TOP 10 ACQUISITIONS
1. Albert Pujols, L.A. Angels – Biggest acquisition in recent years, for any team.
2. Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers – Returning to the city where he watched his father play and give Detroit fans hope again.
3. C.J. Wilson, L.A. Angels – The combination of Pujols and Wilson could be what Angels need to win it all.
4. Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals – Can he replace production of Pujols? Likely not, but having Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday in the lineup make it possible.
5. Brad Lidge, Washington Nationals – Some may question Lidge’s place on this list, but if you remember the Lidge from 2008 (41 saves in 41 save opportunities in the regular season and 7-for-7 in the playoffs), and you consider his numbers from last year (1.40 ERA as a set-up man) you’ll understand.
6. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers – Could be another bust from Japan, but his numbers (18-6, 1.44 ERA, 276 Ks in 232 innings) are better coming in than any Japanese League pitcher.
7. Jose Reyes, Miami Marlins – Why are people excited? Because he hit .337 (best in the NL), stole 39 bases and scored 101 runs.
8. Mark Buehrle, Miami Marlins – Went 13-9 with 3.59 ERA last year, but he is consistent and his leadership, along with Reyes and manager Ozzie Guillen, could help the Marlins make the postseason.
9. A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates – He should dominate the NL after fairing okay in the tough AL East. One of the biggest signs, along with signing star Andrew McCutchen to a long-term deal, that the Pirates are serious about winning. He will be out three months, though, with an injury.
10. Yeonnis Cespedes, Oakland A’s – All you need to know is this: He was a Cuban Baseball League star (the best baseball in the world) and in only 90 games he had 33 HRs, 99 RBIs and hit .333.