Free MLB Pick Biggest Offseason Need for Every NL West Team
San Diego Padres (66-96)
2019 World Series Odds: +10000
Notable Free Agents: C A.J. Ellis, SS Freddy Galvis
Biggest Need: Starting Pitching
The padres do not have much in the pitching category that they can work with right now, especially starting pitching, but they do have two spots in their rotation that they should be pleased with. Clayton Richard should give some stability to the rotation as a solid, veteran presence. Additionally, Joey Lucchesi should pitch every five games next year after his impressive rookie campaign. Guys such as Robbie Erlin, Eric Lauer, Brian Mitchell, and Jacob Nix will be fighting for a spot although there does seem to be better options via trade or free agent signing.
The Padres have the guys to get a trade done if that is what they decide to do. With a plethora of yuong talent spread all across the field, you might expect to see players like Manuel Margot, Framil Reyes, Hunter Renfroe, and even Will Meyers used in a trade. After acquiring Eric Hosmer, Meyers seems to roam from position to position in San Diego, and could be a big piece in the Padres addressing their pitching woes, whether that be starting pitching or bullpen guys. Games are won and loss on the rubber, and the Padres are not strong in that category. If San Diego wants to stay on track for their rebuild, the front office needs to enter the trade market aggressively.
San Francisco Giants (73-89)
2019 World Series Odds: +8000
Notable Free Agents: OF Gregor Blanco, LHP Derek Holland, C Nick Hundley, OF Hunter Pence
Biggest Offseason Need: Outfield
The Giants are in need of outfield help and this year’s free agent market has a number of good candidates. With the Giants projected starting outfielders for 2019 combining for just over a seasons worth of experience, it is obvious where their biggest issues lies. The Giants should look to free agency to get an outfielder like Michael Brantley, A.J. Pollack, Marwin Gonzalez, Nick Markakis, or Carlos Gonzalez.
Even with a likely trade of Madison Bumgarner, The Giants have some promise in the pitching department with Johnny Cueto when he returns from surgery as well as Dereck Rodriguez and Jeff Samardzija. Assuming these guys can stay healthy through the whole season, starting pitching should still be at least serviceable. The bullpen should remain constant from last year’s above average performance. They posted a 3.75 era and they are not losing anyone from last season. San Francisco’s middle infield is the Giants prized possession with a solid group full of experience and talent with guys like Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik. Also Buster Posey is projected to make the 2019 opening day roster which will only bolster their lineup as well as their defense.
Arizona Diamondbacks (82-80)
World Series Odds: +5000
Notable Free Agents: RHP Clay Bucholtz, LHP Patrick Corbin, RHP Randall Delgado, 2B Daniel Descalso, LHP Jake Diekmann, OF Jon Jay, C Jeff Mathis, OF A.J. Pollack, C Chris Stewart
Biggest Offseason Need: Catcher
Although the Diamondbacks seem to be losing everyone on their roster to free agency, they still have a decent group of players who could see another winning record next year. Arizona has a good core of starting pitchers starting with Zack Greinke. They would need to be able to add some depth at the fourth and fifth spot but their rotation could definitely be worse. The bullpen was very good for most of the year which leads me to believe that is not going to be a major point of emphasis this offseason.
The offense struggled in 2018 and it doesn’t seem extremely optimistic with the loss of superstar first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. The rest of the infield seems to be solidified and Nick Ahmed is a bright spot at shortstop. The Outfield is losing some key players with A.J. Pollack hurting the most, but there are options for them in Jarrod Dyson and David Peralta.Catcher is where this isn’t much hope. Alex Avila hit for just .165 this season while slugging an abysmal .304 and their backup catcher, John Ryan Murphy had a -.1 WAR on the season. Their catching tandem is in trouble and they need offseason acquisitions to save it from its current state.
Colorado Rockies (91-72)
World Series Odds: +3000
Notable Free Agents: C Drew Butera, OF Carlos Gonzalez, OF Matt Holliday, 2B D.J. LeMahieu, RHP Adam Ottavino, OF Gerardo Parra
Biggest Offseason Need: Outfield
The Rockies offseason need seem to be more clear cut than the other three teams in this division we have already covered.Barring any moves this winter, the Rockies will roll out the same five guys that got them to a postseason berth last year. Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, Tyler Anderson, Anthony Sensately, and German Marquez is a young and continually improving pitching rotation the Rockies should feel comfortable counting on.The bullpen is in the same boat as the starting rotation. With not much change next year outside of Adam Ottavino, the bullpen should continue to improve upon last year’s success.
The offense will take a hit losing some key bats in D.J. LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra. The rest of the rockies lineup will stay solid like we have grown accustomed to. The loss of LeMahieu is huge and will hurt them at second base, but they have Ryan McMahon who can assume the starting position, which is more than they can say about their depth in the outfield. Colorado will try to resign Gonzalez or Parra, but they should also look to guys like Bryce harper or Michael Brantley to fill these holes.
Los Angeles Dodgers (92-71)
World Series Odds: +750
Notable Free Agents: RHP John Axford, 2B Brian Dozier, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Daniel Hudson, SS Manny Machado, RHP Ryan Madson, LHP Hyun-Jin-Ryu
Biggest Offseason Need: Catcher
Even though the Dodgers are losing some key players, their team is still ready to content for a world series for the third year in a row.Despite Ryu’s departure, the Dodgers starting rotation will continue to be dominant with Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Rich Hill and Walker Buehler. Also, the bullpen is still going to be very good especially with Kenley Jansen retaining the closer role.The Outfield remains one of the best in the MLB with Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, and Cody Bellinger, and the infield will remain stout when Corey Seager returns to action.
The only position remaining is catcher.
Yasmani Grandal may have seen his last day as a Dodger and Austin Barnes has not shown much of anything so far in the big leagues. Unless the Dodgers are sold on Barnes, it might be time to enter the trade market for a solid catcher such as a J.T Realmuto or sign someone like Wilson Ramos.