MLB Sports

NL West Offseason Moves

edwin jackson detroit3 - NL West Offseason Moves

Edwin Jackson returns to the NL West.

Post by – Pigpen

Having reviewed the NL East and NL Central, we round out our review of the Senior Circuit’s offseason moves with a look at the NL West.  Thanks again goes out to MLB Trade Rumors for compiling these lists.

Diamondbacks

  • Acquired/Re-signed: Tony Abreu, Aaron Heilman, Carlos Corporan, T.J. Beam, Drew Macias, Edwin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Zach Kroenke, Bob Howry, Jeff Bailey, Brandon Webb, Rodrigo Lopez, Adam LaRoche
  • Lost: Doug Slaten, Yusmeiro Petit, Alex Romero, Trent Oeltjen, Ryne White, Scott Maine, Daniel Schlereth, Max Scherzer, Josh Whitesell, Eric Byrnes

The biggest move this offseason for the D’Backs was the 3-way trade with the Tigers and Yankees.  I don’t like this move for Arizona.  Scherzer, a known stathead, appears poised to break out as one of the top starters in all of baseball, while Edwin Jackson was a bit lucky in his “breakout” year last season in Detroit, and Ian Kennedy is yet to prove that he isn’t a AAAA pitcher (as in one level higher than triple-A, but not quite MLB quality).  The other player traded away, Daniel Schlereth, son of “Stink,” is a high-upside left-handed reliever taken in the first round out of Arizona.

Purely speculating here, but my guess is that Arizona is nervous about Scherzer’s long-term health, and role, and therefore traded him while his value was high, before what they may see as an inevitable injury.  For a take on the finances behind the deal, be sure to check out J.C. Bradbury’s take here.

LaRoche passed on more money from the Giants to sign in a park more suited to his game.  This reminds me of Adrian Beltre taking a one-year “pillow” deal with the Red Sox to help establish his value for, hopefully, a big free agent contract next winter.

The LaRoche signing pushes Connor Jackson to left field which rendered Eric Byrnes and his bad contract completely useless, leading to his release.

While there was some speculation that the D’Backs wouldn’t pick up Brandon Webb’s option, I think they made the right move, given his history.  Look for him to have a bounce back year before signing a fat contract after the season.

It’s unclear if former-Cub Aaron Heilman will be used as a starter, or reliever in Arizona.

Rockies

  • Acquired/Re-signed: Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle, Randy Flores, Juan Rincon, Matt Wilhite, Ryan Harvey, Paul Phillips, Miguel Olivo
  • Lost: Joel Peralta, Matt Murton, Jason Marquis, Mike McCoy, Garrett Atkins

The Rox signed firemen Huston Street and Rafael Betancourt to mutli-year deals.  Street was a revelation for them last season, but $22 million is a lot of money for a closer.  Additionally, $7.55 million for 2 years for a guy who threw 25 innings last year seems like an unnecessary risk.

Atkins had to go.  He can’t field, and can’t hit away from Coors.  Good luck with that one, Baltimore.

Dodgers

  • Acquired/Re-signed: Doug Mientkiewicz, Carlos Monasterios, Armando Zerpa, Josh Towers, Jamey Carroll, Jon Link, John Ely, Angel Berroa, Justin Miller, Luis Ayala
  • Lost: Tony Abreu, Randy Wolf, Juan Castro, Juan Pierre, Mitch Jones

It is pretty clear that the divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt is messing things up for GM Ned Coletti.  This is a team that’s made the playoffs for 3 of the past 4 years…yet they have no money to even offer Randy Wolf arbitration with the hope of getting the draft pick compensation?  A quiet offseason in L.A. has possibly put them behind the Rockies, Giants, and D’Backs in the West.

Getting rid of Pierre was a great move, though he did set the world on fire last season while Mannywood was suspended.

The Dodgers have a nice, young core of talent in Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, James Loney, and Jonathan Broxton, but if Chad Billingsley doesn’t bounce back, this team’s lack of pitching depth is going to be a real problem.

Padres

  • Acquired/Re-signed: Radhames Liz, Dusty Ryan, Jackson Quezeda, Chris Stewart, Chris Denorfia, Scott Hairston, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Aaron Cunningham.
  • Lost: Eulogio de la Cruz, Eliezer Alfonzo, Drew Macias, Luis Rodriguez, Henry Blanco, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Eric Soegard, Edgar Gonzalez.

I was sad to find out that Edgar Gonzalez had signed with the Yomiuri Giants as otherwise the Padres would have had the Brothers Hairston and the Brothers Gonzalez on the same team.

With Kouzmanoff heading up the coast to Oakland, Chase Headley moves back to his natural position at 3rd base, allowing defensive end Kyle Blanks to slide into the outfield.

Giants

  • Acquired/Re-signed: Steve Johnson, Mark DeRosa, Tony Pena Jr., Joe Borchard, Aubrey Huff
  • Lost: Justin Miller, Bob Howry, Brad Penny, Ryan Sadowski

Jason Bay was popular fodder for rumor-mongering Giants fans this offseason; unfortunately, they ended with Mark DeRosa instead.  DeRosa is a good player, but not a great one, and not the kind of bat they needed after finishing near the bottom in runs scored in the NL last year.  It’s a shame, really, because their pitching was the best in the NL last season, but the staff’s effort was wasted by Brian Sabean’s inability to field a major league caliber offense.

After watching Aubrey Huff do absolutely nothing for the Tigers down the stretch, I have to agree that he is “subtraction by addition.”  His signing puts Sandoval at 3rd, DeRosa in left, and last year’s most productive outfielder, Fred Lewis, to the bench.

Much was made on the internet about how much Tim Lincecum would ask for in arbitration.  He ended up requesting $13 million, which would be a record.  In light of King Felix’s recent signing, it’ll be interesting to see if the Giants try and lock Lincecum up long-term.

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7 Comments

  • I’ve always found the NL West to be completely uninteresting. The Padres, even when they were good, were boring because of their park. The Giants have been OK, but Bonds was a dark cloud over that whole organization. The Rockies and D’Backs are both such young franchises that it is hard to get excited about them, and then you have the Dodgers – an historic franchise, but not as relevant today as the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs.

    I’ve always liked the AL West. Billy Beane still fascinates me, and he Angels are baseball’s best run organization from top to bottom. The Mariners with Jack Z. have become really interesting (though I think we need to hold off crowning them anything just yet), and the Rangers have a lot of young talent that makes them fairly compelling.

  • Yeah the best way to describe the play is tragically average. I was hoping that the Dodgers would make a few moves in the offseason so that we could have a nice race between the Dodgers and Giants. We all know how awful the Padres are going to be. Maybe Pigpen will rank the leagues for us after his “Offseason Moves” are done. I would say the NL & AL Central are doing their best to become more average too.

  • The AL Central is becoming a race to the bottom for who can make the worst move.
    Twins GM: We’ve got Carl Pavano!
    White Sox GM: I’ll see your Carl Pavano and raise you a Juan Pierre!
    Tigers GM: I’ll see your Juan Pierre and trade away the face of our franchise!
    Indians GM: I already traded away the last 2 AL Cy Young award winners!
    KC GM: Scott Podsednik, Jason Kendall, Mike Jacobs, Yuni Betancourt!

  • They seriously signed Jay Payton and Paul Lo Duca? When was the last time either one of them collected a major league at bat?

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