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Monday, December 10
Santa Barbara Outlaws

2001 record:
89-73 (.549); 2nd place in AL West
Lost AL Wild Card Series to Plaza in 7 games

Major additions:
SS Omar Vizquel, OF Tim Salmon, LHP Ted Lilly, 2B Brent Abernathy

Major loses:
2B Delino Deshields, OF Ellis Burks, RHP Orlando Hernandez, 3B Robin Ventura, RHP John Burkett

2001 Review:
Santa Barbara appeared in the BRASSball playoffs for the third consecutive season. Instead of coming intothe playoffs as AL West divisional champions as they had in the prior two years, though, the team’s 89-win season earned them only a second-place finish and a wild card berth in 2001. In the playoffs, Santa Barbara lost a tough seven-game AL Wild Card series to the Plaza Lions to end their season.

Key batters were 2B Delino Deshields (.327, 114 R, 51 SB), CF Carl Everett (.321, 41 HR, 127 RBI) and OF Garret Anderson (.312, 42 HR, 122 RBI). Leading the pitching staff were RHP Bartolo Colon (16-8, 4.55 ERA, 210 K) and RHP Robb Nen (62 IP, 2.04 ERA, 50 SV).

2002 Outlook:
Recognizing that the team is beginning to show its age, Santa Barbara pulled off three major off-season trades aimed at reinvigorating this team and looking to the future.

First, the team sent 36-year-old pitcher John Burkett and a 2002 4th round draft pick to the Stanley Sioux for LHP Ted Lilly, 1B Wes Helms and Stanley’s 4th round draft pick in 2003. This trade should prove a coup for Santa Barbara, as they received two top prospects for Burkett, who is an aging pitcher unlikely to ever contribute meaningfully to a BRASSball team again (6-10, 6.88 ERA in 2001).

Next, the Outlaws traded veterans 3B Robin Ventura, OF Ellis Burks, and LHP John Rocker to Morris for OF Tim Salmon and 2B prospect Brent Abernathy. While essentially a salary dump for Santa Barbara, the move will also help the Outlaws on the field. Salmon will fill in easily for Burks in the middle of the lineup, while Abernathy should provide the team with a long-term solution at second base. This is vital following the loss of free agent 2B Delino Deshields, who the Outlaws lost to Metropolis for a shockingly small contract given Deshields’ brilliant 2001 campaign.

And finally Santa Barbara traded RHP Orlando Hernandez to the Morris Monarchs in a move that was clearly a salary dump, as the team received nothing but cash considerations in return.

Another sign that Santa Barbara is beginning to look to the future was its relative calm in the free agent market. Santa Barbara’s only major free agent addition was SS Omar Vizquel, who will take over for Mike Benjamin and the retired Walt Weiss. Unfortunately, though, Vizquel will be hard-pressed to replace the loss of Deshields, who was the spark that ignited the 2001 Santa Barbara lineup.

More than ever, then, the Outlaws will rely on their pitching. Studs Bartolo Colon and Darren Dreifort remain, but should one of them falter the team’s rotation could be weak. The team does still possess perhaps the best bullpen in the league, featuring not only relief ace Robb Nen but also RHP Danny Graves, LHP Arthur Rhodes and RHP Byung-Hyun Kim.

For the first time since 1998, the Santa Barbara Outlaws may be on the outside looking in come playoff time. But with prospects and a large bankroll in place, the team is setting itself up for a successful future.

Projected lineup
SS Omar Vizquel
3B Aaron Boone
CF Carl Everett
RF Raul Mondesi
LF Garret Anderson
DH Tim Salmon
C Javy Lopez
1B Wes Helms
2B Geoff Blum

Bartolo Colon
Darren Dreifort
Doug Davis
Matt Clement
Ted Lilly

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