OWNER: pengoman (9th season in Alexander)/ 24 total HBD seasons / .431 overall / 3 playoff appearances
FRANCHISE HISTORY: 2 division titles / 2 playoff appearances / never advanced past DCS / pengoman won the division in season 5 with an 80-82 record.
LAST SEASON: 70-92 / 4th NL West
Al Hall - Al wasn't a superstar, but he has been a big part of the pitching staff since season 8 for the Acorns. His age, and salary demands gave Oakland management cause to look elsewhere for pitching help. Al may regret listening to his agent who obviously overestimated his clients value on the open market, as Al remains unemployed 2 days before opening day.
Oakland lost a few other contributors, but nothing that will hurt the team. Oakland management was able to dump a lot of dead weight to make room for the youngsters in Season 12.
Jamie Moore - Jamie probably isn't a threat to run away with the Cy Young this season, but he has consistently been a competitive SP eating up more than 200 innings each of the last 3 seasons. A welcomed addition to the Oakland rotation that has been a wink link in recent seasons. Grade B
Kirk Morris - Kirk comes to Oakland after being released by division rival St. Louis. A solid defensive SS with occassional bursts of offensive poduction. He has the endurance to play 162 games at a high level, but he has struggled with consistency for the duration of his ML career. Oakland management hopes a new coaching staff will sort these issues out. Regardless, Kirk is an upgrade over last season's SS depth. Grade B-
WHO TO WATCH:
Harry Silva - at 22, this youngster is destined to be playing ball on All Star week for several years to come. Oakland management is trying to figure out a way to wrap up Harry in a multi year deal before he opts for Free agency.
SEASON 12 OUTLOOK: Oakland will struggle to find wins this season because of a weak pitching staff. The Oakland lineup is solid, and should produce a fair number of runs... the problem is, they'll give up as many or more on their way to their best season in 5 years.
PREDICTION: 84-78 / 3rd NL West
OWNER: evancavan (12th season in Alexander)/ 45 total HBD seasons / .531 overall / 23 playoff appearances w/ 1 WS title
FRANCHISE HISTORY: 7 division titles / 7 playoff appearances / 1 World Series Title
LAST SEASON: 97-65 NL West 1st
Orber Ordaz - inning eating pitcher who has struggled to break thru as a true top of the rotation pitcher. He was a salary cap casualty in a deal that brought Stan Dalesandro to St. Louis.
Walt Liefer - The second salary cap casualty, Walt was overpaid for his skills, and traded for Dalesandro in an effort to shed payroll, and upgrade at the SS position.
St. Louis had a mild, but productive off season. With a series of trades that cost them prospects Larry Lowell and Trenidad Montero in exchange for Rafael Quixote and Andruw Simmons. Then St. Louis turned around and dealt Quixote to Indianapolis in exchange for Fritz Gardner and Max Hernandez. So two marginal pitching prospects and a RF prospect that scouts believe will fail to live up to his full potential for Simmons, Gardner, and Hernandez. Grade A-
SEASON 12 OUTLOOK: St. Louis has done very little to upgrade their starting lineup. They added some depth to the bench, and brought in some future ML talent to develop. The only significant change to look for in St. Louis this season is the promotion of super prospect Augie Dorsey. Dorsey has the potential to be special, and with a strong supporting cast returning from last seasons division winning squad, Dorsey won't feel the pressure many rookies with his outlook are burdened with. Look for him to contend for rookie of the year.
PREDICTION: 99-63 NL West 1st. Not much has changed in St. Louis, still a young team with a solid pitching staff. No reason to expect anything less than improvement in season 12.
OWNER: rcf106 (9th season in Alexander) 37 total HBD seasons / .466 overall / 8 playoff appearnces
FRANCHISE HISTORY: 3 wildcard appearances
LAST SEASON: 88-74 NL West 2nd - Wildcard, knocked division champ St. Louis out of playoffs in DCS.
Other than a few aging players with diminishing skills, Helena lost no significant players this off season.
Bubba Magee -Helena shored up the pen by adding veteran journeyman Bubba Magee. Plagued by inconsistency his whole career, Helena hopes the role he fills here will provide him the parameters for success. Grade C+
SEASON 12 OUTLOOK: Helena didn't make a lot of moves, but with a young, and improving team, one could argue that there wasn't much to improve on. Led by a core of all-stars: Erubiel Martin, Ivan Alfonzo, Joe Roth, and Howie Ward Helena is in good shap to make another run at the division crown. If they fall short, it'll because they didnt address needs with pitching. Helena has some great arms, but they are built for the playoffs, to get through the regular season on top, they could use 2 more solid Starters and 1 more solid Relief pitcher.
PREDICTION: 90-72 NL West 2nd - wildcard
OWNER: Dufferman (2nd season in Alexander) 26 total HBD seasons / .425 overall / no playoff appearances
FRANCHISE HISTORY: 2 division titles / 2 playoff appearences
LAST SEASON: 73-89 NL West 3rd
Joaquin Espada - Traded to Boise, unfortunate departure, Espada added a great deal of value to a stuggling team. Fortunately, they added some nice pieces that may help make up for the lack of production at 3B. Grade C-
Cooper Buckley - a solid contact hitter with above average baserunning skills. Should help produce some much needed runs. Grade B+
Victor Jacquez - a young SP to add to the stable. Above average, but not an All Star yet. He should be good for keeping the bullpen fresh with good stamina and decent splits. Grade A-
SEASON 12 OUTLOOK: OKC is well on its way to rebuilding, it still lacks a good ML pitching staff. This reporter believes it is the weakest in the NL West. For that reason, they'll be a streaky team, ultimately having more losing streaks than winning streaks. Still a dangerous team capable of beating anyone.
PREDICTION: 71-91 4th NL West