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Grading the First Half of the Offseason: NL West

The California teams have been busy, while the Diamondbacks parted ways with Paul Goldschmidt.

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

It’s the start of February. We are well beyond the halfway point of the offseason, and the biggest free agent stars (such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, and Marwin Gonzalez) are still free agents.

Let’s check out and grade how every National League West team has done this offseason, listed in order of their 2018 regular season records.

Los Angeles Dodgers: B-

2018 record: 92-71
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost the World Series to the Boston Red Sox and just days later made their first move of the offseason. Sure, it was a small move, but as we have seen from this slow offseason, a minor move is as good as any. It was a trade with the Chicago White Sox, bringing infielder Justin Yurchak to Los Angeles while southpaw Manny Banuelos went to the Windy City. Their next move came when they released second baseman Chase Utley so he could retire and join the front office staff. Two days later, the team added pitcher Kevin Quackenbush on a minors pact with a spring training invite, before doing the same with outfielders Shane Peterson, Cameron Perkins, and Paulo Orlando. The Dodgers have made several other trades this offseason, getting lefty Adam McCreery from the Atlanta Braves for cash, sending outfielder Tim Locastro to the New York Yankees for cash and righty Drew Finley, and righty Caleb Sampen to the Tampa Bay Rays for righty Jaime Schultz. However, those weren’t the biggest trades that Los Angeles made. They re-united with catcher Russell Martin by acquiring him from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for righty Andrew Sopko and infielder Ronny Brito, while, more notably, landing pitchers RHP Homer Bailey and Josiah Gray and infielder Jeter Downs from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, lefty Alex Wood, catcher Kyle Farmer and cash. As for major-league signings, the Dodgers agreed to deals with reliever Joe Kelly and outfielder A.J. Pollock. Although the two signings were of notable players, it wasn’t exactly what Dodgers fans pictured entering this offseason; neither were those trades.

Colorado Rockies: B

2018 record: 91-72
The end to the 2018 year was quiet for the Colorado Rockies: after the season ended, their only two notable moves were acquiring righty Jordan Foley from the Yankees for a different righty in Jefry Valdez, and also adding veteran second baseman Daniel Murphy on a big league pact. January was quiet, too: the Rockies added two players on minor-league deals. First, they brought in former Milwaukee Brewers righty Alec Asher, according to a league source. And next, they brought back first baseman Mark Reynolds, according to Thomas Harding of rockies.com. And that was that; those were the only moves the Rockies have made so far this offseason. Sometimes, less is more, and that may just be the case with Colorado’s offseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks: A-

2018 record: 82-80
The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a busy offseason after finishing in the middle of the pack in a talented NL West division. However, their November was quieter: they agreed to minor league deals with spring training invites with utilityman Rob Refsnyder and infielder Kelby Tomlinson, before doing the same with outfielder Matt Szczur and reliever Damien Magnifico. Things got busier in December, and signing Arizona Diamondbacks signed free agent righty Merrill Kelly to a major league deal was only the start. One day later, the Diamondbacks sent star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals for catcher Carson Kelly, righty Luke Weaver, and infielder Andy Young, as well a future draft selection to cap of the massive trade. Things stayed quiet after that until the Diamondbacks acquired southpaw Robby Scott from the Reds for cash in the final days of 2018. Weeks later, the Diamondbacks would acquire cash and southpaw Ronald Roman from the New York Yankees in exchange for outfielder Tim Locastro before later signing infielder Wilmer Flores and pitcher Greg Holland to big league deal. Considering all of this, and the extension given to manager Torey Lovullo, it has cetainly been a productive offseason for the Ariozna Diamondbacks.

San Francisco Giants: C+

2018 record: 73-89
The Giants had a very quiet start to their offseason before stepping up their game slightly in 2019. Their one notable move in 2018 came when they struck a deal with ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte. They kicked off their 2019 when general manager Farhan Zaidi re-united with second baseman Breyvic Valera, acquiring him from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for cash. The Giants also agreed to minor league deals with camp invites with outfielders Henry Ramos and Athony Garcia, infielders Zach Green, Levi Michael, and Donovan Solano, catchers Cameron Rupp and Hamlet Marte, and pitchers Conner Menez, Kieran Lovegrove, Jamie Callahan, Enderson Franco, Keyvius Sampson, and Carlos Navas, however those moves only came after they added pitchers Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz on major league deals. It has been perhaps a disappointing offseason for many fans, who were hoping to at least see a trade involving someone like Joe Panik or Madison Bumgarner. The offseason isn’t over by any means, but so far, their grade isn’t great.

San Diego Padres: B-

2018 record: 66-96
The Padres are one of the teams that have been busy this offseaon. First, let’s get the minor league signings with big league camp invites out of the way; the Padres agreed to deals of that manner with pitchers Tyler Higgins, Dietrich Enns, Ryan Bollinger, Fernando Rodriguez, Eric Stout, and Carlos Torres, outfielders Alex Dickerson and Boog Powell, infielders Aderlin Rodriguez, Allen Craig, and Seth Mejias-Brean, and catcher Chris Stewart. Next, the Padres were able to complete several trades, sending catcher Raffy Lopez to the Atlanta Braves for cash, righty Walker Lockett to the Cleveland Indians for Ignacio Feliz, righty Rowan Wick to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Jason Vosler, righty Colten Brewer to the Red Sox for infielder Esteban Quiroz, and lefty Clayton Richard and cash to the Toronto Blue Jays for outfielder Connor Panas. With those two things covered, that only leaves major league signings left to discuss, which the Padres have made a couple of, bringing in righty Garrett Richards and second baseman Ian Kinsler. The latest rumors loosely link the Padres to Bryce Harper and Dallas Keuchel, but until anything is finalized, they must be judged based on moves they’ve made in the past. They haven’t been a “yikes” team, perhaps learning from their previous mistakes, but they also haven’t been a “wow!” team. It’s been a decent offseason for the Padres as they continue to re-build around a fabulous farm system.