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NL West team needs heading into winter meetings

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theScore's MLB offseason team needs series breaks down every club's roster and key departures, along with how holes could be filled in free agency ahead of the Dec. 4-7 winter meetings. Division previews will roll out daily through Nov. 30.


*Bolded names are players traded this offseason

Arizona Diamondbacks

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2023 record: 84-78 (2nd in NL West)
Projected 40-man payroll: $114M
Key departures: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Evan Longoria, Tommy Pham
Needs: Corner outfield, DH, rotation depth, bullpen depth

Where the lineup stands

1 Corbin Carroll (L) LF 6.0
2 Ketel Marte (S) 2B 4.2
3 Eugenio Suárez 3B 3.2
4 Christian Walker 1B 3.8
5 Alek Thomas (L) CF 0.5
6 Gabriel Moreno C 1.7
7 Dominic Fletcher (L) DH 0.6
8 Geraldo Perdomo (S) SS 2.7
9 Jake McCarthy (L) RF 0.1

The D-Backs crossed off one need just before Thanksgiving by acquiring Suárez from Seattle. Not only is he a significant upgrade over Longoria at third base, but he'll inject some much-needed power into the middle of the lineup. There's still more work to be done, though. McCarthy's regression this past season, combined with Gurriel's possible departure, makes adding another corner outfielder imperative. A platoon partner for Fletcher at DH would also be helpful given his struggles against left-handed pitching in Triple-A and the majors.

How the rotation looks

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1 Zac Gallen R 5.2
2 Merrill Kelly R 3.2
3 Brandon Pfaadt R 0.3
4 Ryne Nelson R 0.7
5 Tommy Henry L 0.7

Pfaadt's emergence during the playoffs gives the D-Backs a third dependable starter behind Gallen and Kelly, but upgrades are still needed. Ideally, Pfaadt would pitch behind a No. 3 starter imported via either trade or free agency. One more starter would push either Nelson or Henry to the bullpen, increasing Arizona's overall pitching depth. The back of the bullpen is in a good spot with Sewald, Franco, and Castro. However, the club would welcome additional depth.

Colorado Rockies

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2023 record: 59-103 (5th)
Projected 40-man payroll: $142M
Key departures: Chase Anderson, Ty Blach, Tommy Doyle, Chris Flexen, Matt Koch, Brent Suter
Needs: Right field, pitching, bullpen

Where the lineup stands

1 Charlie Blackmon (L) DH 0.8
2 Ezequiel Tovar SS 1.6
3 Nolan Jones (L) LF 3.7
4 Kris Bryant 1B -1.2
5 Brendan Rodgers 2B 0.0
6 Ryan McMahon (L) 3B 1.2
7 Elias Díaz C 0.0
8 Hunter Goodman RF -0.4
9 Brenton Doyle CF 0.9

This lineup needs work and has to add experience. Goodman started last season at Double-A and finished 2023 in Colorado thanks to his solid bat. While he's earned the right to compete for the Rockies' Opening Day right-field job in 2024, the team should still consider looking for someone else to man the position, at least in the short term. A natural catcher and first baseman, Goodman only started playing the outfield in 2023. He might benefit from more defensive seasoning at the position in Triple-A. It would also be a good idea for Colorado to add some insurance for the oft-injured Kris Bryant.

How the rotation looks

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1 Kyle Freeland L 1.2
2 Cal Quantrill R 0.7
3 Austin Gomber L 0.9
4 Ryan Feltner R 0.9
5 Peter Lambert R 0.2

Pitching, as usual, remains a major need for Colorado. Adding Quantrill as a potential bounce-back candidate was a nice pickup for this otherwise underwhelming rotation. It wouldn't be surprising if the Rockies signed a few veteran relievers to short-term deals with eyes on flipping them at the trade deadline, as they did this past summer with Brad Hand and Pierce Johnson.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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2023 record: 100-62 (1st)
Projected 40-man payroll: $151M
Key departures: Ryan Brasier, Enrique Hernández, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Lance Lynn, J.D. Martinez, Shelby Miller, David Peralta, Amed Rosario, Julio Urías, Kolten Wong
Needs: Starting pitching, relief pitching, DH

Where the lineup stands

1 Mookie Betts 2B 8.3
2 Freddie Freeman (L) 1B 7.9
3 Will Smith C 4.4
4 Max Muncy (L) 3B 2.9
5 James Outman (L) CF 4.4
6 Jason Heyward (L) RF 2.2
7 Chris Taylor LF 1.9
8 Gavin Lux (L) SS DNP
9 Michael Busch (L) DH -0.5

Everyone knows the Dodgers will be in on Shohei Ohtani, but the offense needs more fine-tuning regardless of whether they sign him. Nevertheless, this is an excellent lineup, but without Martinez, there's an imbalance of left-handed bats. Whether at DH if Ohtani goes elsewhere or a primary left fielder who allows Taylor to move around the diamond, signing one more righty power bat should be on the Dodgers' to-do list. Heyward's return as a corner outfielder is welcomed, allowing Betts to continue in his utility role by playing second base against right-handers. However, he needs a platoon partner.

