Talking Points: Early ranking on recruiting classes

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1

Six Pac-12 schools are ranked in bleacherreport.com's top 25 college football recruiting rankings heading into the home stretch.

The site rates Stanford's commits at No. 16, UCLA's at No. 18, USC's at No. 20, Oregon's at No. 21, Arizona State's at No. 22 and Arizona's at No 26.

Scout.com sees it a bit differently, but not much. Scout rankings are No. 12 Arizona State, No. 16 Arizona, No. 23. Southern Cal, No. 24 UCLA and No. 25 Stanford.

Scout ranks the rest of the Pac-12 as follows: No. 26 Oregon, No. 50 Cal, No. 53 WSU, No. 56 OSU and No. 64 Washington.

2

The signing of former Seattle Mariners outfielder-DH Raul Ibanez by the Angels is considered a bit of a coup for a playoff-aspiring team who find themselves in something of a crash crunch.

The contacts of Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols total a combined $205.6 million during the next four years.

At age 41, Ibanez is a risk, but not much of one at $2.75 million, plus incentives. He's penciled in for fairly regular work as a designated hitter.

Ibanez is viewed as a much safer signee than Kendrys Morales or Nelson Cruz would have been.

3

Surprisingly, many sites on the blogosphere think the Seattle Mariners have upgraded enough to have a winning season in 2014.

The projected lineup is CF Dustin Ackley, 3B Kyle Seager, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Corey Hart, 1B Justin Smoak, LF Logan Morrison, RF Michael Saunders, C Mike Zunino and SS Brad Miller.

The more-or-less consensus is that the M's slot in at about No. 20 in the rankings of the 30 MLB teams.

They still figure to finish fourth behind Los Angeles, Texas and Oakland in the AL West.