After some protests, we're yielding to our commissioner's wishes and providing him with an actual preview of his team. For a list of the guys on his actual roster, take a peek at our first preview/dead pool. Here, we'll be brief and just talk about what the players should produce.
Tex, Utley and Longoria isn't just the best infield trio in the league, it's probably the best trio of players anyone has in the league. Not shockingly, there's a precipitious drop off after that. Some may see Geo Soto as having potential to jump into the McCann/VMart/Mauer rank of catchers; to me, he seems more likely to reside in the large group of 2nd tier catchers with Doumit, Napoli, Martin, Posada, etc. This isn't a bad thing, but it does mean he's an "asset" with an lowercase a. Elvis Andrus is a defensive stud only. And the bench of Ortiz, Conor Jackson and Alex Gordon is laden with disappointment. Great start, but no depth.
The quicker the Constipated Kermits realize that Manny Ramirez is the team's worst outfielder, the better for this team, because this is a sneaky good set of players. Matt Holliday needs no introduction and produces everything but steals. Which is fine because Denard Span and Brett Gardner should steal 75+ bases, score a boatload of runs and do nothing else. If the team loses, it won't be because of the outfield.
No aces, but a lot of deuces, which as we all know, is how this owner rolls. Shields, Lackey, Buehrle and Harang are all decent enough guys that should keep the team competitive in wins and K's while not hurting in ERA and WHIP. Ian Kennedy is also here, presumably because Andy thinks former USC basketball star Allison Jaskowiak (right) is attractive.
Mariano and a lot of crossed fingers. I get wanting Bobby Jenks on your roster, but suspect he won't be closing by June. Matt Guerrier is a dice roll. Every other reliever is either not actually relieving or not actually any good.
For a team that finished in DAFL last year, this is a surprisingly solid squad. That said, the holes up the middle and at relief are large enough that this looks like a middle of the pack team. What makes this squad interesting, however, is that it holds a pair of ginormous trade chips in Utley and Texieria should they fall out of contention. Those two could yield some good players/picks for 2011, making this a clear team to watch for next year.