Various notes and items from several matters around the league:
The biggest international free agent signing so far this year was setup/closer pitcher R.J. Nunez by the Baltimore Blast. The 18 year old out of the Dominican Republic is projected to have one of the best fastballs in the game and a very good slider. He was signed for a $12 mil bonus and has been playing in Low A. In a few years when he is ready for the bigs he should anchor the bullpen of the young and rebuilding Blast for years to come.
There have been a flurry of trades this season so far, only about a month in, with more being projected. Teams are unloading older and expensive vets to teams with good farm systems, trying to get younger. Other teams are seeking pitching help and looking for older players who can still help a playoff hope. A major trade between Detroit and Seattle is in the works now, according to reports, and we may see more in the weeks to come.
Records of the teams so far this year have been surprising. 32 games in, in three out fo four of the AL divisions there are two very good teams fighting for the best record. Milwaukee and New Britain are leading the AL North with a 22-9 and 20-11 record respectfully. Trenton leads the AL East with a 24-8 record, the best in the MLB, and Chicago is right behind them with a 23-8 record. Memphis leads the AL South with a 21-10 record and Charlotte is two games back. The surprise has been the AL West, where Oakland currently leads with a disapointing 15-16 record and Kansas City two games behind them.
Things are even worse in the NL. Three out four divions here have teams with winning records leading here, like in the AL, but the numbers are not as good. Portland leads the NL North with a 17-14 record, St. Louis right behind them by one game, and the other two teams just one game behind that. Iowa is the best team in the NL East with a 20-12 record and Buffalo two games behind. In the NL South there is no team with a winning record, as Louisville and El Paso are tied with a 14-17 record. The best team in the NL is in the NL West, where Las Vegas leads with a 20-11 record.
Experts are surprised at how 'average' and muddled the teams seem to be this year in most of the divisions and are not sure the reasons for it. Hopefully things will improve as the season is hardly a month old, however, bets are allready being made that there will be no 100 win teams this year.