MLB.com's Bill Ladson recently broke down the Nationals roster, taking a look at players who would stay, those with something to prove, those who will depart and those who could be traded. Dan Haren and Chad Tracy are "all but gone," in Ladson's estimation, who feels that the team's primary trade chips are Danny Espinosa, Drew Storen and Eury Perez. Interestingly, Ladson lists Anthony Rendon as a possible trade centerpiece should the Nationals make a run at acquiring David Price, who expects to be traded this winter. Here's more out of the NL East...
- Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News looks at the bullpens of the remaining playoff teams in contrast to that of the Phillies, noting that the quartet of relief corps that are still pitching serve as a primary example as to why paying Jonathan Papelbon $13MM annually was unnecessary. The Phillies would be well-served to reassess their scouting department in order to bring in evaluators capable of finding arms like Paco Rodriguez in the draft, opines Lawrence, who notes how mightily the team has struggled to develop relievers.
- In a separate piece, Lawrence writes that it's time for the Phillies to part ways with John Mayberry Jr. now that the team has better bench options. With GM Ruben Amaro Jr. stating that Darin Ruf isn't likely to be an everyday player, Lawrence feels that Ruf should assume Mayberry's role of a powerful righty bench bat. Mayberry will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, and MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $1.7MM salary for the soon-to-be 30-year-old.
- After naming Frank Menechino the new hitting coach, the Marlins will look to create an organization-wide philosophy and approach at the plate, writes MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The Fish may yet look to add a second hitting coach/instructor as well. Newly crowned GM Dan Jennings tells Frisaro that by Spring Training, he hopes to have input from all over the organization to create a new "Marlins Way" or "Marlins Mindset" in their hitters.