How the rotation looks

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1 Walker Buehler R N/A
2 Bobby Miller R 2.8
3 Ryan Pepiot R 0.4
4 Ryan Yarbrough L 0.2
5 Emmet Sheehan R 0.5

One way or another, the Dodgers' rotation will look different in 2024. The club will welcome Buehler's return from elbow surgery, and its youngsters provided hope for the future after being pressed into action last year due to a myriad of injuries. Yarbrough brings nice left-handed depth, but L.A. can, and should, easily find an upgrade for the No. 5 spot. More rotation depth is essential for the Dodgers to avoid repeating what happened last summer when multiple starters went down.

San Diego Padres

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2023 record: 82-80 (3rd)
Projected 40-man payroll: $189M
Key departures: Scott Barlow, Garrett Cooper, Luis García, Josh Hader, Rich Hill, Tim Hill, Seth Lugo, Nick Martinez, Austin Nola, Gary Sánchez, Blake Snell, Michael Wacha
Needs: Starting pitching, reliever, catcher, first base

Where the lineup stands

1 Xander Bogaerts SS 4.4
2 Fernando Tatis Jr. RF 4.4
3 Juan Soto (L) LF 5.5
4 Manny Machado 3B 3.5
5 Ha-Seong Kim 2B 4.4
6 Jake Cronenworth (L) 1B 1.0
7 Luis Campusano C 1.1
8 Matt Carpenter (L) DH -0.3
9 Trent Grisham (L) CF 1.7

The most important holes for the Padres to fill right now are at DH and first base. Carpenter turned back into a pumpkin last season, and he should be used, at best, in a platoon DH situation. However, a bench role might suit him best. San Diego could also potentially find an upgrade over Cronenworth, who could return to his roots as a utility player and bounce around the infield. Of course, all of this is assuming that Soto remains with the team. If he's traded, it not only opens up left field as an area of need, but it probably signals a rebuild or that a retool is in the offing. The Padres' offseason strategy would change entirely in that case.

How the rotation looks

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1 Joe Musgrove R 2.1
2 Yu Darvish R 2.4
3 Matt Waldron R 0.1
4 Pedro Avila R 0.6
5 Jay Groome L N/A

This entire staff will take a hit with Snell and Hader likely departing in free agency. Musgrove and Darvish still give the Padres a solid duo atop the rotation, but they need help. Any team with Groome penciled in as its No. 5 should consider finding multiple viable back-end starters essential. Groome posted an 8.55 ERA and 2.10 WHIP in 30 starts at Triple-A in 2023 and has never pitched in the majors.

San Francisco Giants

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2023 record: 79-83 (4th)
Projected 40-man payroll: $148M
Key departures: Scott Alexander, Brandon Crawford, Jakob Junis, Sean Manaea, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood
Needs: Starting pitching, bullpen depth, center field, first base

Where the lineup stands

1 LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) 1B 2.1
2 Thairo Estrada 2B 3.9
3 Mike Yastrzemski (L) RF 1.8
4 Wilmer Flores DH 2.5
5 Michael Conforto (L) LF 1.1
6 J.D. Davis 3B 2.2
7 Luis Matos CF -0.4
8 Patrick Bailey (S) C 2.8
9 Marco Luciano SS 0.2

Matos had a difficult rookie season on both sides of the ball, so finding an upgrade at center field is essential if the Giants hope to get back into contention in 2024. Although they're less urgent, first base and DH would also be spots where president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi could get help. The next generation is ready to step in, as top prospect Marco Luciano will take over shortstop full time from Crawford next season.

How the rotation looks

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1 Logan Webb R 4.9
2 Anthony DeSclafani R 1.0
3 Ross Stripling R -0.3
4 Kyle Harrison L -0.1
5 Keaton Winn R 0.2

Webb is a luxury for the Giants and gives them certainty every five days. Behind him, it's a bit of a mess. Stripling had a difficult first season in San Francisco. While youngsters Winn and Harrison showed flashes of potential during late-season cameos, they're still largely unproven. Alex Cobb is also back but will start 2024 on the injured list after hip surgery. The bullpen, anchored by Camilo Doval and the Rogers twins, is a strength for this club.

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