MLB Offseason Recap: NL West

This is the sixth and final installment of the 2021 MLB Offseason Recap. I will be going over each team’s additions and subtractions during the winter and determine if they’ve improveddeclined, or stayed the same in terms of talent and competitiveness. At the time of writing this (Feb 16th), there are still some notable free agents that haven’t found a team yet (Jackie Bradley Jr, Kevin Pillar, Trevor Rosenthal, Brett Gardner, etc.) so stick with me if this becomes immediately outdated. Enough wasting time, let’s dive in.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks sold their soul when they traded away Starling Marte, Robbie Ray, and Archie Bradley before the deadline last season. Those trades resulted, and of course some other instances, with the D-Backs finishing in last place. So what have the D-Backs done to try and regain some success this off-season? So far, it’s been quiet as the D-Backs have signed three relievers. Lefty Ryan Buchter, righty Chris Devenski, and righty Joakim Soria. Of the three, Joakim Soria was the only player signed to a major league contract. The D-Backs still have Madison Bumgarner, Ketal Marte, Kole Calhoun, David Peralta, and Eduardo Escobar as more than serviceable major league talent. The question to be asked from here is, what is their identity at this point? Are they looking to be sellers by the deadline? Are they looking to add some pieces to their core they have in place? So far, this off-season is showing they might be more of in a rebuild phase for the future. We will just have to wait and see how their season plays out. 

Verdict: Declined

Colorado Rockies

Do you know who Nolan Arenado is? Me neither. I heard he’s pretty good and the Rockies traded him away for one major league starter in Austin Gomber and four other minor leaguers. Not only did they let Nolan Arenado walk, they let long time prospect David Dahl walk as well. So…. That’s how the Colorado Rockies off-season is going. They have signed C.J. Cron who will give the lineup a boost but nothing more than that. Nothing more needs to be said. But if you want to read more on the Arenado deal, please go here to get the details.

Verdict: MAJOR decline

Los Angeles Dodgers

Is it possible for defending World Series Champions to improve on an already incredible season? You bet it is. Although there has been some losses to their bullpen, Enrique Hernandez, and Joc Pederson, the Dodgers countered that with exchanging for more bullpen pieces and adding another starter in the name of Trevor Bauer. Ever heard of him? The Dodgers lineup hasn’t changed too much other than the losses of Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez. The Dodgers did resign Justin Turner and have a couple rookies in the waiting. The DH being implemented into the NL is only going to help the Dodgers in this case. The Dodgers did not need to sign Trevor Bauer, but here we are and they only got better. Looking forward to seeing how they end up doing in 2021.

Verdict: Improved

San Diego Padres

Easily the most improved team of the condensed 2020 season, the Padres are looking to build off of their success. Some teams like to take it easy after a very successful season with minimum departures and others feel the pressure of being in “win now” mode. The Padres were the latter. After losing Garrett Richards to free agency, the Padres decided to not only acquire one pitcher to fill the void, but they acquired TWO of baseball’s best pitchers. One being Blake Snell and the other being Yu Darvish. Kirby Yates is no longer a Padre and future star, Luis Patino, is also off their list but those names are arguably the biggest losses San Diego experienced this off-season. Hopefully the Padres can give the Dodgers a run for their money this season so that division won’t be as lopsided. 

Verdict: Improved

San Francisco Giants

One of the more strange teams in baseball, the Giants, should be in rebuild mode in my opinion, but have made quite a few moves this off-season. Johnny Cueto is in the last year of his 6 year $130 million contract and maybe are going to try and go for it with a solid offensive core? The Giants added a lot of pitching this off-season headlined with the signings of lefties Jake Mcgee and Alex Wood. Tommy La Stella was also added this off-season which I presume would be in more of a starting utility role due to the size of the contract, three years $18.75 million. Other than those names, it seems to be a lot of depth signing in the pitching department. With these moves and the emergence of Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, and Donovan Solano, the Giants might think they could maybe have a late season push. If that’s the case, they might have to decide by the trade deadline if they want to get the max value from their younger guys or they could possilbe reach out to some teams and acquire talent to build around the young core they already have. This is an interesting team and something to keep an eye on as the season progress’.

Verdict: Improved?

And that wraps up all of our MLB offseason recaps. As mentioned in the very beginning of each of these, the offseason technically isn’t over yet, but with pitchers and catchers reporting to camp this week and Spring Training right around the corner, we felt it was necessary to provide our humble audience with a little refresher. Thanks for reading and here’s to a full and enjoyable 2021 season.

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