Best: Signing Rajai Davis. It’s bad when this is your best offseason acquisition, but I do believe this is a good move by the Tribe with star left fielder Michael Brantley slated to miss the start of the season due to an injured shoulder. Although his best days are behind him, I believe Davis brings a right-handed contact bat, speed, and reliable defense to a slim Tribe outfield corpse right now. Another thing people overlook is that Davis supplies is a veteran voice in a young locker room, that can’t be undervalued.
Worst: Signing Mike Napoli. I am a Tribe fan and I will say I was happy with this move, but 2016’s Mike Napoli is far from his best seasons in Texas and Boston a few years ago. Injuries have hampered his success and although he is a right handed power bat that the Indians need, it’s tough to believe he can put up the numbers that I know many Tribe fans will be expecting out him. Another Nick Swisher type deal here, just way less money.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 3rd AL Central
Kansas City Royals:
Best: Signing Alex Gordon. The heart and soul of this club, couldn’t picture him playing for anyone else. Good for KC to keep him, fan favorite. Pretty self explanatory, everyone knows what he brings to the club.
Worst: Ian Kennedy… This guy is looked at because he has a 21-4 season in 2011 with the Diamondbacks. 54-64. That number indicates what Kennedy’s record would be if you take away that season. I believe he’s highly overrated but teams continue to bite on his “potential.” Well the “potential,” since his trade to Arizona in 2010, hasn’t posted an ERA lower than 3.60 in 2010 in every season except one, 2011. Who knows though, the Royals need starters and he was there. Many in KC probably view this as a good pick up.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: AL Central Champions
Best: Justin Upton. This is easy here, an elite superstar of his time. Upton averages about 21 home runs every season and that is scary for an aging, yet, still powerful Tigers lineup. Upton also fills the void Detroit had in left field. Just to show you how scary this lineup can be when healthy, let me map it out for you.
1. J. Iglesias 2. I. Kinsler 3. M. Cabrera 4. J. Upton 5. V. Martinez 6. J.D. Martinez
7. N. Castellanos 8. J. McCann 9. C. Maybin
Good luck AL Central. Oh and by the way they signed some guy named Jordan Zimmermann to throw some innings for them. Look out.
Worst: This is tough, only because Detroit had such a good offseason. If I had to pick one though I’d say trading for Cameron Maybin, but even that is still a heck of a move. Only reason I’d disagree with it is because I believe this is a make or break year for fourth outfielder Anthony Gose and, with all his potential, I believe he could become the everyday center fielder of the future for Detroit.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 2nd AL Central
Chicago White Sox:
Best: Tough to go against the acquisition of Todd Frazier. Third base had been a weak spot for Chi-Town the last few seasons. Coming off a season where he set career bests in homers and RBIs for a very bad team, Frazier is gonna add power to a lineup that already possesses Jose Abreu, Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche. Chicago always puts together teams that seem good on paper and this year is another one of those seasons, just a matter of if they can put the pieces to the puzzle together.
Worst: Letting go of Alexei Ramirez. He had been a huge part of the Sox for the past few seasons and was a free agent this year, signing a deal with the Padres. But, if you’re the White Sox I don’t know how you let him walk, and I don’t wanna hear money was an issue, San Diego signed him to a one year deal for four million. Now the team has to start over at short with Tyler Saladino, yeah I don’t know him either.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 4th AL Central
Best: Byung Ho Park. Now I know the last foreign player the Twins signed from Asia didn’t work out (Tsuyoshi Nishioka), but this dude looks like an absolute tank. In the last two seasons over in the KBO (former league of Pirates, Jung Ho Kang), Park has 105 home runs and 270 RBIs. I don’t care if it’s beer league softball, those are impressive numbers anywhere. The Twins are definitely a young team that all have the potential to be on top of the division one day, I feel they need to develop some arms because the rotation is very lack-luster at the moment. Don’t worry Minnesota, you’ll be on top again soon.
Worst: Not too in depth on this one but Aaron Hicks for John Ryan Murphy. It’s not a jaw dropper but I feel Hicks could’ve been a very reliable fourth outfielder for the Twins. Murphy is not a bad pickup though as a backup catcher coming off a season where he hit .277.
Yargs 2016 Prediction: 5th AL Central
Part III of the AL: West, will be tomorrow, check back for it and then the NL not long after!