With the weekend signing of superstar pitcher Cliff Lee to a six-year deal, the Philadelphia Phillies reminded the National League they’re the team to beat—despite losing to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants in last October’s playoffs. Philly’s fearsome foursome of starting pitchers, including Denver native Roy Halladay, should more than hold their own against the Giants’ great hurlers, while the Rockies and other divisional rivals are also trying to keep pace with San Francisco.
The Denver Post breaks down the signings and trades in the NL West so far this winter. While Colorado might not be inking blockbuster contracts, MLB.com reports the team has excelled at developing minor-league talent: Seven of the eight projected starting position players and three of Colorado’s five starting pitchers have come through the Rockies’ farm system. And yesterday, the team announced it has locked in its minor-league coaching staff for 2011 in order to build on that foundation, according to the Post’s Troy Renck. Vegas bookies, however, are not impressed, writes Purple Row, which shares the early odds for teams picked to win the 2011 World Series. The Rockies are listed as a 20-1 shot, while the Phillies are the clear betting man’s favorite so far.