Spring training preview

MIKE RUTSEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

NATIONAL LEAGUE

EAST DIVISION

ATLANTA BRAVES

Record -- 90-72

Cracker Jack Stadium

Celebration City, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: SS Edgar Renteria, C Todd Pratt, RHP Lance Cormier, RHP Oscar Villareal.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Jay Powell, C Johnny Estrada, RHP Kyle Farnsworth, 1B Julio Franco, OF Todd Hollandsworth, RHP Danny Kolb, RHP Jim Brower, 3B Andy Marte, SS Rafael Furcal.

SKINNY: Renteria was on the decline in Boston, can he bounce back in the NL? Still looking for a closer.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Record -- 88-74

Bright House Networks

Field, Clearwater, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: OF Aaron Rowand, RHP Julio Santana, RHP Tom Gordon, RHP Ryan Franlkin, 3B Abraham Nunez, C Sal Fasano, 3B Alex Gonzalez, LHP Arthur Rhodes.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Ugueth Urbina, INF Ramon Martinez, LHP Billy Wagner, OF Michael Tucker, 1B Jim Thome, OF Endy Chavez, RHP Vicente Padilla, RHP Terry Adams, OF Kenny Lofton.

SKINNY: Have not fixed rotation problems. Will OF Bobby Abreu be traded? How much does Gordon have left?

FLORIDA MARLINS

Record -- 83-79

Roger Dean Stadium

Jupiter, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: RHP Joe Borowski, RHP Jesus Delgado, 1B Mike Jacobs, C Miguel Olivio, SS Pokey Reese.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Antonio Alfonseca, SS Alex Gonzalez, RHP Paul Quantrill, RHP Ismael Valdez, RHP Josh Beckett, RHP A.J. Burnett, OF Jeff Conine, 1B Carlos Delgado, 3B Mike Lowell, OF Juan Pierre, LHP Ron Villone, OF Juan Encarcion, RHP Todd Jones., C Paul Lo Duca

SKINNY: After the fire sale will anyone show up? Another youth movement and in the future a probable franchise shift.

NEW YORK METS

Record -- 83-79

Tradition Field

Port St. Lucie, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 2B Bret Boone, 1B Carlos Delgado, 1B Julio Franco, C Paul Lo Duca, RHP Jorge Julio, LHP Billy Wagner, 3B Jose Valentin, 3B.

MAJOR DELETIONS: LHP Felix Heredia, 1B Jose Offerman, C Mike Piazza, OF Gerald Williams, RHP Kris Benson, 2B Miguel Cairo, OF Mike Cameron, RHP Danny Graves, RHP Roberto Hernandez, LHP Kazuhisa Ishii, RHP Branden Looper, 1B Doug Mientkiewicz.

SKINNY: The Mets have plugged holes with the addition of Delgado and Wagner but have they closed the gap on the Braves? Will Carlos Beltran post big numbers with the protection of Delgado?

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Record -- 81-81

Space Coast Stadium

Viera, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 2B Bernie Castro, C Michael DiFelice, RHP Ramon Ortiz, LHP Mike Stanton, OF Michael Tucker, 2B Alfonso Soriano, INF Marlon Anderson.

MAJOR DELETIONS: INF Carlos Baerga, RHP Hector Carrasco, 3B Vinny Castilla, INF Deivi Cruz, LHP John Halama, RHP Esteban Loaiza, 2B Junior Spivey, OF Brad Wilkerson, OF Preston Wilson.

SKINNY: Will Soriano move to the outfield or throw a tantrum? The rotation lacks talent and depth. Will they get a stadium? An owner? Sammy Sosa?

CENTRAL DIVISION

ST.LOUIS CARDINALS

Record -- 100-62

Roger Dean Stadium

Jupiter, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 2B Junior Spivey, RHP Brandon Looper, RHP Sidney Ponson, OF Larry Bigbie, OF Juan Encarnacion, LHP Ricardo Rincon.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Al Reyes, C Einar Diaz, RHP Cal Eldred, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, LHP Ray King, OF John Mabry, OF Larry Walker, RHP Matt Morris, OF Reggie Sanders, RHP Julian Tavarez.

SKINNY: Do they have enough punch without Walker and Sanders? Just what will they get out of Ponson?

HOUSTON ASTROS

Record -- 89-73

Osceola County Stadium

Kissimmee, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: OF Preston Wilson, LHP Trever Miller.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Roger Clemens, INF Jose Vizcaino, RHP Scott Strickland.

