Olney On Rays, Quentin, Polanco, Marlins, Darvish

After ranking MLB's best rotations, bullpens, infields, outfields, and lineups in December, ESPN.com's Buster Olney opened up 2012 with his overall power rankings.  The Rays are ranked No. 1 thanks in large part to their outstanding rotation.  This year, Matt Moore joins the mix and Olney writes that the left-hander has the numbers and the ability of Stephen Strasburg without the same level of hype behind him.  Of course, the club still has some issues to address, such as the identity of their first baseman and designated hitter.  However, Olney feels that their pitching makes them the top club in baseball at present.  Here are some highlights from today's column..

  • It's possible that the Padres could negotiate a very team-friendly two- or three-year deal with the Carlos Quentin before arbitration.  However, it's hard to imagine the club investing heavily in the outfielder before gauging how much he can stay on the field and how his power translates to pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
  • The Phillies would still like to find an alternative to the oft-injured Placido Polanco.  In October, skipper Charlie Manuel said that he would be in favor of an upgrade at third base if possible.  The club dangled Polanco in early December when it seemed as if they might lose Jimmy Rollins to free agency and look to sign Aramis Ramirez to play third.
  • The Cubs are talking with a number of teams about Matt Garza, including the Marlins.  A lot of baseball scouts are not wild about the quality and depth of the prospects in Miami's farm system.
  • Yu Darvish is not yet signed with the Rangers, but rival executives don't believe he has much leverage and will eventually work out a deal.

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