While all the recent talk around MLB centers on Mark McGwire and steroids, it’s easy to forget that Spring Training is creeping up.
Cactus League play begins on March 3 and Grapefruit League starts a day before that.
This is a good time to look at the future baseball odds currently have posted.
New York Yankees
When we last left MLB, the New York Yankees were hoisting their 27th World Series title.
The “Evil Empire” will enter the 2010 season as defending champions and as a matter of fact, the Yanks are odds-on favorites to repeat at +300.
The Bronx Bombers’ roster will look a little different going into the season as 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui migrated west to the Los Angeles Angels and his place in the lineup, as it stands, will be taken by Nick Johnson, according to an mlb.com report.
The Pinstripes re-signed southpaw Andy Pettitte to a one-year deal and dealt outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitchers Michael Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino along with some cash to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for righty Javier Vazquez and lefty Boone Logan, who was subsequently signed for one year.
In Vazquez’s last 16 starts last season, the Braves went 12-4.
On first glance, the fact that the Phillies traded away pitcher Cliff Lee to Seattle doesn’t make sense, as Lee went 13-4 (including the playoffs) after joining the Phillies from Cleveland in late-July.
In the postseason Lee went 4-0 with an ERA of 1.56 and he was on the mound for both of Philadelphia’s World Series victories.
But when you factor in that Philadelphia added Roy Halladay to its rotation, there is logic behind the Lee deal.
Doc Halladay started 32 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last year and had a record of 17-10 with an ERA of 2.79 and will be a welcome addition to the Phillies’ pitching staff.
Philly is listed at +600 to win this year’s World Series and if it does, it would be its second title in three years.
New York Mets
The New York Mets fell well short of expectations last season, finishing with a record of 70-92 so there was a need to bolster the roster with the 2010 season approaching.
While the Yankees are the ones that usually make the big splashes in free agency, the Mets one-upped their cross-town rivals this offseason, in terms of big-name signings, when they inked former Boston Red Sox leftfielder Jason Bay to a four-year deal.
The Mets are hoping that Bay will be a big piece of the puzzle in their pursuit of the NL East title and hopefully, a World Series.
The Metropolitans are listed at +1900 to win it all in 2010.
Despite not making the playoffs last year, the Seattle Mariners still had a relatively successful season, going 85-77.
If its offseason is any indication of how its regular season will be, Seattle should make the playoffs or better.
As mentioned, the club traded for Philly’s playoff ace Cliff Lee and it did a number of other things to improve.
The Mariners plucked 3B Chone Figgins away from the division rival Los Angeles Angels; re-signed Ken Griffey Jr. to a one-year deal and extended young ace Felix Hernandez’s deal by five years.
The only move that can be considered something of a head-scratcher is the trade for volatile Chicago Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley.
Seattle is listed at +1600 to win the World Series in MLB futures betting.
Spring Training will be starting up again soon and shortly after that, the start of another MLB season.
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