Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 2/23/12
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When it comes to all the changes that took place in the National League West this offseason, Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson might have put it best. "It's hard not to notice everything," Hudson said. "I think a lot of guys would be lying if they said they didn't pay attention to it at all." While they remain primarily focused on their own goals, the D-backs are well aware of the improvement that happened within the division as teams try to dethrone them as NL West champions. In the age of Twitter, the MLB Network and seemingly endless outlets for sports news online, hot stove news travels far and fast. Accordingly, the D-backs are conscious of the fact that their shot at repeating as division champions got even tougher this winter. "Everybody knows that every team in the division got better this offseason, and I think that's really got to motivate everybody to play better," Hudson said. The D-backs enter the season with a target on their backs, and the NL West could produce one of baseball's best races. The Dodgers bolstered a pitching staff led by NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. The Giants get better by virtue of Buster Posey's health, but they also added outfielders Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. The Rockies retooled with all-star outfielder Michael Cuddyer, catcher Ramon Hernandez and starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. And the Padres made a slew of moves, bringing on outfielder Carlos Quentin, closer Huston Street and top first base prospect Yonder Alonso. The D-backs' competition was clearly not content to sit tight, but neither were the D-backs. "We didnt want to stand pat," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "We knew the rest of the division was going to get better, and I think they have." Towers and the rest of the front office addressed the D-backs needs by adding starting pitcher Trevor Cahill, relievers Craig Breslow and Takashi Saito and outfielder Jason Kubel. Those are the moves the D-backs like to focus on most, but as Hudson said, it's hard not to ignore what your chief competitors are doing to improve. "I think you monitor it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "The players, I'm sure they keep up, and we respect everybody we play. Everybody's out there (going) for the same prize." Gibson was also quick to note, though, that the offseason is more about focusing on your own improvement and that of the organization. D-backs center fielder Chris Young shared Gibson's stance that the greater focus is internal. "You'll see it on the ticker every now and then, but it's not like you're stressing about it or focusing on it," Young said. "You realize the signings, but I think you still try to focus more on what you have. You cant sit there and watch what everybody else is doing. You've got to focus on your squad and say 'Is our squad good enough to beat anybody out there?'" while some D-backs are more tuned in to what's going on around the league than others, they all know that every team in the division has its sights set on what they've got -- the NL West crown. "It just lets you know that no team's in a rebuilding mode," Hudson said. "They're trying to win now, they're trying to go for it now. It makes it exciting to know that we're going to have a lot of good games, a lot of good battles within the NL West this year." The division is typically rich in pitching, and with the likes of Ian Kennedy, Tim Lincecum and Kershaw, that's not about to change, though the new hitters moving in could make things a little tougher on those aces. With Cuddyer, Quentin, and Cabrera joining the likes of Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki, the division looks to get a bit more offensive. Given the improvement all around within the NL West, another tight, down-to-the-wire race can be expected. To a man, the D-backs expect to be in that race, and they're hoping they can break out of the pack. "If you were to go on paper, I love the way our team looks," Young said. "I can't really speak for any other teams, but I feel like we have a very strong squad this year that is extremely capable of surpassing what we did last year."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Sherman holds resentment toward Wilson, Carroll

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker