MLB old faces, new places 2011
There were plenty of big trades and signings during the offseason in baseball. Take a look at those familiar faces with their new team.
RUSSELL MARTIN, Catcher
Signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Yankees
The Yankees signed the 27-year-old catcher with the intention of making Jorge Posada the full time DH. Martin is a two-time All Star who had his best year in 2007, when he hit .293 with 19 home runs and 87 RBIs. Martin suffered a torn labrum in 2010, which forced him to miss a large chunk of the season. Martin gunned down 39 percent (27 of 70) of would-be base stealers last year, compared with Posada's 15 percent (13 of 85) and Francisco Cervelli's 14 percent (9 of 64).
MIKE NAPOLI, Catcher
Traded to the Blue Jays with Juan Rivera in exchange for Vernon Wells
The Blue Jays were in need of a catcher after John Buck signed a three-year deal with the Marlins. Napoli is not a great defensive catcher and split time at first base with the Angels in 2010. He is a powerful DH who hits plenty of homers, but does not hit for average.
VICTOR MARTINEZ, Designated hitter/catcher
Signed a four-year, $50-million deal with the Detroit Tigers
The Tigers head into 2011 as top contenders for the AL Central title. Martinez will add some decent pop to the middle of the lineup and give protection to slugger Miguel Cabrera. Martinez doesn't bring much when it comes to defense. With Cabrera at first base, Martinez probably will split time between DH and catcher.
CLIFF LEE, Starting pitcher
Signed a five-year, $120 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies
With the addition of Lee, the Phillies have one of the best rotations of all-time. He has remarkable control, walking only 18 batters and striking out 185 pitching for the Mariners and Rangers last season. The only question is, do you want the under or over that Lee and Roy Halladay will total 40 wins?
ZACK GREINKE, Starting pitcher
Traded to the Brewers with Yuniesky Betancourt for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi
Last year was a down year for the righthander, who went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA one season after winning the Cy Young Award. But how much of hs poor 2010 can be attributed to playing for the Royals? With a lineup that features Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Corey Hart, the Brewers should expect a bounce-back season.
BRANDON WEBB, Starting pitcher
Signed a one-year, $3-million deal with the Texas Rangers
With the loss of Cliff Lee the Rangers are taking a big gamble on Webb, who has not pitched since 2009 because of shoulder surgery. Webb was the Cy Young winner in 2006 and won 22 games for Arizona in 2008. If Webb can return to that level, Lee will be an afterthought in Texas.
BARTOLO COLON, Starting pitcher
Signed a one-year, minor league deal with the Yankees
The Yankees are taking a low-risk gamble on Colon, who did not pitch in the majors in 2010. With Andy Pettitte retiring and the back end of the Yankees rotation filled with questions marks, Colon has the potential to be the fifth starter.
JAVIER VAZQUEZ, Starting pitcher
Signed a one-year, $7-million deal with the Florida Marlins
Vazquez will head back to the NL after a second stint with the Yankees that was very similar to his first go-round in the Bronx. Vazquez was 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA for the Yankees, who lost confidence in him halfway through the season. Vazquez struck out more than 200 hitters every year from 2007-2009 while pitching with the White Sox and Braves.
RAFAEL SORIANO, Relief pitcher
Signed a three-year, $35-million deal with the Yankees
Even though Brian Cashman didn’t want Soriano in the Yankee bullpen he will be setting up Mariano Rivera. That gives the Yankees two dominant closers at the end of the game and it also takes the strain off starting pitchers. Soriano was a force in 2010, converting 45 of 48 save opportunities with a 1.73 ERA and a .80 WHIP.
KERRY WOOD, Relief pitcher
Signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Chicago Cubs
Wood came over to the Yankees in a midseason trade from the Indians. He was solid in his setup role, appearing in 26 games with a 0.69 ERA. Wood's career has come full circle as he heads back to the Cubs, where he was an All-Star and Rookie of the Year winner.
Traded to the Red Sox by the Padres for Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes and Eric Patterson.
The Red Sox have been searching for a way to answer the Yankees’ signing of Mark Teixeira ever since 2009. Enter Adrian Gonzalez. Over the last four seasons, Gonzalez has averaged 34 homers and 105 RBIs for the San Diego Padres. He brings plenty of left-handed power that can be deadly along with David Ortiz. Gonzalez is a two-time Gold Glove winner and only 28-years-old.
