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Royals intend to bounce back from 2009.

   Brian Fuentes saved 5 games in the last week for Kansas City. He's a rock for the Royals bullpen this season that is pitching well. And the bullpen has had a lot of work as the starting five in KC land is starting out slow. The starters for the Royals have the worst combined ERA of all 30 teams in the BCBL.

   The Royals finished 2009 at the bottom of the AL Central and faced losing solid starter Tim Hudson to free agency. Looking at the crop of free agent pitchers as well as profiting over $20m last season, GM Tom Hickman brought out the check book this last off-season. By signing last seasons AL Cy Young runner up, Roy Halladay to a 6 year, $108m contract, a statement was made: KC intends to improve.

   The middle infield is anchored by shortstop sensation, Hanley Ramirez and veteran 2B Dan Uggla. So solidifying the starting staff was a significant upgrade. Halladay was quite an upgrade. After a month in, he's starting slow. But he should be able to right the ship.

   The bullpen features change up artist, Wade LeBlanc (4-0, 3.38 era), setupman Brian Wilson (0-0, 2.45 era), and the previously mentioned (and pictured) Brian Fuentes (0-1, 1.08 era, 0.60 whip, 6 saves). Also hot of late is the previously mentioned Hanley Ramirez, who's batting .452 in his last twelve games, and have 7 multi-hit games in his last 10.

Spring Training 2010!

   Spring Training is coming to a close. Just a few games left until Opening Day. One thing is certain: the OOTP X engine will treat most players the same... but a few will be "energized" and a few will be all but retired early.

   Any predictions? Will Milton Bradley (or anyone for that matter) measure up to 109 VORP again? Will anyone meet or surpass 50 HR? Will we have our first 20 game winner? Will Cleveland's reign in the AL Central be tested by the busy off-seasons of Minnesota or Kansas City?

   It's anyone's guess, but enjoy the meaningless last few games of spring tonight, because this Saturday the games that count will begin, and 2010 will bring the BCBL back to the glory days ONLY if you get involved. The addition of StatsLab should add to some healthy debates as GM's twist the numbers and even graphs to show they are the team to beat.

   GO get 'em boys!

Albert Pujols signs a record deal!

  The man, the first baseman, the hitter: Albert Pujols is in a league of his own now. At least when it comes to guaranteed money. The Yankees have signed Pujols to a 7 year deal that guarantees him $194 million dollars. With a no trade clause added in to keep in in Yankee pinstripes he comes back to New York after leaving for free agency.

  "No one else was giving my agent the respect he's due," said Albert's agent in a phone conversation with ESBN radio. "He going to surpass the 400 HR mark in 2010 before his 31st birth day. By the end of this contract he could hit 250 dingers by the end of this contract that puts him right in line with the record."

  The BCBL record for career HR is Ken Griffey Jr. But 'Junior' was limited to just 3 longballs last season in Oakland. His tally could come to an end as rumors say 2010 is his last season before retirement barring any break-thru's.

  And the news for Yankee fans continued all week long and other hitters were added to the roster. 1B/DH Mike Jacobs signed a 3 year deal for almost $2 million and DH David Ortiz signed a 3 year $18 million deal with the final year being a mutual option.

The Free Agent flood-gates are open!

   The players have filed and teams are starting to send in offers as the fax machines in agent offices all over the country are going through more paper than the IRS. This years free agent crop is huge as new rules regarding free agent compensation surely played to many players not being offered deals.

   Even worse, many players plan to get paid. Although the news wire reports that at least 8 players are asking for over $20 million a season, can the market stand such a addition to overall payroll? That remains to be seen.

   Hows this for a laundry list of talent: Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, Jayson Werth, Mark Teixiera, Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Lee, Tim Hudson, Roy Halladay, and Scott Downs. And the list goes on and on.

   Good luck and happy bidding!

Wieters wins ROY, other awards announced too.

  As if it was even a question, Toronto catcher, Matt Wieters picked up the AL Rookie of the Year award. Blue Jays GM, Josh Andrews was not available for comment, but there's no doubt he's going to be enjoying his young and skilled team of quality prospects for many years to come. SP Tommy Hanson will most certainly bounce back from his rookie trial in 2009 and SP Andrew Brackman should not be that far behind joining him.

  But let's not stray too far off subject. Wieters is THE premier young catcher in the BCBL. In fact, many reports have him as the #1 catcher in the league. In 2009 he posted a .314 batting average, 39 HR, and 107 RBI. Great numbers for any veteran player. He did so for a team who's pitching staff struggled most of the season, aside from all-star SP Matt Cain.

  In the coming seasons, you should probably expect most of Wieters numbers to stay about the same except for his batting average. Matt Wieters has the potential to be a .330 life time hitter.

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