As the sun rises on Spring
Training 2009, let’s see what is going on with the other teams in the NL East:
Atlanta Braves: If there is
a team looking to keep Ken Griffey Jr. from returning to Seattle, it could be
the Atlanta Braves. They were considering Bobby Abreu before he signed with the
Angels. They are looking for a veteran outfielder to split time in LF and to
sign reasonably cheap. Griffey does have interest as he owns a house in
Orlando, FL; same city as the Braves spring training home. If Griffey does not
sign with the Braves, they would then take a look at Garret Anderson.
Florida Marlins: Do not be surprised
if leadoff hitter Hanley Ramirez finds a permanent residence in the 3 spot. The
Marlins are expected to bat Hanley 3rd , with either Emilio
Bonifacio (acquired from the Nationals for Scott Olson and Josh Willingham) or
top prospect Cameron Maybin (acquired from the Tigers for Miguel Cabrera last
year) to bat leadoff. Jorge Cantu would bat 4th, Dan Uggla 5th.
Ramirez’s power numbers, as well as K’s could climb this year.
Washington Nationals: The
signing of Adam Dunn and the trade for Willingham gives the Nationals a logjam
in the corner outfield. It is conceivable that Dunn could play 1B ahead of the
oft-injured Nick Johnson. Willingham has also had injury problems in the past,
but the Nationals value his bat and could have Dunn, Austin Kearns, Willie
Harris, or Wily Mo Pena spell him from time to time. The Nationals want Elijah
Dukes to win RF, but he has to compete with the names listed above. Lastings
Milledge is the only certainty at CF. Milledge hit .268/.330/.402 with 14 HR,
61 RBI, 64 R, and 24 SB last year.
Philadelphia Phillies: The
Phillies are looking to add a left-handed reliever before the season begins and
are looking at Will Ohman, Dennys Reyes, and Joe Bemiel. They hope to add one
for less than $1 million. The Phillies payroll has blossomed to over $130
million due to the signing of Raul Ibanez, raises to Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels,
Jayson Werth, and others. Ryan Howard has reported to camp about 20 lb.’s
lighter and Brett Myers has lost 30.
Here’s an amusing stat: In the
last 13 years, only one non-Yankee World Champion have even won a playoff game
the following season, the 2007 Red Sox.
Till next time.