Mlb Tickets – American League Contenders

January 5, 2011
American League Central
by a4gpa

The New York Yankees returned to prominence in 2009, winning yet another title and once again asserting their dominance on the rest of the league.  Being a restless team always trying to improve, the Pinstripes weren’t exactly stagnant in the offseason either, adding leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson to a team that won more than 100 regular season games and was the top offensive team in 2009.  With so much talent, the Yankees are clearly the favorites to repeat as the American League champs, but other teams have also strengthened their rosters as they look to take a crack at winning the pennant .

Boston Red Sox: After an early exit a year ago, the Red Sox headed into free agency with some significant holes to plug.  The first to be addressed was their questionable pitching staff, which was injury-plagued in 2009 and in need of another big arm to add to their roster.  With their deep pocket books, however, the Sox found their man fairly easily in John Lackey, formerly the ace for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Lackey will likely be the third pitcher behind Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, who had an up and down 2009 season but still finished with a 17-6 record and a solid 3.86 ERA.

On the offensive side, the main acquisition for the Sox was Adrian Beltre. After struggling to live up to a big contract for the Mariners, the Sox scooped him up for one year with an option for a second.  If Beltre hopes to get another big contract in his career, he will have to put together a decent season for the Red Sox in 2010 and prove that he is still among the league’s best third basemen.  Though his stick has struggled at times over the years, Beltre still remains one of the top defensive infielders in the league and is an upgrade from Mike Lowell.

The Sox also added centerfielder Mike Cameron, which allows them to move speedster Jacoby Ellsbury to left field and creates a formidable defensive squad.  With catcher Victor Martinez playing for the entire season for Boston, the Sox still have plenty of talent and will challenge the Yankees for the AL East title.  As usual, with the Red Sox and Yankees both expected to have strong teams heading into the season, MLB tickets will be greatly affected by the dominance of the league’s most prominent powerhouses.

Seattle Mariners: After continually losing over the last five years despite a sizeable payroll, the Seattle Mariners finally made some solid moves this offseason that should make them an instant contender.  Without much of an offense a year ago, the Mariners rode a Cy Young caliber season from ace Felix Hernandez to 87 wins.  But the Mariners looked to improve their rotation further and obtained Cliff Lee from the Philadelphia Phillies, giving them perhaps the best one-two punch in the entire league.

Offensively, they also improved with the signing of Chone Figgins, who will slide nicely into the two-hole behind Ichiro and give the Mariners considerable speed at the top of their lineup.  They also signed Milton Bradley, who comes off a spotty run with the Chicago Cubs.  Bradley still has considerable talent, however, and is a solid addition to a lineup that didn’t have much pop a year ago.  Though the M’s still lack a big bat in the middle of their lineup, they are the type of team with a lot of talent in their farm system that can possibly lure a guy like Adrian Gonzalez or another slugger around the trading deadline.  With the defending AL West champion Angels losing three of their best players – Vladimir Guerrero, Chone Figgins and John Lackey – it appears the division is up for grabs.  With a solid offseason, the M’s appear to be in the best position to make a push for the division and their starting rotation makes them a serious threat to go deep in the playoffs.

Best of the rest: The Detroit Tigers should have been able to beat out the Minnesota Twins a year ago in the AL Central and still have considerable young talent that might be able to get them back to the playoffs.  With a legitimate MVP candidate in Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers are sure to be in the thick of the playoff hunt, even after losing Granderson to the Yankees.  The AL Central champion Twins have a talented lineup with two MVP candidates in Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, making them a dangerous team yet again in 2010.  The Twins also have high hopes for Francisco Liriano, who was once a dominant starter but has barely pitched in the last couple of years due to significant arm issues.

Written by David James. StubHub has sponsored this article. is a great place to get MLB tickets, as well as tickets for other sports teams, theatre performances, concerts and special events.

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