With the 2012 MLB Winter Meetings underway, Zach Sommers looks back a year to the meetings of 2011 to evaluate the deals, both big and small, that came out of those sessions. With one season in the books, who among Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson and even Heath Bell were worth their contracts?
Articles by Zach Sommers
Who are the best up-and-comers in the six divisions of baseball? Who will help their respective teams remain on top of the world, and who can help lift theirs up into playoff contention? You know the names, but Zach Sommers explains why you’ll keep hearing them for years to come.
With six teams gone from the 2012 MLB postseason, we can speculate as to their chances to make it back and play meaningful October baseball in the next few years. With a crumbling NL East and re-shaped AL West next year, some teams look to have an easy ticket while others may have to battle. Then there’s Baltimore… Newton’s Third Law will surely catch up to them, won’t it?
With a second Wild Card team added to the MLB postseason, there’s a new sense of hope for fans in many cities across America. And 2012 is proving to be even more exciting as many playoff hopeful teams are not the usual suspects. The Athletics, Orioles and Nationals are all on the cusp of making the playoffs for the first time in several years.
With the Pittsburgh Pirates clinging to a Wild Card berth, there’s a very real chance that they could face the Atlanta Braves in the play-in game; the same franchise that was responsible for abolishing the Pirates from competitive play and damning them to 20 years of misery. Perhaps the Baseball Gods will step in and lend a hand.
Lew Ford completed one of the most epic journeys through baseball when he suited up for the Baltimore Orioles this past weekend. The very definition of “journeyman,” Ford had been completely overlooked by the baseball brass – twice. His return proves that there’s hope even for the lowliest of prospects.
Being a buyer or a seller at a trade deadline can have an impact on a franchise for years to come. Example: The Texas Rangers are one of the best teams in baseball, thanks largely to trading away Mark Teixeira. Zach Sommers examines this deal and some of the other better trades at the non-waiver deadline.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates’ streak of losing seasons was a person, he (or she, but let’s just stick with he) would be a sophomore at college. There would be weekend classes, experimentation with new drugs and new people, and campus parties that I’m probably not invited too. This particular college student, although proud of his heritage and the accomplishments he achieved, would probably like to stop hearing about how good his family name used to…
The “student has become the master” adage holds truer for no left-handed pitcher more than Gio Gonzalez. After being a prospect traded to Oakland for a big name player, he grew to become an All-Star and was then shipped off as the big name to Washington last winter. Now, he’s in a position to emerge as one of baseball’s better pitchers and is in a perfect market to do it.
The Oakland Athletics shocked the baseball world when they landed Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a massive four-year contract worth $36 million. This flies in the face of everything we’ve known about this smallest-market team, and it’s already paying huge dividens as the 26-year-old is putting up the best numbers among rookies so far. Can he keep this up and trigger a new era for Oakland baseball?