MLB In Full Bloom 11/5/2013

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99 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

146 – Number of days until Opening Day

You would think that there would be no baseball news to report on a day like today, but that is not the case. Don't blink because at MLB In Full Bloom there is always news and today I am going to give you the top five teams that I think will be the most aggressive this offseason as they try to rebuild their roster for next season. The first three teams on the list were easy to identify, but the final two were pulled from a list of about 17 teams on my list and one can make an argument for all of them.

Top 5 Most Aggressive Clubs

1. New York Yankees - The Yankees lose Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte to retirement. They will most likely lose Alex Rodriguez to his 211-game suspension, Phil Hughes is going to leave via free agency, and Curtis Granderson is a wild card to me in the free agency market. He has power and speed and I don't see him staying in New York on a one-year deal. So what's left? CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova make up the Yankees starting rotation as of today. What will Mark Teixeira give the Yankees next year after a injury riddled season in 2013?

2. Texas Rangers - Josh Daniels, Rangers GM, is in complete control of the purse strings now that Nolan Ryan has retired from the organization and Daniels has money to spend and I think he is going to be very aggressive this offseason. The Rangers need help at catcher, middle infield, and corner outfield. The other question I want to see get answered is what will Daniels do with Ian Kinsler. Will they look to trade Kinsler and move Jurickson Profar to second base.

3. Los Angels Dodgers - We know money is not an issue for this organization and Ned Colletti, Dodgers GM, seems to enjoy spending it. The Dodgers will be in the market for more pitching to add to Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. It would surprise me if the Dodgers are not in on Masahiro Tanaka and David Price could be on their radar as well. Lets take it one step further and say that its very possible the Dodgers go after and get both Tanaka and Price! If that happens, the starting rotation for the Dodgers would be sick. The organization has the depth in the minor league system to give the Tampa Bay Rays the top prospects they are looking for to get a deal done for Price and they have the financial resources to get Tanaka. Along with the need to add pitching, the Dodgers will also be in the market for a third baseman.

4. Los Angels Angels - The Angels have massive financial commitments in place to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. Jerry Dipoto is going to have to get creative to add starting pitching and bullpen help because the Angels are very close to the luxury tax and they want to stay below. The Angels are going to score runs, but Dipoto has to add at least two arms for the starting rotation. The Angels do not have the minor league depth or the talent to get in the mix for David Price, but they could send Mark Trumbo and a prospect to the Miami Marlins for one of their top pitching prospects. Ricky Nolasco is one free agent that must be on the Angels radar. Nolasco is a west coast guy and may be willing to take a little less to stay in Los Angeles.

5. San Francisco Giants - Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy were embarrassed in 2013. The Giants need help at left field, first base, and they have to add starting pitching. The Giants need to add two big RBI producers to the lineup and they have to get at least one starting pitcher.

MLB In Full Bloom 11/4/2013

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100 - Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

147 - Number of days until Opening Day

The rumor mill is heating up in Major League Baseball this week with General Managers and Owners meet in Orlando next week.. With much of the focus on the NFL,  Heisman Trophy discussions, and whether Oregon or Florida State should be #2 in the BCS standings behind Alabama, lets turn the page and get refocused baseball hot stove news.

Below are my five headlines that I will be watching this offseason.

1. Robinson Cano - Where will he land and how much will he get? My guess is the New York Yankees and the first number in his new contract will be a two.

2. Alex Rodriguez - Will his 211-game suspension be held up? We won't know until sometime in December but the Yankees are anxious to know because if AROD is suspended they get a credit on his salary and could use that money to fill other roster needs.

3. David Price - Will he be traded? He will be the most talked about player this offseason that could be traded.

4. Masahiro Tanaka - Casual fans have probably not heard of this 25-year old future ace. Last season, Tanaka went 24-0 with a very low ERA. Once he gets posted there is going to be alot of action by several teams to get this guy.

5. Mystery Teams - I can't tell you who they will be, but every offseason there is a team or teams that make the offseason very interesting. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to the Los Angels Angels were moves that nobody saw coming at the beginning of the offseason. Jayson Werth to the Washington Nationals and Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers are two more examples of teams that swept in and offered huge contracts to those players.

News & Notes

  • David Price's name is already being and he has two years of club control left with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays know that Price will bring back alot of talent in a trade. The Rays could wait one more year, but with his salary rising to $13 million range, he could be on the move. Remember, the free agent market for starting pitching is extremely thin and the difficulty to get star caliber players is tough. The question will be which team will jump out there and meet the Rays high demands.
  • The Detroit Tigers hired Brad Ausmus over the weekend to be their next manager. This is a surprise hire by the Tigers because Ausmus has no major league managing or coaching experience. For that matter, he does not have minor league managing or coaching experience. All he has done is coach Team Israel in the WBC and they did not even qualify for the tournament. Ausmus is highly regarded as a player and look at the success that Mike Matheny has had in St. Louis. The difference is that Ausmus does not have the familiarity with the Tigers that Matheny had with the Cardinals.
  • The Oakland Athletics have played in O.co Coliseum for a long time. The Coliseum is in bad shape and very old. Right now, the Athletics do not have a deal to play there next season. There was a report over the weekend that if the city of Oakland or whatever stadium commission can take charge and put some money into the Coliseum,  Major League Baseball is threatening to put the Athletics across the bay in the San Francisco Giants stadium. The question is whether or not this will really happen. There are nine dates that are conflicting between the A's and the Giants schedule and that will be tough to correct. Lets not forget that the current Giants ownership was going to take this team to Tampa Bay and play in the Thunder Dome, but they stayed in San Francisco. They decided to stay because one of the parts of their deal was San Jose would be a non-compete territory. The Giants have a legitimate argument, but they have to figure out a way to make this work.

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