(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs: I don't know why the Cubs were so desperate for Milton Bradley. Sure, he'll be only 31 this season, and he did have a very good year in 2008.
But he has a well-documented checkered past, not to mention a career riddled with injuries. He stayed healthy last year thanks to playing a lot of DH, something he won't be able to do in Chicago.
It's going to be a long three years for Cubs fans, but hey, they're used to waiting around idly...
St. Louis Cardinals: A need at second base has also opened up the team's outfield logjam. Rather than chase Orlando Hudson on the free-agent market, or pursue a trade for Robinson Cano, the Cardinals will try Skip Schumacher at second.
While this allows them to play all their outfielders (Schumacher, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, and rookie Colby Rasmus), it makes their infield defense questionable. Schumacher's double-play partner, newcomer Khalil Greene, should do better than he did in pitcher-friendly San Diego.
Houston Astros: The team should see some improvement at its catcher position. Prospect J.R. Towles didn't exactly pan out last season, but neither did Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta his first time around.
Last year, though, Iannetta posted an OPS of .895 with regular at-bats. With his home ballpark, Towles should be able to put up better offensive numbers this year.
Cincinnati Reds: Let's not forget Bronson Arroyo. His 4.77 ERA from last year isn't at all impressive, but take a look at his second-half stats: he notched a 3.47 ERA, and his OPS-against dropped 200 points.
Arroyo was once considered a very good pitcher, and while he may never be elite, he certainly has capabilities. Also watch for Aaron Harang to bounce back in a big way.
Milwaukee Brewers: Milwaukee made it into the playoffs last year behind two aces. Both are gone. CC Sabathia is now in New York, while Ben Sheets is out indefinitely (possibly the whole year), and currently unsigned by anyone.
I think someone should take a shot at Sheets at some point, especially if he can return this season. He's excellent when he does pitch, and he'd be very cheap thanks to his injury history. He could make a big difference in a playoff race.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Nate McLouth busted out last year, but many still remain skeptical and doubt he can repeat his 26-homer campaign, especially without Jason Bay and Xavier Nady to protect him in the lineup.
True, his homers should decline, but he won't be powerless. More importantly, he's still a good hitter, and while he won't hit for home runs, he'll be on base a lot, and that means his 23 stolen bases will rise.
He's always been fast on the basepaths.