For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what would make sense.
On to the NL West, where the Dodgers will try to continue their tradition of losing in the playoffs, the Rockies start the farewell tour for Arenado, the Diamondbacks say goodbye to relevancy, the Giants start strapping dynamite to the walls to begin a rebuild, and the Padres ironically look to be competitive in 2019.
Top FA Targets:
- Dallas Keuchel, SP
If the Rockies want to make a push in Arenado’s walk year, they’ll need SP. Keuchel was the best at inducing groundballs in 2018 and that is a trait a SP in COL needs. The Rockies would have to go past their payroll budget to make this happen or they would need to backload it.
- Yasmany Grandal, C
Along the same constraints financially as above, Grandal could help the pitching staff out with his framing and defense and be a strong middle of the order bat if/when Arenado departs after the season.
- Marwin Gonzalez, UTIL
With a hole at 2B, Marwin would be a nice bat to replace LeMahieu and provide some versatility in later years if he needed to shift to 3B in 2020.
- David Phelps, RP
With so much inconsistency in their bullpen in 2018, they should look for a low-cost arm with some upside. Phelps, coming off of Tommy John surgery, would be a great one year deal for a lot of teams. He has experience closing too… in case shit hits the fan again in 2019.
- Ervin Santana, SP
Simply a veteran starting pitcher with prior success, coming off a bad year. The Rockies could do a lot worse than this.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Rockies trade 1B Ryan McMahon & prospect SP Peter Lambert (#3) to the Blue Jays for SP Marcus Stroman & 1B Justin Smoak
The Rockies need to win-now and the Jays need to build for the future. Stroman has two years left of team control and Smoak is in his last year of his contract… so the Jays should extract some value (and clear their ~$16M in salaries off the books). In return, they receive in intriguing SP prospect and five years of team control over McMahon, a former 2nd round pick in 2013 out of high school.
- Rockies trade 1B/OF Ian Desmond to the Mariners for SP Mike Leake
Ian Desmond has been a nightmare free agent signing for a club that can’t afford any big mistakes… and weirdly enough for a Rockie, Desmond has hit better on the road. You aren’t moving the 3 years and $35M remaining on his deal without taking some shit back, so enter the “re-tooling” Mariners. Mike Leake has 2 years and $36M remaining on his deal but he is an effective groundball pitcher and could be a rebound candidate himself. Basically a change-of-scenery deal for both teams.
- Rockies trade RP Mike Dunn & a low A prospect to the Marlins for 2B Starlin Castro
Mike Dunn, as I mentioned in a previous article, had a negative WAR in 2018 and is set to make $8M in the last year of his contract. For the Marlins, they are trying to slash payroll so Derek Jeter can maximize his bonus and Castro is set to make just under $13M in 2019. The Marlins can clear $5M off the books AND cost themselves wins?… you got a deal!
- Rockies trade SP Jon Gray, OF Raimel Tapia, SP Jeff Hoffman & prospect SP Riley Pint (#5) to the Indians for SP Trevor Bauer & C Yan Gomes
The Rockies go in on 2019 and Arenado’s walk year by acquiring a frontline SP and a great defensive catcher to help with their young pitcher’s development. Bauer comes with two years of team control remaining, while Gomes comes with one plus 2 reasonable options. In return, the Indians get three years of Jon Gray, five years of former top prospects Jeff Hoffman and Raimel Tapia, and prospect Riley Pint (#4 pick in the 2016 draft). Additionally, the cash-strapped Indians are able to shave $8.5M off their 2019 payroll.