Friday, December 28, 2007

Ed Coleman's Take on the NL East.

Eddie Coleman on his blog for WFAN takes a closer look at the NL East and how the teams stack up in 2008.
Among the most significant moves Coleman details are Florida Marlins taking the biggest hit, dealing Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers for LHP Andrew Miller and OF Cameron Maybin and four others. Miguel Olive has also departed. In lossing these three players the Marlins have trimmed payroll in half from $30.5 million to about $14.6 million. It's been said that the Marlins may start the 2008 season with a payroll less then $10 million! Can you say last place.

The Wahington Nationals acquired Lastings Milledge from the Mets and Elijah Dukes from Tampa Bay, and signed catcher Paul LoDuca. They re-signed SP John Patterson, and added pitcher Tyler Clippard. They lost Brian Schneider and Ryan Church in the Milledge deal. I agree with Coleman's take that the National won't win the east, but the Mets know they play hard under Manny Acta, and will be tough to beat. Look for another 4th place finish, I'm guessing that they improve on their 73 wins by a few games though.

The Atlanta Braves took Tom Glavine away from the Mets and added prospect Jair Jurrjens from the Tigers. Plus added the ageless Javy Lopez. They lost Andruw Jones as well as Edgar Renteria, hoping Yunel Escobar will be major league ready. The Braves bullpen took a huge hit, losing Oscar Villarreal, Jose Ascaino, Ron Mahay and Chad Paronto. They have taken a step back in my opinion. After winning the east 11 straight years, look for 3rd straight 3rd place finish in 2008.

The Philadelphia Phillies lost CF Aaron Rowand, Tad Iguchi, Michael Bourn and Geoff Geary. They picked up Brad Lidge who could be a huge X factor. They added Geoff Jenkins to replace Rowand and signed So Taguchi who led all N.L. pinch-hitters with a .406 (13-32) average. Only separated by about 100 miles, here are the Mets newest rivals. The Phillies took care of business in 2007 and now they wear the bullseye on thier backs. For the first time in history the Mets and Phillies finished back to back seasons with both teams finishing in first and second in the standings.

Look for a third straight year with these two teams battling it out for the NL east crown. All the Mets need to do is to replace Tom Glavine. How Omar Minaya plans on doing that, well wouldn't we all like to know...60 days to go.

Eddie doesn’t see a clear front runner in the East at this time, and aside from the Marlins downgrading significantly, nobody has drastically improved or regressed.