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MLB Spring Training And Roster Moves

*Sniiiiiiiiiiffffffffff.  You smell that?  It’s baseball!  Spring Training is about to start as a few teams have pitchers and catchers report TODAY!  You may have noticed a few huge shakeups amongst contenders with some All-Star players.  Ol’ Monte has kept an eye out and I have even found a few players that have went under the radar but could make a big impact on their new teams.  Let’s gander.

My beloved Yanks seem to have gotten the short end of the stick.  You and I both know that they missed out on signing Cliff Lee.  We also shed a tear when Andy Pettitte announced his retirement.  However, most of my tears came when I saw whom GM Brian Cashman is bringing in to fill number 46′s shoes.

Mark Prior- has not pitched in the majors since 2006.  Yes, 2006.

Bartolo Colon- did not pitch last year.

Freddy Garcia – 17 wins!  errr  from 2007-1010.

Those three cannot fill Pettitte’s 25-11 record over the last two years.

The Yanks did pick up Raphael Soriano and his 45 saves and 1.73 ERA, the possible replacement for Marino Rivera when he retires sometime in the next 24 years.  What, he can’t pitch into his 60′s?  That’s probably the only solid moves the Yanks made this year, for even their backup fielders signed this off-season make me scratch my head.

3B Eric Chavez.  Hopefully A-Rod won’t get injured this season as Chavez has only played 65 games in the last 3 seasons.

2B Ronnie Belliard.  Robbie Robbie Robbie Cano needs to start all 162 games this season. Belliard hit .216 last year.

One player that will hurt the Yanks and bolster the already stacked Boston Re       Re     Rrrrrr      ugh.  ick.  Red Sox.  Alfredo Aceves.  Here is a quiet move not many have picked up on.  By joining the Sox, “Ace” brings a 14-1 record and 3.21 ERA out of the bullpen from the Yanks to their AL East rivals this year.  This moves worries me as a Yanks fan.  Great pick up.

Speaking of those Bean Towners, two MAJOR moves over the winter put these guys as the favorites to reach the World Series.  Signing 1B power hitter, Adrian Gonzales was huge. Between 2007-2010, he’s hit between 30-40 homers and no less than 99 RBI.  The Sox have also signed Carl Crawford. In my mind, the best player in the AL. Last season, CC hit .307 with 47 stolen bases, 13 tripples and 19 home runs.  The most well rounded hitter in the game is now a Sox.  *Shakes head* Ruh oh.

Good news for us Yankee fans is that the Sox did lose a key player from last year in Adrian Beltre. Beltre hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBI.  Those are big numbers to lose at the hot corner but the Rangers are loving that move as the AL’s rep in the fall classic last year now have him on their powerful roster.  He may have disappeared in Seattle for a few years but let’s not forget the 48 homers he hit in LA back in 04.  The man’s got pop.  The Rangers have also made a GREAT move in signing the reigning MVP in Josh Hamilton for two years and 24 mil.  The man hit .359 last year.  He’s no spring chicken so I think two years is perfect.  Look at his last two full seasons combined – 64 homers and 230 RBI.  Great move, sign him to big money while he’s still in his peak for the next two seasons.

Alas, the biggest move of the year- Cliff Lee going back to the Phillies.  This guy can just flat out pitch.  18 walks last year.  I didn’t miss a digit.  18 total walks compared to 185 strike outs.  He and the two Roys can pretty much put the Phils in the World Series this season before we even get to April.

A few moves that look big on paper but probably not at the plate?  The Rays signing Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez.  Sadly, these two record and ring holders are well past their primes and the Rays need some “names” to put people in the seats now that they have lost Crawford.  Even with a great young crop of players, the Rays never seem to fill the stands.

Finally, the last big move of the year – Brendan Harris going to the O’s!   Hey, gotta show love for the Queensbury native. Hopefully he’ll bring back that 07 power he had in Tampa Bay with a .286 average.  He slid a bit as a Twin, let’s see him get back on track and pull the Orioles out of the basement this year!

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