NL East teams at the start of spring training
A team-by-team look at the National League East entering spring training, including key players each club acquired and lost, and dates of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and the full squad:
Manager: Brian Snitker (sixth season).
2020: 35-25, first place, lost to Dodgers in NL Championship Series.
Training Town: North Port, Florida.
Park: CoolToday Park.
First Workout: Feb. 18/23.
He’s Here: RHP Charlie Morton, LHP Drew Smyly, RHP Carl Edwards, SS Ehire Adrianza, RHP Victor Arano.
He’s Outta Here: OF Nick Markakis, OF Adam Duvall, INF Charlie Culberson, RHP Mike Foltynewicz, RHP Mark Melancon, C Tyler Flowers, RHP Shane Greene, RHP Darren O’Day, RHP Jhoulys Chacin, INF Adeiny Hechavarria, LHP Cole Hamels.
Going campin’: The key offseason move was re-signing left fielder Marcell Ozuna to a four-year, $65 million deal. Morton and Smyly add experience to the rotation. The team can take a cautious approach with 2020 opening day starter Mike Soroka’s return from surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon. Touted rookie Cristian Pache will try to solidify a starting job in center field. Pache showed strong defense as a postseason starter after only four regular-season at-bats. Ronald Acuña Jr. would start in right field. Alex Jackson and William Contreras are the top candidates in the competition to be the second catcher behind Travis d’Arnaud. If Melancon is not re-signed, Will Smith, A.J. Minter, Chris Martin and others could compete for the closer’s role. The team has not announced how many fans, if any, will be allowed to attend home spring training games.
Manager: Don Mattingly (sixth season).
2020: 31-29, second place, lost to Braves in Division Series.
Park: Roger Dean Stadium.
First Workout: Feb. 18/23.
They’re Here: GM Kim Ng, OF Adam Duvall, LHP Ross Detwiler, C Sandy Leon, RHP Anthony Bass, RHP Adam Cimber.
He’s Outta Here: RHP Jose Urena, RHP Brandon Kintzler, LF Matt Joyce, RHP Drew Steckenrider, C Francisco Cervelli, RHP Brad Boxberger, LHP Stephen Tarpley, RHP Robert Dugger, RHP Ryne Stanek, RHP Nick Vincent, RHP Jordan Yamamoto, RHP Johan Quezada.
Going campin’: Ng hasn’t swung many deals since CEO Derek Jeter hired her in November as baseball’s first female general manager. Instead, she and Jeter hope a wealth of young talent will allow the Marlins to build on last year’s progress, when they reached the playoffs for the first time since 2003 and had their first winning season since 2009. Depth in young starting pitchers is Miami’s strength, and prospects Edward Cabrera, Max Meyer and Braxton Garrett — all contenders to join the rotation at some point in 2021 — will get long looks in spring training. They’ll compete to join starters Sandy Alcantara, Pablo López and Sixto Sánchez, none of whom is older than 25. CF Starling Marte anchors the lineup, and Duvall adds pop to an offense that ranked 23rd in OPS. But to contend in a full season, the Marlins need prospects such as OF Jesus Sanchez, 1B Lewin Diaz, OF Monte Harrison and INF Jazz Chisholm to blossom.
Manager: Joe Girardi (second season).
2020: 28-32, third place.
Training Town: Clearwater, Florida.
Park: Spectrum Field.
First Workout: Feb. 17/22.
He’s Here: RHP Archie Bradley, RHP Chase Anderson, LHP Matt Moore, LHP Jose Alvarado, RHP Sam Coonrod, INF C.J. Chatham, RHP Neftali Feliz, RHP Ivan Nova, RHP Hector Rondon, RHP David Paulino, RHP Michael Ynoa, C Christian Bethancourt, RHP Brandon Kintzler, OF Matt Joyce.
He’s Outta Here: OF Jay Bruce, RHP Jake Arrieta, RHP Brandon Workman, INF Phil Gosselin, RHP Heath Hembree, RHP David Phelps, RHP Blake Parker, LHP Adam Morgan, LHP Cole Irvin, OF Kyle Garlick, RHP Victor Arano.
Going campin’: Even with the expanded postseason format last year, the Phillies fell one win short of their first playoff berth since 2011 following a third straight September collapse. The team’s failure cost general manager Matt Klentak his job. David Dombrowski was hired to run baseball operations and Sam Fuld was promoted to GM. The Phillies re-signed two-time All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and agreed on a two-year deal to bring back shortstop Didi Gregorius, two key parts of an offense that tied for fifth in the majors in runs. Scoring shouldn’t be a problem for a group led by Realmuto, Gregorius, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm, coming off an excellent rookie season. RHPs Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin are a solid trio atop the rotation. New arms Anderson and Moore will compete with veteran Vince Velasquez and prospect Spencer Howard for the final two spots. Nova, a non-roster player, averaged 31 starts between 2017-19 so he’s another option. A dismal bullpen cost Philadelphia a postseason berth last season. Phillies relievers had a 7.06 ERA and the team blew eight separate three-run leads. Bradley has closer experience and will be a late-inning option along with righty Hector Neris. The Phillies are counting on Alvarado returning to his 2018 form with the Rays, and they’re hoping non-roster pitchers like Feliz and Rondon can do the same. Fans will not be allowed to watch spring workouts due to COVID-19, and tickets for games have yet to go on sale.
New York Mets
Manager: Luis Rojas (second season).
2020: 26-34, tied for fourth place.
Training Town: Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Park: Clover Park.
First Workout: Feb. 19/22.
He’s Here: SS Francisco Lindor, RHP Carlos Carrasco, C James McCann, RHP Trevor May, RHP Marcus Stroman, LHP Aaron Loup, OF/1B José Martínez, LHP Joey Lucchesi, RHP Jacob Barnes, INF Jonathan Villar (deal pending), CF Albert Almora Jr., RHP Jordan Yamamoto, LHP Stephen Tarpley, RHP Sean Reid-Foley, RHP Yennsy Díaz, RHP Sam McWilliams, OF Khalil Lee, RHP Arodys Vizcaíno, LHP Jerry Blevins, INF/OF José Peraza, OF Mallex Smith, RHP Jerad Eickhoff, INF/OF Brandon Drury, SS Wilfredo Tovar, president Sandy Alderson, acting GM Zack Scott.
He’s Outta Here: GM Brodie Van Wagenen, 2B Robinson Canó, C Wilson Ramos, SS Amed Rosario, INF Andrés Giménez, RHP Rick Porcello, RHP Michael Wacha, LHP Justin Wilson, LHP Steven Matz, LHP Chasen Shreve, OF Jake Marisnick, 3B Todd Frazier, OF Yoenis Céspedes, C Robinson Chirinos, RHP Jared Hughes, INF Eduardo Núñez, C René Rivera, RHP Erasmo Ramírez, RHP Paul Sewald, RHP Hunter Strickland, RHP Ariel Jurado, RHP Corey Oswalt, C Ali Sánchez, OF Ryan Cordell, INF Jed Lowrie.
Going campin’: The whirlwind offseason has been a rollercoaster ride since new owner Steve Cohen bought the franchise from the Wilpon and Katz families for $2.42 billion in early November. Cohen brought back Alderson, the Mets’ general manager from 2010-18, as team president and he immediately fired Van Wagenen and several top aides. Canó was then suspended for 162 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug for the second time in his decorated career. He’ll sit out the entire season. New York abandoned its initial search for a president of baseball operations and hired Jared Porter as GM — only to fire him just more than a month later when ESPN reported he sent sexually explicit, uninvited text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 when he was working for the Cubs in their front office. Scott, hired as assistant GM on Dec. 23 after 17 seasons with Boston, was promoted to acting general manager. With deep pockets, Cohen had the busy Mets shopping at the top of the market all winter and they still seem eager to add. They landed a big star in Lindor, along with Carrasco, in a blockbuster trade with Cleveland, but missed out on premium free agents Trevor Bauer, George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, DJ LeMahieu and Brad Hand. That was a disappointment. Stroman accepted an $18.9 million qualifying offer to return for one year after missing the start of last season with a calf injury and then opting out because of coronavirus concerns. Significant upgrades at catcher (McCann) and shortstop (Lindor) make a dangerous lineup even longer, but the Mets need to come through in the clutch. They ranked second in the majors in on-base percentage last year and third in OPS, yet finished only 13th in runs. New York focused on building much-needed depth this offseason and filled out a pitching staff that struggled behind two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. The team hopes to get starter Noah Syndergaard back from Tommy John surgery in June. With no DH in the National League this season, breakout slugger Dominic Smith, a converted first baseman, makes for a liability in left field. Defense remains an issue at several spots, though a couple are improved. Worth watching in spring training will be whether Lucchesi and second-year lefty David Peterson — or perhaps another candidate — can lock down jobs at the back of the rotation. That could send Seth Lugo back to the bullpen, where he’s been most effective. New York might also try to sign Lindor long-term. He’s eligible for free agency after the season and said he’s open to a multiyear contract, but doesn’t want to negotiate once spring training ramps up. The Mets look talented enough to end a four-year playoff drought, but it won’t be easy in a difficult division. No announcement yet on whether any fans will be permitted at Grapefruit League home games.
Manager: Dave Martinez (fourth season).
2020: 26-34, tied for fourth place.
Training Town: West Palm Beach, Florida.
Park: Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
First Workout: Feb. 18/23.
He’s Here: 1B Josh Bell, LF Kyle Schwarber, LHP Brad Hand, LHP Jon Lester, C Alex Avila, C Welington Castillo, 1B Ryan Zimmerman, RHP Joe Ross.
He’s Outta Here: INF Wilmer Difo, LHP Sean Doolittle, C Kurt Suzuki, INF Howie Kendrick, RHP Wil Crowe, RHP James Bourque, RF Adam Eaton, CF Michael A. Taylor, 1B Eric Thames, LHP Roenis Elias.
Going campin’: After Washington went from World Series champion in 2019 to tied for last in the NL East in 2020, GM Mike Rizzo set out to fill some obvious holes while turning over a chunk of the roster — and he seems to have gone through his check list of biggest needs. One key caveat: He didn’t spend particularly lavishly in cash or prospects, perhaps with an eye to making a strong effort to eventually sign his two best position players to long-term deals, outfielder Juan Soto and shortstop Trea Turner. Soto, expected to switch from LF to RF with Schwarber’s arrival and Eaton’s departure, is coming off a batting title, Turner remains a sparkplug on offense and reliable on defense; both finished in the top seven in NL MVP voting last season. Sticking with his “pitching wins” philosophy, Rizzo added to an already terrific rotation by bringing aboard postseason stalwart Lester to follow three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg (who is coming off a nerve issue in his right wrist) and Patrick Corbin. The hope for the lineup is that Bell and Schwarber can be the best past versions of themselves, while Hand strengthens the back end of the bullpen. Zimmerman and potential fifth starter Ross are back after sitting out in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns. The Nationals intend to allow spectators at spring training games, selling tickets in “pods” of up to six seats.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports