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AL NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

AL NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Wondering what were the new year's resolutions for the MLB clubs? We got you covered with 15 resolutions for all the American League squads!

If they say hindsight is 20/20, then foresight is 2020. Free agent season in MLB has
already made some wishes come true for a few franchises, but perfection doesn’t exist
in modern pro sports. Every one of the 30 teams still has some work left getting ready
for the first season of the new decade. Let’s try guessing what every GM’s 2020
resolution was on January 1st .


AMERICAN LEAGUE


Baltimore Orioles: Develop, develop, develop. No major signing means no short-term
improvement from a dismal 54-win season in 2019. It’s the long game for the O’s and it
might be longer than what their fan base expects, especially in that division.


Boston Red Sox: Bounce back. Now that their MVP is back for sure, Andrew Benintendi
and Xander Bogaerts must play up to their potential at the plate and in the field.
Especially now that we know they struck out on all the top pitching free agents
available. Getting Chris Sale healthy and back on track should be another priority.


Chicago White Sox: Win the AL Central pennant. Adding Yasmani Grandal and Edwin
Encarnacion to an already potent lineup featuring the likes of Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu,
Nomar Mazara and Yoan Moncada makes their offense a fearsome weapon. Throw in
the best young pitching rotation in baseball and you’ve got all it takes for a champagne
shower come September.


Cleveland Indians: Come up with a clear mid to long-term plan. Corey Kluber is gone,
but this squad still won 93 games without their ace for basically the entire 2019 season.
If they decide to stay the course, they need to retain Francisco Lindor’s services past
2020. If they choose to retool, then a maximum return is a must.


Detroit Tigers: Find a sleeping pill that lasts 5 years? This roster is as bare as it comes
and a rebuild doesn’t even seem like it’s been broached. A long, hard road ahead for
Tiger Nation.


Houston Astros: Solidify the bottom of the rotation. The loss of Gerrit Cole leaves a very
apparent hole in the Houston roster. The Astros are still one of the most balanced, deep
squads in the majors, but they desperately need one of Lance McCullers, Jose Urquidy
or Josh James to step up and deliver. The good news is they have the best defense in
baseball backing them up.


Kansas City Royals: Find a few more hidden gems like Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler,
but on the mound. The building blocks are there on offense, but if the Royals want to
be real players in a suddenly stellar AL central, they need arms… and fast!

Los Angeles Angels: Manage expectations. Yes, Anthony Rendon finally offers legitimate
protection for active legend Mike Trout in the Halos’ lineup and yes, Shohei Ohtani’s
return to the mound is like acquiring an ace through free agency. But there isn’t enough
depth in the rotation or the pen for them to be considered serious contenders.


Minnesota Twins: Focus on defense. Every aspect of the Twins’ game was solid last
season, except the glove work, where they ranked 26th in MLB with a .677 Defensive
Efficiency Rating (DER). Signing Rich Hill and Homer Bailey shores up the bottom of the
rotation. It seems strange to say, but there is room for improvement on a 101-win 2019
season.


New York Yankees: Maintain the farm. After investing in their first major free agent
signing since Giancarlo Stanton, there won’t be another one for a while. Gerrit Cole
truly is the missing piece to the Yankee puzzle and makes them instant favorites for the
big prize. The Bombers just have to keep doing what they have done so well for years
with their homegrown talent.


Oakland A’s: Stay the course. The A’s franchise simply does everything right with
limited resources, year after year. Once again, no splash in the free agent market.
None needed. Billy Beane and company know they can now compete with the Cole-less
Astros, especially if Khris Davis finds his lost power game.


Seattle Mariners: Find an identity. Who are the Mariners? What are the Mariners?
Right now, this is a mediocre squad in every phase of the game. They truly need to
figure out a way to get back to respectability and build a foundation from there, but that
seems light years away…


Tampa Bay Rays: Acquire an impact power bat before July 31st . Not much has changed
for the Rays. They did trade for DH-type Jose Martinez from the Cards and they are still
favorites to earn a Wild Card birth, but as we saw last October, they lack the raw power
to compete with the likes of the Yankees, Twins or Astros.


Texas Rangers: Get back to fundamentals. Yeah baseball has changed, and power
seems to be all that matters. But teams that win all still play the game the right way.
The departure of fielding genius Ron Washington for the Braves has left the Rangers’
organization searching for defensive consistency. Now that they finally have their ace in
Corey Kluber, spring training drills will be key to getting over the .500 hump.


Toronto Blue Jays: Keep building on an improved rotation. It’s the Asian revolution in
The 6. Hyun-Jin Ryu brings instant credibility to the starting staff. International signee
Shun Yamaguchi is a wild card that may well pay off. The bullpen is a strength and we
all know about all the young talent in the batting order. A team on the fast track for
sure!


