The Blue Jays are flirting with Fort Myers

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The Blue Jays have trained in Dunedin, Florida since the team was founded. But their lease is up in 2017 and, though they say they’d like to stay in Dunedin, there is at least some level of flirtation between them and Fort Myers, which still has an empty City of Palms Park, the old Red Sox joint.

The Fort Myers News-Press reports that Lee County — which runs the Fort Myers facility — would love to have them. But that (a) there are a lot more Canadian tourists up where the Jays train now than down in Lee County; and (b) one of the things the Jays would most like is for the ballpark and the minor league training facility to be in one location, but City of Palms does not and cannot offer that.

As we’ve noted in the past, the Nats have had discussions with Lee County too, but that doesn’t seem to be going anyplace. And really, in a day and age when teams are getting ground-up facilities with all of the new amenities, it’s gotta be a hard sell to get anyone to move into an old park like City of Palms. At the very least there would have to be a lot of incentives to do so.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics