Kamis, 01 Maret 2012

Steals of the MLB Offseason


It has been a long offseason in baseball as Spring Training has finally arrived which means the offseason is just about over. There have been plenty of huge deals with players like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder on the move to new teams. However, there have been some less talked about deals that will make a huge impact on the new season. Some players will come in with a one-year deal and put up surprisingly impressive numbers which will set them up for a bigger contract next offseason. Some players will turn out to be real steals so here is who I think will be a steal.

Yankees sign DH/OF Raul Ibanez to a one-year 1.1 million dollar deal that could be worth 4 million dollars.
The DH market had players like Johnny Damon available but Ibanez is arguably the best DH available and he cost way less than the other DHs on the market. Ibanez has done well in his first season for a contending team as he was a huge bat for the Phillies when they won the World Series. Ibanez will be hitting around seventh or eighth in the order which means pitchers will actually go after him. Ibanez is perfectly suited for Yankee Stadium as the short porch in right will allow him to pull home runs out of the park. Ibanez will not put enormous numbers but he will be able to hit 20 home runs and 80 to 90 RBIs as this could make the Yankees' offense as good as the Rangers offense. Uganda will also be able to be a fourth outfielder as he can play in the corner outfield positions. Ibanez will be one of the best signings of the season.

Mariners sign LHP Hong-Chih Kuo to a one-year deal worth $500,000.
Kuo was arguably the best left-handed reliever in baseball for the Dodgers in 2010 before he had a rough season last year. Despite Kuo having a high ERA last season, opposing hitters were still only hitting .242 off of him so a rebound year seems very realistic. Kuo is a guy who can setup and be a good closer when he is on and the chance to set himself up for a longterm deal next year is great. Kuo needs to get his WHIP down but I think last year was only an exception and he will refind the form he had that made him an All-Star in 2010.

Athletics sign RHP Bartolo Colon to a one-year deal worth $900,000.
Colon was a major surprise for the Yankees last season as he was a key part of a surprisingly good rotation for the Yankees. The Athletics needed a starter after they traded both Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez this offseason. Colon might not be as good as Cahill or Gonzalez but he will be a good veteran pitcher to help out the A's young pitching staff. Colon had an ERA of 4 last season and he can definitely be an innings-eater for Oakland.

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