MLB Insider: NL Winter Meetings Preview

With teams preparing for the Winter Meetings in New Orleans, <i></i> takes a look at what the Phillies may be looking to add. Plus, we take a division by division look at the other National League teams to see who will be looking to buy and who will be looking to sell when the meetings get underway.


The Diamondbacks will try to fine-tune their rosters with middle infielders and a starter at the back end of their rotation.

ARRIVALS: 1B Richie Sexson (trade with Milwaukee), LHP Casey Fossum and RHP Brandon Lyon (trade with Boston), LHP Shane Nance (trade with Milwaukee) LHP Jesse Orosco (free agent from Minnesota).

DEPARTURES: RHP Curt Schilling (traded to Boston), INF Craig Counsell and Junior Spivey (traded to Milwaukee), LHPs Chris Capuano and Jorge De La Rosa (traded to Boston), C Chad Moeller (traded to Milwaukee), 1B Lyle Overbay (traded to Milwaukee), LHP Dennys Reyes (signed with Kansas City), 1B Mark Grace (retired, will serve as team broadcaster).

BIGGEST NEEDS: A veteran starter would be welcomed at the back end of the rotation, but the Diamondbacks probably won't tender more than a minor league contract.

FREE AGENTS: RHP Miguel Batista, RF Raul Mondesi, LHP Mike Myers.
The Diamondbacks are in payroll-cutting mode and are shedding these salaries.

IN LIMBO: RHP Matt Mantei ($7 million) was being shopped but remains a question because of his sore right shoulder.

MEDICAL WATCH: LF Luis Gonzalez (right elbow tear) started a strength program but won't start throwing until January. C Rod Barajas (left wrist surgery) was cleared to start workouts and should be ready by spring training. INF Matt Kata (hip fracture) was cleared to resume workouts and should be ready by spring training. OF Luis Terrero (surgery to stop a blood clot in his left arm) should be ready by spring training.


ARRIVALS: 2B Aaron Miles (trade from Chicago White Sox), LHP Alex Herrera (waiver claim from Cleveland), 3B Vinny Castilla (free agent from Atlanta).

DEPARTURES: SS Juan Uribe (traded to Chciago White Sox), 2B Ronnie Belliard (released), RHP Jose Jimenez (refused minor league assignment), LHP Jesus Sanchez (refused minor league assignment), OF Chris Richards (released).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Rockies need to address their bullpen. The only two certainties for next year are the two left-handers, Brian Fuentes and Javier Lopez. With the release of Jose Jimenez, free agency of Steve Reed and arbitration potential of Justin Speier, those three spots are undecided. Matt Miller, a journeyman rookie, will get the first shot at replacing Reed. Like Reed, Miller is a submariner.

FREE AGENTS: 3Bs Greg Norton and Chris Stynes, LHP Darren Oliver, C Gregg Zaun.
The Rockies have an interest in re-signing all of them. Stynes is the most likely to return. Oliver is the least likely. He'd like a two-year deal, and that doesn't fit.

IN LIMBO: RHP Justin Speier, RHP Shawn Chacon and C Charles Johnson could be dealt. Johnson would open up payroll. He has two years left on his contract and will make $9 million in 2004, which makes it unlikely he will return. Chacon would have to bring a solid return.

MEDICAL WATCH: LHP Denny Neagle (reconstructive left elbow surgery) is expected to miss 2004 season. OF Larry Walker (surgery left shoulder and right knee) is healthy and working out full speed.


The Dodgers re-signed LHP Tom Martin to a two-year, $3.3 million contract and are interested in retaining Wilson Alvarez. The team figures to be active on the trade and free-agent front, spending most of its resources on hitters, but the ownership situation leaves much up in the air.



BIGGEST NEEDS: The Dodgers need plenty of offense, most notably a right-handed power hitter to support Shawn Green in the middle of the lineup. The team needs a first baseman, a corner outfielder and could stand to make upgrades over Dave Roberts in center field and Alex Cora at second base.

