|Offseason report card: AL Central|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on January 10, 2008
Gained:Â Scott Linebrink (Free Agency), Orlando Cabrera (Trade), Nick Swisher (Trade), Carlos Quentin (Trade)
Lost:Â Jon Garland (Trade), Ryan Sweeney (Trade)
Other Free Agents:Â Darin Erstad, Mike Myers
The White Sox arenâ€™t exactly one of the top contenders in the Central but that hasnâ€™t stopped them from trying to upgrade their lineup in the offseason.Â Sadly that probably isnâ€™t going to be an immediate help for â€™08 but the steps theyâ€™ve taken should make them considerably better in â€™09 if coupled with few more shrewd moves.
With the exception of Scott Linebrink, every other pickup is likely to make the opening day roster so we should get a chance to see how this new lineup gels.Â Both new outfielders (Carlos Quentin and Nick Swisher) should provide solid offensive production and help the team move up a few games in the win column.
Verdict:Â Winner, but the best will come after â€˜08
Gained:Â Jamey Carroll (Trade), Masahide Kobayashi (Free Agency)
Lost:Â Chris Gomez (Free Agency)
Other Free Agents:Â Trot Nixon, Kenny Lofton, Keith Foulke
The Tribe had a pretty good team last year and they really didnâ€™t have any huge needs going into the offseason other than upgrading here and there if they could find someone whoâ€™d fit the bill.Â So far theyâ€™ve gambled on is a reliever from Japan and a second baseman who can take over if Asdrubal Cabrera isnâ€™t ready to fill the job full time.
Gained:Â Freddy Guzman (Trade), Edgar Renteria (Trade), Jacque Jones (Trade), Denny Bautista (Trade), Miguel Cabrera (Trade), Dontrelle Willis (Trade)
Lost: Chad Durbin (Free Agency), Cameron Maybin (Trade), Jose Capellan (Trade), Omar Infante (Trade), Chris Shelton (Trade), Andrew Miller (Trade), Mike Rabelo (Trade), Jair Jurrjens (Trade), Eulogio De La Cruz (Trade)
Other Free Agents: Sean Casey, Neifi Perez
The Tigers have been wheeling and dealing like no one else in the game this offseaosn and its clear that the win now mentality is alive and well in Detroit.Â Â Aside from adding the offensive power of Miguel Cabrera the team added solid offensive player Jacque Jones whoâ€™ll fight for time in a crowded outfield along with Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, and Marcus Thames.Â He;s most likely to cut into Thames playing time despite the fact that Thames hits for power, something which was surprisingly absent from Jones game last year.
Theyâ€™ve also attempted to bolster the top of the lineup by bringing in table setter Edgar Renteria and added a solid number four starter in Dontrelle Willis.
All of these moves will make the Tigers a better team, the only question is how much better.
Verdict:Â Big Winner.
Kansas City Royals
Gained:Â Jose Guillen (Free Agency), Ron Mahay (Free Agency), Miguell Olivo (Free Agency), Alberto Callaspo (Trade), Yasuhiko Yabuta (Free Agency)
Lost: Jason Larue (Free Agency), David Riske (Free Agency), Billy Buckner (Free Agency)
Other Free Agents:Â Odalis Perez, Reggie Sanders, Mike Sweeney, John Thomson.
The Royals next big stab at credibility is Jose Guillen.Â Of all the players moved by this team so far, heâ€™s the one most likely to make an impact, but will he make up for the offense of Reggie Sanders and Mike Sweeney, or is it possible the Royals will manage to convinceÂ Sanders to stay in Royals uniform?Â Â
Verdict:Â Neutral, without another offensive signing this doesnâ€™t help advance the Royals as a team.
Gained:Â Delmon Young (Trade), Brendan Harris (Trade), Jason Pridie (Trade), Craig Monroe (Trade), Mike Lamb (Free Agency), Adam Everett (Trade)
Lost:Â Torii Hunter (Free Agency), Carlos Silva (Free Agency), Matt Garza (Trade), Jason Bartlett (Trade)
Other Free Agents: Rondell White
After the loss of Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva to Free Agency, and with the looming threat of Johan Santana becoming a Free Agent at the end of the â€™08 season, the Twins have jumped into action trying to buttress the team for the immediate future while at the same time keeping enough financial flexibility to re-sign Santana if at all possible.
Still its hard to recover from the losses theyâ€™ve already faced.Â
To replace Torii Hunter the Twins target Delmon young, a 22 year old with an incredible talent but whoâ€™s only played one full season of Major League ball.Â Along with him they added Craig Monroe, a journeyman outfielder with 20 home run potential and a low average, and Mike Lamb the unimpressive former third baseman whoâ€™s spent most of his career as a platoon player.
On the pitching front the Twins may have suffered even more.Â While the loss of Carlos Silva is hardly the loss of an ace pitcher, Silva was a reliable starter who ate a lot of innings and kept things close.Â But it isnâ€™t Silva who the Twins are most likely to miss but promising starter Matt Garza who was extremely highly regarded in the organization.Â Â That will force the Twins to rely a lot more on a young and unproven rotation which certainly wonâ€™t help their prospects in â€™08