National League Central Predictions

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America

For the National League central, it always seems like it comes down to the last few games of the season.

Well expect that again this season as it seems there is a new contender in this wild race for the crown.

Chicago Cubs- The Cubs are a team that looks like they are going to improve a ton. They have added some veteran presence for the group of youngsters and might have scored the biggest free agent of the offseason during the winter meetings.

Lineup-

1.  Javier Baez 2B

2. Starlin Castro SS

3. Anthony Rizzo 1B

4. Jorge Soler RF

5. Miguel Montero C

6. Luis Valbuena 3B

7. Chris Coghlan LF

8. Arismendy Alcantara CF

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Jon Lester LHP

2. Jason Hammel RHP

3. Jake Arrieta RHP

4. Kyle Hendricks RHP

5. Travis Wood LHP

2. Cincinnati Reds- This offseason, the Reds have taken a step back. They have trade two members of their rotation and need outfield help. It is unaware if Walt Jocketty is in a competing mode or rebuilding mode.

Lineup-

1. Billy Hamilton CF

2. Brandon Phillips 2B

3. Joey Votto 1B

4. Jay Bruce RF

5. Todd Frazier 3B

6. Devin Mesoraco C

7. Zack Cozart SS

8. Skip Schumaker LF

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Johnny Cueto RHP

2. Homer Bailey RHP

3. Mike Leake RHP

4. Tony Cingrani LHP

5. Dylan Axelrod RHP

3. Milwaukee Brewers- The Brewers were one of the best teams in the majors last season and then fell apart the second half. Now with a stable first baseman, they hope they won’t collapse this season.

Lineup-

1. Carlos Gomez CF

2. Jean Segura SS

3. Ryan Braun RF

4. Jonathan Lucroy C

5. Adam Lind 1B

6. Aramis Ramirez 3B

7. Khris Davis LF

8. Scooter Gennett 2B

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Yovani Gallardo RHP

2. Kyle Lohse RHP

3. Matt Garza RHP

4. Wily Peralta RHP

5. Mike Fiers RHP

4. Pittsburgh Pirates- The Pirates came up just a little bit short last year in the NL Wild Card game. With mostly the same team, the Pirates look to continue their success in the Central and capitalize on a crown.

Lineup-

1. Starling Marte LF

2. Gregory Polanco RF

3. Andrew McCutchen CF

4. Pedro Alvarez 1B

5. Josh Harrison 3B

6. Neil Walker 2B

7. Francisco Cervelli C

8. Jordy Mercer SS

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Gerrit Cole RHP

2. Francisco Liriano LHP

3. A.J. Burnett RHP

4. Vance Worley RHP

5. Jeff Locke LHP

 

5. St. Louis Cardinals- The Cardinals have been one of baseballs best teams the last decade. Now with a returning team and an upgrade in right field, the Cardinals look to repeat as Central champs. Lets just hope they don’t lose focus after the death of teammate Oscar Taveras.

Lineup-

1. Jason Heyward RF

2. Matt Carpenter 3B

3. Matt Holliday LF

4. Matt Adams 1B

5. Yadier Molina C

6. Jhonny Peralta SS

7. Kolten Wong 2B

8. Jon Jay CF

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Adam Wainwright RHP

2. Lance Lynn RHP

3. John Lackey RHP

4. Jaime Garcia LHP

5. Michael Wacha RHP

Prediction:

1. St. Louis Cardinals 

2. Pittsburgh Pirates

3. Chicago Cubs

4. Milwaukee Brewers 

5. Cincinnati Reds

American League Central Predictions

Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

During this offseason, the American League Central went from one of the most scrutinized divisions to one of the most competitive in the American League next to the East division.

Now each team has something to prove.

1. Chicago White Sox- The White Sox have upgraded their team tremendously. They have made some major signing and trades to upgrade their lineup, rotation, and even their bullpen. Chicago has once again climbed to the top, well at least on paper.

