this team winning another World Series this season and will be surprised if they don't at least get close again.
The Las Vegas franchise changed owners, and changed names, but stayed in place. Aaronbrown is a relatively new owner (10 seasons), but looks to be a good addition to the world. It looks like he will be a player in the Intl market by leaving $20 mil in player payroll, and having a max prospect budget. Vegas did allow one starter, and several key bullpen arms to bolt. They made a couple key trades, one of which replaced the starter and another to bring a solid defensive catcher into the fold. Great young players were promoted and will contribute as they grow into their roles. Overall, I'm excited to see how much this team can accomplish this year. They won't challenge Vancouver for the division, but should be the top wild card team.
Last year was a rough one for Fresno. The pitching staff was in shambles, but the rebuilding process is starting to take shape. Somehow they snagged super reliever William Masato off Rule V (I guess Richmond couldn't use him?). Brad Park and Pep Kim have been promoted and start to help. The defense won't help very much (Sisler is a far below avg SS). The offense should be a little better, but not much. Overall, Fresno should be marginally better than my prediction as cazanski rebuilds.
The Isotopes struggled horribly at the plate last season, only scoring 572 runs. The pitching was mediocre, but should have been better due to the talent available. The Topes budgeted $95 but only spent $54. They have already dabbled in the Intl market picking up a relief pitcher. Could they be planning something bigger? The starting staff didn't get any better as they relegated Tabaka to the pen and Mujica was allowed to walk. The bullpen is mostly castaways. Overall, I can't help but think this team could be better if it had spent the money to upgrade. Instead, they will just continue to lose and get the draft picks/internationals. It is what it is.
Posted by dodgersgale at 1:45 PM