Based on the numbers, Mark McGwire has a strong case...

Based on the numbers, Mark McGwire has a strong case for the Hall of Fame. But his use of performance-enhancing substances have kept him out so far. (Feb. 17, 2010) Credit: AP

1. Behold the Yankees

They’re back in the center of baseball’s universe, trying to put together another dynasty. Their winter moves only intensify the intrigue.

2. Haves vs. have-nots

With two seasons to go before a new collective bargaining agreement must be struck, both sides will use 2010 results as ammunition.

3. Reyes’ anatomy

The Mets will attempt to rebound from their brutal 2009 season, yet their health still looms as an issue.

4. October Halladay

The Phillies acquired Roy Halladay, who seems destined to make his postseason debut in this, his 13th major-league season.

5. Divorce (Mc)Court

Joe Torre’s Dodgers will play a baseball season while their owner Frank McCourt endures a brutal divorce case against his wife Jamie.

6. Southern surge, swan song

The Braves are very good again, yet they’re also nudging legendary manager Bobby Cox out the door.

7. Plummeting stock

Next winter’s free-agent class was supposed to be outstanding, but Joe Mauer has re-upped with the Twins, and Josh Beckett might stick with Boston.

8. Pitching and defense

Speaking of Boston, the Sawx went heavy on run prevention this past winter. Should be an interesting challenge for the Yankees.

9. Big Mac attack

The Cardinals’ new hitting coach, Mark McGwire, hopes that the questions about his past illegal PED usage will stop. So do the Cardinals.

10. Show me the money

The economy might not be as dire as a year ago, but it will still impact teams’ operations, concerning attendance and possible trades.

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