If you are more than a casual baseball fan the one site you should subscribe too is Baseball Prospectus. BP contains the most thorough, intelligent baseball analysis on the web. Baseball Prospectus'annual publication and podcasts are essential to all baseball fans that are looking for a deeper understanding of the game. I don't always agree with what is published by BP, but it is always an interesting read.
In his Hit and Run column today, BP writer Jay Jaffe gives his view of the American League Central. To read the entire article requires a subscription, but Jaffe characterizes the Royals off season and 2009 club as "the good, the bad, and the ugly." Taking the same view as me, Jaffe rates the trade for Coco Crip as good and the signing of Mike Jacobs and Willie Bloomquist as ugly.
Jaffe nails it when he describes Jacobs as an "OBP-challenged, defensively inept first basemen." He goes on to say first basemen like Jacobs "don't just grow on trees, they grow like weeds in Triple-A-sized ditches across the land, and at least when you pluck those weeds, they're not arbitration eligible."
But Jaffe saved his most astute observation for the Willie Bloomquist signing. "We've made an off-color joke at his [Bloomquist] expense before, but at least the Mariners weren't paying free-agent prices for the privilege of catching the disease, whereas the Royals are: $3.1 million over two years for a guy whose contribution can be equaled by just about anyone in the phone book." Jaffe won't get any argument from me, or anyone else that understands baseball, about his analysis of the Bloomquist signing.