Lineup-

1. Adam Eaton CF

2. Melky Cabrera LF

3. Jose Abreu 1B

4. Adam LaRoche DH

5. Alexei Ramirez SS

6. Avisail Garcia RF

7. Tyler Flowers C

8. Conor Gillaspie 3B

9. Carlos Sanchez 2B

Rotation-

1. Chris Sale LHP

2. Jeff Samardzija RHP

3. Jose Quintana LHP

4. John Danks LHP

5. Hector Noesi RHP

2. Cleveland Indians- The Indians have made some under the radar moves that will help out their team offesivley. With the 2014 Cy Young Award winner on their team, they can only hope to get better.

Lineup-

1. Michael Bourn CF

2. Jason Kipnis 2B

3. Michael Brantley LF

4. Carlos Santana 1B

5. Nick Swisher DH

6. Brandon Moss LF

7. Yan Gomes C

8. Lonnie Chisenhall 3B

9. Jose Ramirez SS

Rotation-

1. Corey Kluber RHP

2. Carlos Carrasco RHP

3. Trevor Bauer RHP

4. Gavin Floyd RHP

5. Danny Salazar RHP

3. Detroit Tigers- The Tigers come into the season looking for their fifth straight AL Central championship. With a little different rotation then before and a couple of additions to the outfield, the Tigers will try to show once again why they are the best.

Lineup-

1. Ian Kinsler 2B

2. Yoenis Cespedes LF

3. Miguel Cabrera 1B

4. Victor Martinez DH

5. J.D. Martinez RF

6. Nick Castellanos 3B

7. Alex Avila C

8. Anthony Gose CF

9. Jose Iglesias SS

Rotation-

1. David Price LHP

2. Justin Verlander RHP

3. Anibal Sanchez RHP

4. Shane Greene RHP

5. Alfredo Simon RHP

4. Kansas City Royals- The American League champs look to add a little bit more hardware this season. By losing their top pitcher, general manager Dayton Moore has done a nice job replacing him. Now the Royals look to win a World Series this year.

Lineup-

1. Alcides Escobar SS

2. Alex Rios RF

3. Lorenzo Cain CF

4. Eric Hosmer 1B

5. Salvador Perez C

6. Alex Gordon LF

7. Kendrys Morales DH

8. Mike Moustakas 3B

9. Omar Infante 2B

Rotation-

1. Yordano Ventura RHP

2. Edinson Volquez RHP

3. Jason Vargas LHP

4. Kris Medlen RHP

5. Jeremy Guthrie RHP

5. Minnesota Twins- The Twins seem less likely to win the division but you never know. They have added back a familiar face and another arm to their rotation. Along with those additions comes veteran leadership which will be good for this young team.

Lineup-

1. Aaron Hicks CF

2. Torii Hunter RF

3. Joe Mauer 1B

4. Brian Dozier 2B

5. Kennys Vargas DH

6. Kurt Suzuki C

7. Trevor Plouffe 3B

8. Oswaldo Arcia LF

9. Danny Santana SS

Rotation-

1. Ervin Santana RHP

2. Phil Hughes RHP

3. Kyle Gibson RHP

4. Ricky Nolasco RHP

5. Mike Pelfrey RHP

Prediction:

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Chicago White Sox

3. Kansas City Royals 

4. Cleveland Indians 

5. Minnesota Twins

National League East Predictions

Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

The National League East could be on of the most lopsided divisions in baseball.

You have the good teams in the division and you also have bad teams that are rebuilding and then you have two teams that are getting ready for a run to the pennant.

1. Atlanta Braves- The Braves new general manager John Hart has said that the team is not in rebuilding mode. It doesn’t seem like it as they have already traded away their two big named outfielders. But they have shown that they are ready to compete with a couple of additions as well.