SKINNY: Will the Rocket return in May or won't he? Will Jeff Bagwell retire? Did nothing to upgrade lack of power.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Record -- 81-81

Maryvale Baseball Park

Phoenix, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: INF Brent Abernathy, RHP Dave Bush, OF Gabe Gross, 3B Corey Koskie.

MAJOR DELETIONS: INF Russell Branyan, 1B Lyle Overbay, RHP Julio Santana, RHP Gary Glover, INF Wes Helms.

SKINNY: A team on the rise. Can Koskie rebound from dreadful 2005? Will Gross be an everyday player?

CHICAGO CUBS

Record -- 79-83

HoHoKam Park

Mesa, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: LHP Scott Eyre, RHP Bobby Howry, OF Marquis Grissom, OF Jacques Jones, LHP Wade Miller, OF Juan Pierre.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Chad Fox, SS Nomar Garciaparra, OF Jeromy Burnitz, RHP Jon Leicester, RHP Sergio Mitre, OF Corey Patterson.

SKINNY: Is Mark Prior staying or going? Have added speed for power, will it work?

CINCINNATI REDS

Record -- 73-89

Ed Smith Stadium

Sarasota, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: LHP Chris Hammond, LHP Dave Williams, INF Tony Womack, RHP Rick White

MAJOR DELETIONS: INF Luis Lopez, 1B Sean Casey, RHP Joe Valentine, RHP Ramon Ortiz.

SKINNY: Will new management trade one of their outfielders for much-needed pitching help? Will Reds be major player at trade deadline?

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Record -- 67-95

McKechnie Field

Bradenton, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 3B Joe Randa, LHP Damaso Marte, 1B Sean Casey, OF Jeromy Burnitz, RHP Scott Strickland, RHP Johan Bayliss.

MAJOR DELETIONS: 1B Daryle Ward, RHP Rick White, RHP Josh Fogg, LHP Dave Williams, 3B Ty Wiggington, LHP Mark Redman, OF Rob Mackowiak, RHP Jose Mesa.

SKINNY: Just what will they get out of Casey? Have not addressed pitching problems.

WEST DIVISION

SAN DIEGO PADRES

Record -- 82-80

Peoria Stadium

Peoria, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: INF Mark Bellhorn, INF Geoff Blum, RHP Dewon Brazelton, RHP Doug Brocail, OF Mike Cameron, 3B Vinny Castilla, LHP Alan Embree, LHP Shawn Estes, C Todd Greene, C Pete Laforest, C Doug Mirabelli, RHP Chris Young, C Mike Piazza.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Rudy Seanez, 3B Joe Randa, C Miguel Olivo, 2B Mark Loretta, RHP Brian Lawrence, 3B Sean Burroughs, RHP Adam Eaton, 1B Robert Fick, LHP Chris Hammond.

SKINNY: Will the Padres pull off a trade for Boston's David Wells? Can Brazelton find his confidence on the West Coast?

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Record -- 77-85

Tucson Electric Park

Tucson, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 2B Orlando Hudson, RHP Miguel Batista, RHP Orlando Hernandez, OF Chris Young, RHP Luis Vizcaino, INF Damion Easley, RHP Jason Grimsley, OF Eric Byrnes.

MAJOR DELETIONS: SS Royce Clayton, LHP Buddy Groom, 3B Troy Glaus, LHP Shawn Estes, RHP Javier Vazquez, RHP Tim Worrell, SS Sergio Santos, C Kelly Stinnett.

SKINNY: The D-Backs improved their defence but do they have the pitching to contend in the wide-open division?

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Record -- 75-87

Scottsdale Stadium

Scottsdale, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: LHP Steve Kline, OF Steve Finley, RHP Matt Morris, RHP Tim Worrell, INF Jose Vizcaino, 1B Mark Sweeney.

MAJOR DELETIONS: 1B J.T. Snow, LHP Scott Eyre, OF Marquis Grissom. RHP LaTroy Hawkins, 3B Edgar Alfonzo, RHP Brett Tomko.

SKINNY: How healthy is Barry Bonds? Are they too far over the hill? Can "ace" Jason Schmidt bounce back?

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Record -- 71-91

Holman Stadium

Vero Beach, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: SS Nomar Garciaparra, OF Kenny Lofton, 3B Bill Mueller, RHP Danys Baez, C Sandy Alomar, SS Rafael Furcal, RHP Brett Tomko.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Jeff Weaver, RHP Darren Dreifort, C Jason Phillips, OF Milton Bradley, RHP Elmer Dressens, 3B Jose Valentin.

SKINNY: How much does Garciaparra have left? Still need to upgrade starting pitching, offence.

