Cactus League preview: National League

Manager: Bryan Price (third season).

2015: 64-98, fifth place.

Training Town: Goodyear.


Park: Goodyear Ballpark.

First Workout: Feb. 18/23.

He’s Here: INF Jose Peraza, OF Scott Schebler.

He’s Outta Here: 3B Todd Frazier, closer Aroldis Chapman.

Going campin’: The Reds launched into a full-scale rebuilding last July, trading starters Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake for prospects. The overhaul continued in the offseason with Frazier — the All-Star Home Run Derby champion — and Chapman getting dealt for prospects. Cincinnati tried to trade 2B Brandon Phillips, but he blocked the deals. What’s left is a rotation that lacks experience — it consisted of all rookies the second half of last season — and a bullpen with no proven closer. C Devin Mesoraco (hip surgery) and SS Zack Cozart (reconstructive knee surgery) are expected back. RH starter Homer Bailey had Tommy John surgery last May and will be back at some point, too. But it’s been a long time since the Reds went into spring training with so many things unsettled. They’ll spend the time in Arizona trying to figure out which of the young players is closest to being ready, and who might fit into the rotation. 1B Joey Votto, CF Billy Hamilton and RF Jay Bruce remain, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if Bruce is traded during the season.

Manager: Joe Maddon (second season).

2015: 97-65, third place, wild card, lost to Mets in NLCS.

Training Town: Mesa.

Park: Sloan Park.


First Workout: Feb. 20/24.

He’s Here: OF Jason Heyward, RHP John Lackey, 2B Ben Zobrist, RHP Adam Warren.

He’s Outta Here: 2B Starlin Castro.

Going campin’: The Cubs broke out in a huge way last season and fueled hope that a championship drought dating to 1908 is nearing the end. That optimism has only escalated since the final out of Game 4 of the NLCS. That’s because the Cubs added to a team that already boasted the NL Cy Young winner (Jake Arrieta), Rookie of the Year (Kris Bryant) and Manager of the Year, not to mention sluggers such as Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber. Even better, they did it without trading any of their top prospects. They strengthened their outfield and rotation by signing Heyward ($184 million, eight years) and Lackey ($32 million, two years) away from division rival St. Louis. The Cubs also avoided arbitration with Arrieta, agreeing to a $10.7 million, one-year contract. One remaining item on the to-do list: an extension for president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. The architect of the team’s overhaul, he is entering the fifth and final season of his contract.

Manager: Craig Counsell (second season).

2015: 68-94, fourth place.

Training Town: Phoenix.

Park: Maryvale Baseball Park.

First Workout: Feb. 21/25.


He’s Here: 1B Chris Carter, IF Aaron Hill, SP Chase Anderson, SS Jonathan Villar, OF Rymer Liriano, 3B Will Middlebrooks, OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, 3B Garin Cecchini

He’s Outta Here: 1B Adam Lind, RP Francisco Rodriguez, SS Jean Segura, SP Kyle Lohse, IF Jason Rogers, OF Shane Peterson

Going campin’: Milwaukee is rebuilding under new general manager David Stearns and Craig Counsell, who is entering his first full season as skipper. The trade of Segura to Arizona seems to pave the way for top shortstop prospect Orlando Arcia to get to the big leagues sooner. Owner Mark Attanasio is giving Stearns full control of the overhaul, which could take a few years before the Brewers are contenders again. Spring training is all about getting incoming veterans like Hill and Carter to fill in the lineup, while continuing to develop young talent already at the major league level like outfielder Domingo Santana and starter Taylor Jungmann. Slugger Ryan Braun will proceed carefully after back surgery. Don’t be surprised if the Brewers continue dealing, with veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy another top candidate to go. After going 6-14 with a 5.63 ERA, pitcher Matt Garza has vowed to improve this spring.

Manager: Chip Hale (second season).

2015: 79-83, third place.

Training Town: Scottsdale.

Park: Salt River Fields.

First Workout: Feb. 18/23.

He’s Here: RHP Zack Greinke, RHP Shelby Miller, RHP Tyler Clippard, SS Jean Segura.


He’s Outta Here: OF Ender Inciarte, 2B Aaron Hill, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, RHP Jhoulys Chacin, RHP Jeremy Hellickson.

Going campin’: The Diamondbacks took a major step toward being a contender with their signing of Greinke to a $206 million, six-year deal. Starting pitching was the team’s major weakness last season. Greinke was 19-6 with a major league-best 1.66 ERA for the Dodgers. Arizona further bolstered its rotation with the acquisition of Miller from Atlanta. Miller was 6-17 for the punchless Braves last year but with a 3.02 ERA. Left-hander Patrick Corbin, two years removed from Tommy John surgery, should give the Diamondbacks a potent 1-2-3 punch in the rotation. Rubby De La Rosa, Robbie Ray and Archie Bradley will contend for the final two spots. There’s one or two jobs up for grabs in the bullpen after the signing of Clippard. If Segura supplants slick-fielding, low-hitting Nick Ahmed at shortstop, the only real competition on the infield is at second base, where Chris Owings will have to hold off Brandon Drury and Phil Gosselin. With two of the game’s best hitters in 1B Paul Goldschmidt and CF A.J. Pollock, offense shouldn’t be a problem. Segura was obtained in a trade with Milwaukee to help make up for the loss of Inciarte’s bat.

Manager: Walt Weiss (fourth season).

2015: 68-94, fifth place.

Training Town: Scottsdale.

Park: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

First Workout: Feb. 19/25.

