Today we look at the NL Central where each organization is at and what each team should be looking to do this winter. The cream of the crop of this division has been the St.Louis Cardinals the last 4 years. The last 4 years the Cards made it to the NLDS twice before their season ended and made it to the World Series twice winning the Fall Classic back in 2011. The Pirates are the team next in line in the division in terms of recent success making the playoffs the last two years as the home Wild Card team. The other teams have to catch up.
The Cubs have been going through a painful rebuilding program but the fruits of their labor are about to sprout. The Cubs lead by their big boss Theo Epstein who ended the championship drought in Boston is determined to do the same for the fans at Wrigley. The Cubs just hired Joe Maddon who is terrific manager and great with young players. Perfect fit for where the Cubs are at in terms of their development.
The Cubs have a lot of extremely talented young position players already on the main roster in Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Soler and Alcantara. The Cubs two best young position players have yet to make it to the big club in Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Bryant appears to be ready for the Majors but the Cubs might want to wait until early June of 2015 because of his super 2 clock. Russell we probably won’t see until the summer time. The abundance of talent the Cubs have up the middle in Castro, Baez and Russell makes one of them expendable in a trade which will net a large return. Continue reading
The odds to win the 2015 World Series were released last week and the AZ Diamondbacks’ were listed as 100/1. That puts them at number 30, which is last in all of baseball. That is attributed to a terrible 2014 season, where they posted a 64-98 record.
This team will need to make adjustments to both their offense and defense (hitting and pitching) in order to have an above 500 season, let alone a post-season appearance.
The Diamondbacks could be one of the best offenses in baseball in 2015, but it will come down to power and hitting with runners in scoring position. We know this team does not have much power outside of Paul Goldschmidt and they have struggled with runners in scoring position for several years. In 2014, A.J. Pollock emerged as a definitive leadoff hitter and showed some speed on the bases. Chris Owings was good during stretches of the 2014 season, and whether he stays at second base or slides over to short stop, he will remain an everyday player on this team’s roster. Having a healthy Mark Trumbo will provide power in the middle of the lineup. And, if Aaron Hill is not traded, look for him to have a bounce back year. Continue reading
Today we are going to put some wood on the MLB hot stove fire by looking at a number of possible trade scenarios for various teams. Going to focus on the very good players on up. Let’s get it started.
The Braves have done a good job of locking up a number of their core guys such as Kimbrel, Freeman, Simmons and Teheran. However the Braves face two of their starting outfielders both in their 20’s heading into the 2015 season just 1 year away from free agency. Those players are Justin Upton and Jason Heyward. The Braves are to much of a all or nothing team in terms of offense and in order for new GM John Hart to make the Braves a contender that has change. In addition I don’t think the Braves will sign market value long term contracts to both J.Upton and Heyward. Also the Braves want top prospect catcher Christian Bethancourt to take over full time behind the plate. He does not have the power of Evan Gattis but Bethancourt is a very strong catcher. That makes Evan Gattis also available via the trade market this winter. The Braves need to change the structure of their offense as well as get some starting pitching. Mike Minor is coming off a terrible year, Medlen and Beachy are coming back from Tommy John and Ervin Santana and Harang are free agents this off season.
Believe it or not 4/5 of the Reds starting rotation will become free agents at seasons end in 2015. That includes ace Johnny Cueto as well as Matt Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon. The Reds do have Homer Bailey locked up and youngsters Tony Cingrani and Robert Stephenson could be replacements in the rotation. Having said that one has to figure that Reds GM Walt Jocketty will have a lot of trade discussions this off season.
Colorado: Continue reading