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Spring Training Dish: Dodgers Camp

Chris Kline -

We had the opportunity to sit down with Dodgers vice president of scouting and player development Roy Smith, who just returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic with the rest of the Dodger brass, to talk about how much the organization's development philosophy has changed since he came over to the club in 2004 after six seasons as assistant general manager of the Pirates; the sudden depth of outfielders in the system and the state of international scouting—an area in which the organization has lacked in recent years since the departure of international scouting director Rene Francisco.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

Spring Training Dish: Nationals Camp

Chris Kline -

We sat down with Nationals farm director Andy Dunn to talk about the state of the system, what the organization is trying to stress among players in camp, the return of lefthander Mike Hinckley and the rumor that Kory Casto was moving off third base in the wake of Ryan Zimmerman's arrival last season.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

Spring Training Dish: Braves Camp

Chris Kline -

We caught up with Braves assistant general manager for baseball operations Dayton Moore, after we reached him on his Blackberry at Disney's Wide World of Sports, which was filled with middle-school cheerleaders preparing for a competition . . . until we made our way past CrackerJack Stadium and onto the back fields at Disney's pristine complex.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

Spring Training Dish: Pirates Camp

Chris Kline -

We sat down with Pirates farm director Brian Graham—in between dodging random throws by second baseman Jose Castillo at his moving golf cart around Pirate City—to talk about keeping the system stocked with depth after losing so many players to the majors last season, the lack of impact talent other than Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen, and what in the world happened to righthander Matt Peterson after he came over from New York in the Kris Benson deal two years ago.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

Spring Training Dish: Phillies Camp

Chris Kline -

With assistant general manager of scouting and player development Mike Arbuckle back on the amateur beat for the Phillies' scouting department for his most extensive tour of duty in at least three years—and with a first-rounder slated for June—Arbuckle is adamant about reloading through the draft and being aggressive on the international market. We sat down with Arbuckle to talk about where the system is now and where it's headed, the nice crop of lefthanders already in tow, and righthander Scott Mathieson—who's grown leaps and bounds in what can only be termed as a well-traveled offseason.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

Fire Sale Alone Won’t Help Marlins

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Owner Jeffrey Loria has been rebuffed in his bid for a publicly funded ballpark, so Florida has embarked on yet another fire sale. Can the Marlins avoid 100 losses this year? Almost assuredly not. But the biggest question is, can they rebuild via a massive exchange of veterans for prospects again?

Minors | #2006#Column

Royals’ Latest Plan Won’t Work Either

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The Royals haven't been to the playoffs since 1985, and now they're a complete laughingstock. The Royals have matched or set a franchise record for losses in five of the last seven years, upping the ante to 106 in 2005. Locals wondering how hapless the old Kansas City Athletics must have been now know first-hand.

Minors | #2006#Column

Prospect Handbook Is A Labor Of Love

Will Lingo -Premium Content

This is the sixth edition of the Prospect Handbook, and in many ways it's our most ambitious undertaking. We figure assembling the top 30 prospects for an organization—from research to interviews and writing—takes about a work week. Then there's editing, adding statistics, laying out, cutting text, proofreading . . . There's a reason it's the best book of its kind: because a lot of people care passionately about what goes into it. Getting the best baseball information, using just the right word, making sure it all looks nice and is fun to read. Everyone plays a part in making sure this happens on page after page.

Minors | #2006#Column

Phils Move Could Start Scramble

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The instability surrounding the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, which we've written about several times in the past couple of years, looks like it will finally cost the club its most valuable asset after the 2006 season: the affiliation with the Phillies.

Minors | #2006#Column

Minor League Markets In Short Supply

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The name of the game for minor league owners these days is revenue, especially those who have entered the business in the last decade and have laid out millions of dollars for their franchises. That's why the trend of recent years has been to leave behind smaller cities—and even those larger cities that aren't willing to build new ballparks—for greener pastures, sweeter ballpark deals and bigger crowds. The scarcity of viable markets has become evident in the last year or two, though, raising questions about when the attendance boom might level off. It sure hasn't stopped yet, with overall minor league attendance breaking the all-time record in each of the last two years.

Minors | #2006#Column