Lineup-

1. Nick Markakis RF

2. B.J. Upton CF

3. Freddie Freeman 1B

4. Evan Gattis LF

5. Chris Johnson 3B

6. Christian Bethancourt C

7. Alberto Callaspo 2B

8. Andrelton Simmons SS

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Julio Teheran RHP

2. Shelby Miller RHP

3. Alex Wood LHP

4. Mike Minor LHP

5. David Hale RHP

2. Miami Marlins- The Marlins have been able to add veteran presence to a very young team. Miami has been very engaged during this offseason and made multiple signings and trades. Manager Mike Redmond has a very good team to play with this year and will definitely be competing for the NL East crown.

Lineup-

1. Dee Gordon 2B

2. Christian Yelich LF

3. Giancarlo Stanton RF

4. Mike Morse 1B

5. Marcell Ozuna CF

6. Martin Prado 3B

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C

8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Jose Fernandez RHP

2. Henderson Alvarez RHP

3. Mat Latos RHP

4. Jarred Cosart RHP

5. Dan Haren RHP

3. New York Mets- Sandy Alderson always seems to disappoint. The Mets have needed a shortstop the last two year and instead gets pitching which they have a surplus amount of. Alderson was able to get another bat for that lineup but this team does need some help.

Lineup-

1. Juan Lagares CF

2. Daniel Murphy 2B

3. David Wright 3B

4. Michael Cuddyer RF

5. Curtis Granderson LF

6. Lucas Duda 1B

7. Travis d’Arnaud C

8. Wilmer Flores SS

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Matt Harvey RHP

2. Bartolo Colon RHP

3. Dillon Gee RHP

4. Jon Niese LHP

5. Jacob deGrom RHP

4. Philadelphia Phillies- It is now safe to say the Phillies are in rebuilding mode. They have already started trading away their veterans and look forward to the 2016 or 2017 season which would be the earliest they can compete.

Lineup-

1. Ben Revere CF

2. Marlon Byrd RF

3. Chase Utley 2B

4. Ryan Howard 1B

5. Domonic Brown LF

6. Carlos Ruiz C

7. Cody Asche 3B

8. Freddy Galvis SS

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Cole Hamels LHP

2. Cliff Lee LHP

3. David Buchanan RHP

4. Jerome Williams RHP

5. Miguel Gonzalez RHP

5. Washington Nationals- The defending NL East champs come into the 2015 with mostly the same team. Although they will be saying goodbye to a lot of players after the season, this year is a World Series or break year for a team that has seen success the last few years.

Lineup-

1. Denard Span CF

2. Ian Desmond SS

3. Bryce Harper LF

4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B

5. Jayson Werth RF

6. Anthony Rendon 3B

7. Wilson Ramos C

8. Danny Espinosa 2B

9. Pitcher

Rotation-

1. Jordan Zimmerman RHP

2. Stephen Strasburg RHP

3. Doug Fister RHP

4. Gio Gonzalez LHP

5. Tanner Roark RHP

Prediction:

1. Washington Nationals

2. Miami Marlins 

3. Atlanta Braves

4. New York Mets

5. Philadephia Phillies

American League East Predictions

Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America

Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America

The American League East is going to be one of the most competitive divisions in the league because each team has a shot to be the division champ.

Now lets go ahead and see those teams lineups and rotations.

1. Baltimore Orioles- The Orioles have been very quite this offseason. All they have done is watch Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis walk out the front door. Baltimore can only hope that they get their star players back from injuries and repeat as AL East champs.

Lineup-

1. David Lough RF

2. Manny Machado 3B

3. Adam Jones CF

4. Chris Davis 1B

5. Steve Pearce DH

6. Matt Wieters C

7. J.J. Hardy SS

8. Alejandro De Aza LF

9. Jonathan Schoop 2B

Rotation-

1. Chris Tillman RHP

2. Bud Norris RHP

3. Mike Gonzalez RHP

4. Kevin Gausman RHP

5.  Wei-Yin Chen LHP

2. Boston Red Sox- The Red Sox have probably been the most active this offseason. They have made multiple signings and a couple of trades to bulk up their roatation. They still have an issue with the surplus amount of outfielder but some trades would fix that right up.

