The top-ranked player to be moved (in fact, the second-top-ranked player anywhere, according to MLB.com) is Albert Pujols, who became the Angels' new first baseman. He's predicted to be the AL West's MVP by SI, even though he had career lows in 3 of the 4 major rate stats last year. The scout that covers the Angels in the magazine seems to think signing Pujols assures them a spot in the playoffs, even giving them the chance to "win a World Series or two." His new teammate C.J. Wilson is the third highest-ranked player on this roster at 51. The left-handed converted closer was the Rangers' ace last season, but he'll pitch third in a strong Angels rotation led by Jered Weaver and Dan Haren. (The SI scout pegs Wilson as the 4th best pitcher on the team, but I can't imagine either Ervin Santana or Jordan Walden ranked above him.)
The player ranked between the two best newest Angels will be the AL's DH: Prince Fielder (the AL Central's projected MVP). Acquired by the Tigers when it became apparent that Victor Martinez would miss the whole season, he's primed to continue his upward trend hitting behind Miguel Cabrera, and also based on how good his bat speed has looked this spring. Another DH candidate is the AL West's "Rookie to Watch" Jesus Montero. Ideally Montero would catch for this squad, cuz he has no other spot in the lineup, but he apparently has big problems with his footwork behind the plate. The AL's next-best hitter, 1B Carlos Pena, who returns to the Rays, also has no spot in the lineup, and will have to be content with sitting at third on the depth chart.
The AL's next-best pitcher was the centerpiece of the Montero trade, sophomore Michael Pineda. For the sake of my fantasy team, I'm hoping he'll pick up where his dominant rookie campaign left off, but there's doubts as to whether his 260 lb. frame and inconsistent delivery can support his 96 mph fastball and nasty breaking ball. His new teammate, Hiroki Kuroda, joins him in this All-Acquired rotation. According to SI's scout, Kuroda has 5 strong pitches: a fastball at 92-93, a good hard cutter, a split, a curve, and a slider - in other words, if you're pitching as him in a PS3 videogame, you'd better be prepared to get familiar with the R1 button.
Between that set of teammates in the rotation is Japanese import - and the AL West's "Star on the Rise" - Rangers new ace Yu Darvish. He's 6'5" and 215, but he throws an assortment of pitches in addition to throwing hard. The guy who should be closing out a fair amount of victories for Darvish, Joe Nathan, joins him in this pitching staff, but the former Twin will play second fiddle in the bullpen to former Athletic Andrew Bailey. The SI scout predicts that Bailey and new setup man Mark Melancon will do a good job replacing Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard (who moves to the rotation) for the Red Sox, but you can never be sure how playing in Boston's pressure-cooker of an environment will affect any player's performance. Their third closer in the bullpen will be Sergio Santos, the second-year closer who moved from the White Sox to the Blue Jays, and who will hopefully rack up a few saves for my fantasy team.
The AL's entire starting outfield is linked to the Athletics in one way or another. Josh Willingham signed with the Twins after proving he can hit a lot of home runs in the pitcher friendly Oakland Coliseum in 2011. The A's traded with the Rockies for Seth Smith and signed Yoenis Cespedes out of Cuba (who has already contributed to the A's first win (and my first Fantasy home run) a couple days ago in Japan). Guys like Jamey Carroll and Nick Punto have a chance to spend a lot of time all over this infield, especially given that their starting 3B is slated to spend 2012 DH'ing with the Orioles (although I have a feeling he might spend some significant time at the hot corner due to Mark Reynolds's shaky defense).
Overall, the rankings of the entire projected lineup as it might appear in the pages of SI's preview issue (9 position players including DH, 2 bench, 5 starting pitchers, and 2 relief pitchers) add up to 3537. Lower numbers are better, since we're dealing with rankings, but I'll have no idea how this number compares to the NL team until I crunch some more numbers. Until then, try to enjoy the next 4 baseball-less days that we have to endure after we got our first brief, sweet taste of MLB 2012.