COLORADO ROCKIES

Record -- 67-95

Hi Corbett Field

Tucson, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: LHP Ray King, OF Eli Marrero, RHP Jose Mesa, C Yorvit Torrealba.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Dan Miceli, LHP Bobby Seay, C Todd Greene, OF Larry Bigbie, RHP Jamey Wright.

SKINNY: Did next to nothing to improve their team. Have holes to fill all over the place. Are looking at a 100-loss season.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

EAST DIVISION

NEW YORK YANKEES

Record -- 95-67

Legends Field, Tampa, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 2B Miguel Cairo, CF Johnny Damon, RHP Octavio Dotel, RHP Kyle Farnsworth, LHP Mike Myers, LHP Ron Villone, C Kelly Stinnett

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Kevin Brown, 1B Tino Martinez, DH Ruben Sierra, LHP Alan Embree, RHP Tom Gordon, INF/OF Tony Womack, OF Matt Lawton.

SKINNY: The Yankees drove a stake through Boston's heart by signing CF Johnny Damon and have upgraded their bullpen making them once again the team to beat. Last year they had question marks concerning their rotation and it's more of the same this season.

BOSTON RED SOX

Record -- 95-67

City of Palms Park,

Fort Myers, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: RHP Josh Beckett, C John Flaherty, 2B Mark Loretta, 3B Mike Lowell, RHP Guillermo Mota, RHP Rudy Seanez, 1B J.T. Snow, RHP Julian Tavarez, 3B Andy Marte, OF Coco Crisp, SS Alex Gonzalez.

MAJOR DELETIONS: CF Johnny Damon, 1B Kevin Millar, C Doug Mirabelli, 3B Bill Mueller, 1B John Olerud, SS Edgar Renteria, LHP Mike Stanton, RHP Wade Miller.

SKINNY: The Red Sox performed a complete overhaul of their infield and have to hope that all four players bounce back after dismal 2005 seasons. What to do with Manny? Lost a lot of character and go-to guys but Theo Epstein's back to clean up the mess.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Record -- 80-82

Knology Park, Dunedin, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: RHP A.J. Burnett, LHP B.J. Ryan, 1B Lyle Overbay, 3B Troy Glaus, C Jason Phillips, INF John McDonald, C Bengie Molina.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Dave Bush, 2B Orlando Hudson, 3B Corey Koskie, RHP Miguel Batista, OF Gabe Gross, INF Frank Menechino, C Ken Huckaby.

SKINNY: Just how much does their infield defence suffer with the absence of Hudson and Koskie? Can Eric Hinske play left field? Will Burnett tap into all his potential? Will Gregg Zaun pout over reduced playing time?

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Record -- 74-88

Fort Lauderdale Stadium,

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: RHP Kris Benson, OF Jeff Conine, 1B Kevin Millar, OF Corey Patterson, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, C Ramon Hernandez.

MAJOR DELETIONS: OF Sammy Sosa, OF B.J. Surhoff, RHP Kurt Ainsworth, 1B Rafael Palmeiro, OF Eric Byrnes, RHP Jason Grimsley, LHP B.J. Ryan, RHP Jorge Julio, LHP Steve Kline.

SKINNY: Will Miguel Tejada be a leader or a distraction? Can Benson lead a young rotation? Will Anna Benson be a distraction, period? Can Hawkins replace Ryan as the closer?

TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS

Record -- 67-95

Progress Energy Park

St. Petersburg, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 3B Sean Burroughs, RHP Dan Miceli, C Josh Paul, 3B Ty Wiggington, RHP Chad Harville, RHP Edwin Jackson, INF Russell Branyan.

MAJOR DELETIONS: OF Danny Bautista, 3B Alex Gonzalez, RHP Dannys Baez, RHP Dewon Brazelton, RHP Joe Borowski, C Pete Laforest, LHP Trever Miller, 1B Eduardo Perez.

SKINNY: Will they keep or deal flashy SS Julio Logo? Starting pitching remains a weakness. Will suffer along with their young players.

CENTRAL DIVISION

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Record -- 99-63

Tucson Electric Park

Tucson, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 1B Jim Thome, RHP Javier Vazquez, INF/OF Rob Mackowiak.

MAJOR DELETIONS: INF Geoff Blum, C Raul Casanova, OFAaron Rowand, OF Chris Young, RHP Orlando Hernandez, LHP Damaso Marte, DH Carl Everett, RHP Luis Vizcaino, 1B Frank Thomas.

