Prediction: 1st

Outlook. The Sox, in moves characteristic of their aggressive GM Ken Williams, acquired RHP Jake Peavy last July 31 and OF Alexis Rios last Aug. 10. They were anything but the standard "quick fixes" you see in the middle of the season. The team took on more than $100 million in combined commitments because it viewed the two players as pillars for the future. That future is now for Rios, who was awful, and Peavy, who pitched well in September. Spotlight on. Manager Ozzie Guillen, whose latest flap has concerned Twitter - his usage of it.

Final word. They win the division with their strong starting rotation.

2009: 79-83, Third place.

Manager: Ozzie Guillen, seventh season, 512-461, .526, one pennant, one World Series title.

GM: Kenny Williams.

Last playoff appearance: 2008.

Projected lineup

LF - Juan Pierre
2B - Gordon Beckham
RF - Carlos Quentin
1B - Paul Konerko
C - A.J. Pierzynski
CF - Alex Rios
3B - Mark Teahen
DH - Andruw Jones
SS - Alexei Ramirez

Projected rotation

RH - Jake Peavy
LH - Mark Buehrle
RH - Gavin Floyd
LH - John Danks
RH - Freddy Garcia


Prediction 2nd

Outlook. This was going to be a breakout season. The Twins broke out of their old ballpark, the Metrodome, for the great, gorgeous outdoors of Target Field. They picked up 2B Orlando Hudson, SS J.J. Hardy and DH Jim Thome, re- tained RHP Carl Pavano and locked up franchise player C Joe Mauer. But they sustained a huge blow when closer RHP Joe Nathan went down (right elbow injury).

Spotlight on. Target Field. The Twins made the most of their dome-field advantage, but can they maintain that advantage playing a more normal brand of ball?

Final word. The starting rotation will falter in the new place.

2009: 86-76, First place.

Manager. Ron Gardenhire, ninth season, 709-588, .547. GM: Bill Smith.

Last playoff appearance: 2009, Lost in Divisional Series to Yankees, 3-0.

Projected lineup

CF Denard Span
2B Orlando Hudson
C Joe Mauer
1B Justin Morneau
RF Michael Cuddyer
DH Jason Kubel
LF Delmon Young
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Nick Punto

Projected rotation

RH Scott Baker
RH Kevin Slowey
RH Carl Pavano
RH Nick Blackburn
LH Francisco Liriano


Prediction: 3rd place

Outlook. What a long, strange trip it has been for this team. It kicked off the winter trading OF Curtis Granderson and RHP Edwin Jackson - an apparent sign that 2010 would be a rebuilding year. But then they signed veteran closer RHP Jose Valverde to a two-year, $14-million agreement, and in spring training added OF Johnny Damon. Now they have a chance to contend, if they can find some run production.

Spotlight on. 1B Miguel Cabrera. After a winter of treatment for alcohol abuse, Cabrera professes to be a new man.

Final word. A very interesting club that has a bright future, but too many questions loom over this season.

2009: 86-77, Second place.

Manager: Jim Leyland, fifth season, 343-306, .529; 18 seasons overall, 1,412-1,437, .496, two pennants, one World Series title.

GM: Dave Dombrowski.

Last playoff appearance: 2006.

Projected lineup

CF Austin Jackson
LF Johnny Damon
RF Magglio Ordonez
1B Miguel Cabrera
DH Carlos Guillen
3B Brandon Inge
C Gerald Laird
2B Scott Sizemore
SS Adam Everett

Projected rotation

RH Justin Verlander
RH Max Scherzer
RH Rick Porcello
RH Jeremy Bonderman
LH Dontrelle Willis


Prediction: 4th

Outlook. We are long past the time when loyal Royals fans can point to Major League Baseball's system and blame it for the franchise's woes. Kansas City spends money now, but with a pointed lack of intelligence. This offseason, the Royals picked up C Jason Kendall, CF Rick Ankiel, LF Scott Podsednik and 2B Chris Getz, a series of acquisitions that should prompt Royals fans (bless their souls) to shake their heads and say, "Yeesh."

Spotlight on. RHP Zack Greinke, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, will look for another spectacular season.

Final word. Until they stop taking on poor veteran talent, it's going to be bad.

2009: 65-97, Tie for fourth place.

Manager: Trey Hillman, third season, 140-184, .432.

GM: Dayton Moore.

Last playoff appearance: 1985.

Projected lineup

RF David DeJesus
LF Scott Podsednik
2B Alberto Callaspo
1B Billy Butler
CF Rick Ankiel
DH Jose Guillen
3B Alex Gordon
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C Jason Kendall

Projected rotation

RH Zack Greinke
RH Gil Meche
RH Luke Hochevar
RH Brian Bannister
RH Kyle Davies


Prediction: 5th place

Outlook. Even after their slow start, the Indians didn't intend to trade LHP Cliff Lee and C Victor Martinez, because the ace and All-Star catcher had reasonable contracts for 2010. But emerging financial concerns forced Cleveland to sell low on their two assets, and assured that this season would be all about rebuilding. Ex-Mets coach Manny Acta is the new manager.

Spotlight on. DH Travis Hafner has more than $40 million guaranteed to him through 2012, and he hasn't been able to stay on the field the last two seasons.

Final word. RHP Jake Westbrook could be an interesting trade-deadline target.

2009: 65-97, Tie for fourth place.

Manager: Manny Acta, first season; third season overall, 158-252, .385.

GM: Mark Shapiro.

Last playoff appearance: 2007.

Projected lineup

SS Asdrubal Cabrera
CF Grady Sizemore
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Jhonny Peralta
DH Travis Hafner
1B Russell Branyan
LF Matt LaPorta
2B Luis Valbuena
C Lou Marson

Projected rotation

RH Jake Westbrook
RH Fausto Carmona
RH Justin Masterson
RH Mitch Talbot
LH David Huff

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