Where: Edgbaston, Birmingham
Ins: Olly Stone (Northampton), Jeetan Patel (NZ, Overseas), Colin de Grandhomme (NZ, for T20 Blast), Grant Elliott (NZ, for T20 Blast)
Outs: Richard Jones (Leicestershire), Recordo Gordon (Released), Laurie Evans (Sussex), Luke Ronchi (Leicestershire)
Key Man: Ian Bell
2016 Season: County Championship 6th; Royal London One Day Cup: Winners; T20 Blast Group Stage
2017 Odds: County Championship: 11/2; RLODC 10/1; T20 Blast 12/1
Your View: Our Warwickshire correspondent Charlie Jennings predicts a tricky season under the new coaching duo of Jim Troughton and Ashley Giles, and believes relegation is a distinct possibility.
Following an inconsistent 2016, a winter of change ensued – Ashley Giles returned to Edgbaston as Sports Director, while Jim Troughton has replaced Dougie Brown as First Team Coach. Despite these changes, it looks set to be a difficult season ahead for the Bears.
2016 was a strange year for Warwickshire, a below-par County Championship season left the Bears fighting relegation going into the last round of fixtures. A win against Lancashire secured their first division status for another summer, 2016 MVP Keith Barker, and CC leading wicket-taker Jeetan Patel overpowering a Lancashire side which survived by the skin of their teeth following other results.
Giles and Troughton will be relying heavily on their bowlers again, as they look to improve on last season's write off – and will look to the more experienced names in their squad to give them the batting solidity that they lacked so much during last year's campaign. Keith Barker – one of the most dangerous bowlers on the county circuit – should flourish again with ball in hand, while with the bat can be expected to provide more than useful runs. Jeetan Patel, fresh from returning once again to the New Zealand Test side in early 2017, will no doubt use his experience and follow up a brilliant 69 wickets in 2016 with plenty more this year. Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Sam Hain will have a heavy burden on them to provide the runs to support the bowling attack, last year they only managed 4 hundreds between them – this will need to improve as Warwickshire last year called far too often on Barker, Patel and Chris Woakes to provide invaluable lower order runs. Tim Ambrose and Rikki Clarke are the only other recognisable experienced batsmen in the top 7, with both opening positions up for grabs – maybe we will be seeing William Porterfield's belated return to the side, and hopefully to form. Youngsters Alex Mellor, Andy Umeed, Ateeq Javid and Matt Lamb will be looking for further opportunities to showcase their talents and particularly for Umeed and Mellor - two regulars in the side towards the end of last season – will be looking to prove their doubters wrong when facing the new ball. The sale of Laurie Evans to Sussex has undermined what already looked a frail batting lineup, and I would expect the batting to be examined thoroughly this season against some very intimidating bowling line-ups.
In the shorter forms of the game, Warwickshire are fairly consistent; last year being crowned Royal London One Day Cup champions despite never really putting a full performance together – and should performance levels improve, the Bears can be expected once again to be there and thereabouts in regards to the 50-over competition – the loss of Laurie Evans will reduce the firepower with the bat, but if Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell can again provide the volume of runs they did in last season's competition, qualification from the group stage would be the very least I would expect. The acquisition of Olly Stone from Northamptonshire looks to be very shrewd and will provide useful death bowling options in both 50 over and 20 over competitions.
As for the T20 Blast, the signings of experienced pros Colin de Grandhomme and Grant Elliott for the entirety of the competition should provide what was lacking so often last season – quick runs at the back end of the innings. Ian Bell and Sam Hain will again be key to any hopes the Bears, under their Birmingham guise, have of progressing from the group stage. Bowling shouldn't be a problem. Jeetan Patel, young leg-spinner Josh Poysden and Ateeq Javid were all solid performers last year; whilst seamers Olly Hannon-Dalby, Olly Stone, Chris Wright and Mark Adair will be looking to fill the void left by Chris Woakes' rise to stardom over the last year or so.
Warwickshire can expect a tough season, with relegation a distinct possibility. Relying heavily on their bowling last season, they will need their batsmen to stand up and be counted.
County Championship: 5th
Royal London One Day Cup: Semi Final defeat
T20 Blast: Group Stage exit
You can follow Charlie @AVCJX on Twitter