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The Cubs win the NL Central, but are so uncomfortable with either designated closer Kevin Gregg or backup plan Carlos Marmol that they obtain Jose Valverde from the Astros. After dabbling in Jake Peavy during the offseason, the Cubs are not worried about their rotation, but do fret about an outfield with limited production in center field and breakdown king Milton Bradley in right. The Cubs react by acquiring Mike Cameron from division rival Milwaukee.

Injury-plagued Chris Carpenter, zero wins the past two years, wins 15 this year and young Jason Motte saves 30, and the Cardinals chase the Cubs all the way to September before falling short.

Manny Ramirez drives in 125 runs and — shockingly - is not at the center of several storms. But the Dodgers have multiple rotation needs and end up signing Ben Sheets to pitch from Aug. 1 on once his rehab from elbow surgery is deemed to have gone fine.

The Padres score just 500 runs and lose 100-plus games.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 6, 2009

Seattle Mariners News

News » Here's what to expect in 2009

Here's what to expect in 2009

Here's what to expect in 2009

Around the AL

David Ortiz, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek are down enough because of age/injury that Boston must use its young pitching stockpile to obtain an offensive player to keep up with the Rays and Yankees in the AL East. The Red Sox try to obtain Chris Iannetta from the Rockies, but end up with Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Rangers and Alex Rios from the Blue Jays. Toronto is willing to trade Rios in the division because it is financially distressed and the Red Sox are willing to not only take on the five years at $59.7 million left on Rios beyond this season, but also the $10 million owed B.J. Ryan next year. That enables Toronto to table the decision whether to set off a dramatic bidding war for ace Roy Halladay until the offseason.

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