FREE AGENTS: OF Brian Jordan, LHP Wilson Alvarez, RHP Andy Ashby, RHP Paul Quantrill, 1B/3B Ron Coomer, 1B Fred McGriff, OF Jeromy Burnitz, OF Rickey Henderson.
Quantrill turned down $3.1 million so he could find a two-year contract somewhere else, and that somewhere appeared to be the Yankees. Alvarez is the only other name on this list the team is interested in keeping, though Burnitz is a fallback option if other offseason plans fail to materialize.

IN LIMBO: LHP Odalis Perez didn't make many friends with his public candor on several issues. He is the Dodgers' top trade bait. 3B Adrian Beltre won himself a major league contract with a big second half. He looked like a non-tender as late as July 31. 2B Alex Cora stands to lose his job if the Dodgers acquire Miguel Tejada.

MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Darren Dreifort (hip surgery and right knee reconstruction) is on schedule to be ready for spring training. RF Shawn Green (surgery to repair frayed labrum in right shoulder) has begun rehab and was excited at the rapid progress he has made; he is expected to be 100 percent when he reports to spring training. RHP Hideo Nomo (right shoulder surgery) also expects to be ready by spring training. RHP Andy Ashby (Tommy John surgery on right elbow) plans to attempt a comeback in 2005. LF Rickey Henderson (surgery to repair biceps tendon in right arm) could be finished for good but hasn't announced his retirement. LF Brian Jordan (left knee surgery) is progressing well and hopes to secure a contract with an East Coast team.


With Ramon Hernandez officially aboard as the Padres' catcher, general manager Kevin Towers can advance to shoring up the Padres bullpen and starting rotation.

ARRIVALS: RHP Trevor Hoffman received both a $2 million buyout (rather than the Padres picking up his option at $10 million for 2004) and then a new $2.5 million contract for 2004 plus performance bonuses and a vesting right for 2005. OF Gene Kingsale signed a minor league contract with the Padres but is expected to compete for the fifth outfield slot in 2004. C Ramon Hernandez and OF Terrence Long from Oakland in a trade for CF Mark Kotsay.

DEPARTURES: OF Gary Matthews Jr., who was arbitration eligible, was waived and claimed by Atlanta. CF Mark Kotsay was traded to Oakland for Ramon Hernandez and Terrence Long. C Gary Bennett was assigned to the minor leagues and opted for free agency. 2B Keith Lockhart was released. RHP Luther Hackman was assigned to the minor leagues and opted for free agency. RHP pitcher Joe Roa was released.

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Padres need at least one starting pitcher and two or three more relievers. They'd like to sign two starting pitchers, but budget considerations could prevent that. Their number 1 pitching target could be Greg Maddux.

FREE AGENTS: RHP Rod Beck, C Gary Bennett, RHP Luther Hackman, 2B Keith Lockhart, RHP Joe Roa.
Padres want to re-sign Beck as a setup man for Hoffman and part-time closer. With Hernandez aboard, they have no interest in Bennett. Same goes for Hackman, Lockhart and Roa.

IN LIMBO: RHP Kevin Jarvis and newly acquired OF Terrence Long will make more than $7.5 million between them next season. Padres would like to package both to the Mets, even if it means taking on CF Roger Cedeno.

MEDICAL WATCH: Ryan Klesko, whose 2003 season was shortened because of shoulder surgery, is expected to be ready by the start of spring training. He had the tip of his clavicle shaved to remove an impingement.


Rarely has a team won 100 games and had so many holes right after the season. Ace Jason Schmidt is questionable for Opening Day after undergoing elbow surgery. No. 2 pitcher Sidney Ponson probably isn't returning, and four everyday players might be out the door. So Brian Sabean, recently named MLB's executive of the year, could be facing his toughest challenge as the Giants' GM.

ARRIVALS: OF Michael Tucker (free agent from Kansas City), C A.J. Pierzynski (trade with Minnesota).

DEPARTURES: RHP Joe Nathan (traded to Minnesota), C Benito Santiago (out the door in the wake of the Pierzynski trade), 1B Andres Galarraga (seriously considering retirement, but he hasn't yet made it official).

BIGGEST NEEDS: With Rich Aurilia gone, the Giants figure to be in the market for a shortstop. Also, only three pitchers are penciled into the rotation, and it's uncertain who'll be the closer with Robb Nen, who missed all of the 2003 season, iffy for spring training. Last year's closer, Tim Worrell, won't be back.

