Eyes Tell the Truth: American League East and Central Hot-Stove Breakdown

Hayato UwaiCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2009

The hot stove league is going very slowly this season. Big-name free agents are still up for grab (like Derek Lowe, Manny Ramirez, Ben Sheets, Bobby Abreu). But let's take a look at all the American League East and Central teams on how they did this off season.

A.L. East

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays made the playoff for the first time in the franchise history, and went all the way to the World Series. The Rays did lose against the Phillies, this team can win the World Series in few years.
The Rays haven't made big moves like the Yankees and the Red Sox did, but they made good moves though, bringing Burrell to Tampa Bay.

Pat Burrell FA Sign from the Phillies
Matt Joyce Trade from the Tigers
Joe Nelson FA Sign from the Marlins

Edwin Jackson Traded to the Tigers
Trevor Miller FA Sign to the Cardinals
Rocco Baldeli FA Sign to the Red Sox

Nice job getting Matt Joyce out of Edwin Jackson. I consider this as steal. Joyce will take over DH.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox missed Teixeira. They wanted him, even though they said they withdrew their offer. But still, the Red Sox focused on making their starting rotation even better. John Smoltz and Brad Penny, both signed one year contract with the Red Sox. Now the Red Sox rotation would be Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Smoltz, Penny and Wakefield. Very good rotation.

They also added Baldeli to replace Coco Crisp. Baldeli is known as injury prone player, but he would still be a nice option as the fourth outfielder of the Red Sox.

Brad Penny FA Sign from the Dodgers
Josh Bard FA Sign from the Padres
John Smoltz FA Sign from the Braves
Ramon Ramirez Trade from the Royals
Rocco Baldeli FA Sign from the Rays
Wes Littleton Trade from the Rangers
Junichi Tazawa FA Sign from Japan

Coco Crisp Traded to the Royals
Kevin Cash FA Sign to the Yankees

New York Yankees

The Yankees missed the playoff for the first time in 14 years. Yes, 14 years. The Yankees starting rotation fell apart when Chien Ming Wang got hurt in Houston. The Yankees clearly needs to make their starting rotation better.

So the Yankees paid big money to CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Also, the Yankees filled the first base hole created by Jason Giambi's departure with signing Mark Teixeira to an eight-year contract. Now, the Yankees are looking to get 27th World Series champion ring.

C.C. Sabathia FA Sign from the Brewers
A.J. Burnett FA Sign from the Blue Jays
Mark Teixeira FA Sign from the Angels
Nick Swisher Trade from the White Sox
Kevin Cash FA Sign from the Red Sox
Sergio Mitre FA Sign from the Marlins

Mike Mussina Retired
Jason Giambi FA Sign to the Athletics
Wilson Betemit Traded to the White Sox
Darrel Rasner Contract sold to the Rakuten Golden Eagles(Japan)
Andy Pettitte Rejected offer
Carl Pavano FA Sign to the Indians

Toronto Blue Jays
The Jays couldn't find a way to pass the top 3 teams. Their pitching was fine, with Roy

Halladay pitching amazingly well. Their hitting was a big issue. Alex Rios struggled, Vernon Wells got hurt again, and Scott Rolen was total disappointment. The Jays must upgrade their offence. But no big moves has been made. Maybe Travis Snider wins a rookie of the year next season? Is this what the Jays hoping to see? I think they are.

Matt Clement FA Sign from the Cardinals

A.J. Burnett FA Sign to the Yankees

Baltimore Orioles

This team has been struggling for more than 10 years now. No pitchers, not really good at hitting, everything going bad direction. But this year, it might change. Matt Wieters is coming to the major. Wieters is a number one hitting prospect in the MLB. Even though he is a catcher, he can hit real well and play defence at the same time.

I think this is what the Orioles looking for next season, as they traded away Ramon Hernandez to the Reds, meaning Wieters will start. O's also added Koji Uehara from Japan to upgrade their starting rotation, but Uehara has some injury issues so they have to watch out for that.

Ryan Freel Trade from the Reds
Koji Uehara FA Sign from Japan
Mark Hendrickson FA Sign from the Marlins
Cesar Izturis FA Sign from the Cardinals

Ramon Hernandez Traded to the Reds
Daniel Cabrera FA Sign to the Nationals

A.L. Central

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox rebuild their team, and this year, they made the playoff. John Danks and Gavin Floyd stepped up, so as Alexi Ramirez. Those three kids were the key for the White Sox making the playoff.

This year, the White Sox continued process of rebuilding. They traded Nick Swisher and Javier Vazquez. The White Sox got nice return, especially in Brent Lillibridge. He will play SS after Orlando Cabrera leaving for free agency.

Wilson Betemit Trade from the Yankees
Brent Lillibridge Trade from the Braves
Jeff Marquez Trade from the Yankees

Javier Vazquez Traded to the Braves
Nick Swisher Traded to the Yankees
Boone Logan Traded to the Braves

Minnesota Twins

The Twins almost made the playoff, but lost in a one game playoff against the White Sox.
Their starters stepped up after losing Johan Santana to the Mets. Nick Blackburn, Glen Perkins especially. Both pitched like a veteran and won 10+ games for the Twins. Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer lead the hitters as always.



Cleveland Indians

The Indians struggled at the beginning. But Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee won 22 games and lead the Indians to .500 season.
Injuries cost them. Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, Jake Westbrook, all got hurt and blew their season. They had worst season in their career.
No real closer was there for the Indians as well after releasing Joe Borowski. Now the Indians signed Kerry Wood, that problem is solved.

Kerry Wood FA Sign from the Cubs
Mark DeRosa Trade from the Cubs
Carl Pavano FA Sign from the Yankees
Joe Smith Trade from the Mets
Luis Valbuena Trade from the Mariners

Franklin Gutierrez Traded to the Mariners
Tom Mastny Sold contract to the Yokohama Bay Stars(Japan)

Kansas City Royals

The Royals had rocket start this season, but that stopped in May. Joakim Soria is now true closer for the Royals after 40+ saves season this season. Their bullpen was solid, but starters and hitters were total blow. They need to make more moves to upgrade hitting and pitching, but biggest move this off season for the Royals is trading for Mike Jacobs. Another 1B for the Royals.

Coco Crisp Trade from the Red Sox
Kyle Farnsworth FA Sign from the Tigers
Horacio Ramirez FA Sign from the White Sox
Mike Jacobs Trade from the Marlins

Ramon Ramirez Traded to the Red Sox
Leo Nunez Traded to the Marlins

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers didn't play well at all, after trading for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. They just struggled. Injuries, slump, everything hurt the Tigers.
The Tigers look to play better this season though. They can't stay like this.
Justin Verlander must pitch like he did in 2006 and 07, and Willis must regain his 03 form.

Adam Everett FA Sign from the Twins
Edwin Jackson Trade from the Rays
Gerald Laird Trade from the Rangers
Matt Treanor  FA Sign from the Marlins

Edgar Renteria FA Sign to the Giants
Matt Joyce Traded to the Rays


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