Offseason team needs: NL West
Welcome to theScore's MLB offseason team needs, in which we'll break down every club's roster and its key free agents, along with how holes could be filled in free agency. Up next is the NL West.
*Player ages for 2021 season
2020 Record: 25-35 (5th in NL West)
Projected 40-man payroll: $106.5M
Key free agents: Jon Jay, Mike Leake, Hector Rondon, Yasmany Tomas
Needs: Outfielder, 1st baseman, catcher
|1||Kole Calhoun (L)||RF||33|
|2||Ketel Marte (S)||2B||27|
|4||David Peralta (L)||LF||33|
|5||Eduardo Escobar (S)||3B||32|
|6||Daulton Varsho (L)||CF||24|
Arizona's disappointing last-place finish was the result of an inconsistent offense that ranked near the bottom in almost every statistical category. Bounce-back seasons from Escobar and Marte would go a long way toward addressing the team's issues.
The D-Backs aren't rebuilding, but they also aren't a real World Series threat as currently constructed, so it'll be interesting to see what the front office does while hoping to add some additional power to the lineup.
Gallen is coming off a breakout season and looks like a future ace. There's no way MadBum is one of MLB's worst starters again next year, right? Arizona sure hopes not, as he's owed $79 million over the next four years.
The bottom three in this rotation are all talented, and if things go right, starting pitching should be a strength for Arizona in 2021. With Robbie Ray and Mike Leake now departed, the club will likely try to add another veteran starter for additional depth.
2020 Record: 26-34 (4th)
Projected 40-man payroll: $146M
Key free agents: Drew Butera, Matt Kemp, Daniel Murphy, Chris Owings, Kevin Pillar
Needs: Starter, catcher, 1st baseman, reliever
|1||Raimel Tapia (L)||LF||27|
|3||Charlie Blackmon (L)||RF||34|
|5||Ryan McMahon (L)||2B||26|
|6||David Dahl (L)||CF||27|
|8||Tony Wolters (L)||C||28|
It looks like a major shake-up is coming in Colorado. It's expected the Rockies' front office will need to cut payroll, and the team's current lineup isn't good enough to challenge for the division crown.
Both Arenado and Story will probably be shopped this winter. If Arenado is traded, the team will likely offer Story an extension before he hits free agency next winter. Colorado needs help throughout its lineup, and the club could also look to sell off other pieces to prepare for a rebuild.
Every year it seems the Rockies need starting pitching, and this offseason won't be any different. Marquez, Freeland, and Senzatela are coming off good seasons and they form a solid-enough trio, though the Rockies lack a dominant ace. The front office probably won't spend big on a starting pitcher in free agency, but Colorado will likely add a veteran arm or two. The Rockies could also look at pitching in a return if they deal one of their star position players.
Los Angeles Dodgers
2020 Record: 43-17 (1st)
Projected 40-man payroll: $184M
Key free agents: Pedro Baez, Enrique Hernandez, Jake McGee, Joc Pederson, Blake Treinen, Justin Turner, Alex Wood
Needs: 3rd baseman, outfielder, reliever
|2||Corey Seager (L)||SS||27|
|3||Max Muncy (L)||1B||30|
|5||Cody Bellinger (L)||CF||25|
|7||Edwin Rios (L)||3B||27|
The Dodgers' core features players who are all either entering or in their primes. Betts was everything they could have hoped for and more in his first season with the team, while Seager looks to finally be realizing his full potential.
Re-signing Justin Turner or bringing in a new third baseman is a priority. Los Angeles could ink DJ LeMahieu, or go the trade route and pursue Arenado or Kris Bryant. There are several options for a front office that always has financial resources.
Few teams boast the starting-pitching depth the Dodgers possess, and how manager Dave Roberts handles a rotation that's so deep will be intriguing. Price returning gives the club another veteran, and expect Urias, May, and Tony Gonsolin to be swingmen throughout the year, keeping every starter fresh. Even though it looks like there's more than enough pitching in Los Angeles, the team will likely still chase a top arm this winter.
San Diego Padres
2020 Record: 37-23 (2nd)
Projected 40-man payroll: $136M
Key free agents: Jason Castro, Jurickson Profar, Garrett Richards, Trevor Rosenthal, Kirby Yates, Mitch Moreland
Needs: Starter, reliever, bench infielder/outfielder, 2nd baseman
|1||Trent Grisham (L)||CF||24|
|2||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SS||22|
|4||Eric Hosmer (L)||1B||31|
|7||Jake Cronenworth (L)||2B||27|
Just about everything that could go right did for the Padres' offense in 2020, with the club finishing third in the majors in runs and fourth in OPS. There are no glaring needs that need to be addressed, but adding some depth at the corner outfield spots and at second base wouldn't hurt.
With Profar, Moreland, and Castro all hitting free agency, the Padres' bench will need several upgrades. While Cronenworth was a nice surprise, he tailed off considerably over the final month of this past season, and it would be prudent to take advantage of a deep second-base market and add someone who hits left-handed pitching well.
The Padres were dealt a major blow early in the offseason with Mike Clevinger needing Tommy John surgery. Luckily, that happened when almost every free agent is left on the market.
San Diego proved in 2020 that it's ready to be one of the NL's top teams, but the Padres will need to get at least one more starter to compete with the Dodgers. Ownership has increased the club's payroll considerably over the last two winters. That's been a good investment so far, and now the Padres can hopefully keep spending as needed.
San Francisco Giants
2020 Record: 29-31 (3rd)
Projected 40-man payroll: $140M
Key free agents: Trevor Cahill, Drew Smyly, Tony Watson
Needs: Starter (x2), utility infielder, outfielder, closer
|1||Mike Yastrzemski (L)||RF||30|
|3||Alex Dickerson (L)||LF||31|
|5||Brandon Belt (L)||1B||33|
|7||Brandon Crawford (L)||SS||34|
The Giants will keep trying to get younger while attempting to remain competitive as their roster ages. The club will need to add a power bat after its offense overachieved in 2020, finishing sixth in the majors in OPS. Adding a left-handed-hitting infielder who can play multiple positions would also help keep the club's veterans fresh. Posey's return should be a nice boost, too, and he can mentor top prospect Joey Bart.
San Francisco took care of a top offseason priority when Gausman accepted a one-year, $18.9-million qualifying offer. There's still considerable work to be done on the team's rotation, with Samardzija, Smyly, and Cahill all hitting free agency.
The Giants should have money available to spend this winter and next, and several sizeable contracts are expiring at the end of the 2021 season - those belonging to Belt, Cueto, Crawford, and Gausman - so expect the club to be in contention for a top-tier starter. And if you're a hurler seeking a short-term deal to boost future earnings, look at how well pitching in San Francisco worked for Gausman and Smyly.