The Marlins could fill many of their needs by trading ace lefty Dontrelle Willis.
Arizona Their young, everyday lineup is pretty much set, so much so that they could and should move Eric Byrnes after his career year. The Doug Davis deal shores up the front of the rotation; the next focus has to be a bullpen that has been a problem of late, especially from the left side. Re-signing Miguel Batista makes sense, but there's not much news on that front.
Atlanta They need bullpen help and perhaps a left fielder, unless they commit to what would be a tasty Ryan Langerhans/Matt Diaz platoon. Marcus Giles has been on the brink of being traded for a month; with the number of teams looking for second basemen dwindling, it may be time to pull the trigger.
Chicago They've spent a lot of cash already, so further improvements will have to come through the trade market or from within. If you can identify a second player who's likely to have a .360 OBP, let me know. As much money as they've committed, they're still flawed, with a utility infielder at second base, two average guys on the outfield corners and a rotation that is probably going to lead the league in walks allowed. Even at that, they look like the favorites in a weak NL Central. Adding an innings guy certain to make 32 starts and a platoon partner for Jacque Jones would help.
Cincinnati They may have the best player on the trade market in Adam Dunn, and I don't know a single person who thinks, after last summer's shenanigans, that they'll get value for him. The Reds may be getting off track, focusing on batters' strikeouts rather than overall offensive performance. If doing so causes them to deal Dunn on the cheap, they'll be even worse next year. A true center fielder/leadoff man who would push Ken Griffey Jr. out of center field would be the best fit, although I'm not volunteering to have the conversation with Junior about it. Ryan Freel tired badly last year and is best used as a utility guy. The Reds' depth chart has 18 relievers. Honest. What's funny is that I don't think a single one can break 92 with his fastball.
Colorado It's hard to evaluate them in light of the way Coors Field played last season, what with the humidor and all. Their pitchers' numbers were all affected by the conditions, which changed dramatically in the last six weeks. The one thing you can say is that the starters all look durable, which is an important trait for this team and enables them to focus on other issues. The Rockies are bad up the middle, but there isn't much catching or center-field help to be had on the market. Someone of the Garret Atkins/Jeff Baker/Ian Stewart group needs to be set free soon, although that may not happen this week.
Florida They were one of the biggest stories of the season without a center fielder, so why worry? Because you need a flycatcher in Dolphin Stadium, for one, and Hanley Ramirez is ill-suited to the leadoff spot, for two. Ramirez' power would play better lower in the lineup, as would his eagerness at the plate. Solving both issues with one player is unlikely, but a gamble on someone like Jeremy Reed, perhaps, or making a bigger deal for Rocco Baldelli, could work out for them. They have pitching -- pre-arbitration pitching at that -- to burn, and given the market price of starters, they have to consider trading Dontrelle Willis, don't they?
Houston Spend all the money you want, Mr McLane. Until you reduce the number of OBP sinks in the lineup below the four spot, your team isn't going to score enough runs to win. Chris Burke could replace Craig Biggio if the Astros were so inclined, and Adam Everett and Willy Taveras play enough defense to justify their spots. Brad Ausmus is just a black hole, however. Brad Lidge has been available for a while, but why sell low? Even in the NL Central, there are too many flaws here to think one good trading week would change things.
Los Angeles GM Ned Colletti has made it clear that he's Brian Sabean's offspring, and will consistently value experience over potential. That's why the Dodgers now have a two-year commitment to Nomar Garciaparra despite the possibility that he's their third-best corner infielder. It wouldn't surprise me to see Colletti deal for a starting pitcher, something the Dodgers need, using an Andy LaRoche or Jonathan Meloan or a James Loney to get it done. Dodger prospects are for trading, not playing.
Milwaukee The Doug Davis deal -- I'm not a fan; I think they gave up 40 percent of a league-average rotation for a minor upgrade behind the plate -- was probably their big move for the offseason. They have some bad contracts with outfielders, but are unlikely to find new homes for Geoff Jenkins or Brady Clark anytime soon. It's a tough roster to improve, with few gaping holes and a lot of guys right around league-average or a little above.
New York Barry Zito is assumed by many to be coming here, given that the Mets only have about 2 ˝ starting pitchers right now. It was 1 ˝, but they caught a break with Tom Glavine's return. I count four guys with jobs ahead of Lastings Milledge, this on the heels of last year's conflicts between him and some teammates. If there's a trade to be made for a starter -- the White Sox are shopping arms, the Pirates have some pitching, the Twins do -- Milledge would be a natural chip to move.