- Albert Pujols signs with the Angels. Like the rest of the world, I was shocked not only by the total dollar amount, but the length of this contract. Right now, the Angels will pay the 1st baseman major money well beyond his prime years and into his 40's. In the now, its a strong, bold statement that the Angels want to win. However, for the long term health of the franchise, this has to be considered a mistake. Pujols has had some injury issues over the past two seasons and as he ages he will likely be a highly paid DH. Anaheim has other problems though. This signing creates a log jam for 1B/DH bats on the active roster. Now with Pujols signed, who will likely split 1B/DH duties for the next 10 seasons, how will the at bats shake out for Kendry Morales and Mark Trumbo? The rumor is that Trumbo will slide over to 3B with Morales splitting 1B/DH with Pujols. I assume that this will be considered a 'nice problem to have' when filling out the lineup card as this is now one of the strongest offensive teams in the division. However, the defensive minded management of Mike Scioscia may think otherwise. Putting career first baseman Trumbo at 3rd degrades their infield defense significantly.
- Ryan Braun gets busted for using a PED. Ugh. I always hate seeing these as headlines. It especially stings baseball as this was the reigning NL MVP. Regardless of whether he's guilty or not, the likelihood that Braun misses some time in 2012 is quite high right now. He is appealing the test but I can't see how he doesn't get suspended given the evidence.
- C.J. Wilson signs with the Angels. Arte Moreno is intent on seeing a championship in Anaheim. I have to admit the Angels went from being an afterthought in the AL West to a contender for the World Series championship with their off season signings. A rotation of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C. J. Wilson and Ervin Santana is as good as any in the American League.
- Sergio Santos traded to the Blue Jays. This was a very under the radar trade by the Blue Jays which should shore up the biggest weakness in Toronto, the bullpen. Santos struck out 92 batters in just 63 innings for a 13.0 K/9! Chicago received Nestor Molina, who is a nice prospect whom many a scout has rated highly after a fantastic season at Double A. This clearly signals the Sox are rebuilding.
- Aramis Ramirez signs with the Brewers. Milwaukee is anticipating that they will lose first baseman Prince Fielder to free agency and Ramirez is a proven veteran bat who will fit right in on what should be a contending ball club (if they can put aside the Braun + PED insanity). Ramirez, if healthy should replicate his 2011 production.
- Marlins sign Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. The Marlins are spending a lot of money and although I'm certain it makes them a better ball club, I'm pretty confident they could have got more bang for their buck. In fantasy (or reality) spending large money on a reliever is just a bad business practice. Veteran relievers with a lot of miles on their arms can be injury prone. Personally, I'd try to do what the Jays did and just acquire a solid bullpen arm on the cheap. Buehrle should continue to be a steady arm short on strike outs coming over to the National League. I wouldn't expect a huge leap in his numbers as he will have to adjust to NL hitters at first.
Ok, that's it for now... I'll discuss some more recent deals soon.