The West division produced intense division battles and a World Series champ last year, so let's take a look at what they're up to.
Dodgers release Kevin Gregg
The Dodgers released right-handed relief pitcher Kevin Gregg today. He has closed for several teams in the past and has had moderate success, but after now failing to get a middle relief role, the right-hander is pretty much desperate for anything that comes along.
Gregg is at worst serviceable depth, but it appears as though the Dodgers are suddenly okay with having "enough" pitching depth. I would be rather surprised if he failed to catch on anywhere else in Triple-A, as he has a decent track record.
Blackley goes from Oakland to Houston
The Astro acquired ravis Blackley from the Athletics today, and they only had to give up a minor prospect to do so. The left-hander is a great story, pitching int he Australian League before getting back on with the Athletics and pitching well for them last season. He was out of Major League baseball from 2007 until last year, and he shows that if you work hard enough and want something that you can attain it.
This move is probably a simple response to the injury of Alex White, as the team was presumably looking to bolster its starting pitching depth in the wake of White's Tommy John Surgery. Blackley can start and relieve, and the team could use him in both roles to help eat innings. Perhaps they could use him as a tandem starter, or a long man similar to Erik Bedard. The team is of course using tandem starters throughout their minor-league affiliates, which makes the possibility just that, possible.
Speaking of the West, Blackley also pitched for the Seattle Mariners before his Major League hiatus. So he has deep West Coast ties.