He’s Here: LHP Jake McGee, RHP Jason Motte, OF Gerardo Parra, RHP Chad Qualls, INF-OF Mark Reynolds.

He’s Outta Here: RHP John Axford, LHP Rex Brothers, OF Corey Dickerson, RHP Tommy Kahnle, 1B Justin Morneau, C-INF Wilin Rosario.


Going campin’: The Rockies overhauled their roster after a fifth straight losing season. First off, they revamped their bullpen by bringing in Motte and Qualls and trading for McGee in a deal that sent Dickerson to Tampa Bay. Colorado may still be in the market for a starter, too. As it stands now, right-hander Chad Bettis is looking more and more like the ace of the staff. Prized pitching prospect Jon Gray also showed some hints of his talent last season. There’s a big question mark hanging over Colorado heading into camp: Shortstop Jose Reyes and his legal situation. Reyes remains under investigation in accordance with the league’s new domestic violence policy. Reyes was arrested Oct. 31 at a resort in Hawaii and pleaded not guilty to a charge of abuse of a family or household member. Smooth-fielding third baseman Nolan Arenado is coming off a season in which he led the majors with 130 RBI. After much trade speculation in the offseason, Carlos Gonzalez is back in purple pinstripes — for the time being, anyway. "We all have talent. We just have to show it on the field," Gonzalez said.

Manager: Dave Roberts (first season).

2015: 92-70, first place, lost to Mets in NLDS.

Training Town: Glendale.

Park: Camelback Ranch.

First Workout: Feb. 19/25.

He’s Here: LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Kenta Maeda, OF Trayce Thompson, INF Micah Johnson.

He’s Outta Here: Manager Don Mattingly, RHP Zack Greinke, SS Jimmy Rollins, RHP Juan Nicasio, RHP Joel Peralta, OF Scott Schebler.

Going campin’: The Dodgers are coming off their third straight NL West title and hope to end their bad run in the postseason. They lost in five games in the NL Division Series to the Mets. They’ve lost in the NLDS for two straight years and the NLCS in 2013. Mattingly and the team mutually parted ways not long after the latest postseason failure despite having baseball’s biggest payroll. He was replaced by Dave Roberts, a well-regarded coach who has never managed at the big league level. The biggest offseason blow was the loss of Greinke to division rival Arizona, leaving the Dodgers with half of their 1-2 punch. Together, Clayton Kershaw and Greinke were 104-34 with a 2.10 ERA over the last three years; the rest of the rotation was 98-98 with a 4.03 ERA. The Dodgers failed to make a splash in the offseason free-agent market despite their ample payroll. On the positive side, they’ll have three players who are 25 or younger at shortstop (Corey Seager), center field (Joc Pederson) and right field (Yasiel Puig). Puig will be watched closely after missing over half of last season with leg injuries.


Manager: Bruce Bochy (10th season).

2015: 84-78, second place.

Training Town: Scottsdale.

Park: Scottsdale Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 18/23.

He’s Here: RHP Johnny Cueto, RHP Jeff Samardzija, OF Denard Span.

He’s Outta Here: RHP Tim Lincecum, RHP Mike Leake, RHP Tim Hudson, OF Nori Aoki, RHP Ryan Vogelsong, LHP Jeremy Affeldt, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, OF Juan Perez, C Hector Sanchez.

Going campin’: After missing the playoffs last season, the Giants are hoping to repeat their pattern of even-year championships — they won the World Series in 2010, ’12 and ’14. GM Bobby Evans went on a spending spree this offseason to strengthen the rotation and up-the-middle defense. He committed $220 million to Cueto and Samardzija to provide needed support behind ace Madison Bumgarner. Chris Heston won 12 games as a rookie and will also be in the mix for the back end of the rotation with Jake Peavy and Matt Cain, who made just 11 starts because of injuries. The Giants also signed SS Brandon Crawford to a $75 million, six-year extension and Span to a $31 million, three-year contract to fill a hole in center field and the leadoff spot. With C Buster Posey and 2B Joe Panik also in the fold, the Giants are as strong as they have been in years up the middle. One hole that will need to be filled in spring training is finding a replacement for retired lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt.

Manager: Andy Green (first season).


2015: 74-88, fourth place.

Training Town: Peoria.

Park: Peoria Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 19/24.

He’s Here: RHP Fernando Rodney, SS Alexei Ramirez, CF Jon Jay, LHP Drew Pomeranz, C Christian Bethancourt, RHP Jabari Blash.

He’s Outta Here: Interim manager Pat Murphy, LF Justin Upton, RHP Craig Kimbrel, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Joaquin Benoit, LF Rymer Liriano, RHP Odrisamer Despaigne, 2B Jedd Gyorko, INF Will Middlebrooks, 1B Yonder Alonso, RHP Casey Kelly, SS Clint Barmes.

Going campin’: The Padres were a major disappointment last season after general manager A.J. Preller loaded up with big-name veterans during a frenzied few weeks in December 2014. Now Preller has gone the other way, shipping out a handful of veterans for prospects to restock the farm system while staying away from splashy acquisitions. Preller denies it’s a rebuilding, but it’s certainly a remodeling for a team that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2006 and will host the All-Star Game this summer. Preller did bring in Ramirez, but he’s 34 and is viewed as a bridge to prospect Javier Guerra. Upton and Kennedy left via free agency, helping to give the Padres six of the top 85 picks in the June draft. Green, most recently the Diamondbacks’ third-base coach, is just 38, putting him closer to the players’ ages than predecessors Bud Black and Murphy. Green, who had success as a minor league manager in the D-backs’ system, brought in Mark McGwire as his bench coach.