Mexico City Hombres Azul -
The game-plan for season 31 was one of rebuild, and as such the club chose not to re-up several borderline ML players. However, the trade market was quieter than usual, and unable to find a suitable trade partner for Phillip Davis or Lou Hendrickson GM Sneekes changed tack and dove into the free agent market in order to replace those expired contracts.
The Hombres Azul said ”thanks for the memories but enough is enough” to:
SP Drew Ducey
LF Dave Uggla
2B/OF Mickey Reid
C Joshua Fife
2B Horacio Mujica
RP Homer Zornes
They said “welcome to Mexico” to:
2B Delino Silva
3B Benito Marichal
OF D’Angelo Cedeno
CF Stewart Hall
SP Allie Mlicki
RP James Bradford
They also said an initial goodbye, but then an unexpected “Welcome back brother” to:
SP Tomas Blanco
RF Russell Hunter
The Rule 5 Draft brought in:
RP David Ramirez
The upshot is a team that has moved a shade or two away from the “get on base then leg it” tactics of its heyday, with more of a focus on defense, and a little more reliance on the long-ball.
The outlook for Mexico City is a little more positive than it was two years ago, the noisy neighbours from Monterrey are a very real problem, but at least now the ballclub from the capital has managed to a). acquire some free agent talent without paying inflated fees, and b). managed to restock the farm.
That farm system won’t start to bear fruit until Season 32 or 33 - when we might expect to see 1B Kevin Knight and/or SP Paul Lewis. Until that point – Mexico City will probably be fighting KC and one of the NL West clubs for the last Wild Card spot.
Jackson Jayhawks -
After Season 30 the fans of Jackson finally have something to feel optimistic about going forward. Following six successive 100+ loss seasons the franchise showed that better batting and reasonable pitching can bring rewards; a 76-86 record. Now to maintain the momentum.
Jesus Duran is in his third year as bench coach in the big league and ninth with the franchise.
This year's pitching rotation is lead by veteran starter Tom Cota and he needs to recover some of his former control. Oswaldo Cueto has cemented his place as closer and will want to improve on his 46/54 save/opp achievement in S30.
Leading off the batting is Charlie Little (RF) picked up from FA having spent the last few years in Detroit.. The team captain is Sal Clarke (3B) and his potential has yet to be proven in terms of his stats. Maybe S31 will be his breakout year.
Maintaining the w/l improvement will go along way to keeping the franchise in Jackson.
Kansas City Googly Mooglies -
Monterrey Border Jumpers -