Lineup-

1. Shane Victorino RF

2. Dustin Pedroia 2B

3. Pablo Sandoval 3B

4. David Ortiz DH

5. Hanley Ramirez LF

6. Mike Napoli 1B

7. Christian Vazquez C

8. Rusney Castillo CF

9. Xander Bogaerts SS

Rotation-

1. Clay Buchholz RHP

2. Rick Porcello RHP

3. Wade Miley LHP

4. Justin Masterson RHP

5. Joe Kelly RHP

3. New York Yankees- The Bronx Bombers have been in the middle of the pack this offseason. They have been quiet at times but able to pounce when they needed to. They were able to find their replacement for The Captain and also upgrade their rotation.

Lineup-

1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF

2. Brett Gardner LF

3. Carlos Beltran RF

4. Brian McCann C

5. Chase Headley 3B

6. Mark Teixeira 1B

7. Alex Rodriguez DH

8. Rob Refsynder 2B

9. Didi Gregorius SS

Rotation-

1. Masahiro Tanaka RHP

2. C.C. Sabathia LHP

3. Michael Pineda RHP

4. Nathan Eovaldi RHP

5. Chris Capuano LHP

4. Tampa Bay Rays- Even though it seems like the Rays have been sellers, their team doesn’t look half bad. They are bringing in a new manager in Kevin Cash as he has a young talented team at hand.

Lineup-

1. Dan Jennings CF

2. David DeJesus LF

3. Ben Zobrist 2B

4. Evan Longoria 3B

5. James Loney 1B

6. Steven Souza RF

7. Yunel Escobar SS

8. Brandon Guyer DH

9. Rene Rivera C

Rotation-

1. Alex Cobb RHP

2. Matt Moore LHP

3. Chris Archer RHP

4. Jake Odorizzi RHP

5. Drew Smyly LHP

5. Toronto Blue Jays- The Blue Jays were one of the first active teams on the market. They find a solution at the catcher position and stability at third base. This team is in a good spot to succeed if their team can perform to their ability.

Lineup-

1. Jose Reyes SS

2. Michael Saunders LF

3. Jose Bautista RF

4. Edwin Encarnacion DH

5. Josh Donaldson 3B

6. Russell Martin C

7. Justin Smoak 1B

8. Dalton Pompey CF

9. Ryan Goins 2B

Rotation-

1. R.A. Dickey RHP

2. Marcus Stroman RHP

3. Mark Buehrle LHP

4. Drew Hutchison RHP

5. Aaron Sanchez RHP

Prediction:

1. Boston Red Sox

2. Toronto Blue Jays

3. Baltimore Orioles

4. New York Yankees

5. Tampa Bay Rays

Yankees will pay for education of murdered NYPD officer’s children

Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

Win McNamee/Getty Images North America

New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed by a gunman while on duty in Brooklyn on Saturday. Ramos has a 13-year-old son and another who is in college. Liu was married, but does not have any children.

The New York Yankees have stepped into this horrible matter at hand. George Steinbrenner’s Sliver Shield Foundation will pay for the education of the children. Making the Yankees owner like a bright lite in a dark room.

Steinbrenner started the foundation 32 years ago and has payed for the education of over 800 children, all of fallen servicemen and women.

Chase Utley has no desire to waive no-trade clause

 Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America

Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America

The Philadelphia Phillies have shown this offseason that they are sellers. But one of their pieces could stay with the team after everything is said and done.

According to the Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Chase Utley has no desire to waive his no-trade clause and wants to stay with the team.

“I haven’t had enough of a discussion with Chase,” Amaro said. “The only discussions I’ve had with Chase and his agent about any of that is that Chase wants to be in Philadelphia. And so, we work through our offseason knowing Chase Utley will be in Philadelphia and be a Philadelphia Phillie. I don’t necessarily see that changing. Is it possible it changes? Maybe. But, again, regardless of that, we have to be listeners and think about ways to improve our club long term. Chase may or may not be a part of that. But right now Chase is a Philadelphia Phillie and he’s not going to go anywhere. He has no desire to go anywhere. Like I said before, he wants to honor his contract and that’s how we have to perceive it.” This is all coming from Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia.

