As the old Abbott and Costello bit goes, “Who’s on first?”, that may very well be the question this season when it comes to whom might be the American League starting first baseman at the All-Star Game in July. The offseason saw more money flying around than Hugh Hefner has girlfriends.
During the offseason, Albert Pujols was signed for the rest of his life by the Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim, and recently Prince Fielder was signed by the Detroit Tigers for a similar duration of time. Remember that Adrian Gonzalez is at first base for the Red Sox (which happened in the 2010 offseason), and Mark Texiera for the Yankees, and All-Star voting will be very competitive this year. The game will be at Kaufman Stadium (an American League park) so a DH will be used, none the less it will be interesting when the time comes.
The National League first base bag got a lot less crowded this year with Fielder and Pujols changing leagues. Reds first baseman Joey Votto will be the shoe-in come july. He won’t have much competition this year. Other changes around the majors: Miami Marlins star Hanley Ramirez will move from short stop to the hot corner to make way for newly acquired shortstop Jose Reyes. Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera will also move to the hot corner to make way for Fielder at first base. The difference of the two is that Cabrera will have an easier go at it since he is a former third baseman back in his days with the Marlins.
A couple first basemen to watch in the National League are Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs and Yonder Alonso from the Padres. Rizzo was scouted heavily by the San Diego Padres when they were looking to unload Adrian Gonzalez at the end of the 2010 season. Rizzo was acquired in the trade (along with a couple other players) from the Red Sox and Gonzalez found himself in Boston. Then this past offseason the Padres unloaded Rizzo to the Cubs for Andrew Kershner. They also traded pitcher Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds acquiring Alonso in the deal, along with three other players. Both Rizzo and Alonso are touted very highly by all the major league scouts and both are on teams that are rebuilding and could see much playing time in 2012.