How they rank

Blog icon for David J. Markowitz "once upon a .406"With an eye toward someone new on every team. Previous ranking in parentheses:

1. San Francisco (1): We’ll see if the Giants’ pitching staff looks quite as good with Miguel Tejada playing shortstop behind it.

2. N.Y. Yankees (2): Cost-cutting Yankees presumably didn’t have to pay moving expenses to ex-Met reliever Pedro Feliciano.

3. Boston (3): That ex-Rangers catcher Max Ramirez, a waiver-wire pickup, might be a more vital addition than Carl Crawford or Bobby Jenks speaks more to the Red Sox’s desperate situation behind the plate than Ramirez’s ability.

4. Philadelphia (4): Still waiting for the Phillies’ accountant to explain how they couldn’t afford to pay Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay $25 million in 2010, but can afford to pay them and Roy Oswalt $47 million in 2011. 

 5. Atlanta (5): Braves got $3.5 million to take Scott Linebrink from the White Sox, gave it to second baseman Dan Uggla. Let’s see if the harm Linebrink does offsets the good Uggla does.

6. Texas (6): Rangers guarantee $80 million to Adrian Beltre, which tells you what they think of Michael Young’s defense. Beltre’s last guaranteed year is 2015, which oddly enough, is projected to be his next big offensive season. 

7. Minnesota (7): Twins turn over starting middle infield, keep Nick Punto, guaranteeing that new starting middle infield will look good by comparison.

8. Cincinnati (9): Reds signed Dontrelle Willis to a minor-league contract. They might want to keep him away from Aroldis Chapman.

9. Milwaukee (20): Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Takashi Saito — can’t say the Brewers aren’t trying. Yuniesky Betancourt? Can’t say they’re brilliant, either. 

10. St. Louis (10): Sixteen-and-a-half million dollars for two years for Jake Westbrook seems about $12 million too high. Then again, remember Joel Piniero. And Kyle Lohse. And Ryan Franklin. And Jeff Suppan. OK, forget Suppan.

11. Chicago White Sox (11):  Adam Dunn hit 40 home runs for four straight years, 38 for the last two. At that pace he’ll be worth the four years and $56 million.

12. Colorado (12): Rockies get Jose Lopez and Ty Wiggington to replace Clint Barmes (as if they had to). Redundancy, anyone?

13. Detroit (13): Joaquin Benoit will earn $16.5 million the next three years for his 2010 with the Rays — Tigers better hope it wasn’t an outlier.

14. Toronto (14): Jays rookie J.P. Arencibia says he’s ready for starting catcher’s job. He better be — even in Canada, backup Jose Molina’s .617 career OPS won’t hold up for long.

15. Tampa Bay (8): Hak-Ju Lee, one of five players coming over for Matt Garza, should be ready to take over shortstop just about the time Reid Brignac leaves for free agency.

16. Oakland (15): Rich Harden, who is to the A’s what Mark Prior is to the Cubs, goes home. Prepare for a whole lot of what-might-have-been stories.

17. Chicago Cubs (21): Outfielder Fernando Perez accompanies Matt Garza to Chicago. If nothing else, the Cubs should provide a fascinating topic for Perez, who doubles as a creative writer.

18. San Diego (16): Cameron Maybin starts over in San Diego. Already 23, and only with his third team. Many more to come (see Patterson, Corey).

19. L.A. Angels (17): Scott Downs will be 35 by opening day, which didn’t keep the Angels from signing him for three years. Better hope there’s more than one Arthur Rhodes.

20. Florida (18): Here’s hoping twice-failed Yankees starter Javier Vazquez returns to his 2009 form, if only to listen to reaction from the Bronx.

21. L.A. Dodgers (19): Off back-to-back .583 and .528 OPS seasons, catcher Dioner Navarro joins Dodgers. All is forgiven, Russell Martin.

22. Houston (22): Astros sign Ryan Rowland-Smith, who had a .954 OPS last year. That’d be great news, if he wasn’t a pitcher.

23. N.Y. Mets: Mets are looking at oft-injured, 6-foot-10, Princeton grad/pitcher Chris Young. That would be great for their debate or off-season basketball team, not sure about the baseball team. 

24. Washington (24): Nats signed Adam LaRoche, because they wanted to replace Adam Dunn’s strikeouts (172 in 560 at-bats for LaRoche, 199 in 558 for Dunn).  

25. Kansas City (25): Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur, Alcides Escobar: Failed Prospects are Us.

26. Baltimore (26): Orioles add an infield in Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy — obviously, the pitching will repair itself.

27. Arizona (27): D’backs dump Mark Reynolds to play Melvin Mora at third base? As Yogi Berra might say, Your career is never over till it’s over, as long as the D’backs are around. 

28. Cleveland (28): Long fall for former A’s top prospect Travis Buck to signing a minor-league contract with Indians. He’s with the right team, at least. 

29. Seattle (29): Not sure why the Mariners signed weak-hitting shortstop Brendan Ryan. They have at least two Wilsons who are better. 

30. Pittsburgh (30): Kevin Correia put up a 5.40 ERA in San Diego’s spacious Petco Park. Hard to see him improving in Pittsburgh.

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