With the offseason almost two months old, MLBTR is going through all 30 teams’ remaining needs by division. We’ve already checked in on the NL East, AL West, AL Central, and NL Central. Next up: the National League West.
Arizona Diamondbacks [Offseason Outlook]
The Snakes have overseen quite the busy offseason effort thus far. To an extent, though, the activity to date hints at more to come. If there’s an area that’s fully set, it’s the rotation … unless the organization decides to pull the trigger on a deal sending out pending free agent lefty Robbie Ray. That would be a strategic decision to turn a win-now asset into future value. It’s unlikely but not impossible that a hypothetical return would impact the immediate roster the way last year’s Paul Goldschmidt trade did.
The position-player mix could be settled, too, though it’s also possible to imagine the club adding another piece. In the event that the D-Backs find good value on a center field-capable 4th outfielder or a second/third baseman, they could shuffle the assignments of existing players accordingly. Otherwise, the bullpen unit still feels susceptible of improvement. If the Diamondbacks don’t find other ways of investing their remaining available payroll space, they could pick up one or more of the experienced late-inning arms still waiting around in free agency.
Colorado Rockies [Offseason Outlook]
For some teams, the remaining needs are largely the same as the preexisting needs. The Rox really haven’t done much of anything this winter, picking up well-traveled veteran catcher Drew Butera and taking low-cost shots on pitchers Tyler Kinley and Jose Mujica. Adding better options in those areas remains a priority, albeit a seemingly unfunded one.
If there’s a dramatic move to be made this winter, it’ll happen on the trade side. The Rockies are at least chatting with rivals about Nolan Arenado. No doubt they’re fielding calls on Jon Gray, German Marquez, and Trevor Story as well. And it still seems plausible to imagine Charlie Blackmon being made available as a means of alleviating the team’s payroll pressures, though we’ve seen no real indication of talks on the well-compensated outfielder.
Los Angeles Dodgers [Offseason Outlook]
What do you get for the roster that has everything? A bigger star, of course. That’s what the Dodgers have reportedly set out to find, eschewing marginal upgrades and allowing Hyun-Jin Ryu to depart via free agency while stalking bigger game.
With the open market now rather picked over, the Dodgers appear to be focused on structuring complicated trades involving some of the game’s best players. Francisco Lindor? Mike Clevinger? Mookie Betts? Intriguing targets abound. Whether any will land in Chavez Ravine remains unknown.
If the Dodgers whiff on their primary objective, will the offseason be a bust? Perhaps, though there’s still ample talent on hand to sweep away the NL West for the eighth-straight time and the summer trade deadline will offer new opportunities to add. There’s an argument that the club could really use another quality late-inning arm, even after a $10MM roll of the dice on Blake Treinen, but that’s about as close to a true “need” as you get with this stacked roster.
San Diego Padres [Offseason Outlook]
If you think this offseason could be drawing to a close, look no farther than the Friars for one of several rosters that could still see major change. The club has certainly picked up some new pieces — skyrocketing reliever Drew Pomeranz, solid starter Zach Davies, outfielders Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham, and second baseman Jurickson Profar — but doesn’t look to have made overwhelming strides in advance of a critical season.
There’s certainly an argument to be made that the Padres can roll with their existing talent. There’s upside in quite a few places of the roster and more coming through the pipeline. But making a real run at the Dodgers-dominated NL West is not going to be easy, if it’s plausible at all. And the NL Wild Card figures to be tightly contested. Even breaking a nine-year run of losing records isn’t a sure thing.
With the threat of organizational change looming, the Padres should continue pushing for a blockbuster, win-now addition. And they probably ought to increase their pain tolerance for striking a deal. There’s still potential to improve in the outfield, especially in center, and at the top of the rotation. The Friars would like to upgrade behind the dish but will probably find that difficult to pull off. Finding a taker for Wil Myers is another notable possibility, with extension talks to follow during Spring Training.
San Francisco Giants [Offseason Outlook]
The Giants are in an awkward position, carrying a combination of underperforming, expensive veterans and cheaply acquired, still-not-established (but not necessarily youthful) players. President of baseball ops Farhan Zaidi has made a few upside-oriented adds this winter but has yet to make any major moves.
Far more than plugging holes, Zaidi is looking for opportunities to build the organization’s talent base. But with the existing collection of established players and the team’s win-always market situation, there’s also some impetus to turn out a competitive product.
More than anything, the Giants could stand to improve at the back of the bullpen and in the outfield. Zaidi has gleefully churned through untold numbers of players at these precise areas since taking the helm. He has made a few finds but there’s plenty of work left to be done. Fortunately, there are some experienced relievers and higher-ceiling corner outfielders still floating around the open market, with trade opportunities perhaps also still alive, so the Giants could yet make more acquisitions.