Around the NL West: 1/7

The NL West has been nothing short of a yawn for the past week. However, there have been a few significant moves, but each team in this division is still lacking something to make them the best in the NL West. Here's a look at how this division performed in the recent weeks

Arizona Diamondbacks:
The Dbacks have not made any significant moves recently. If Shea Hillenbrand decides to re-sign with the Dbacks, he will become the 11th, and probably last, significant signing for Arizona this winter. The Dbacks are still hoping to land a back-up middle infielder, and a right fielder in the free agent market. Star left fielder, Luis Gonzalez, is still on rehabilitation from a left elbow injury, but is not expected to miss any of the season. Gonzalez was expected to be throwing by the first of January, but is now scheduled to start throwing in mid-January. The other Gonzalez, Edgar Gonzalez, has a 2-1 record with 15 strikeouts and only two walks in eighteen innings for Hermosillo. E. Gonzalez will be competing for a spot on the opening day roster.

Colorado Rockies:
The Rockies were close to signing SS, Royce Clayton, to replace the traded Juan Uribe. Another infielder the Rockies are interested in is Damian Jackson. Jackson will give them a quality substitute, as well as a back-up center fielder, where Preston Wilson will need to rest. Now that Shawn Chacon will be the Rockies' closer, they need to address needs in their starting rotation. However, this does not solve their bullpen woes. More middle infielders and an extra outfielder are still on Colorado's shopping list. There is a possibility of dealing catcher, Charles Johnson, to free up the payroll.

Los Angeles Dodgers:
Not much has been going on in Southern California, except the issue of who owns the Dodgers. Still, the change in ownership will not effect the Dodgers' offseason, as stated by Dodgers' GM, Dan Evans. It is highly possible that the newly acquired Juan Encarnacion will be playing right field for the Dodgers, with Shawn Green voluntarily moving to first base. Besides looking for upgrades over Dave Roberts in center field and Alex Cora at second base, Los Angeles is in dyer need of offense. With Green moving to first base, that will eliminate their hole there, but the Dodgers are still seeking a first baseman just in case.

San Diego Padres:
With the signing of David Wells, the Padres have secured their first four starting pitching spots. New Padres, Sterling Hitchcock and Ismael Valdes, will be competing for that last spot with Kevin Jarvis and Ben Howard. Negotiations with Wells were difficult because the Padres have yet to open the offices in their new ballpark. Wells' guaranteed $1.5 million ($7 million if he makes 35 starts) suited GM, Kevin Towers, better than Greg Maddux's two-year $11 million request. The Padres have finished looking for starting pitchers after Wells, but are still looking for a left-handed reliever. The other thing the Padres are looking for is a center fielder, and they are willing to part with the newly acquired Terrence Long, who will make almost $10 million. San Diego is also listening to offers for Kevin Jarvis and Wiki Gonzalez.

San Francisco Giants:
There has been no Christmas gifts, let alone a New Year's present, from the Giants organization. The Giants have been quiet for a long time, and the only splash they made in the past month was re-signing some bullpen arms. They have three adequate right fielders, where Michael Tucker is looking more and more like the Giants' starting right fielder. With Vladimir Guererro dreams dying, Giants' fans now turn their attention to Greg Maddux to fill in a rotation that has only three legitimate starters, Jason Schmidt, Kirk Rueter, and Jerome Williams. However, Maddux is a longshot, as the Giants insist on being stingy with their money. Not considered as an official hole on the roster, the Giants are still seeking another shortstop to replace Rich Aurilia. Neifi Perez's Gold Glove defense, but incredible lack of offense will not do at all, but the Giants have put themselves in a situation where they have to be really creative if they want to fill their holes in right field, shortstop, and in the pitching rotation.

Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at kwanchino[at]

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