"There are definitely some spots on our roster guys are competing for, and also some spots for playing time guys are competing for," Scioscia said. "That's great for a team. Competition might not be the best for some players, but it's healthy for a team.
"Playing time at third base is something that's going to be real, to fight for that. I definitely think there are going to be some utility roles on the bench guys will be fighting for. On the pitching side, same way.
"It's a good sign. On our depth chart in some areas last year, we were a little thin. In some areas, we're really strong. We've got some good young arms there."
Nowhere does the competition appear heavier than in the bullpen. The club has as many as a dozen legitimate candidates for six or seven relief roles, having added veteran left-handers Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi to the mix along with Fernando Rodney, Jason Bulger, Kevin Jepsen, Michael Kohn, Jordan Walden, Matt Palmer, Rich Thompson, Trevor Bell, Francisco Rodriguez and Bobby Cassevah.