I find it interesting to see that the 1921-22 New york Yankees made the list. When they acquired Babe Ruth from the Red Sox, a baseball fan’s first thought after all the home runs and the “House that Ruth Built” is that the Yankees immediately dominated major league baseball in the Roaring Twenties after that ill-fated trade by Boston.
National League Cy Young Award – Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay’s competition may very well come from any one of his three teammates in the Phillies starting rotation. Not that I need to defend this pick, but Halladay has had a sub-3.00 ERA the last three years, while winning at least 20 games in two of those seasons. Other than his teammates (Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels), Giants’ Tim Lincecum will be Halladay’s only other threat for the award.
The first thing to watch for regarding Peavy is pretty obvious: Will he make an appearance in a spring training game? Given Peavy recently threw off a mound, I’d say that’s likely-but until he actually throws in live action this spring (be it an an or a b game), this is a question mark.
Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles finished strong and really aren’t that far from being back in postseason play, but they need to make several tweaks in the offseason.
The American League has seen the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee relocate to the national League. So Lester’s only competition should be Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia. Hernandez will be hard-pressed to win 13 games again like he did last year despite a 2.27 ERA. Seattle’s offense and bullpen is just that bad. The Yankees’ Sabathia, despite still being only 30 years old, has logged over 230 innings in his last four seasons and has, remarkably, thrown over 180 innings in each of his 10 seasons in the majors. Might this be the year he breaks down? The Yankees don’t even want to consider the possibility.
The sale jerseys can survive with a platoon of Brian Anderson and Dewayne Wise in center (with Anderson getting more playing time thanks to gold glove-caliber defense), but the lack of a “traditional” leadoff hitter will force Ozzie Guillen to get creative. In the end, I’d expect Chris Getz to get the majority of at-bats from the No. 1 spot in the order this year, but he may not slide in there until late April or early May, whenever Guillen realizes that he’s a better long-term option than Wise or Anderson.
Pena’s an interesting option because the White Sox won’t need a fifth starter more than a few times before early May. Using Pena in a swingman role could allow the Sox to delay their decision on, say, Alejandro de Aza/Brent Lillibridge or at third base for a month longer by carrying an extra position player. Either that, or the Sox could deepen their bullpen by keeping two of Gregory Infante/Jhonny Nunez/Anthony Carter/Freddy Dolsi in case the Sox needed an extra innings-eater to fill Pena’s role when he has an upcoming start. Pena actually had two starts I’d qualify as “good” last year, but those were two of just three career starts-not exactly a good sample size. Plus, Pena is slated to be in the Sox bullpen, so he may not even get a crack at the rotation this spring.