As Opening Day draws near, we take a look back at the off-season, breaking down each team's biggest additions, losses and injury concerns, division by division.
The NL West is home to the World Series Giants, but the newly loaded-Dodgers are ready to battle it out for the title. Arizona rocked the trade market this off-season and could be dark-horse contenders in the wake of two big trades. The Rockies and Padres were quite this off-season, suspiciously, quite actually.
Major Additions: Brandon McCarthy, Randall Delgado, Martin Prado, Cody Ross, Didi Gregorius, Cliff Pennington, Kila Ka'aihue, Eric Chavez, Heath Bell
Key Departures: Justin Upton, Chris Young, Trevor Bauer
Significant Injuries: Cody Ross, Willie Bloomquist
The Diamondbacks spent the off-season at the center of trade rumors after reports surfaced during the 2012 season that GM Kevin Towers was looking to move right fielder Justin Upton. They came close to a deal with the Mariners, but Upton refused to waive his no trade clause for Seattle. The Rangers pursued Upton hard, but in the end, the Atlanta Braves won the bidding and sent Martin Prado, starter Randell Delgado and three quality prospect back to Arizona. The Diamondbacks also traded away one the top pitching prospects in baseball, swapping Trevor Bauer for shortstop Didi Gregorius, reliever Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson in a three-team deal. The Diamondbacks signed Cody Ross, possibly in anticipation of the Upton trade, and added some strong support talent with McCarthy, Pennington and Bell as well giving them some quality role players around Prado, Ian Kennedy and Paul Goldschmidt. However, Arizona made some big bets with these two trades and it will take more than just one season to really evaluate the impact of these deals.
Major Additions: Chris Volstad, Jon Garland, Manny Corpas
Key Departures: Jason Giambi, Jonathan Sanchez
Significant Injuries: None
After a forgettable 2012 season, the
Rockies had one of the most forgettable off-seasons in the game. Despite having the worst starting pitching in baseball in 2012, Colorado add little outside talent to their staff, picking up Jon Garland late in the off-season after he was released by the Mariners. On offense, the Rockies have a wealth of young talent and they could improve their pitching with bounce back campaigns from Juan Nicasio, Jorge De La Rosa, and Jhoulys Chacin, but Colorado is clearly not looking to win in 2013. There is something of a wait-and-see approach around the
Rockies right now. They chose not to trade away young position players for pitching this off-season , but with the imbalance of talent on the club, it could still happen in the near future.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Major Additions: Zack Greinke, J.P. Howell, Hyun-Jin Ryu
Key Departures: Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino
Significant Injuries: Ted Lilly, Hanley Ramirez
The Dodgers continued to spend the money brought in by the new Guggenheim Partners ownership group, by signing the top free agent pitcher available in Zack Greinke and importing Hyun-Jin Ryu. The team was relatively quiet after inking Greinke, but those move could be enough following the late-season blockbuster that brought in Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox. The Dodgers might have the best rotation in baseball and their offense, lead by Matt Kemp, should be solid as well. Buying the best players might not be the most creative strategy, but it certainly can work.
San Diego Padres
Major Additions: None
Key Departures: Ross Ohlendorf, Brian Wilson
Significant Injuries: Chase Headley, Casey Kelly, Cory Luebke,
The Padres were extremely quiet this off-season. The team has a number of intriguing young pitchers and first baseman Yonder Alonso could be a star in the future, but the team has very little on offense, even outside of the cavernous
PetcoPark. Losing Chase Headley and Logan Forsythe only exaggerates that issue. Like the
Rockies, the Padres will likely use this season to evaluate what they have in their young players, which players they can move and what issues will need to be addressed with acquisitions.
San Francisco Giants
Major Additions: None
Key Departures: Melky Cabrera, Brian Wilson
Significant Injuries: None
After winning their second World Series title in three years, the Giants strategy was to simply get the band back together for another run. They resigned basically every key free agent including Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Affelt to that end. They let Melky Cabrera leave for Toronto and parted ways with colorful ex-closer Brian Wilson, but neither player was even there for the Giants stretch run or their post-season glory. The biggest move the Giants made this off-season came in the final days of spring training. On March 29, they signed star catcher Buster Posey to a nine year/$167M deal, keeping him in San Francisco through 2022 if they pick up the option in the deal.
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