FREE AGENTS: C Benito Santiago, SS Rich Aurilia, RF Jose Cruz Jr., RHP Sidney Ponson, RHP Tim Worrell, 1B Andres Galarraga, 2B Eric Young, OF Marvin Benard.
The Giants won't re-sign any of their other free agents even though three players (Santiago, Aurilia and Cruz) were starters and Ponson was acquired from Baltimore for a steep price, including Damian Moss (the main acquisition in the Russ Ortiz trade) and prized prospect Kurt Ainsworth.

IN LIMBO: RHP Felix Rodriguez is still on the trading block, especially after he exercised his option for $3.05 million, a high price for the Giants to pay a setup man. 1B Andres Galarraga is contemplating retirement.

MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Jason Schmidt (underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery and is questionable for spring training), RHP Robb Nen (missed entire 2003 surgery following three shoulder surgeries).


The Cubs are looking for one more lefty for their bullpen, a fifth starter (either from within or outside the organization) help at second base. They also could seek an upgrade at catcher and are looking for backup outfield help.

ARRIVALS: 1B Derrek Lee (trade from Florida), RHP LaTroy Hawkins (free agent from Minnesota).

DEPARTURES: 1B Hee Seop Choi (traded to Florida), IF Augie Ojeda (claimed off waivers by Minnesota).

BIGGEST NEEDS: With the possible departure of free agent Mark Grudzielanek, the Cubs need to find a second baseman. St. Louis' Fernando Vina and Florida's Juan Castillo are possibilities. They are searching for a number 5 starter although they could find one within the organization.

FREE AGENTS: 1B Eric Karros, OF Kenny Lofton, OF Troy O'Leary, OF Doug Glanville, 2B Tony Womack, LHP Shawn Estes, LHP Mark Guthrie, RHP Antonio Alfonseca, RHP Dave Veres.
Two names crossed off this list were 2B Mark Grudzielanek and OF Tom Goodwin. Both were re-signed and will return.

IN LIMBO: RHPs Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz are two young players with bright futures who could command quality players in return if the Cubs are interested in making a huge trade. But they won't be just given away.

MEDICAL WATCH: CF Corey Patterson (torn left ACL, hopes to be back for spring training), LHP Will Ohman (elbow surgery), RHP Scott Chiasson (recovering from 2002 elbow surgery).


Other than tinker with the 40-man roster, the club has done nothing. There have been no trades and no signings of players. New GM Dan O'Brien hopes to shore up the pitching during the winter meetings in New Orleans.


DEPARTURES: RHP Ryan Dempster was released after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August, RHP Seth Etherton and RHP Luke Prokopec refused assignment to the minors and took free agency, RHP Scott Randall was released.

BIGGEST NEEDS: Pitching and pitching, especially with RHP Jimmy Haynes and RHP Paul Wilson the only starters remaining from the five-man rotation that began last season.

FREE AGENT: RHP Todd Van Poppel (re-signed with Cincinnati).
With a shortage of starting pitchers, the club might pursue re-signing the big right-hander because he was 2-1 in four September starts with a 2.94 ERA when summoned from the bullpen as an emergency starter.

IN LIMBO: With a salary dilemma, the club would love to trade CF Ken Griffey Jr. ($12.5 million next year and $70 million still owed), RHP Danny Graves ($7 million after a 6-14 failure as a starter) and 1B Sean Casey ($6 million, a popular player but overpriced for his position because of a lack of power and RBI).

MEDICAL WATCH: CF Ken Griffey Jr. (rehabbing after shoulder and ankle surgeries but expected to be 100 percent by spring training), 3B Brandon Larson (shoulder surgery, expected to be healthy by spring training), LF Adam Dunn (hand surgery, but already ready to play), RF Austin Kearns (shoulder surgery, expected to be ready by spring training), RHP Jimmy Haynes (bulging disk in his lower back, but expected to be ready for spring training), RHP Paul Wilson (shoulder problems, expected to pitch in 2004), SS Barry Larkin (groin injury, expected to be ready for spring training), OF Reggie Taylor (shoulder surgery, expected to be ready for spring training).


