Heading South

Getting ready to head down to Bradenton for spring training this weekend. If you’ll be at the following games send me a tweet or email and we can try to meet up.

Thursday Orioles @ Sarasota
Friday   Rays    @ Bradenton
Saturday Red Sox @ Ft. Myers
Sunday   Orioles @ Bradenton

Look for pictures and thoughts to be posted all weekend, assuming I can figure out why my wireless card isn’t working or the hotel has an ethernet connection available.

James Shields/Wil Myers Trade Tree

The Royals and Rays made a big trade Sunday night. Both teams are trying to win now – The Royals by rebuilding their rotation with James Shields and Wade Davis and the Rays by reloading with young, cheap talent.

You see something interesting when you follow this tree from start to finish for the Royals. Effectively they have used six draft picks, four since 2008, and turned those into four players who are slated to start for the team this season. Along the way they got a few good years from Mike MacDougal and a few excellent years from Zack Greinke. Who knows what Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi will turn into with the Rays, but in a vacuum I think most teams would take that kind of return on their draft.

James Shields Royals


Coming soon: the Cleveland/Cincinnati/Arizona three way trade tree.

Yunel Escobar Traded to Tampa

This is just a quick update to the trade tree I made for the big Marlins/Blue Jays trade. Miami has flipped SS Yunel Escobar to the Rays for infield prospect Derek Dietrich. I saw Dietrich play several times at Georgia Tech and he always looked solid to me.

Jose Reyes Marlins

Trade Tree: Matt Garza

Today’s mound opponent, Matt Garza, has been a key component of two major trades in his seven-year big league career. His stint in Minnesota was covered in last week’s Johan Santana Trade Tree, but Garza is starting for the Cubs today so let’s look at what the Cubs gave up for him.

Garza’s a good pitcher and it took a lot of talent for the Cubs to get him. Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee were top prospects then and still have plenty of shine left. In addition to that, Ray’s fans were also treated to The Legendary Sam Fuld era.

In summary, the Rays received Garza for Delmon Young, who has not panned out despite all of his talent, had Garza for his age 24-26 season, then as he got expensive spun him for a boatload of talent. The lesson? Beware deals with this Tampa Bay front office. They always seem to come out at least an extra 2% ahead.

Garza tries to help the Cubs avoid a sweep by the Pirates today at 1:35. Erik Bedard goes for the Bucs.

Fearless Predictions for 2012

Once again, its time to lay it all out on the line and predict exactly how the 2012 will unfold. Last year I correctly predicted the Pirates would finish 72-90 and in 4th place. (Ignore all the other predictions.) This year, I am guaranteed* to be 100% on all teams. Read on to see the future…

Rays 98 64 Braves 92 70
Yankees 92 70 Marlins 90 72
Red Sox 86 76 Phillies 87 75
Blue Jays 83 79 Nationals 81 81
Orioles 69 93 Mets 62 100
Tigers 96 66 Reds 93 69
Royals 84 78 Cardinals 90 72
Indians 79 83 Pirates 85 77
White Sox 72 90 Brewers 82 80
Twins 67 95 Cubs 67 95
Astros 63 99
Rangers 93 69 Diamondbacks 89 73
Angels 92 70 Rockies 86 76
Athletics 67 95 Giants 83 79
Mariners 64 98 Padres 72 90
Dodgers 66 96
MVP Evan Longoria MVP Jay Bruce
CY David Price CY Mat Latos
RoY Matt Moore RoY Bryce Harper
Wild Card Angels over Yankees Wild Card Cardinals over Marlins
ALDS Angels over Tigers NLDS Reds over Cardinals
Rays over Rangers Diamondbacks over Braves
ALCS Rays over Angels NLCS Reds over Diamondbacks
World Series:
Rays over Reds

*not guaranteed