Despite the attention paid to the free spending Dodgers, let’s not forget that the World Series Champions have come out of the NL West 3 of the last 5 years by way of the San Francisco Giants.
Losing Pablo Sandoval to the AL East was a blow for the division, and Hanley Ramirez to a lesser extent, but the rumors are rampant that the teams in the NL West are not about to settle or let the talent level fall. The Diamondbacks signed Yasmany Tomas. So who is next?
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- Latest buzz indicates Padres could splurge on surprise position
Rockies: If the Rockies and Padres could combine rosters and sort things out, it might amount to quite a baseball team. Imagine Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado playing alongisde the Padres pitching staff. Alas, for both teams this can’t happen. The Rockies let go of Michael Cuddyer which was smart because he’s old and this club also saw Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson emerge in a crowded outfield anyway. Will they trade one of their big cornerstone players for a big time pitcher? Keep in mind many teams would love to have EITHER Tulo or CarGo.
Dodgers: Bringing former Rays GM Andrew Friedman into the front office has been their biggest move, as well as losing Hanley Ramirez but you know things won’t end that way before spring training kicks off in Arizona. Rumors still abound over the talented but inconsistent Matt Kemp as a trade chip, and all of a sudden their infield is Dee Gordon, 25 year old prospect Erisbel Arruebarrena, and 35 year old Juan Uribe at third base. I don’t think so.
Giants: The Giants just won the World Series, but they have shown over their Even-Year Dynasty they don’t sit tight and wait for the best. They might try and sell high on Michael Morse, who had a career year but still sat out the last month of the season before coming up big several times in the playoffs. Hunter Pence will stay, but now third base needs to be picked up again after losing Kung Fu Panda. Some have suggested putting Buster Posey (a high school shortstop) both as a way to save his legs and because Hector Sanchez proved to be a reliable backstop as well. Of course, Posey was also a good high school pitcher and I don’t see anyone suggesting him doing that too.
Diamondbacks: The D’Backs appear to be gearing up to make some moves. We knew when Tony LaRussa came to town Kevin Towers would be gone, and in with former bulldog pitcher Dave Stewart. Good start both in signing Tomas and getting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson from the Rays. They have some middle infielders to spare in Aaron Hill, Chris Owings, and Didi Gregorius who could be shipped out for pitching help. Also, their big signing of last off-season Mark Trumbo had a BAD season and missed the beginning due to injury. Paul Goldschmidt missed a chunk of time. Getting those two back to normal production with Tomas and this team could really have something offensively.
Padres: Most of you reading this website know what the Padres need and how their off-season has started. They need offense, and though the hot stove has seemed to be turned up hotter than most in previous memory – nothing has come of it to this point. Will new GM A.J. Preller get something significant accomplished his first winter in San Diego, or will it more of the same. I’m still hopeful they can make a move for at least ONE big bat, and though I would hate to see a trade within the division that burns you later, it is clear that the Padres are certainly not the only ones with glaring weaknesses in the division. How about a Andrew Cashner for Troy Tulowitzki trade especially after the Everth Cabrera non-tender? We shall see who steps up to make the gutsy move. Stay tuned to Friars On Base for more about the Padres and the Wacky NL West.