The Astros don't have any pressing roster issues now that RHP Dan Miceli, INF Jose Vizcaino and C Brad Ausmus have been re-signed. 3B Geoff Blum, who is eligible for arbitration, may not be offered a contract, and GM Gerry Hunsicker might play the January market for pitching and backup bargains.

ARRIVALS: RHP Brandon Duckworth (trade with Philadelphia), RHP Dan Miceli (re-signed), C Brad Ausmus (re-signed), INF Jose Vizcaino (re-signed).

DEPARTURES: LHP Billy Wagner (traded to the Philadelphia Phillies).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Astros need starting pitching. Last season, their starters pitched the fewest innings in the National League (868) and were eighth in victories (60) and ninth in ERA (4.29). Their projected rotation of Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller, Tim Redding, Jeriome Robertson and Brandon Duckworth has combined for 140 career victories. Only Robertson (15-9) and Wade Miller (14-13) won more than 10 games last season. With owner Drayton McLane intent on holding the payroll at last season's level (or lower), they will not be serious players for any of the big-name free agent pitchers.

FREE AGENTS: OF Orlando Merced, RHP Brian Moehler, LHP Ron Villone, RHP Rick White.
With Ausmus, Vizcaino and Miceli in the fold, GM Gerry Hunsicker will wait out the market to see whether a glut of pitching expected to be on the market in January lowers the price enough for him to make a move.

IN LIMBO: RF Richard Hidalgo is on the trading block, and the Astros want to get rid of him so badly that they'll probably pick up some of the $14 million remaining on the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in January 2001. When that deal was signed, he seemed headed for stardom after hitting 44 home runs and driving in 122 runs in 2000. He had just 34 homers and 128 RBIs combined the next two season. He was again productive in 2003 with 28 homers and 88 RBIs, but with the Astros in a cutback mode, they'd like to unload a contract that will pay him $12 million in 2004 and includes a $2 million buyout (or $15 million salary) for 2005.

MEDICAL WATCH: SS Adam Everett (right knee surgery, will be ready for spring training), RHP Roy Oswalt (right groin surgery, will be ready for spring training), OF Jason Lane (sports hernia surgery, will be ready for spring training).


ARRIVALS: IF Craig Counsell (trade with Arizona), 2B Junior Spivey (trade with Arizona), 1B Lyle Overbay (trade with Arizona), C Chad Moeller (trade with Arizona), LHP Chris Capuano (trade with Arizona), LHP Jorge De La Rosa (trade with Arizona).

DEPARTURES: 1B Richie Sexson (traded to Arizona), LHP Shane Nance (traded to Arizona), RHP Dave Burba (free agent), SS Royce Clayton (option declined), LHP Glendon Rusch (option declined), C Keith Osik (free agent), OF John Vander Wal (free agent).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Brewers are trying to find a starting right fielder and will wait to see which players are not tendered contracts on Dec. 20. They have their eye on several possibilities and might deal newly acquired 2B Junior Spivey to get an outfielder. They continue to look for starting pitching help as well but don't have much money to spend.

FREE AGENTS: SS Royce Clayton, LHP Glendon Rusch, C Keith Osik, C Eddie Perez, OF John Vander Wal.

IN LIMBO: LF Geoff Jenkins, who is eligible for free agency after 2004, has less value because he missed the final month of the season with an injury. He could be dealt during spring training or even by the July 31 deadline. The chances of him signing an extension seem remote, however. One thing further clouding Jenkins' status is the fact that he is without an agent. He fired the Beverly Hills Sports Council and is looking for new representation.

MEDICAL WATCH: LF Geoff Jenkins (broken thumb) is expected to be ready for spring training. RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder surgery) is working out in Arizona and may be ready for the start of camp; RHP Ben Diggins (elbow) likely will miss most of 2004.


ARRIVALS: RHP Jason Boyd (claimed off waivers from Cleveland).

DEPARTURES: RHP Jeff D'Amico (released), INF Jose Hernandez (released), RHP Duaner Sanchez (claimed off waivers by Los Angeles).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Pirates need a closer after trading two-time All-Star Mike Williams to Philadelphia in July. Third base is also a major hole after Aramis Ramirez was traded to the Chicago Cubs in July and Jose Hernandez was released at the end of the season. They would also like to add a left-handed hitter who can play first base or right field.

