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Dodgers Off-Season: NL West Strengthens as Diamondbacks Acquire Starling Marte

The Dodgers are still clear-cut favorites.



The NL West has been fairly uncompetitive since the Dodgers have begun their reign, rattling off seven straight division titles with the potential to make it eight in 2020. The only real competition they have had in recent years has been the Diamondbacks and the Rockies. The Rockies forced them to a game 163 in 2018 and showed that the Dodgers were not invincible. The Diamondbacks even made the playoffs one year, only to be swept by the Dodgers.

Now, there are more teams in the mix than ever before with the Dodgers still holding their ground.

Let’s take a look at the way the division shakes out:

Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks agreed to acquire center fielder Starling Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, giving up two very solid prospects, shortstop Liover Peguero and right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone who was selected in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Quite the overpay, in my opinion. The primary point, though, is that the Diamondbacks have made moves to improve.

They acquired Zac Gallen in an excellent sneaky move at the 2019 trade deadline. They acquired Luke Weaver and Carson Kelly in the Paul Goldschmidt deal with both players looking like potential difference-makers. They also acquired a nice core of prospects by trading Zack Greinke to add to their already solid farm. They will be a .500 team at minimum with an outside chance to make the Wild Card Game.

Padres

The Padres are coming and they are coming fast. We have long discussed their excellent farm system and now these top-tier prospects are graduating to the big leagues. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack are just the beginning. They have bad contracts like Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers on the books, but they also have Manny Machado and the league minimum contracts down the road with their prospect core. Top pitching prospects Mackenzie Gore and Luis Patino could see the big leagues in 2020.

Now, they are discussing Mookie Betts with the Boston Red Sox, a potentially game-changing move for them. Betts would be a game-changing move for anyone, but he would make the Padres incalculably better. The Padres are truly starting to blossom and could contend for the NL West by 2021 or 2022.

Rockies

The Rockies are an absolute joke at this point in time. They had an awful 2019 and their star player, third baseman Nolan Arenado, wants out. He’s angry and might get dealt before the 2020 season begins. They have bad contracts doled out to relievers that continue to get blown up in the regular season. They have not done well as a front office.

The Rockies are going to finish fourth or fifth in this division with or without the play of Nolan Arenado.

Giants

The Giants, now led by former Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi, are on the right track to contention. It will take at least a few years for them to rise to that level, but Zaidi being at the helm makes up a few years of rebuilding for them. The Giants are not the Giants of the early 2010s anymore, but they likely will still be pestering the Dodgers again at some point this decade. However, it will not be this year or next.

Overall

Now, that leaves us with the Dodgers. The Dodgers have a case for being the best team in baseball and are easily a top-three club as currently constructed. They will win 100 games in 2020 or at least get close to that mark. They might even make the World Series. To get there, though, a big move seems to be the obvious move.

The Dodgers just have to pull the trigger.

The division is going to be there for the taking without much competition in 2020, but Los Angeles doesn’t celebrate division titles, they celebrate with championships down Figueroa. 2020 needs to be the year.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

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  1. Doing almost nothing at all this off-season is starting to boggle my mind. LA fans need some healing now with Koby gone. How ’bout something for the fan’s Friedman?

      • Like they always do bud!!! Lakers are the blue print of what a huge market should be! Spend big, bring the top players in, and build championships! We’re lucky to have them. They reward us with greatness!

  2. How about we trade Friedman for Hazen? Hazen seems interested in improving his team while Friedman seems interested in, well, I’m not exactly sure what. Our rotation is now not as good as it was last year, our bullpen puts the Q in question mark, and we haven’t bolstered an offense that still needs to figure out how to show up in the post season (except for Turner). Yes, the Dodgers have been better that the Diamondbacks over the past several years. But what has it gained us? A bunch of shiny divisional pennants and a couple of WS flame outs. Theo: If not now, when? Andrew: Sorry, too rich for my blood.

  3. The Dodger’s window will close in a few years for sure, and one reason will be that when guys like Bellinger, Seager (if he’s still here) and Urias will be gone upon reaching FA because Scott Boras is their agent and by then we probably won’t have a single Scott Boras client on this team. I am not sure Freidman and FO will do much what it may take to retain those guys either.

      • Yep Paul and Don. The worst thing a Dodger player can do is become a MVP if they wanted to remain with the org. Grandal,Puig,Watson,Machado,Ryu,Morrow , Howie Kendrick and above all GRIENKE! All of these guys they would not pay! Kendrick the excuse was a 2 nd base prospect , Puig was a clubhouse problem, Watson asking too much along with Morrow, Grandal had Smith pushing him out even though he’s still the 2 nd best catcher in the game!!!! Once again he wanted paid! And Grienke, Friedman was worried about injury problems!!!! The Dodgers fans are like Democrats, I’m sure most are! Friedman has them paying high taxes promising them everything! Then takes their money and leaves them winless!!!

    • Always amazed you guys don’t get it! The window doesn’t close!!! The team had 9 solid rookie premiers last year! The Farm Team is stronger than ever! That is the entire point of having a Farm Team and not trading away top talent.
      Where is the window going to close in the future? Pitching? How about a starting rotation of Buehler, Urias, May, Gonsolin and Gray? And there are several others that are coming up and very impressive.
      How about an infield of Smith, Muncy, Lux, Downs & Seager? An outfield of Verdugo, Bellinger and ? Peters or Beaty or who knows? With extras like Rios etc.
      Because they have not listened to the pundits they have not made stupid trades and over paid for players.
      By the way if you look at numbers the Dbacks way overpaid for Marte. Don’t listen to the idiot sportswriters look at the players in the Farm and look at what the Farm Team has produced and will produce!
      Areyou people just simply depressive people all the time.? You people are the Eeyore’s of Baseball!!

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