The American League is a much tougher league to pitch in than the National League. The DH alone makes this true. But the talent pool in the AL is much deeper than in the NL, too, in my opinion.
What's the point? Well, rumors are circulating about guys like Juan Cruz, Brandon Lyon, and now Trevor Hoffman getting interest from Detroit. And sure, ANY help for the bullpen is appreciated, but I'm nervous about bringing over NL guys to pitch in the AL for the first time and expecting them to put up numbers similar to what they did in the NL...especially if we drop a load of cash on them. Very few guys switch to the AL without bumps in the road. Scott Linebrink was an exception for the White Sox last year. He came over from San Diego and put up close to identical numbers as he had with the Padres. It also helps that the White Sox are the luckiest team in baseball due to Ozzie Guillen's close association with Satan. But look at some of these differences in performance..
The two big trades last year:
CC Sabathia, Cleveland Indian: 6-8, 3.83 ERA, Fat Guy with crooked hat.
CC Sabathia, Milwaukee Brewer: 11-2, 1.65 ERA, Mayor of Milwaukee.
Rich Harden, Oakland A: 5-1, 2.34 ERA
Rich Harden, Chicago Cub: 5-1, 1.77 ERA
How about some guys you may remember from Detroit?
Chad Durbin, Detroit '07: 8-7, 4.72 ERA
Chad Durbin, Philly '08: 5-4, 2.87 ERA
Jason Grilli, Detroit '07: 5-3, 4.74 ERA in 51 games
Jason Grilli, Colorado '08: 3-3, 3.00 ERA in 60 games
Just what we needed...another reason to hate Jason Grilli.
The NL is just an easier place to pitch. Latroy Freakin' Hawkins stunk up Yankee Stadium last year going 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA in 33 games. He heads to Houston and becomes Mariano Rivera going 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in 24 games.
Again, anything is better than 2008's poor excuse of a bullpen. I just think our money'd be better spent with an AL free agent or two like Darren Oliver or Dennys Reyes. At least we'd have a better idea of what we were getting that way.
Or do you want another one of these?