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Cody Ross was a solid signing by Arizona, but he doesn't put the D-Backs over the top.
Arizona Diamondbacks: 50/1
Adding Brandon McCarthy to a starting rotation that already featured Trevor Cahill, Ian Kennedy and Wade Miley was almost a necessity simply to keep pace in a NL West that has two phenomenal rotations in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The signing of outfielder Cody Ross made trading All-Star right fielder Justin Upton a little less painful, and Martin Prado, the key piece of the deal that sent Upton to Atlanta, provides a solid bat and solid defense at third base.
But it's hard to see the Diamondbacks coming out of the AL West as playoff contenders with the improved Los Angeles Dodgers and defending World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants, still a step ahead of them in the division.
Chicago White Sox: 50/1
The White Sox added a pair of solid players via free agency in third baseman Jeff Keppinger and reliever Matt Lindstrom. And the team did well to re-sign starter Jake Peavy, who along with Chris Sale, is one of the best starting pitching duos in the American League.
But longtime catcher A.J. Pierzynski is gone, replaced by 26-year-old Tyler Flowers, who throughout his four years with the White Sox, has yet to show that he can hit major league pitching.
The lack of offense and experience behind the plate, along with failing to address the second base situation—where Gordon Beckham continues to frustrate with his lack of production—puts the White Sox on the fringe of contention.
Baltimore Orioles: 45/1
Baltimore added to its pitching depth in free agency, signing Jair Jurrjens (who I think will be a solid contributor), but he's far from a sure thing. The Orioles also re-signed left fielder Nate McLouth, who posted a .777 OPS in 55 games for the team in 2012.
But the loss of Mark Reynolds and his run production is a big one that hasn't been adequately addressed.
Chris Davis, a defensive liability, is now forced to play the field every day. Meanwhile, Wilson Betemit, who is best utilized as a versatile weapon off of the bench and doesn't have great power, is the everyday designated hitter.
The Orioles' defense is weakened, their bench is thinner and replicating 2012's success seems unlikely.
Kansas City Royals: 40/1
The Royals might have overpaid to re-sign starter Jeremy Guthrie, but they vastly improved their playoff chances by landing the front-line starter they desperately needed in James Shields.
Wade Davis, who came over from Tampa Bay along with Shields and Ervin Santana, give the Royals solid depth in the rotation. And they are backed up by one of the best bullpens in baseball.
It all comes down to whether the Royals' core of young talent in the lineup, namely Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, can take the next step in their development, giving the team the extra nudge it needs to officially re-enter the world of playoff contenders.
Milwaukee Brewers: 40/1
Veteran left-handed relievers Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Gonzalez were bought in to shore up the weakest part of the team, but the Brewers are still on the fringe of the playoff race in the National League.
With one of the most potent lineups in baseball, Milwaukee should be able to compensate for the time it will be without first baseman Corey Hart, who will miss the beginning of the season due to a knee injury.
But the starting rotation, after staff ace Yovani Gallardo, is talented but largely unproven.
Marco Estrada, Michael Fiers and Wily Peralta all had varying degrees of success in 2012 and don't have a lengthy track record of success. And veteran Chris Narveson, who missed nearly all of the season after surgery to repair his rotator cuff, is mediocre at best.
Adding someone like Kyle Lohse would certainly improve these odds significantly.