BDD: And it's not like you've gone and traded away your prospects.
NC: No. The young players are very much a part of our present and our future. Billingsley has a chance to start and stick with us all year. Kemp...Kemp is going to have a chance to compete for a job in spring training. (Andre) Ethier is going to have a chance to retain his job in spring training. (Russ) Martin is the number one catcher. Loney is going to have the chance to make the club as both a first baseman and a swing outfielder.
So Ethier is not guaranteed the starting RF job?? Does Loney have a shot to start in RF? Or Kemp?
BDD: Actually one of my questions was going to be about Loney. How much experience has he had in the outfield?
NC: Not a lot, but he's had some. He's very athletic and has a tremendous arm. (Jason) Repko probably has the best arm in the organization. But Loney is probably right beyond him. He has plus skills. You know he hasn't played a lot out there, but he's athletic enough that we'll give him a lot of time in spring training to get him acclimated so that he can play first base sometimes for Nomar, and he can play in the outfield too.
BDD: Are you comfortable going into camp with the Wilson Betemit as your starting third baseman? Or will Andy LaRoche get a long look with an opportunity to win the job?
NC: I think there's always competition at this level. I think that LaRoche deserves the opportunity to compete for a starting position, and Wilson Betemit deserves the opportunity to retain his spot. We'll let them figure it out.
This will be an important spring training for both Betemit and Laroche.