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MLB Hot Stove: 10 Winners and Losers After the Latest MLB Moves

Despite the fact that pitchers and catchers report in less than a month, there is still plenty developing and remaining to be decided for a number of teams across Major League Baseball.

Players are still out there looking for jobs, and general managers are still trying to fill in holes via a key free agent signing or trade. 

This week saw some big names catching on with new teams, so now is as good a time as ever to take a step back and try to rank some offseason winners and losers based on the moves they did or didn’t make during the Hot Stove season.

It’s obviously true that games and championships are not won during baseball’s offseason, but the restructuring and maneuvering of teams can have a huge impact.

I’ll go over 10 teams that improved, while also covering 10 teams that digressed during baseball’s offseason, and get you primed on what to expect for the new faces in new places across Major League Baseball.

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MLB Free Agents: Projecting the 20 Best Bargains on the Hot Stove Market

Most of the Hot Stove headlines in Major League Baseball will go to the big-ticket free agents that have landed on the open market. Prudent teams, however, can often make major improvements to their rosters by targeting less-heralded players in free agency.

Given the big-money nature of MLB salaries in the 21st century, it’s hard to argue that any free agent signing is a true bargain, but when looking at players from a cost-to-production perspective, second-tier free agents can frequently pay big dividends.

While the focus will undoubtedly be on the negotiations teams hold with Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth and Adam Dunn, there are a myriad of other options more cost-conscious teams should explore during this 2010 free agent season.

Here I’ll go through 20 players who will fly under the Hot Stove radar, but could be bargain producers for teams in the 2011 season. This only covers a subjective sampling on my part, but be sure to chime in if you think a potential bargain signing was overlooked.

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NLCS 2010: San Francisco Giants Hold On, Win Game 1 4-3

The San Francisco Giants have jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series, riding two key Cody Ross home runs as well as strong pitching from Tin Lincecum and two relievers to a 4-3 victory in Philadelphia.

The Phillies’ ace Roy Halladay took a step back from his no hit performance in the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds, surrendering 4 runs in 7 innings of work.

Pat Burrell drove in a run with a two-run double, as did Juan Uribe, who chipped in an RBI single for the visiting Giants.

San Francisco will send left handed starter Jonathan Sanchez to the mound in Game 2, and he’ll go up against mid-season import Roy Oswalt for the Phillies, who will be looking to even the series at 1 before heading to San Francisco.

ALCS 2010 and NLCS 2010: Lineups, Live Updates from Saturday’s Pivotal Games

Both halves of the Major League Baseball championship series will be taking place today, with the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers squaring off in Game 2 of their series in Arlington, while the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies open the NLCS at Citizens Bank Park in Philly.

The Yankees staged a stunning comeback against the Rangers in Game 1 and will be looking to head back to the Bronx with a 2-0 series lead. Meanwhile in the junior circuit, fans are hotly anticipating two of the league’s best pitching staffs going head-to-head in what should be a tense NLCS.

Keep it here for all your critical MLB playoff updates. We’ll bring you the starting lineups for all four teams, a look at the pitching matchups and live in-game updates as the drive towards the Fall Classic continues for the four remaining teams.

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