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Player Rankings: Acquiring minds know best offseason pickups

by | Special to CBSSports.com
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Statistics through Sept. 5

We have short attention spans and even shorter memories. Thus it's not a surprise that we haven't wrested ourselves away from the hot topic of seven minutes ago -- durrr, the Tigers scored 18 runs on Sunday night, so they're officially great at hitting! Durrrrr! -- to see if any of the acquisitions teams made before the 2011 season actually, you know, helped.

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A whole lot of 'em did. We focus on the big-name disasters (Vernon Wells, Adam Dunn) and disappointments (Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth), but there were plenty of under-the-radar moves that registered on the Richter scale. Phil Humber and Dustin Moseley threw well for the White Sox and Padres. Henry Rodriguez was a fine addition to a decent Nationals bullpen, strike-zone hiccups notwithstanding. Even Chris Capuano missed a few bats for the Mets.

The moral of this story is not to freak out when your team misses out on its top free-agency target. There are lots of players and most of them are proficient at baseball. Factor in luck and random variance and miracle stem-cell revivification therapies, and February's filler often ends up as a valued September contributor. God bless baseball's half-free-market economy, right?

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