FREE AGENTS: 2B Pat Meares, 2B Jeff Reboulet, 2B Pokey Reese, OF Reggie Sanders, OF/1B Matt Stairs, RHP Julian Tavarez.
The Pirates, who plan to cut the payroll to around $35 million next season, won't bring back any of their free agents.

IN LIMBO: RHP Kris Benson, RHP Brian Boehringer, C Jason Kendall.

These are the only three players under contract for next season -- Kendall at $8 million, Benson at $6.1 million and Boehringer at $2 million -- and the Pirates would love to unload any or all of them to clear payroll space.

MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Kris Benson is rehabilitating a sore right shoulder that caused him to miss the final 2 1/2 months of this season; he is expected to be ready for spring training. INF/OF Rob Mackowiak is recovering from arthroscopic right knee surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training.


The Cardinals are seeking two or three pitchers --probably two starters and a reliever -- but can't Do much about it until they trim payroll from A lineup that is being paid disproportionately to the pitching staff.

ARRIVALS: RHP Evan Rust (trade with Tampa Bay).

DEPARTURES: 1B Tino Martinez (trade with Tampa Bay).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The only starters sure of their spots are RHPs Matt Morris and Woody Williams. Three spots remain in the rotation although RHP Dan Haren, a rookie who was impressive when he first upon was brought up, may have a shot with a good spring training. No matter whether LHP Steve Kline goes away through free agency, the Cardinals need another left-handed reliever.

FREE AGENTS: 2B Fernando Vina, INF Miguel Cairo, OF Eduardo Perez, OF Orlando Palmeiro, LHP Jeff Fassero, LHP Sterling Hitchcock, LHP Lance Painter, RHP Russ Springer, C Chris Widger, C Joe Girardi, RHP Brett Tomko, RHP Garrett Stephenson, RHP Mike DeJean.
Vina is gone because he made too much money. Girardi probably will retire.

IN LIMBO: With 1B Tino Martinez gone, the player most on the bubble is RHP Mike DeJean. The Cardinals would like to re-sign him but don't want to pay him the $2.5 million he made this year.

MEDICAL WATCH: LHP Rick Ankiel, still a prospect, will begin throwing in January after having had Tommy John elbow surgery last summer. He is way ahead of schedule and should be ready to pitch in the minors sometime this season and to contend for a Cardinals rotation spot again by 2005.


ARRIVALS: OF Gary Matthews Jr. (on waivers from San Diego).

DEPARTURES: C Henry Blanco (dropped from roster), RHP Shane Reynolds (team option declined), 1B Robert Fick (was arbitration eligible but guessed, correctly, that the Braves weren't going to offer it and asked for his release so he could get a jump on finding a new situation). Fick passed though unconditional waivers. He continues to work out with Braves strength and conditioning coach Frank Fultz in Atlanta.

BIGGEST NEEDS: A good defensive catcher who can hit (that's not asking too much, is it?) to back up expected starter Johnny Estrada. And, possibly, one more veteran starting pitcher, in the event young guns LHP Horacio Ramirez, RHP Trey Hodges, LHP Jung Bong and RHP Jason Marquis can't hang with LHP Mike Hampton and RHP Russ Ortiz.

FREE AGENTS: OF Darren Bragg, 3B Vinny Castilla, RHP Will Cunnane, 1B Julio Franco, 1B/OF Matt Franco, RHP Roberto Hernandez, RHP Darren Holmes, C Javy Lopez, RHP Greg Maddux, LHP Kent Mercker, RF Gary Sheffield.
It will be another offseason of major changes for the Braves.

IN LIMBO: None, given the size of the Braves' free agent list.

MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Paul Byrd (Tommy John surgery), Darren Holmes (torn right rotator cuff), RHP John Smoltz (minor surgery, right elbow).


ARRIVALS: 1B Hee Seop Choi (trade with Chicago Cubs).

DEPARTURES: 1B Derrek Lee (trade with Chicago Cubs), Andy Fox (signed with Texas).

BIGGEST NEEDS: Money. Depending on what happens this offseason, Florida's biggest need figures to be a closer in the bullpen. RHP Ugueth Urbina is a goner, and the team may shop RHP Braden Looper during the winter meetings. The team isn't convinced Looper is a bona fide closer, and may opt to go with RHP Chad Fox, who was re-signed. If Luis Castillo signs elsewhere, they will need a second baseman, and there is no one in the minors ready for promotion to the bigs.

