Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rosenthal Deems NL West Nasty

From Ken Rosenthal at


Padres general manager Kevin Towers plans to speak on Friday with Greg Clifton, the agent for free-agent left-hander David Wells.

If the Padres sign Wells, the NL West will feature:

  • Three starting pitchers with 230 or more victories — Padres right-hander Greg Maddux (333), Diamondbacks left-hander Randy Johnson (280) and Wells (230);

  • The two free-agent starters who commanded the highest average annual salaries this winter, Giants left-hander Barry Zito ($18 million) and Dodgers righty Jason Schmidt ($15.67 million);

  • The reigning NL Cy Young award winner, Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon Webb.

And that's not all.

The division's top young pitchers include Giants righty Matt Cain, 22; Dodgers righty Chad Billingsley, 22; and Rockies lefty Jeff Francis, 26. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, will audition several highly regarded prospects to be their fifth starter.

One thing to look for from the D-Backs: Improved outfield defense with Carlos Quentin in right, Chris Young in center and Eric Byrnes in left, which in turn should bolster the pitching staff.

Isn't this just another way of saying the NL West has a bunch of old guys and, especially if the Giants grow a pair and dump Barry Bonds, no power?