New York Dolls
Take a team loaded with young cheap talent add expensive established talent. Less than a World Series appearance would be a disappointment.
Pirates didn't change a lot and I would expect they won't move to much in the standing either.
Norfolk Train Wrecks
Improved but not quite ready for prime time, the pitching staff is moving in a very competitive direction.
Things are bleak in Atlanta, as they wait for some farm talent to come charging up the ladder.
New York Dolls
OFFSEASON MOVES: KEY SUBTRACTIONS: WAIVED: RF Tony Bryne- speedy light
hitter Key Adds: RF Matt Shave- 3 time League MVP, SP Michael Foster- long reliever at this point, RP Geronimo Rosado-4A reliever.
Summary: What happens when you take over a World Series team with a payroll south of 50M, then double the payroll and added a superstar outfielder? We are about to find out. All kidding aside. The New Look New York Dolls are going to be very very good. Shave adds an element to the lineup that was greatly lacking and that was a true cleanup batter, Springer had a breakout year in that role, but with shave and Springer going back to back look for the balls to go flying every night. Pitching has always been a mainstay in New York look for their dominance to continue. The only question is how Michael Foster will fit into the New York plan. We will soon see.
OFFSEASON MOVES: KEY SUBTRACTIONS: RETIRED: P Timothy Garcia- HOF'er ends long career, RELEASED: 2B Herman Chance FA LEFT: SP Omar Segui-better LR right now, C Torey Diaz- can still call a game, RP Jung Gao solid long reliever, SP Bruce Mayne- low tier starter, DH Sting Leary- no longer capable at Catcher, SP Alan Palmer- average starter, Key Adds: C Roy Park- good defensive catcher, SP Harry Palacios- average starter, RP Willie Feliz, SP Andres Amaral, WAIVER CLAIM: 1B Lorenzo Estrada- great 1B for the price,
Summary: The Off season puts the Pirates in a very similar position as last season. They replaced lost free agents with very similar castoffs from other teams. Palacios and Amaral will fill similar roles as Segui and Mayne but the upgrades will be slight if any. Parks does give the team a legitimate defensive catcher, with Waiver claim Estrada covering the reduction in offense. Basically a reshuffling of the same team for season 16 as they threw out for season 15.
Norfolk Train Wrecks
OFFSEASON MOVES: KEY SUBTRACTIONS: FA LOSS: P Wilfredo Ordonez- Solid long reliever, SP Josh Brantley- pitches are starting to betray him, SP John Perkins- Same as Brantley, RELEASED: P Pedro Padilla- 4A Guy, Key Adds: RULE 5: 3B Pasqual Valdes- average at best hitter, RP Richard Martin- good be great if you can handle his durability. PROMOTED: SP Trenidad O'Donnell-Future Ace
Summary: The lineup is still set losing no one from last season's squad. The issue is they added no real depth either to the hitting corps. Pitching on the other hand should be much improved with the addition of rookie O'Donnell who will fill the role of staff ace without question. Add in already established starts Marty Hooper and David Dominguez and you will have a solid 3 punch. Sadly the rest of the rotation will over little more than a fresh body throughout the season. The pen should hold up quite well with ex-closer Hong-Jin Xaio and Livan Campos. Cl Raymond Kielty does not get much respect around the league but showed flashes which should allow him to compete for the job again. Rule 5 Guy Richard Martin is the Wildcard in the mix.
OFFSEASON MOVES: KEY SUBTRACTIONS: FA LOSS: RP Greg Arnold- still could be effective in relief, RP Sam Hawkins- Effective long reliever, DH Terrell Welch- efficient DH, RP Pedro Mantalban-4A guy, RELEASED: SP Kevin Yamaguchi- 4A Player DH Fernando Nunez- solid DH Key Adds: RULE 5: 2B Robert Lundquist- Average hitting FA ADD: P John Cho- average ML pitcher, SP B.J. Kipling- Avg SP.
Summary: Offensively and defensively this team is in rough shape. The best offensive player Matty Evers is limited to 1B and is poor at that position. The rest of the team will struggle with their defensive assignments as well. Offensively the team has good speed when they can get on the bases, but getting guys there will be a challenge. Hitting will come at a premium. I like New Catcher Josh Hargrave but he will wear quickly and is at best a half time player. Pitching added a few guys to replace the leaving free agents, but no huge upgrades in pitching to look to guide this team through another tough season. Atlanta is probably looking at another 100 loss season.