A Quick Look Around the NL West

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Well, Christmas has come and gone and Dodgers fans did not find a new starter or another right-handed batter under their tree. While many times here I have said that the Dodgers don’t need to make immediate upgrades, it still would have been nice to have a holiday surprise.

Recently, Andy McCollough of The Athletic wrote about why the Dodgers Front Office is not in such a rush to make the team better, as it is all to do with the current state of the NL West.

As Dodgers fans well know, they have won the West for seven straight seasons, the most in franchise history. Aside from the 2018 season when the division title went down to Game 162, they also have won the division pretty handily. They have won at least 91 games in those seasons, and last year won a record 106 games.

The second place teams have changed behind them, but the Dodgers are a juggernaut in the West. And so even while they haven’t done much so far this offseason, they are still a huge favorite to win the division again for the eighth straight time.

“The Dodgers,” an NL West official said to McCullough, “just make things so much harder for us.”

Thus, says McCullough, the Dodgers don’t really feel the need to urgently make upgrades, as the rest of the west just can’t keep up.

Not that teams aren’t necessarily trying. The Giants are in a bit of a rebuild, so they won’t be competitive for awhile. But they do have Farhan Zaidi, once of the Dodgers front office, who will no doubt use what he learned in Los Angeles to improve his current club. They finished 29 games behind the Dodgers last season in third place. So far this offseason, they have selected Rico Garcia, Kean Wong, and old friend Trevor Oaks off of waivers. Tyler Anderson was re-signed, and Kevin Gausman will compete to join their pitching rotation.

The Rockies have been quiet so far this winter. They finished one game behind the Giants with 71 wins and fourth place in the division. Shortstop Eric Stamets was signed as a free agent, and they selected pitcher Tyler Kinley off waivers from the Marlins.

After finishing in second place, albeit 21 games out, the Diamondbacks only have made one major move thus far, signing free agent Madison Bumgarner. While he said he was interested in joining the Dodgers, Bumgarner chose Arizona so he could be closer to his horses (incidentally one of which is named after Clayton Kershaw). The Snakes also signed utility man Stephen Vogt, also a former Giant, as well as right-handed pitcher Junior Guerra.

And last but not least, there are the Padres. Signing one of the two biggest free agents last year in Manny Machado did little to help them get out of the cellar in the West. The Friars have been the busiest of the NL West teams so far this winter. They re-signed utility man Seth Mejias-Brean. Also, Drew Pomeranz, another former Giant, signed as a free agent. But the Pads have been busiest on the trade front.

In November, they traded Eric Lauer and Luis Urias and a player to be named later to the Brewers for Zach Davies and Trent Grisham. December saw two trades, one sending Austin Allen to the Athletics for infielder Jurickson Profar. The other was with the Rays, which sent minor leaguer Xavier Edwards and Hunter Renfroe to Tampa in exchange for minor leaguer Jake Cronenworth and outfielder Tommy Pham.

None of these transactions amongst the four team seem like they will make a huge impact on the way the NL West will shake out next October. But, as we all know, the divisional rivals aren’t the true competition for the Dodgers, it’s which team wins the other two divisions and the Wild Card game, as they well learned this past season.

And so we will continue to wait until the front office deems it time to make a move.

The beat goes on.

 

27 thoughts on “A Quick Look Around the NL West

  1. Dbacks and Padres will be better. But not better enough. Farhan should get it turned around but, not yet.

    BR has a system ranking for the last decade. We came in 8th. We’ve done pretty good over the last 7 years with an 8th ranked system. We will do pretty good in the next decade as well.

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  2. Rockies and Giants if anything have remained stagnant. Padres have 29 game to make up, they are not even close yet. D-Backs signed the Bum, but they still have not addressed their bullpen, which imploded a lot last year. They should have a pretty decent offense though.. I do think the Bum is not going to really enjoy pitching in a launching pad like Chase after being in Sf where homers are not that abundant.

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    1. The Padres have definitely improved their roster and they could jump significantly if their young starting pitching make the great strides they are hoping for. Are they a threat to win the division? Maybe not, I hope not. But don’t expect them to be push overs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They got a little better. But certainly not enough to close a whole lot of ground on the Dodgers. Depth is an issue with them. Someone like Tatis or Machado goes down, they are in trouble. BP is ok. But they lost some power in the Renfroe-Pham deal, and they still have to figure out what they are going to do with Myers. His contract is a definite albatross for them.

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      2. The potential is there. If they improve by 15 and Dodgers drop back to say 96 wins, they start getting close.

        BTW are you or anyone having problems with MLB’s stat generator. For at least last couple of month’s i am constantly getting a message that The report is taking long to generate, or something similar and it never comes up.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yep. The website has problems loading stats, and also transactions. There were times that I could not get anything going there. Potential is just that. Padres have a lot to prove, but right now they are maybe the 4th best team in the division until they prove something.