DERREK LEE, First base
Signed a one-year, $7.25-million deal with the Orioles
The last two seasons for Lee were far removed from 2008, when he had 35 homers and 111 RBIs. The Orioles hope a change of scenery can rejuvenate the former All-Star. Even though his offense has fallen off, his glove at first base continues to be Gold Glove quality.
CARLOS PEÑA, First base
Signed a one-year, $10-million deal with the Chicago Cubs
Pena will help fill the void left by Derrek Lee, who was traded to Atlanta last season. Peña batted a career-low .196 in 2010, but did hit 28 homers and drove in 84 runs. He hasn't batted above .250 in the last three years. If the Cubs don't care about average and do care about the long ball, then Pena will be a perfect fit.
ADAM DUNN, First base/outfield
Signed a four-year, $56-million deal with the Chicago White Sox
Dunn has averaged 35 home runs a season in his 10-year career. The White Sox know they're getting a hitter who could lead the league in strikeouts, but his on-base percentage and ability to drive in runs makes up for it. Paul Konerko and Dunn will be fa ormidable duo in the middle of the lineup.
ADRIAN BELTRE, Third base
Signed a six-year, $96-million deal with the Texas Rangers
Beltre had a big bounce-back year in 2010 for the Red Sox, batting .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs. He had a career-high 49 doubles, which probably can be attributed to the Green Monster. To make room in the lineup for Beltre, the Rangers moved Michael Young from third base to DH. Beltre also brings a solid glove at the hot corner, winning two Gold Gloves while playing with Seattle.
CARL CRAWFORD, Outfield
Signed a seven-year, $142-million deal with the Boston Red Sox
Crawford was probably the biggest offensive acquisition of the offseason. His power, speed and glove make him one of the best all-around players in the game. The Red Sox could use the speed at the top of their lineup as they stole only 68 bases in 2010. Crawford stole 47 last year and averages 54. The Sox were hurt by injuries last season. If Jacoby Ellsbury returns healthy, the Sox will have a lightning quick outfield and a soid one-two punch at the top of their lineup.
JAYSON WERTH, Outfield
Signed a seven-year, $126-million deal with the Nationals
Werth has become one of the top power hitters in the NL, averaging 29 homers and 84 RBIs the last three seasons. Will he mind not winning as much as he did with the Phillies? His numbers could suffer not having Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley in the lineup.
JOHNNY DAMON, Designated hitter/Outfield
Signed a one-year, $5.25-million deal with the Rays
Damon joins his former Red Sox teammate in Tampa Bay after spending 2010 with the Tigers. Damon is still an above average leadoff hitter who knows how to work pitchers. His average has been on a decline the last three seasons from .303 to .282 to .271. Damon is still a good baserunner, but no where near the base stealer he used to be.
VERNON WELLS, Outfield
Traded to the Angels in exchange for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera
When the Angels lost in their bid to sign Crawford they pulled off this trade. Wells rebounded from an off year, as his 31 homers were his highest total since he hit 32 in 2006. He also is a good fielder who will complement Torii Hunter in the outfield.
MANNY RAMIREZ, Designated hitter/outfield
Signed a one-year, $2-million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays
Manny is back in the AL East, although he is far from the player he was in Boston. In recent years Ramirez has had a hard time staying on the field. Being back in the AL might be just the thing to jump-start Ramirez, who primarily will be the DH for the Rays. If he's focused he still can hit 20-plus homers and cause the Yankees and Red Sox headaches.
HIDEKI MATSUI, Designates hitter/Outfield
Signed a one-year, $4.25 million deal with the Oakland A's
Two years removed from his World Series MVP award, Matsui is on the move again. He had a slow start in 2010, batting only .252 in the first half for the Angels. Matsui turned it on in the second half, batting .309 and finishing at .274 for the season, with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs. No one in the A’s lineup hit more than 16 home runs last year and only two players had more than 70 RBIs.
VLADIMIR GUERRERO, Designated hitter/outfield
Signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles
Guerrero was one of the last free agents to sign this offseason. He had a bounce-back year in 2010 with the AL Champion Texas Rangers, batting .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs. Baltimore can expect even more homers from Guerrero in 2011. He will play 81 games in the bandbox known as Camden Yards. The former AL MVP primarily will be used as a DH, but he still has a gun for an arm.