The Runner Sports

American League Offseason Grades

Guess what? We’ve actually had baseball games. Yeah.

Let that sink in for a minute. It’s back. I’m about to go over how I think the American League teams did over the offseason.

Hold onto your butts…


Baltimore Orioles: D-

They surprised everyone last year. Don’t expect lightning to strike twice. They have a solid, young core. But, their pitching could really use some help.

Their only major signings this offseason were Jair Jurrjens from Atlanta who had a horrible year last year. But definitely showed the overall potential that he does have in the 2011 season when he went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA. They also picked up lefty specialist, Daniel Schlereth from the Tigers, who probably wont even play this season. I think that they could have done more to help their very young, very potent offense with pitching. I just don’t think that they’ll have the success that they had last year.


Red Sox: C+

What a mess.

This franchise was in free fall at the end of last year. It was EMBARRASSING to be associated with this club. No one wanted to play with Bobby V. There was basically a mutiny to get him out of the clubhouse at the All-Star break last year and when that didn’t work, they shipped off their blotted, shitty contracts to Los Angeles for a whole lot of nothing. Something I fully supported.

Over the winter they signed a laundry list of players for their billion holes they needed filled. Ryan Dempster as a starting pitcher for two years and $26.5 million. Stephen Drew for shortstop for one year and 10 million. Outfielder, Shane Victorino to three years and $39 million. Another outfielder, Jonny Gomes to a 2-year, $3.7 million contract. And first baseman, Mike Napoli to a one-year, $5 million deal. I think that they overpaid for all but Mike Napoli, with the worst offender being Shane Victorino. But, they did fill the positions that most desperately needed it.

They also got rid of the worst fit for a manager in the history of the team with the day after firing of Bobby Valentine. They replaced him with John Farrell, who, they traded for from Toronto and has said “My heart was always in Boston.”

I think things are on the up and up for them, but don’t expect them to make the postseason just yet.

Getting rid of this cancer was the smartest move the Red Sox made in 2012. And that’s saying a lot.


New York Yankees: F

They were outbid by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Let that sink in. They Yankees were outbid by the PITTSBURGH PIRATES.

That should never happen. EVER

They NEEDED Russell Martin and they lost him. They had A-Rod get ruled out until at least the All-Star break, and probably the whole season. Derek Jeter is coming off of a broken ankle. They’re overall team age is roughly a billion.

They wont be horrible this year, their overall talent wont alow that. But, this is a team that will be celler dwellers in a few years unless they fix all of their future issues that everyone can see.


This is their season.


Tampa Bay Rays: D

Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson and James Loney.

James Shields, Wade Davis and B.J. Upton.

If you can name where all three players in the first row played last year, I will give you a dollar.  The Rays roster is much weaker right now than it was a year ago.

They did manage to sign Evan Longoria to a massive extension for ten-years, and $100 million. We’ll see if they’re too poor to re-sign David Price next year. (They will be.)

I really could see this team surprising everyone and making it to the playoffs or going .500 on the season. It’s really a toss up.


Toronto Blue Jays: A+++++++

They got the very talented Miami Marlins roster for pennies on the dollar.
Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and Jose Reyes. They may have to pay a total of $150 million. It’s about time they spent the money that they actually have. They also traded for R.A. Dickey. Again, for nothing. And they also signed Melky Cabrera to a $10 million contract.

They are spending the money to win now. And I think they will.


I love children.



Chicago White Sox: C-

They lost catcher A.J Pierzynski to the Rangers, for a contract that they easily could have matched, $7.5 million for one year. They also held onto pitcher Jake Peavy with a outrageous, two-year, $29 million extension. Also dumped money on utility man Jeff Keppinger, with three-years and $12 million.

I just can’t see the White Sox doing much of anything this year.


Cleveland Indians: A

Good for the Indians. They convinced Terry Francona to become their next manager. And, honestly, I can see it bringing them a title in a few years. They managed to sign two of the most sought after outfielders in the offseason in Nick Swisher for $56 million and four years and Michael Bourn to a $48 million deal for four years.

They signed Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers to throwaway one year contracts that I think will pan out for them this season. They traded for future ace, Trevor Bauer from the Diamondbacks in a three team trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds and Didi Gregorius to Arizona.

Who, you might be asking?



Detroit Tigers: B-

You gave Torii Hunter $26 million, Mr. Ilitch. Good for you for having money, but if you want to waste it, I’m more than happy to take it off you’re hands. Giving Anibal Sanchez $80 million for five years sure is a stretch too, but at least I think that will pay off in the immediate future. But, when you have the first Triple Crown winner in forty-five years and arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball, you really don’t have too much to complain about.

If you want to win a ring that badly, you’re going to have to fight Toronto for it.

Good luck.

Just, so insane.



Kansas City Royals: A

Good job, Kansas City. You finally figured out what your problem was, pitching, and fixed it with Ervin Santana, James Sheilds, Wade Davis and re-signing Jeremy Gunthrie. Your very young team is clearly hungry and I just really, really hope that you don’t have a mid-season breakdown this year. I think you’re going to fianlly show promise and (hopefully) make the playoffs this year.


Minnesota Twins: D

You traded away your future for Vance Worley who is a third in a rotation pitcher, not an ace. You didn’t get anything to fix your horrible, horrible offense. I bet you’re regretting spending all of your money on Joe Mauer now. I really don’t know what to tell you.

Have fun in the cellar.


Houston Astros: D-

I hope your farm system is all you say it is. Or you’re going to be crushed in the American League. Have fun beating your last season Major League record 107 loss season this year.


The stars are not big and bright in this part of Texas.




Los Angeles Angles (I refuse to type out their ridiculous formal name): B+

Way to go.

You managed to get Josh Hamilton for five years and $125 million.
Not too shabby. You now have the best outfield in the sport. Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Peter Bourjos are making up your outfield now. You also brought in underrated closer, Ryan Madson to a one year trial offer. Bringing in Joe Blanton was a smart move too along with Jason Vargas. Your pitching is still a weak spot, but not nearly as much as it was.

If they don’t win the division this year, I’ll be shocked.

Good luck.



Oakland Athletics: ?

I really don’t know how to read Billy Beane’s teams. I thought they were going to suck it up last year, they won their division in a thriller over Texas and made it into a honest to god best of five series with the eventual American League Champion, Detriot Tigers. They signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Hakajima to a two-year, $6.5 million contract.

Uhhh, make your own prediction. I have no idea.


Seattle Mariners: C

I really want the Mariners to be good.
Really bad.
Signing King Felix to a massive seven-year, $175 million extension was amazing and makes me have faith for a future with this team. Their pitching has been nothing short of outstanding with how horrible their offense has been.
Their offense was just shit last year. They did add low cost players to fix that though with the big two players being Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay. The trade for Kendrys Morales was very smart too, and not at a very steep price.

They need to start winning so that they can convince high profile free agents to join the King up in Seattle. And soon.

The King made his statement. When will the Mariners?

The King made his statement. When will the Mariners?



Texas Rangers: B

It takes a lot for a team to not overreact when losing out on multiple major players. Especially when you’ve been to two consecutive World Series. They made stop gaps with Lance Brekman and A.J.Pierzynski, but I think that their overall core will still help them be a contender. It just seems like their window is getting smaller and they’re still looking at the future.


Well, that’s it.
Get excited.
Baseball is here, boys and girls.


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Author: Kyle Johnston