This one is just too easy. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won 86 games last season but fell five games shy of making the playoffs. One way to improve is to sign the best player in baseball in the offseason; Albert Pujols.
After signing Pujols, who averaged 42 home runs, 126 RBI’s and a .420 on-base percentage, I think it’s safe to say the Angels are the favorites to win the AL West and possibly the World Series.
Not only did the Angels grab the best hitter on the market, but they also picked up one of the top pitchers; C.J. Wilson.
The Angels now have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball with Wilson and they swiped him from their arch-nemesis, the Texas Rangers. Wilson’s 16 wins and a 2.94 ERA last season will be sorely missed by the Rangers and should give the Angels another advantage to winning the division.
Yet before Los Angeles upgraded its lineup and pitching rotation, they also added an arm to the bullpen. LaTroy Hawkins has seemingly pitched everywhere, but the Angels will gladly take his 2.42 ERA.
The Angels improved in every area of their team from a second-place season. Not only will they win the AL West by more than eight games next season, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
Every offseason there is a scramble for teams to nab free agents and make trades to improve their roster.
Rarely are the Miami Marlins ever contenders in the free agent market, but this year, they may have had the best offseason of anybody in baseball.
The Marlins added former New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, former Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle and former Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.
Not only did Miami significantly upgrade their pitching, but also adding Reyes to the top of their lineup should improve the offense immensely.
Not to be forgotten is the addition of new manager Ozzie Guillen who comes over from the White Sox after being traded at the end of the season last year.
It may have been the most risky, but the addition that could help the Marlins the most was the signing of Zambrano.
Everyone knows about Zambrano’s famous temper and clubhouse blowups. But when he is right, Zambrano is still one of the better pitchers in the game.
The Marlins will likely not be able to overtake the Phillies in the NL East, though they will be wild-card contenders with the splashes the team made this offseason.