Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. Possibly the NL’s finest pair of first basemen last season now find themselves in the AL, who were already rich with first basemen.
- Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Maybe the best of his generation, the all-around threat has switched leagues and will look to unleash his at and stellar glove work on the already down Mariners and A’s among others.
- Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers. What some call the biggest free agent signing of the offseason, he teams with Miguel Cabrera to form one of the best 3-4 combos since Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Yes, I just went there.
- Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox. The near player-manager is the symbol of consistency on a White Sox team that is shaky, and that’s putting it nicely.
- Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers first baseman might arguably be the best defensive in the game. Hitting for 30 homers and 100 runs batted in a year doesn’t hurt either.
- Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox. It’s hard to call him the third best hitter in the AL since he’s Adrian Gonzalez for pity’s sake, but sadly it’s true. In terms of the whole package at the plate, A-Gon is third behind Pujols and Cabrera.
(It should be noted that Cabrera should be here, but he is currently at third base because of Fielder.)
The Displaced Options-
- Kendrys Morales, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A very good first baseman, after his recovery from injury, he is at DH while the team welcomes Albert Pujols into the fold for the next decade.
- Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. If Trumbo is here, Cabrera probably should be as well, but given the Angels ability to move one of Trumbo or Morales and put the other at DH, it seems he could be back at first base soon.
- Matt Laporta, Cleveland Indians. The centerpiece to the CC Sabathia trade is currently raking at AAA and could be back in Cleveland or in somewhere else if the Tribe feels Casey Kotchman satisfactory.
Former Super Stars Who Have Had Injury Issues-
- Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins. The formerly stated superstar has had his fair share of issues with the injury bug. A return to prominence would benefit him greatly.
Young, Former Top Prospects Yet to Carve out a Niche-
- Justin Smoak, Seattle Mariners. The other big mover in one of the many Cliff Lee trades, Smoak is currently starting at first for the Mariners, but could lose the occasional start to Jesus Montero.
Out of Position Players Moved to First Due to Injury or Other Reasons-
- Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners. The trade equivlent of Michael Pineda, or at least from the M’s and Yankees point of view, could move around the middle of the lineup at either first, DH or behind the dish.
- Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins. Mauer is one of the better 20 players in the league when healthy. I’ll emphasize healthy because he hasn’t been that as of late. Moving to first takes away some of the wear and tear behind the plate.
The Dark Horses-
- Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays. Pena is back in Tampa and if he can hit for average, he could be a bigger force than he already is.
- Casey Kotchman, Cleveland Indians. Kotchman is a wiz defensively. He proved he can hit for average. If the power comes, watch out.
Do you go with the all-around package in Pujols? The Power of Fielder? Who knows? All I know is we are going to have one hell of a vote for the All Star Game.