A fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and large sample sizes.
CBS.SportsLine.com - Orioles land Tejada with six-year, $54M offer
It had seemed as though the Mariners were going to land Tejada, but the Orioles pulled it out. Word on the street (aka blogging community/news sources) is that the O's will also sign Pudge today.
The Tejada light-cone will influence:
The Mariners - I'll refrain from mocking the new Quinton McCracken/Raul Ibanez outfield - or does that count as mocking? Regardless, the Mariners failed - again - to make a quality move, and it's looking more and more like they won't be division favorites next year. They could still make a surprise run at Vlad, but for now, I'm favoring the A's. The AL West could be rather disappointing in 2004.
The Orioles - no, they won't compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, even if they sign Pudge. The O's have some quality young position players in Chris Richard, Jerry Hairston, Jack Cust, Brian Roberts, Jay Gibbons and Luis Matos, but I don't see any of them being stars, and the chances that all, let alone most, of them turn out to be league-average isn't so hot. Then there's the pitching staff to consider. Assuming the Birds re-sign Ponson, the starting five shapes up to be Ponson, Damien Moss, Kurt Ainsworth, Jason Johnson, and Rodrigo Lopez. All have shown flashes of brilliance, but I think it's much more likely that this staff has a 5.50 ERA than a 3.50 ERA. Ponson's slightly above average, Moss will be making money off his 2002 season for many years, Johnson and Lopez are league-average at best, and Ainsworth's still figuring things out. If I had to bets, I'd bet Ainsworth has the best chance of pulling out a 3.50 ERA in 2004. And the bullpen - eh.
The Red Sox - no the Red Sox were not involved in signing any players for the Orioles. But the O's now have an extra middle infielder. I'd love it if the Sox made a trade for Jerry Hairston. He's got a good glove, and could definitely hit .280/.370/.420 for the Sox.
The AL East will be the best division in 2004.
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