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  3. The Juggernaut of the West has a bad habit of always losing their last game of the year. Maybe they should be better known as the 90s Braves of the West

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every team but one loses their last game in October. Several others lose their last game in September. Other than getting a year older, my life doesn’t change either way. After the Dodgers lose, I watch the Rams lose, then I watch the Lakers lose. In between I watch the PAC 8-10-12 lose. Loss is just a part of life. And in this case it’s just a game. And losing a game just doesn’t matter. At least, it just shouldn’t matter. I got maybe another 10-15 years here. If the Kasten model holds true, I’ll see one last game win before I’m through. I look forward to that.

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    2. That reference has been made many times. As long as Kasten is part of the FO, it will be made more, and the longer they go without the win in the big dance, unrest will grow even more.

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    1. When has Friedman made a stellar move for a free agent? Not his modus o. Draft, develop, trade. Fill the seats, make the playoffs, make $. Everybody is happy. Happy happy happy, love love love.

      This is what I KNOW – the Dodgers will lead, or be second to the Yankees, MLB in attendance. The Dodgers will win the West. The Dodgers organization will increase its value. And all THAT will be good enough for ownership. I accept what is.

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  4. Those of us that can watch the games, will get to see the dodgers win a lot more games than they lose. A lot of fans can’t say that about their teams.

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      1. I don’t want to answer for Keith, but as far as I’m concerned I’m OK with the way things have gone over the past 7 years. Would it be better if we’d won the whole thing once or twice, of course. On the other hand, what must it be like to be an Orioles, Pirates, Tigers or Reds fan.
        I realize that other fans, you among them IJDM, think the season is a total loss if you don’t win the ring and you have every right to feel that way. It’s just not how I feel. I ask you this in all seriousness, if you were a Giants fan and had those three rings, how would you be talking now that they have been pretty crappy for the past few years. Again, I know we just have different opinions on this, but I would choose the Dodgers results. I’d rather have an interesting, successful team to watch every season instead of some wonderful years and some unwatchable.

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      2. When thinking back to the Fox and McCourt years under Ned Colletti’s guidance, I can’t help but share similar sentiments to Jeff D. If McCourt and Colletti were still at the reigns today, it’s conceivable the Dodgers would find themselves planted smack-dab in the middle of the NL West standings every year.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s my bold prediction for the division. The Padres jump the D’bags for 2nd place in the division and win 85 games this year. The young players they have on the roster as well as on the farm ready to contribute are the real deal but it’s the shrewd deals they have done getting good veteran core guys like Drew Pomeranz in the bullpen, Jurickson Profar in the IF and Tommy Pham in the OF that will help them have a winning season. The Pham trade was a steal, he’s one of the best on base guys in the game to hit in front of Machado, Tatis and Hosmer. They will have Garrett Richards back to head their rotation with Chris Paddack and I believe they will add another veteran innings eater to have at the back of the rotation.

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    1. That’s a reasonable prediction Alex. I’m not far behind you with that call. San Diego has it going on and it’s just a matter of time.

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  6. I do not lay the McCourt debacle on Colletti. Considering what he had for an owner, Ned did a decent job, and if not for him and Logan White drafting as well as they did, the farm system would not be what they started it down the road too. Colletti made a couple of stinker free agent signings, but he also saw something in Turner, and he signed Yasiel Puig, arguably the most exciting player to don a Dodger uni in many years. He brought us Mannywood, and was at the helm when the deal with Boston was made. Considering what they gave up for those guys, that was a decent trade.Most of the core of the Dodgers was drafted under Ned. As for what has transpired the last 7 years, to quote Nuke Laloosh, winning is better than losing. But, having seen Dodger teams win the big one with lesser offense and outstanding pitching, I cannot help but wonder what kind of a difference Greinke would have made in 17. 2018 they would have lost anyway. Boston was heads and tails the better team.

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    1. Ned did a good enough job, considering who he was working for. He deserves a free pass to the Hall of Fame just for putting up with that idiot owner. Sorry, he was far from an idiot. What he did here to line his pockets may have been the best deal any owner ever pulled off. As for drafting well, Logan White did a great job here and now he works for SD. And who is it that is now universally considered to have the best farm system in MLB? I’m not sure that LW has gotten all the credit he deserves through the years, not that Gasparino has done a bad job in the time he’s been here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gasparino has done a fine job. Just keeping the farm system in the top 10 every year is not that easy. 8 of the Padres top 10 ranked players are in the MLB top 100. But again, prospects are just that until they produce at the major league level. We will see how SD’s drafts work out over the next few years. Dodgers are # 7 at this point. Rays have the #2 ranked farm. D-Backs are ranked #6. Of the Dodgers top 10, 3 already have time in the majors, and a couple more figure to see some this season. Not sure more than 1 of SD’s guys is ready this year, and the way they have been maneuvering, not many rooks going to get the chance.

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