In two weeks, the National League…

Comments

  1. Pete Pete

    Awesome and good to hear! Let’s get them in here then! Oh and the Expos are welcome back, but I wouldn’t approve if it meant that tax dollars would fund any part of it. Our roads are in a sad state and we’re paying for a Royal couple’s security now... it just never ends.

  2. Carl Lemelin Carl Lemelin

    Thanks again Pete,
    I had actually had already thought about that and you may have brought up a valid point. I will start mixing it up with more amateur baseball and softball features and more technical blog on the insides of the game. I actually have one planned on women's baseball soon... At the same time, I know from speaking with customers in store that interest in MLB is still strong among our potential readers. With the inevitable eventual return of a Montreal franchise, I don't want to completely go away from talking MLB.
    We're trying things with our Facebook page to incite readers to participate in the conversation, because we can see alot of people do read the blog. Hopefully we get it going this year...

  3. Pete Pete

    Hey Carl, I enjoy the discussion as well and was actually thinking the same thing: we need more people here. Would promoting the comments by offering a small gift card for participating work? I enjoy it, so save that for the new comers! I wonder too, is it because your customers love to play baseball and softball but don’t necessarily follow MLB? Maybe some posts on how pick the correct bat weight, hitting opposite field, baseball etiquette, might create more discussion?

  4. Carl Lemelin Carl Lemelin

    I agree with everything you said Pete and as a fan of the game as a whole myself, I like the fact that no team can sustain its dominance over a long period of time anymore. Baseball doesn't have a salary cap, so it's refreshing to see that big market teams can't just buy championships anymore and that shrewd front offices can field very competitive squads by just being smarter than the competition!

    I love the interaction with passionate baseball fans like you Pete. If you know more people like you who love the game, please invite them to the discussion on this forum. The more the merrier.

  5. Pete Pete

    As a fan, I think the best years of this current team are behind us. Luxury tax is growing and like their arch nemesis, they need to shed some salary. The once mighty staff is on a steady decline and it's unfortunate that the home grown MLB talent is nearing the massive paydays they're due. Some difficult decisions will need to happen and I'm not sure the farm is ready to make a huge impact in replacing some of those aging, overly expensive veterans. Unfortunately in the free agent era, it's difficult to see a young team prosper, grow and maintain dominance for any sustained amount of time. Thankfully, I'm as much of the sport as I am of one team, so I enjoy the season regardless. The World Series winning Royals seemed to have built a solid, home grown core that was set to maintain AL dominance for several years, but that didn't quite work out. Then I was convinced the Cubs were that team, and although they seem to be competitive every year, it's not the dominance I was expecting with that roster. Finally, the Astros emerged but ever since their MVP from the garbage bins section at Home Depot got exposed, I just can't take them seriously anymore. More on that on your next post though! Anyway, as a fan of the game, the NL has some really exciting teams and some tremendous young phenoms. I'm really excited to watch guys like Acuna, Bellinger, Soto, Albies, Baez and others. My personal favorite is Tatis Jr!

  6. Carl Lemelin Carl Lemelin

    Hi Pete,

    I'm thinking he can be an above 1,000 OPS hitter and at 27, he's just entering his prime years. My point was that they will need that from him if they want to be playing in October. What he did last season just won't be enough. I did say play to their potential, not bounce back, and I think he's that good!

  7. Pete Pete

    Hi Carl! .309/33/117 are monster numbers for anyone not named Trout. Trust me I hope you're right, but I wonder how much higher the ceiling is for a guy entering his 7th year in the majors. What do you think he's capable of producing?

  8. Carl Lemelin Carl Lemelin

    Hi Pete,

    I'm not prepared to call Boegarts' year a monster considering his upside, but I didn't exactly call him out. I said he needed to play up to his potential if the Sox are to compete in that division with the pitching staff they have. I just think he can still do better this season. As for the cheating scandal, you're absolutely right! It needs to be talked about and I will for the next blog. I'll keep the NL resolutions for Feb 15th. Thanks again for your valuable feedback Pete and keep it coming!!

  9. Pete Pete

    Boegarts had a monster year last year, not sure why you called him out. Devers as well, great year. Benitdenti has been on and off, but he and Bradley shine on the field. Betts completes the best defensive outfield in baseball, but he regressed offensively last year. JD came down a little too, but overall I think they did enough offensively to win the division, but their pitching was terrible. They look to be in cost cutting mode as their latest trade demands for Betts include taking on David Price's salary.
    Would have loved this blog post to be about the Astros cheating scandal. Carl, skip the NL predictions for a future post and do a piece on that! The NL post will be a fun one too, so many great young teams to watch. I think the Braves will do enough this year!

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