Spring Training 2014: Here We Go Again


Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/MCT

Los Angeles Angels players stretch during spring training last February 2013.

The 2013 regular season saw some unbelievable endings, some gold glove type plays, and unanimous division champs that ended the regular season in dramatic fashion. The playoffs came around in October, only to disappoint a few of those division champions, as the Boston Red Sox and the American League took the crown. It was a season of ups and downs, no doubt. However, it’s time to put the past to rest. 2014 is upon us, and this season has the capability to blow us all away.

With the arrival of Spring Training just 27 days away, players are getting in their last few good workouts, and spending time with their families before the long 162 game schedule comes about in April. There have been some crazy offseason signings this winter, with big free agents hitting the market, and general managers all over the league swarming to get their hands on a star player to make a run at a World Series come October. Here are some of the biggest free agent signings in the offseason.

Top 10 Free Agent Signings This OffSeason per cbssports.com

1. Robinson Cano – Former Team: New York Yankees New Team: Seattle Mariners

New Contract: 10 years, $240 million.

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Former Team: Boston Red Sox New Team: New York Yankees

New Contract: 7 years, $153 million

3. Brian McCann – Former Team: Atlanta Braves  New Team: New York Yankees

New Contract: 5 years, $85 million

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Former Team: Cincinnati Reds  New Team: Texas Rangers

New Contract: 7 years, $130 million

5. Ben Zobrist – Resigned by the Tampa Bay Rays for 1 year, $7 million

6. Carlos Beltran – Former Team: St. Louis Cardinals  New Team: New York Yankees

New Contract: 3 years, $45 million

7. Nelson Cruz – Former Team: Texas Rangers (Cruz is still currently UNSIGNED)

8. Mike Napoli – Resigned by the Boston Red Sox for 2 years, $32 million

9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Former Team: Boston Red Sox  New Team: Miami Marlins

New Contract: 3 years, $21 million

10. Curtis Granderson – Former Team: New York Yankees New Team: New York Mets

New Contract: 4 years, $60 million

As you can see, there have been some very important signings this offseason. Particularly, the Yankees have once again dug into their deep pockets and shelled out a whole lot of dough to these top free agents in order to make a run at yet another World Series title.

Now that most signings have already happened, it’s time to play the game. Only 29 days separate pitchers and catchers from their first workout in Spring Training. What a feeling it must be to be able to finally put the glove back on and toss the ball around after a long winter. Well, here we go. Spring Training, ladies and gentleman, is back.

Since it’s only Spring Training, it’s hard to predict who will come out on top in October with the World Series title. It’s even hard to predict who will win their division at this point in the year. However, let’s take a look at both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues to get an idea of where teams stand in their respective leagues. Following each team is their record from the 2013 season.


                                                        Grapefruit League Teams       

                                                   1. Atlanta Braves  (96-66) – NL East

                                                   2. Baltimore Orioles (85-77) – AL East

                                                   3. Boston Red Sox  (97-65) – AL East

                                                   4. Detroit Tigers (93-69) – AL Central

                                                   5. Houston Astros (51-111) – AL West

                                                   6. Miami Marlins (62-100) – NL East

                                                   7. Minnesota Twins (66-96) – AL Central

                                                   8. New York Mets (74-88) – NL East

                                                   9. New York Yankees (85-77) – AL East

                                                   10. Philadelphia Phillies (73-89) – NL East

                                                   11. Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68) – NL Central

                                                   12. St. Louis Cardinals (97-65) – NL Central

                                                   13. Tampa Bay Rays (92-71) – AL East

                                                   14. Toronto Blue Jays (74-88) – AL East

                                                   15. Washington Nationals (86-76) – NL East


While these games, don’t mean anything in the standings or on the stat sheets, these games are very important in an athlete’s preparation and production for a long 162 game season. These teams, from top to bottom, have the potential to be great. Yes, even the Astros, who have great young talent on the way to the Big Leagues. It will be an interesting 2014, no doubt about it.

                                                                 Cactus League Teams

                                                   1. Los Angeles Angels (78-84) – AL West

                                                   2. Arizona Diamondbacks (81-81) – NL West

                                                   3. Chicago Cubs (66-96) – NL Central

                                                   4. Cincinnati Reds (90-72) – NL Central

                                                   5. Cleveland Indians (92-70) – AL Central

                                                   6. Colorado Rockies (74-88) – NL West

                                                   7. Chicago White Sox (63-99) – AL Central

                                                   8. Kansas City Royals (86-76) – AL Central

                                                   9. Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) – NL West

                                                   10. Milwaukee Brewers (74-88) – NL Central

                                                   11. Oakland Athletics (96-66) – AL West

                                                   12. San Diego Padres (76-86) – NL West

                                                   13. Seattle Mariners (71-91) – AL West

                                                   14. San Francisco Giants (76-86) – NL West

                                                   15. Texas Rangers (91-72) – AL West

 As we gear up for Spring Training, there are just as many contenders in the Cactus League as there are in the Grapefruit League. That’s why we love baseball, isn’t it? On Opening Day, there is hope for everyone. Every team has zero wins, and zero losses. It’s that time again sports fans. Get ready, the 2014 baseball season should be a good one.