are starting to stroll into their havens for the next six weeks. Yes, pitchers
and catchers are finally reporting to camp. Spring Training has arrived. Who
will show up early? Who will show up late? Who really cares? It might not feel
like it across the country, but Spring is here!
even with Spring Training upon us, the front offices around the National League
haven't exactly been sitting still, happy with how their rosters look heading
into camp. There's been plenty of movement the past couple weeks. As the locker
rooms in Arizona
begin to crowd, here's the latest and greatest news from around the
- The Diamondbacks added free agent utility outfielder Jeff DaVanon to their
roster. He provided an occasional spark for the Angels in 2003 and 2004, but was
dismal batting .231 with 2 home runs and 15 RBI in 225 at-bats last season.
Still, he adds some depth to the D'Backs bench heading into
- There isn't much brewing in Atlanta.
After 14 straight divisional championships, this very different ball club will
have a lot of eyes on it throughout Spring Training.
- Keeping his record perfect with the Chicago Cubs, General Manager Jim
Hendry avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms with Carlos Zambrano,
the team's most consistent pitcher and inning workhorse the past two years. The
club also signed former Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi to a minor
league contract. Simontacchi missed all of 2005 and most of 2004 dealing with a
shoulder injury, and is yet another low-risk gamble by Hendry on a once-solid
pitcher that is attempting a comeback.
- Former Texas
front office man Wayne Krivsky was named the Reds new General Manager and
brings 30 years of experience to the club. Cincinnati
also made yet another flurry of deals over the course of the past two weeks. The
Reds avoided arbitration with Adam Dunn and agreed to a two-year deal
worth $18.5 million. They also went on to add relief and spot starting pitcher
Mike Gosling to the roster having picked him up on waivers from
Krivsky then went on to sign free agent first baseman Scott Hatteberg.
With Sean Casey donning the black and gold in
the Reds plan on moving Dunn to first base. As a result, Hatteberg probably
won't see as much action as he did in Oakland,
that is unless the Reds get plagued with injuries once
- The Rockies
signed Josh Fogg to a one-year contract. Fogg who won at least 10 games
in each season from 2002-2004, had a rough year in 2005 with the Pirates going
6-11. His lifetime 4.74 ERA leaves some doubt that he'll be able to revert back
to his winning ways in Colorado.
They also added infielder Jamey Carroll to the roster after making a deal
with an infielder-heavy Nationals team.
- There wasn't any player movement in South Florida,
but the Marlins did make some news. San
rounded out the three cities the Marlins have recently been visiting as they
continue hunting for a future home and place where fans will come to see them
play. New manager Joe Girardi also snagged a few headlines issuing a ban
on facial hair. With so many young pups on that depleted roster he shouldn't get
too many complaints.
- Morgan Ensberg and the Astros avoided arbitration agreeing to a
one-year contract worth $3.8 million. Coming off a career year with 36 home runs
and 101 RBI, Ensberg will have to prove 2005 wasn't a fluke if he wants a
mega-contract next season. After a sub par playoff performance when the pressure
was on, he figures to be one of the top candidates to disappoint in
- No big news for the Dodgers, but it should be noted that free agent pitcher
and former Dodger Jeff Weaver jumped ship from the National League and
crossed town to join the Angels.
- Center fielder Brady Clark agreed to a two-year contract with the
Brewers and looks to build on a career year in 2005 when he netted 599 at-bats
while hitting .306 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI. The Brewers also re-signed
starting pitcher Tomo Ohka, avoiding arbitration. Ohka had an impressive
2005 campaign, as well. After joining the Brewers in June with a 4-3 record in
Ohka went on to start 20 games for the Brewers posting a 7-6 record, including
one complete game shutout.
- There's no city bigger than New
to play baseball in and get attention. So it should come as no surprise that
Jose Lima signed a minor league contract with the Mets. You can almost be
guaranteed you'll see Lima Time pitching for the Mets at some point in 2006.
Cardinal fans just hope they don't have to see it and relive that 2004 Division
Series loss to the Dodgers.
- The Phillies added Alex S. Gonzalez to their roster joining Abraham Nunez in the club's pool of utility infielders. This undoubtedly places
extra pressure on third baseman David Bell to produce and live up to his
- All's quiet in Pittsburgh.
The city has been a little busy celebrating that little thing they call a Super
Bowl Championship. Maybe they should start asking Ben Roethlisberger if
he can pitch?
– Like a conservative world conqueror in the game of Risk, General
Manager Walt Jocketty is still flying under the radar, limiting his
player movement and keeping everyone guessing.
- No news in San Diego. The
club is still reeling after picking up Mike Piazza and preparing to host
the World Baseball Classic. Question: if they go to extra innings in the
championship game, will Commissioner Bud Selig call the final game a
- There wasn't any notable player movement in San
The club did announce, though, that their stadium will be renamed to
this coming March.
- The Nats went out and signed free agent first baseman and catcher Matthew
LeCroy to a one-year contract. LeCroy gives the Nationals more options and
another bat with some pop on the bench. The club also went to an arbitration
hearing with the recently acquired Alfonso Soriano. Though Soriano lost
the case, he still landed a $10 million contract, setting a new record for
arbitration hearings. And in most recent news, Sammy Sosa turned down the
Nationals' latest offer and appears to be retiring after an incredible career
but disappointing final two years – more on this one from me
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