Sunday, January 23, 2011

NL North Offseason Report

Moving over to the NL North, we've had a massive FA spending binge by the Cubs, a youth movement by the Expos, a couple of shrewd moves by the Brewers, and an intriguing strategy by the Reds.

The division-champ Brewers picked up a pair of nice free agent bats: 1B Brett Stuart and C Jolbert Romero. Add the promotion Season 10's #7 overall, SP Richard Cameron, and already-tough Milwaukee becomes the odds-on favorite to repeat.

Chicago was perhaps Kinsella's biggest free-agent spender, luring SP's Sidney Wells and Rod Dupler; relievers Warren Giles and Jorge Sierra; OF's Earl Jorgensen, Carlos Cruz, and Pat Freeman; and IF Jason Brewington. They also re-signed C Jolbert Saenz and 2B Hub Veres. The Cubbies may well give Milwaukee a bare minimum they'll score a lot more runs with Jorgensen and Cruz in the OF.

Cincinnati is still incomplete. No FA signings, no trades, no promotions and 17 players on the ML roster thus far. "It's a bold strategy, Cotton, let's see if it works out for'em."

Montreal said "sayonara" to a boatload of free agents and has used free agency, trades and promotions to restock. They moved P J.P. Taveras for reliever Peter Pan and a pair of prospects, brought CF Scott Perry home in exchange for Manuel Martin, and signed SP Nelson Stockton to a 2-year deal. The farm system produced 1B David Fernandez (Season 7 IFA), SP Greg Hewson (Season 9 #28 overall), SP Paul Kim (Season 6 #43 overall) and SP Manuel Samuel (Season 9 #48 overall). Could be another down year for the Expos, but the youth movement has begun.

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