Utley has been with the team since 2003 when he came into the league. The 36-year old has a .285 career batting average and .448 career slugging percentage. He has been apart of the Phillies success during 2008 and 2009 when they went to the World Series and won it in 2008. The six time All-Star saw his long time double play partner Jimmy Rollins be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and now must be apart of a rebuilding period in Philly.

Padres have had discussions about trade for Phillies’ Cole Hamels

Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images North America

Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images North America

The San Diego Padres have had talks with the Philadelphia Phillies about trading for starting pitcher Cole Hamels, according to Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News. New outfielder Wil Myers will be used as potential bait.

The Padres have made multiple high-end moves since the Winter Meetings ended in San Diego. They acquired three outfielders in Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Myers, a starting catcher in Derek Norris and a potential starting third baseman in Will Middlebrooks.

As a rule, the Phillies front office does not discuss possible trades or free agents signings through the media.

About a week ago, the Boston Globle reported that the Padres, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers all had interest in Hamels. The Phillies have a weaker outfield, which is why Myers for Hamels makes sense on paper.

The 30-year-old went 9-9 during the 2014 season with the Phillies. He owned a 2.46 ERA and a 1.148 WHIP. The lefty added a 3.07 FIP. Hamels was able to pitch in 204.2 innings over 30 games.

James Shields’ contract demands around 5 years, $110M

Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America

Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America

James Shields is one of the best free agents left on the market. After seeing what Jon Lester got, he now knows what he is worth now.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Shields contract demands are expected to be around five years and $110M. Whether he gets that or not is up to his buyer.

Shields’ market has been kind of slow, but with Lester signing it should start to heat up. Shields makes a lot of sense for the Boston Red Sox. Boston needs and ace and has the money that they were going to spend on Lester and give it to Shields and both sides will be happy. The Texas Rangers had interest in Shields but that interest is gone.

Shields has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the games. He has pitched in 200 plus innings in every season he has played in except his rookie season. The 33-year old has also had more then 180 strikeouts in the last five seasons.

I predict that Shields will sign with Boston for his demand of five years worth $110M.

Nick Hundley has a two-year offer on the table

Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, free agent catcher Nick Hundley has a two-year offer from an unknown team on the table. The Baltimore Orioles were hoping to re-sign him, but are not willing to make it a multi-year deal because Hundley is a seven year veteran.

Matt Wieters is coming back from Tommy John surgery, he should be ready for opening day, but it is not set in stone. The Orioles were looking to make Hundley the back-up catcher. If the season started today, Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger would handle the duties behind the plate.

The 31-year-old slashed .243/.273/.358 with both the San Diego Padres and the Orioles in 2014. He added six home runs and 22 RBI. He played in 83 games and took 233 plate appearances.

Justin Upton open to contract extension with the Padres

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images North America

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images North America

The San Diego Padres have bolstered their lineup this offseason and hope to keep their new and improved outfield for the future.

On MLB Network Radio, Justin Upton‘s agent Larry Reynolds said that his client would be open to signing a contract extention with the Padres. Upton was acquired by the Padres from the Atlanta Braves earlier this week.

Upton has just one year left on his contract which was a six year deal worth $51.25M that he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He will make $14.5M this season. One factor that could help him sign a contact with the Padres is that he lives in Arizona during the offseason. Contract talks would take place up until the beginning of spring training.

Last season with the Braves, the 27-year old hit .270/3.42/.492 with 29 home runs. Upton is joining a team that includes outfielding sluggers Matt Kemp and Wil Myers whom the Padres also acquired in trades this week. The Padres look to add a ton more offense this season after being one of the worst offensive teams in league the past two seasons.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,077 other followers

%d bloggers like this: