On MLB.com, there is an article up now about 5 Questions facing each team across each league. (Starting with the AL West and NL East.) So inspired by that idea, I ask one question for each team in the NL West. (In alphabetical order.)
Was Enough Done to Make Arizona a Playoff Team in 2020?
The Diamondbacks made a few moves this offseason. Signing Madison Bumgarner and trading for Starling Marte, headlined those moves. Arizona is in a complicated position as they are likely the second-best team in the division. But they are not close to the NL West best, Dodgers. The DBacks are a solid sleeper pick because they are a talented bunch. And if a few players have breakout seasons, Arizona can once again make the playoffs. But the question is, was enough done?
Dodgers (Los Angeles)
Can Mookie Betts Put the Dodgers Over the Top?
Although delayed, the trade of Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers has finally happened. And Mookie is truly a franchise-changing talent. The Dodgers have been a staple atop the NL West Division over the past several seasons. Adding Mookie Betts to that lineup makes it even scarier for National League teams. The Dodgers were already a World Series favorite in the National League.
Giants (San Francisco)
Where are the Giants on the Win Curve?
The San Francisco Giants are in a difficult spot because of an aging roster. They play in a tough division with the Dodgers at the top of it. But they have some players that still have talent. The secondary question continues to be health and consistency with an aging team. Players like Buster Posey and Evan Longoria were once the cream of the crop (dig it.) But have now become shells of their former selves. San Francisco would likely need a return to form season from nearly their entire roster to have a chance in 2020. However, if that will be capable of or even enough of a move, that’s merely a precursor question. The real question is, where will the Giants fall in the war.
Padres (San Diego)
Was the Money Worth it?
Now that we are a year removed and a lackluster 70-92 finish to the season later, we must ask a serious question. Were the contracts handed out to Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer worth it? The corner infielders were at one point at or near the top of their positions. But during San Diego’s rough year, they produced just 70 wins and closed out the season dropping six straight games and 9 of their last 10. It may still be a little too earlier to say whether either deal was a flop. But another season at the bottom of the NL West. And the Padres may look to move their corner infielders.
Will the Rockies Trade Nolan Arenado?
The biggest question facing the Rockies is about their All-Star stud Third Baseman, Nolan Arenado. Trading Nolan has seemed like a must-make move because of the player’s unhappiness over the direction of the club. But usually, the player’s overall happiness isn’t of concern or consequence to the ballclub. Arenado is unquestionably among the best players in NL West and MLB. And it’s that talent that plays and makes Arenado a game-changer for any organization, including the Rockies. But with an opt-out option in his contract and a full no-trade clause, a move would have to be approved by Nolan. And that likely means a lesser return for Colorado. However, that doesn’t mean Nolan won’t be traded. But it also doesn’t mean that he will be either.
Final Thoughts on NL West
The NL West is a difficult division to make judgments about because of the discrepancy in the talent. The Dodgers are the clear cut number one’s in the division. But outside of LA, no other team stands out as a definite postseason candidate. The Padres have improved their squad over the last few years, but it hasn’t manifested in winning. The Diamondbacks have made some moves and could be a sleeper team. But other clubs in the NL feel like stronger contenders. The Rockies and Giants are in flux and directionless. So outside of the Dodgers, I don’t think any team will make the postseason.
However, continue to stay tuned to LaracuenteLedger.com as we continue this series of the Big Question facing each Division in MLB.