When huskypride2 took over to manage the New York Brokers last season, they were the definition of mediocre. The Brokers had a lone playoff appearance in their history and only once had finished above 3rd place in the division. Following an aggressive offseason in which the team was rebuilt catastrophically stemming from blockbuster trades and massive FA signings, the Brokers shocked the league winning 94 games and the division. Although the team’s fairy tale run ended at the hands of the eventual champion Colorado Stickballers in the ALDS, the league has taken notice of this force to be reckoned with.
Playing at Yankee Stadium, the Brokers philosophy towards pitching is focusing on all around good ones; those who can not only get out hitters on both sides of the plate, but can do so with above average command. Although the team finished with a 4.24 ERA last season, second in the AL, ownership believed upgrades were needed and they were made. Ageing Rico Ramirez was shown the door and is being replaced by the Brokers biggest FA acquisition, Cody Harding. This 4 time All-Star and Season 3 Cy Young winner is only 28 years old and looks to be the ace of the rotation for at the very least, 5 seasons. Also brought in via trade from the Stickballers is 36 yr old relief pitcher Rex Harris. Harris is the leagues all time leader in saves with 201, but will serve strictly as a setup man with his new team. Even at his advanced age, the Brokers look for him to be a great 8th inning set up man to fan favorite closer 23 yr old Dizzy Reynolds. With a remarkable 41 saves and a .172 OAV in a phenomenal rookie season, Reynolds has the potential to go down as the best closer in league history.
On offense, the Brokers were a machine scoring 894 runs, fourth in the league. Many of those runs came on the long ball, where the team finished second. 27 yr old 1B Howard Hughes led the way on offense batting .335 with 42 home runs and 138 RBIs along with 29 yr old LF Cesar Aguilar who smashed a team high 44 home runs. The starting lineup has little speed with the exception of leadoff man and starting 27 yr old RF York Williams, and have high hopes that 28 yr old 2B Chad Workman, the expected number two hitter, can bounce back after a disappointing first season in New York. Keep an eye on rookie 3B 23 yr old Geraldo Estrada. Acquired in a trade with the Richmond Rug Rats this offseason, the kid has the tools to be an all star for many seasons to come.
The only real concern for the Brokers this upcoming season is depth. Although the rotation has a tremendous starting five and the offense is loaded #1-9, if a decent amount of injuries occur, the team will most likely be in trouble. If they stay healthy though, there is no legitimate reason to why this team should not be playing deep into the postseason.