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Spaghetti NL Western

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Lotsa movement in the division over the last few days, most recently the D-backs unloaded Javier Vazquez on the World Champions in exchange for El Duque and outfield prospect Chris Young. Meanwhile, the Dodgers got rid of Milton Bradley (and had to throw in Antonio Perez to boot) for the A's Andre Ethier. A couple of days ago, the Giants won out on the Matt Morris derby. The net result of these moves could actually be a boon to the Rockies for this season. Young and Ethier are both quality prospects but probably won't be as potent for 2006, while Hernandez and Morris each come into the season with a lot of injury baggage. Still, Morris should be considered an upgrade for San Fran's rotation, albeit Hernandez is a definite step down from Vazquez, spelling trouble for the D-backs. Meanwhile, the Dodgers lose a starting centerfielder and their primary backup at the corner infield spots in exchange for help in 2007 and beyond, but not much for 2006.

Update [2005-12-14 16:21:14 by Rox Girl]:After I had already posted this, the Bill Mueller to LA signing was announced. With Mueller, Furcal and Kent, the Dodgers should now have the most offenisively potent infield in the division, even if they do wind up signing JT Snow to man first until Cesar Izturis returns and Kent can slide over. JD Drew's health will be a big factor in the outfield, but right now the Dodgers' biggest problem is their starting rotation, especially if Jeff Weaver doesn't re-sign.

At this point there's not much reason to think that even the Rockies won't be in this race at least through August as so far, nobody in the division has made enough a move to establish any sort of clear superiority.