FREE AGENTS: C Pudge Rodriguez, 2B Luis Castillo, RHP Ugueth Urbina, IF Andy Fox, OF Todd Hollandsworth, RHP Rick Helling, OF Gerald Williams.

IN LIMBO: A.J. Burnett must prove this spring he has recovered from Tommy John surgery. It would be surprising if the Marlins non-tendered him because he is ahead of his rehab schedule.

MEDICAL WATCH: RHP A.J. Burnett will throw off flat ground next month and off the mound in January with a serious eye at making the team in April. Burnett missed most of 2003 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery on April 28, but a more likely return date is May 1. ... RHP Tim Spooneybarger (Tommy John Surgery) probably won't see action until 2005. ... LHP Armando Almanza (left elbow tendinitis) is eager to return in spring training.


The most positive news for the Expos since the end of the season is that after interviewing with three teams, general Omar Minaya is back on board. He was working on a minor deal during the GM meetings.


DEPARTURES: 3B Fernando Tatis (Expos did not pick up option), RHP Jose Mercedes (released).

BIGGEST NEEDS: A first baseman who can hit, a catcher (Michael Barrett is likely to be traded) and an experienced closer. There should be money available from Guerrero's departure with arbitration eligibles such as SS Orlando Cabrera, RHP Tony Armas Jr. and RHP Tomo Ohka getting raises.

FREE AGENTS: RF Vladimir Guerrero, 1B/LF Wil Cordero, 3B Todd Zeile, 3B Fernando Tatis, RHP Jose Mercedes.
Guerrero will be signed by someone for megabucks; Cordero is looking for full-time 1B job with starter's pay; Zeile was not offered arbitration and is looking to sign with a contending team; club did not pick up option on Tatis.

IN LIMBO: The whole franchise. They're again going to play 22 "home" games in Puerto Rico.

MEDICAL WATCH: RHPs Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez and Tony Armas Jr. are rehabilitating from in-season surgeries.


ARRIVALS: SS Kaz Matsui (free agent).

DEPARTURES: INF Jay Bell (retired).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Mets need, in no particular order, a closer, a starting pitcher and at least one outfielder. GM Jim Duquette has $30-35 million to spend and will fill the holes with free agents.

FREE AGENTS: 1B Tony Clark, LHP John Franco, RHP Pedro Astacio.
Astacio, who had shoulder surgery, will not be back. The Mets offered arbitration to Franco.

IN LIMBO: The Mets don't have much trade bait. But Duquette will remake the roster with defense in mind, and that means he would love to be rid of clumsy OF Roger Cedeno. But Cedeno has $10 million left on his contract and will be hard to move.


RHP Carlos Silva, INF Nick Punto and a minor leaguer to be named later were traded to the Twins on December 3 for LHP Eric Milton. The major league roster stands at 36.

ARRIVALS: LHP Billy Wagner (trade with Houston), LHP Eric Milton (trade with Twins), RHP Tim Worrell (free agent from San Francisco).

DEPARTURES: RHP Brandon Duckworth (trade with Houston), RHP Jose Mesa (option not exercised), RHP Mike Williams (option not exercised), C Kelly Stinnett (opted out of contract), RHP Carlos Silva (trade with Twins), INF Nick Punto (trade with Twins).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Phillies have five openings in the bullpen. After striking out in attempts to sign RHPs Paul Quantrill, LaTroy Hawkins and Tom Gordon, they were able to sign free agent reliever Tim Worrell to setup Billy Wagner. They are expected to bring back LHP Dan Plesac.

FREE AGENTS: RHP Kevin Millwood, RHP Terry Adams, LHP Dan Plesac, C Todd Pratt (re-signed with Phillies), RHP Turk Wendell, RHP Mike Williams, C Kelly Stinnett.
It's considered a foregone conclusion that Plesac will re-sign.

IN LIMBO: LHP Valerio De Los Santos is not expected to be offered arbitration.

MEDICAL WATCH: 3B David Bell, who played only two games after the All-Star break because of a herniated disk in his lower back, is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training.

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