We have nowhere to improve – said no team ever. Everybody is always looking to improve and with the lockout freezing transactions for over 3 months, teams are looking to make moves quickly. I thought it might be fun to look around the NL East and examine one move that would help complete a perfect offseason for each team.
Re-sign Freddie Freeman
Re-sign Jorge Soler
I initially had re-signing Freddie Freeman at the top of Atlanta’s to-do list. They had 28 days after their World Series win and before the lockout to lock-up the face of their franchise, and they didn’t do it. Almost a week post-lockout, they decided to trade for Matt Olson and effectively let Freeman go. Not only that, but they unloaded the farm to bring Olson over. Their farm system is a bottom five system after this trade.
Aside from restocking the farm, which they’re not in a position to do at this point, their best move prior to Opening Day would be re-signing Jorge Soler. He was a postseason hero last year and with the DH coming to the NL, he would give the Braves 40 home run power in the middle of their Freeman-less lineup. Soler’s market is reportedly heating up, so there will be some competition for his services, but the Braves have the money to bring him back. In fact, the Braves have more than enough money to sign anybody they want in free agency now that they’ve moved on from Freeman, but it appears they’d rather pocket that money.
Marlins trade SP Pablo López to Mariners for OF Kyle Lewis and RP Casey Sadler
Miami has a ton of starting pitching depth but can’t score any runs. They signed Avisaíl García earlier in the offseason, but could still stand to add another bat. It seems like the front office doesn’t have a whole lot of money left to spend, so a trade might end up being the best route to take care of that. In this deal, they add a much needed bat and also add a great arm to the back-end of their bullpen.
Seattle has a plethora of young talented outfielders and is going to need to clear some room soon for perhaps the best of the bunch, Julio Rodríguez. Everybody is looking for pitching and Seattle is no exception, so this trade is a win-win for both teams.
New York Mets:
Sign Andrew Chafin
The Mets don’t have many holes in their 26-man roster at this point. They’ve added Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt to the rotation while adding Mark Cahana and Starling Marte to the lineup. They signed Adam Ottavino to bolster the bullpen, but their bullpen lacks one thing — a left handed specialist.
Chafin is the best left handed reliever on the market and is coming off a career year. Chafin posted a 1.83 ERA in 71 appearances last year between the Cubs and Athletics. Chafin is fairly dominant against LHB but is also solid against RHB, making him an excellent addition to the Mets pitching staff.
Sign Kris Bryant
My initial thought here was to have the Phillies add Kenley Jansen. Their bullpen has been an utter disaster for years. But now that they’ve added Brad Hand to their earlier additions of Corey Knebel and Jeurys Familia, I think they’re most likely done there.
Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant have been wanting to play together for years. The Phillies are in dire need of some help in the outfield and Bryant also provides some insurance if Alec Bohm doesn’t rebound. Bryant is bonafide middle of the order bat that would make the Phillies lineup even scarier and he’s frankly someone I’d like to see the Nats add. He doesn’t have a QO attached to him due to his mid-season trade to the Giants, so the Phillies wouldn’t have to give up a draft pick to sign him. That’s huge for them because their farm system is the worst in baseball, which is also the main reason Nick Castellanos and Michael Conforto are somewhat unlikely options here.
Nationals trade SP Joe Ross to Padres for OF Wil Myers, OF James Wood and IF Euribiel Angeles
The Padres are desperately trying to unload some salary and the Nationals would be the perfect team to take on some salary in return for prospects. The Nationals might be more likely to add a veteran starting pitcher on a one year deal (someone like Zack Greinke), but I think this move would help the club out more.
The Nats have an opening in the outfield and Myers is an above average bat that can play LF for the Nats and also fill in at 1B when need be. He’s owed $23.5 million between his salary this year and a buyout in his contract next year. By including Joe Ross, the Nats would get send the Padres some possible rotation help and they would offload his $1.5 million salary. In total, the Nats would then be on the hook for $22 million.
The top end of the Padres farm system would likely be off limits in a potential Myers deal since he only has one year remaining on his deal. They’re also shopping Eric Hosmer, who they might have to attach Robert Hassell to in order to unload. I don’t see Hassell as a possibility for Myers though. In Wood, the Nats would be adding the Padres #5 prospect and second round pick from 2021 who has 25-30 home run potential. The only question surrounding Wood is his hit tool. Angeles is a couple of years away from reaching the big leagues, but the hit tool is already there. He was signed as a shortstop, but has been playing second and third in the minors. He projects a guy who won’t hit for a ton of power, but will get on base.
If the Nats can swing a deal like this, they should absolutely do it. If all goes right, they might even be able to flip Myers at the deadline. Joe Ross is a free agent after the season and is already slated to miss the next 6-8 weeks, so dealing him won’t be too much of a blow. I also had to include him because he was originally traded by San Diego to Washington as a part of the trade that sent Myers from Tampa to San Diego.