MLB Power Rankings: Rating the Top 10 NL West Offseason Acquisitions
For the National League West, it was an offseason that saw big-time sluggers Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Reynolds jump ship to the star-studded American League East.
The Rockies inked up Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to franchise contracts, while the Dodgers, Giants and Padres played musical chairs at certain positions.
Not a lot of big names, but several seasoned veterans enter the division, while many remain in the NL West wearing different uniforms.
10. Armando Galarraga: Arizona Diamondbacks
He was nearly perfect, but it wasn’t enough to keep Armando Galarraga in Detroit.
After just barely missing a perfect game on the infamous blown call on the final out by umpire Jim Joyce, Galarraga looks for a fresh start in the NL West.
Aside from the 26 straight outs he hurled against Cleveland, it was a forgettable 2010 campaign. Galarraga served up 21 long balls to go along with a 4-9 record and 4.49 ERA.
He’s expected to compete for a spot in Arizona’s rotation on a staff that already includes Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, Dan Hudson, Barry Enright, Zach Duke and Aaron Heilman.
9. Melvin Mora: Arizona Diamondbacks
From one NL West team to another, Melvin Mora takes his duties from Colorado to Arizona.
Likely the Diamondbacks' Opening Day third baseman, he’ll have some big shoes to fill at the hot corner with Mark Reynolds now in Baltimore. But with a career .278 average, .966 fielding percentage and the ability to play multiple positions, he should help the D-backs more than he’ll hurt them.
8. Ty Wigginton: Colorado Rockies
He’s played in both leagues, hit in nearly every slot of the batting order, and played every position on the field outside of center field and catcher. Now Ty Wigginton has taken his talents to the Rocky Mountains.
He likely could have landed a bigger paycheck, and bigger role for that matter, had he gone elsewhere. For Wigginton, 33, it is more about winning.
Since 2004, Wigginton has played for the Pirates, Astros and Orioles, not to mention the dark days in Tampa. In fact, Wigginton ranks 10th on a list of current big-leaguers who have played the most games (1,060) without making a postseason appearance.
It is unsure exactly where Wigginton will fit in, but at least he has a glove for every position.
7. Orlando Hudson: San Diego Padres
Apart from Chase Headley still holding down the hot corner at third base, the Padres infield will have a completely new look on Opening Day.
Orlando Hudson will serve as the Padres everyday second baseman and be a fixture atop the batting order, replacing David Eckstein and Jerry Hairston Jr. at the position.
The Padres signed the 33-year-old to a two-year contract worth $11.5 million. His .280 career average and four Gold Gloves come with him.
6. Jon Garland: Los Angeles Dodgers
Although Jon Garland didn’t change divisions, states or even regions, he’ll be wearing a new uniform in 2011.
Garland makes the move up the Interstate 5 from San Diego to the Los Angeles Dodgers, his third National League West team in as many seasons.
Garland tied Mat Latos for a team-best 14 wins, put up a respectable 3.47 ERA and hurled a career-high 136 strikeouts. Garland, 31, will try and beat out Vicente Padilla for the last spot in the Dodgers rotation.
5. J.J. Putz: Arizona Diamondbacks
It was a forgettable 2010 campaign for the Diamondbacks bullpen. The 5.74 ERA was a run worse than any other team in baseball, and the D-Backs relievers had almost as many losses (32) as saves (35).
If the Diamondbacks are going to compete in 2011, a lot of weight rests on the right arm of closer J.J. Putz.
4. Jason Bartlett: San Diego Padres
It’s hard to not feel bad for that Jason Bartlett guy. He has to make the move to sunny San Diego, where he originally was drafted, from Tampa Bay.
Bartlett was drafted by the Padres in the 13th round (390th overall) in the 2001 draft.
In 2009, Bartlett made the first All-Star appearance of his career for the Rays, posting career highs in batting average (.320), stolen bases (30), runs (90) and home runs (14).
While the Padres are still unsure with what they have in Everth Cabrera, Bartlett gets a chance to prove that trading away his skill set nearly a decade ago was a mistake.
3. Miguel Tejada: San Francisco Giants
Tejada resurrected his career after returning to the West Coast from the Baltimore Orioles. At times, he single-handedly carried the Padres offense in the heat of the NL West pennant race before the Friars fell one game shy of the postseason on the final day of the season.
With Tejada, the Giants know exactly what they’re getting. That is, a durable veteran and former MVP coming off his best half season in recent years.
For the second straight season, Tejada starts the season wearing black and orange—just on different coasts.
2. Juan Uribe: Los Angeles Dodgers
Uribe will forever have a place in the hearts of Giants fans—even if he is wearing Dodger Blue in 2011. Uribe’s clutch hitting helped propel the Giants to prominence in 2011, as the 31-year-old enjoyed the best power-hitting season of his 10-year career and cashed in on a three-year, $21-million deal with Los Angeles.
Uribe drove in 85 runs, one shy of team leader Aubrey Huff's 86. Uribe also hit 24 homers, second to Huff's 26. More importantly, 19 of those 24 long balls came with the score tied or the Giants down a run.
Possibly even more significant is Uribe’s ability to play three infield positions (second base, shortstop and third base), including a league-best .984 fielding percentage at shortstop, the position he frequents the most.
When Uribe returns to AT&T Park, there likely will be a mixture of “Ooh..reebay” and “Boo..reebay” chants.
1. Cameron Maybin: San Diego Padres
Potential-wise, there was no bigger acquisition by an NL West team than the Padres' pick-up of Cameron Maybin. When the Padres traded Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb, who has closer-like stuff, they did so with plans for 2011 and beyond.
A former first-round pick and highly considered a five-tool player, the 24-year-old Maybin is a perfect fit for the spacious Petco Park.
Once the centerpiece of the deal that sent Miguel Cabrera to Detroit, Maybin is a .246 hitter in 548 major league at-bats between time with the Tigers and the Marlins. His career .306 average with a .393 on-base percentage in the minor leagues is more like what the Padres think Maybin can eventually be.