SKINNY: The White Sox are rock solid and the additions of Thome and Vazquez can only help. The team to beat in the division.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

Record -- 93-69

Chain of Lakes Park

Winter Haven, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: RHP Paul Byrd, C Einar Diaz, OF Todd Hollandsworth, RHP Jason Johnson, 1B Eduardo Perez, INF Andy Marte, INF Lou Merloni, OF Jason Michaels.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Kevin Millwood, RHP Scott Elarton, RHP Bob Howry, OF Juan Gonzalez, OF Coco Crisp, LHP Arthur Rhodes.

SKINNY: The loss of Millwood hurts and raises questions about their rotation. Have not done enough to challenge Chicago.

MINNESOTA TWINS

Record -- 83-79

Hammond Stadium

Fort Myers, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: 3B Tony Batista, 2B Luis Castillo, OF Rondell White, LHP Danny Reyes, DH Ruben Sierra, C Shawn Wooten.

MAJOR DELETIONS: OF Jacques Jones, LHP Terry Mulholland, LHP J.C. Romero, INF Brent Abernathy, RHP Joe Mays.

SKINNY: Lack of offence crippled the Twins in 2005 and the additions of Batista and White do little to fill the gap.

DETROIT TIGERS

Record -- 71-91

Marchant Stadium

Lakeland, Fla.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: RHP Matt Mantei, LHP Kenny Rogers, LHP Bobby Seay, RHP Todd Jones.

MAJOR DELETIONS: OF Bobby Higginson, RHP Jason Johnson, INF John McDonald, OF Rondell White, 2B Fernando Vina.

SKINNY: Kenny Rogers will not bring the Tigers to the promised land. How much longer can Todd Jones be an effective closer?

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Record -- 56-106

Surprise Stadium

Surprise, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: RHP Elmer Dessens, RHP Scott Elarton, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, RHP Joe Mays, 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, LHP Mark Redman, OF Reggie Sanders.

MAJOR DELETIONS: 1B/DH Ken Harvey, RHP Jose Lima, RHP Scott Sullivan, LHP Brian Anderson, RHP D.J. Carrasco, RHP Seth Etherton, OF Terrance Long.

SKINNY: Anything has to be an improvement over last year. Rotation is slightly improved and addition of veterans will help, but the Royals still look like a lock for the basement.

WEST DIVISION

LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM

Record -- 95-67

Tempe Diablo Stadium

Tempe, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: LHP J.C. Romero, RHP Hector Carrasco, 3B Edgar Alfonzo.

MAJOR DELETIONS: C Bengie Molina, RHP Paul Byrd, OF Steve Finley, INF Lou Merloni, RHP Joel Peralta, LHP Jarrod Washburn, LHP Jason Christiansen.

SKINNY: The Angels needed to go and obtain a big bat to take the pressure off Vladimir Guerrero. They didn't do it. How much will they miss Molina?

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Record -- 88-74

Phoenix Municipal

Stadium, Phoenix, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: OF Milton Bradley, RHP Esteban Loaiza, INF Antonio Perez, C Raul Casanova, RHP Matt Roney, DH Frank Thomas.

MAJOR DELETIONS: DH Erubiel Durazo, 1B Scott Hatteberg, C Alberto Castillo, RHP Octavio Dotel.

SKINNY: GM Billy Beane is rolling the dice with two problem children in the acquisitions of Loaiza and Bradley. Will their young players continue to grow?

TEXAS RANGERS

Record -- 79-83

Surprise Stadium

Surprise, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: LHP Brian Anderson, RHP Adam Eaton, RHP Kevin Millwood, OF Brad Wilkerson, RHP Vincente Padilla, RHP Akinori Otsuka.

MAJOR DELETIONS: OF Richard Hidalgo, 1B Greg Colbrunn, C Sandy Alomar, RHP Steve Karsay, RHP Ricardo Rodriguez, LHP Kenny Rogers, 2B Alfonso Soriano, RHP Chris Young, RHP Doug Brocail.

SKINNY: The Rangers are doing a major retooling and hope that the additions of Millwood and Eaton will prop up their annual pitching problems. They still need pitching.

SEATTLE MARINERS

Record -- 69-93

Peoria Sports Complex

Peoria, Ariz.

MAJOR ADDITIONS: C Kenji Jojima, OF Matt Lawton, RHP Kevin Appier, DH Carl Everett, 2B Fernando Vina, LHP, LHP Jarrod Washburn.

MAJOR DELETIONS: RHP Jeff Nelson, 1B Dave Hansen, LHP Fabio Castro, RHP Ryan Franklin, RHP Shigetoshi Hasegawa, SS Pokey Reese, C Dan Wilson.

SKINNY: The big news is the signing of catcher Jojima from Japan. Washburn will help but they still need pitching and are shy of power.


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