Up for grabs
A lot has happened in the baseball world since the San Francisco Giants closed out the Texas Rangers to win the 2010 World Series and cap off the "Year of the Pitcher." Sure, the past few months have been called the "offseason," but trades, free-agent signings (although ironically, not that many for the Yankees, who failed to land prize free agent Cliff Lee), injuries and even some retirements (I'm looking at you, Andy Pettitte) have revamped and reshaped many team lineups. It's a lot to keep track of, which is why we've done it for you in our spring training guide.
Whether it's the Grapefruit (Florida) or Cactus (Arizona) League, everything you need to know is right here in one place: new faces in new places, key departures and what to watch for during spring training, team by team, division by division. All divisions are presented in order of the 2010 standings. Up next: American League West.
American League West
Texas Rangers (2010 record: 90-72, first place in AL West)
• New faces: 3B Adrian Beltre (five years/$80 million!), DH Mike Napoli, C Yorvit Torrealba, SP Brandon Webb, RP Arthur Rhodes.
• Key departures: SP Cliff Lee, DH Vladimir Guerrero, C Bengie Molina, RP Frank Francisco, OF Jeff Francoeur.
• Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz (40 saves, most ever for a rookie), could move to the rotation now that Lee is gone. If he does, who will close for the team?
• 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner Webb, above, missed the entire 2010 season. His comeback is a story to watch.
• Third baseman Michael Young has lost his job to Beltre and asked for a trade rather than be the full-time DH. Will he be moved before Opening Day?
Oakland A's (2010 record: 81-81, second place in AL West)
• New faces: 3B Josh Willingham, CF David DeJesus, DH Hideki Matsui, SP Rich Harden, SP Brandon McCarthy, RPs Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour.
• Key departures: 3B Eric Chavez, OF Rajai Davis, DH Jack Cust, RP Justin Duchscherer, SP Ben Sheets.
• The A's rotation 1-4 is solid, and with the new additions, the team expects to contend in the AL West.
• Who will be the fifth man in the rotation -- Harden, McCarthy or Josh Outman (returning from Tommy John surgery)?
Los Angeles Angels (2010 record: 80-82, third place in AL West)
• New faces: OF Vernon Wells, RPs Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi.
• Key departures: C Mike Napoli, OF Juan Rivera, OF/DH Hideki Matsui, RP Brian Fuentes.
• The Angels celebrate their 50th season this year and have the fifth-highest 2011 payroll in the major leagues.
• First baseman Kendry Morales returns from a broken leg that completely derailed the Angels' offense last season. All eyes will be on him during camp as he gets back into shape hoping to take the field on Opening Day.
• Backstop battle: Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson and prospect Hank Conger are all in the running.
• Who will bat leadoff? The Angels still haven't found the right replacement for Chone Figgins at the top of the lineup.
Seattle Mariners (2010 record: 61-101, fourth place in AL West)
• New faces: Manager Eric Wedge, C Miguel Olivo, DH Jack Cust, SS Brendan Ryan.
• Key departures: 3B Jose Lopez, SP Ryan Rowland-Smith, 1B Casey Kotchman, DH Russell Branyan, C Rob Johnson.
• This was one of the worst offenses in MLB history last year and not much was done to improve it. But there's nowhere to go but up for Seattle, especially with Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez (who has a new mohawk).
• 1B Justin Smoak, the jewel in the Cliff Lee trade, needs to hit at the major league level. Will he live up to expectations?
• The M's will have an open competition at shortstop between Ryan and Jack Wilson.
• Will Erik Bedard return to the rotation? The talented but oft-injured lefty missed 2010 with shoulder problems.