Given an offseason that has seen notable player and manager migration, this seemed a good time to break out a special holiday edition of our power rankings.
Just kidding about the Nick Johnson part, but every Christmas list should have a St. Nick.
Here's how they'd rate if the 2011 season were to start today (With 2010 records and late regular-season rankings):
3. San Francisco Giants (92-70; Previous: 7) – Team officials are currently designing championship rings, expected to hold diamonds to symbolize the field they play on, sapphires to represent the Bay, and rubies to honor Aubrey Huff's(notes) thong.
4. New York Yankees (95-67; Previous: 1) – After a dry run in Connecticut, GM Brian Cashman dons a camouflage elf costume and repels into the Pettitte compound.
5. Minnesota Twins (94-68; Previous: 2) – The Twins were shocked to learn the Metrodome roof caves in during months other than October.
6. Atlanta Braves (91-71; Previous: 5) – Looks like Kenshin Kawakami(notes) won't be in Atlanta again, meaning he'll have to vacate the house that once belonged to a rapper. Proving, once again, you can take the pitcher out of the mansion, but you can't take the Lil' Bow Wow out of the pitcher.
7. Cincinnati Reds (91-71; Previous: 6) – Fans get a huge winter scare: relieved GM Walt Jocketty stirs when poked by a stick.
8. Oakland Athletics (81-81; Previous: 13) – A's fail to sign Beltre in 2009, then again in 2010, withdraw latter offer in exchange for Beltre dropping the restraining order.
10. Texas Rangers (90-72; Previous: 9) – Rangers fail to sign Lee, state demands cowboy boots back. And spurs. Hat. Pitch to Renteria.
11. Tampa Bay Rays (96-66; Previous: 4) – Gutted by free agency, the Rays restart small-market life cycle, wonder if Greg Vaughn might be available.
12. Colorado Rockies (83-79; Previous: 10) – Tulo's contract makes the roster depth dicey in coming years; Rockies consider petitioning the league to close right field, play pitcher's hand.
13. St. Louis Cardinals (86-76; Previous: 14) – In preparation for Pujols' walk year, the Cards are replacing Salvation Army kettles with Salvation Albert kiosks.
14. Chicago White Sox (88-74; Previous: 12) – Manager Ozzie Guillen was surprised to hear the White Sox offered to trade him to Florida. But, you know, you can't trade the whole team. GM Kenny Williams knows. He's tried.
15. Toronto Blue Jays (85-77; Previous: 15) – The Yankees shouldn't feel so bad – the Jays didn't get Greinke either. So, there's that.
16. Florida Marlins (80-82; Previous: 18) – Manager Edwin Rodriguez on the Ozzie rumors: "If I don't do my job, it could be Ozzie. But, if I do my job, I'm pretty sure good things might happen." How do you not root for a guy like that? And how do you not give that guy more than one year?
17. Detroit Tigers (81-81; Previous: 16) – Ordonez proves his ankle's health on a dance floor. Ilitch cuts in with $10 million.
18. Los Angeles Dodgers (80-82; Previous: 22) – The McCourts are moving closer to a settlement – problem now is, neither wants a bullpen.
19. Los Angeles Angels (80-82; Previous: 19) – The Angels once spent 40 years trying to be the Dodgers. It seems now they're closer than ever.
20. San Diego Padres (90-72; Previous: 8) – O-Dog agrees to play at Petco Park, the best meeting of man and stadium since Glen Hobbie pitched at Sportsman's Park.
21. New York Mets (79-83; Previous: 20) – Alderson's reportedly waiting for pitching prices to drop and also hopes to get in early on that Microsoft IPO.
22. Chicago Cubs (75-87; Previous: 21) – It's finally next year for the Cubs. Well, it will be in about a week. Course, it's everybody else's next year too, which makes it not as special.
23. Arizona Diamondbacks (65-97; Previous: 28) – The cash-strapped Diamondbacks owners are thrilled with new GM Kevin Towers, who told them he traded away Mark Reynolds(notes) and saved the club at least 100K. They misunderstood.
24. Baltimore Orioles (66-96; Previous: 23) – We'll take a wild guess here: O's will finish somewhere behind the Yankees and Red Sox.
25. Houston Astros (76-86; Previous: 17) – The Astros have endured consecutive losing seasons, their payroll has been cut and they are for sale. In Texas, I think, this is referred to as having all hat and no chance.
26. Washington Nationals (69-93; Previous: 26) – The Nats were snubbed by Lee, but land Wang, and can't help but wonder why the whole town is leaning right.
27. Seattle Mariners (61-101; Previous: 29) – Wedge and Bradley bury the hatchet. Milton buys metal detector and shovel.
28. Cleveland Indians (69-83; Previous: 27) – Choo learns he must serve two years of hard, lonely duty on the front lines of a hopeless, never-ending battle; on the bright side, he received a South Korean military waiver.
29. Kansas City Royals (67-95; Previous: 24) – The Royals trade away Greinke for prospects: Grim, Dour, Bleak and Dim.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates (57-105; Previous: 30) – Hoping to clear a daunting .500 barrier for the first time in a generation, the Bucs go literal and hire Hurdle.
- Nick Johnson
- New York Yankees