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Season Preview: National League West

March 26, 2012

With Opening Day just about two weeks away and 25-man rosters starting to take shape, it seems as good a time as any to start to preview the upcoming season. For a change of pace, I’m going to run with a bit of a different format this year and view things one division at a time.

We’ll cover each division in no particular order. Let’s start with the NL West.

Top 5 Moves Since Last Season:

1. San Diego trades right-hander Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for first baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Yasmani Grandal, and right-handers Edison Volquez and Brad Boxberger.

2. Los Angeles signs center fielder Matt Kemp to an 8 year, $160 Million contract extension.

3. Colorado trades catcher Chris Iannetta to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for right-hander Tyler Chatwood. Colorado then signs catcher Ramon Hernandez.

4. San Francisco and Los Angeles announce contract extensions for Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw.

5. Arizona trades right-handers Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook and center fielder Collin Cowgill to the Oakland Athletics for right-hander Trevor Cahill and left-hander Craig Breslow.

Key Acquisitions:

Arizona (Cahill), Colorado (Michael Cuddyer, Jeremy Guthrie), Los Angeles (None), San Diego (Alonso, Huston Street), San Francisco (None)

Key Losses:

Arizona (Parker), Colorado (Street), Los Angeles (Hiroki Kuroda), San Diego (Latos, Heath Bell), San Francisco (None)

Predictions:

Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw (Honorable mention: Ian Kennedy)

MVP – Justin Upton (Honorable mention: Troy Tulowitski)

Rookie of the Year – Wilin Rosario (Honorable mention: Trevor Bauer, Drew Pomeranz)

Standings:

  1. Arizona
  2. Colorado
  3. San Francisco
  4. Los Angeles
  5. San Diego

 

All Division Team:

Finally, let’s close things out with my pre-2012 All Division Team*. Eligible candidates consist of each team’s projected starter heading into Opening Day. We’ll revisit these lists again once the season concludes.

* Honorable mentions in parentheses.

1B: Yonder Alonso (Paul Goldschmidt)

2B: Marco Scutaro (Aaron Hill)

3B: Pablo Sandoval (Chase Headley)

SS: Troy Tulowitski (Stephen Drew if healthy, in this case Dee Gordon)

RF: Justin Upton (Michael Cuddyer)

CF: Matt Kemp (Cameron Maybin)

LF: Carlos Gonzalez (Gerardo Parra)

C: Buster Posey (Miguel Montero)

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