Interesting trades and moves in the NL east this year. The Braves look to make it 15 straight division titles with solid pitching and the "baby Braves". Mike Hampton being out for the season may take its toll on the braves this year. Relief pitching and not having a solid closer may again come into affect this year for the Braves. Edgar Renteria should make a very adequate replacement for Rafi Furcal that went to the dodgers. Smoltz is Smoltz and should dominate again this year,
The Mets are looking to knock the Braves down a notch this year by making even more blockbuster moves than last year. Adding Delgado, Lo Duca, and Billy Wagner might just be enough to take the division title from the Braves. Beltran should have a bounce back year this year after a disappointing first year with the Mets last year. It will be interesting to see how Pedro comes out after toe problems in spring training. The downfall for the Mets will be if the other starters besides Pedro will be able to go 7 or 8 solid innings consistently. Having Wagner to close out the is great, but if the 2,3,4,5 starters don’t go the distance, it could be a problem.
The Nationals made a couple key moves this off-season the key move being Alfonso Soriano. Soriano had more stolen bases last year himself than the whole Nationals team combined. That will be a solid addition for the Nats not to mention the offense Soriano will be able to provide. The only problem with Soriano is the drama that unfolded with him not wanting to play in the outfield. The Nats already have a solid second baseman in Jose Vidro and it will be interesting to see how Soriano reacts to left field and if he creates any more drama that might negatively effect the team. The Nats were outstanding last year in the first half of the season, winning 12 consecutive 1 runs games; however the lack of offensive took its toll in the latter half of the season as the Nats dropped out of playoff contention. Livan Hernandez is a solid workhorse who has a extremely potent bat for a pitcher. He will go deep into many games this year. Patterson is solid but heavy analysis should be considered before playing him on the road, especially against division rivals such as the Mets.