The 2007 offseason has been one of the most active offseasons we have seen in recent years. Many teams were able to establish themselves as contenders and others were able to start thier rebuilding processes. Here are the moves that I think will have a large impact on our 2008 baseball season.
This was a great trade for the Astros. They were cut from contention early last season due to their inability to finish games. The heat was mostly put on Brad Lidge who had been a reliable releiver for Houston for quite a few years before his breakdown this season. Bringing in the 2007 saves leader makes the Astros a better team late in games and also allows manager Cecil Cooper to relax a little with a ten run lead with two outs in the ninth.
We all remember the Mets' great collaps late last season when they failed to finish on what had been a great regular season. Johan Santana is still considered the best pitcher in baseball. While pitchers like Josh Beckett and Jake Peavy had great seasons last year you still shudder most when you hear your team will be facing the 28-year old veteran. Johan stablizes a rotation that features some mediocre pitchers that have had flashes of brilliance and times of inconsistancy. Look for Santana to lead the Mets through the NL this season.
Just what the Mariners needed. Last year they had large runs where they looked like they might contend for the AL wildcard or even compete with the Angels for the West division title, but in the end they just couldn't put enough together to get in. By trading for an ace and strikeout king like Bedard you get two things, you get a great pitcher who has 20 win potential, and you take pressure off of Felix Hernandez, the young star who has shown he can be an all-star type pitcher. With two great pitchers and a formidable lineup the Mariners could make another run in the stacked AL.
Trade: The Diamondbacks get RHPs Dan Haren and Connor Robertson from the Athletics in for LHPs Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith, Chris Carter and outfielders Aaron Cunningham and Carlos Gonzalez.
Well with the loss of their dominent closer the Diamondbacks looked like they may lose a few W's next season. Not after this. Dan Haren and Brandon Webb will combine this season for one of the best 1-2 pitchers in a staff. Haren lead the AL for almost the entire year in ERA in '07 and managed to get 15 wins with Oakland run support. Brandon Webb was able to post a 42-inning scoreless streak last season and showed no signs of slowing down. Pitching wins championships and now the Dbacks have pitching.
This trade came from no where. One day the Tigers had a great offensive lineup, and all of a sudden they have the best lineup in baseball. The one weak link for the Tigers was inconsistant 3rd baseman Brandon Inge. That was erased with this trade. The Tigers received a youngpowerful player with good fielding and record-breaking potential. Also Dontrelle Willis can be a 20 win pitcher in Detroit. He lost some of his stats in Florida due to the lack of reward and run support but should be back to his old form with a contender. I think this puts Detroit back as favorite to win the tough AL central.
Flashback anyone? Edgar Renteria laces a single up the middle, Craig Counsell scores from third, and Jim Leyland has his 1997 World Series title. The Florida Marlins, only five years old, stand atop the baseball world. Now, more than a decade later, Leyland and Renteria are reunited. It couldnt have come at a better time. With Carlos Guillen moving to first base due to age, the shortstop role was wide open in Detroit. Now it has been filled with one of the MLB's most solid defensive players and consistant hitters. Jair Jurrjens was a great prospect to pay but the goal is to win now in baseball and with this trade the Tigers can.
Best free-agent pickup: Angels sign center fielder Torii Hutner to a 5-year deal.
The Angel's biggest hole last season (maybe their only hole) was their lack of power barring Vladmir Guerrero. Torii Hunter gives them around 30 homeruns a season, and if you bat him cleanup he can knock in 120 runs easliy. You cant forget that he is also one of the best defensive players in all of baseball and can track down any ball inside the stadium (and some of the ones just outside of it).
Those are the notable trades and pickups I can remember in the offseason please comment if you think i missed an impact trade.