Left-handed batsman, Hampshire
The ex-England opener has admitted that his England career is effectively dead in the water, which leaves him free to commit fully to Hampshire. A player of real quality in all three formats, he will be the spearhead of a strong batting line-up that features James Vince, Liam Dawson and Will Smith. Freed of the pressure of trying to impress the England selectors, Carberry will be free to play without the fear that has typified Team England lately.
Right-handed batsman, Kent
Once regarded as a near-certain England star of the future, Joe Denly's career hasn't developed as he would have hoped since joining Middlesex. Now back at his childhood county, the opening batsman will be hoping to recapture the form which propelled him into the England team six years ago. He may also find a role for his increasingly impressive leg-breaks if tracks are tailored to suit Riley and Tredwell.
Left-handed batsman, Surrey
The biggest signings of the county off-season seem to have gravitated towards Surrey, and none are more impressive than their overseas player: the world's most consistent batsman, Kumar Sangakkara. He may miss some of the season as he draws the curtains on his Sri Lanka career, but the World Cup showed that he can make centuries for fun in any format, against any opposition.
Right-handed batsman, Sussex
Born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand, but eligible to play in England by virtue of being Portuguese, Craig Cachopa is young, talented, and proven to make big runs. He already ha five first-class hundreds and an average of very nearly fifty, and Sussex will also be looking to utilise his aggressive batting in the one-day middle-order. He will be hoping to take some pressure off the evergreen Ed Joyce.
Right-handed batsman, Somerset
A star of more than one global tournament for the Netherlands, Tom Cooper is commencing upon his first county contract with Somerset. In the past, he struggled to convert strong starts into decisive hundreds, but that is no longer the case. Taunton will be an ideal place to add to his six hundreds in each format, but will he cope with the pressure of replacing the prolific Nick Compton?
Right-handed batsman, wicket-keeper, Yorkshire
After being relegated to third-choice gloveman at Sussex before inevitably being released, Andy Hodd's first-class career appeared to be heading to a premature conclusion. However, Yorkshire spotted his talent, and with between two and six players likely to be with England at all times, he should get plenty of opportunities this year. He also comes off the back of a pre-season when he looked almost unrecognisably classy.
Right-handed batsman, right-arm medium pace, Derbyshire
Shiv Thakor burst onto the scene with Leicestershire, but became the first player to leave the county at the end of last season. He has not gone to Notts, as is usual for ex-Leicester England prospects, but to Derbyshire, who will be looking to him to help them earn promotion back to Division One. They will also want to leave behind a 2014 that was far from ideal; what better way than by signing an ex-England Under-19 player?
Left-arm orthodox, Middlesex
Despite a relatively modest record, Ravi Patel's impressive T20 display attracted the attention of the England Lions last year. He will be competing with German-born Ollie Rayner for the first-team spinning slot, but will be hoping for a break-out 2015 season. Certainly, he will want to improve on last year's disappointing Championship season, where he claimed aggregate figures of ten for 647.
Left-handed batsman, left-arm medium pace, Worcestershire
Originally famed for a bowling action in which he appears to try to turn himself inside out, Shantry has shown himself to be far more than a novelty bowler. His bowling average of 28 is getting lower all the time, and his recent performance against Oxford MCCU returned improbable match figures of 31.3-19-28-10. He's also far more than just a tail-ender, as shown by his match-defining hundred against Surrey last September.
Right-arm fast-medium, Worcestershire
Alongside Shantry, Charlie Morris makes up one of county cricket's best seam bowling partnerships. Accurate, skilful and increasingly pacy, he has graduated from the MCCU programme with honours. He will be hoping to add a distinguished Division One campaign to his increasingly impressive CV, and, depending on how badly England perform, he may earn higher recognition sooner than expected.
Right-arm fast-medium, Sussex
Another MCCU graduate, Matt Hobden has so far found regular first-team cricket difficult to come by at Hove. However, he looks to have improved greatly over the winter, putting on a yard of pace and finding a regular, unpleasant length. Able to hit the seam regularly and boasting a tall and powerful physique, he has all the raw ingredients of a very impressive fast bowler.