I know what you all are going to say. " Look outside. It's too cold to be talking about baseball". But with only the Super Bowl to remain in my favorite time of year, I figured I should start thinking about some baseball.
With Spring Training only a month away, I myself am very excited. After a great offseason for both the AL and NL champs, who's to say we can't see a repeat?
The Philadelphia Phillies were a part of a four team trade, in which they got Roy Halladay to replace Cliff Lee in their rotation. Halladay, who has been one of the best pitchers of the decade, will bring a new perspective to the Phillie's rotation. Last year, Halladay had a 2.79 ERA with 208 strikeouts. He went 17-10. Halladay won the 2003 AL Cy Young Award.
The Phillies also picked up old 3B Placido Polanco. Polanco played for Philadelphia from 2002 - 2005. He then went to the Detroit Tigers, where he was switched to 2B. Last season, Polanco hit a .285, 10 home runs, and 72 RBI's. He had a .331 OBP and a .396 SLG. Polanco won the 2007 and 2009 AL Golden Glove Award at 2B. He also won the AL Silver Slugger in 2007.
With Polanco replacing Pedro Feliz at third, and Roy Halladay taking Cliff Lee's spot in the rotation, the already great Phillies team got even better.
Now, on to the world champion New York Yankees. The Yankees, in my opinion, didn't have as great as an offseason as the Phillies, but it was still pretty damn good. They lost World Series hero Hideke Matsui, who signed a one year, $6.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. In the final game of the 2009 World Series, Matsui drove in 6 runs, to lead the Yankees over the Phillies, and to their 27th championship.
The Yankees signed CF Curtis Granderson. Picking up Granderson was a great move in my mind. I believe he is better than Melky Cabrera(Yanks lost him) and will fit in better with the Yankees. He will bring great speed to the outfield and to the base paths. He is an all-around great baseball player. With the Yankees new stadium, Granderson's pull side is only 314 feet for a home run. He is a great fit for New York.
Last year, Granderson hit a .249, with 30 home runs and 71 RBI's. He had a .327 OBP and a .453 SLG. Curtis has played for Detroit his whole MLB career.
The Yankees also brought back old pitcher Javier Vazquez through a trade with the Atlanta Braves. Javier played one season with the Yankees, back in 2004. He's best known in the Bronx for giving up the grand slam to Johnny Damon in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. He was sent packing to Arizona in the Randy Johnson trade in 2004.
Vazquez had a 2.87 ERA last season, with 238 strikeouts. He went 15-10 and had a 1.03 WHIP.
Overall, I see this upcoming season having the same finale as last year, but with a different outcome.
It will be difficult for the Yanks to make it back to the big show, with the AL East containing possibly the three best teams in the majors. But I think they will once again provail, and show everyone who's boss in the AL.
But not so fast. The Phillies already great rotation got better and the team is more experienced, so look out for those Phillies to have their second parade in the last three years