If your 2022 baseball bingo card had “Colorado Rockies make one of NL West’s biggest free agency moves”, congrats, it’s been a while since that square was a winner. And while the Kris Bryant signing did shock the baseball world, each of the other NL West teams tried to keep pace in their own way. With transactions being a stop-and-go affair thanks to the lockout, the action has been frantic and, at times, hard to keep track of. Here’s a recap of moves made by the other NL West teams this offseason.
Ian Kennedy (1 year, $4.75 million), Mark Melancon (2 years, $14 million)
Kole Calhoun (Rangers)
Tyler Clippard, Chris Devenski (unsigned)
After running away with the title of NL West’s worst in 2021, the D-Backs look to be trotting out a similar group in 2022. The addition of Melancon will help boster a bullpen whose ERA was 14th in the National League last year, and Arizona likely isn’t done yet. They recently extended shortstop Ketel Marte (5 years, $76 million), seeming to indicate that they hope to contend in his contract window. Arizona was plagued with bad luck last year and has multiple talented players in addition to Marte and Melancon, so don’t expect another 110-loss season, but at this point it seems they haven’t done much to keep pace with the rest of the division.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Freddie Freeman (6 years, $162 million), Andrew Heaney (1 year, $8.5 million), Clayton Kershaw (resigned, 1 year, $17 million), Chris Taylor (resigned, 4 years, $60 million),
Kenley Jansen (Braves), Joe Kelly (White Sox), Corey Knebel (Phillies), Max Scherzer (Mets), Corey Seager (Rangers)
Danny Duffy, Shane Greene, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Nelson, Albert Pujols (unsigned)
Yes, you counted right. That’s 25 All-Star selections that have left the Dodgers this offseason. And at this point, they’re still viewed as a juggernaut that could possibly surpass last year’s 106-win eventual NLCS runners up. That’s what happens when you add Freddie Freeman to a lineup that already includes Trea Turner, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, and Max Muncy. Not to mention their pitching, boasting more depth at the five spot in the rotation than most teams have at three. This team is stacked, and the Rockies will welcome them to Coors to start the season (and then be welcomed in turn with six straight games in LA to end the season).
San Diego Padres
Nick Martinez (4 years, $20 million)
Mark Melancon (Diamondbacks)
Jake Arrieta, Ross Detwiler, Daniel Hudson, Pierce Johnson, Keone Kela, Jake Marisnick, Tommy Pham, Jurickson Profar, Craig Stammen, Vince Velasquez (unsigned)
The Padres have been relatively quiet on the hot stove during the offseason, instead showing confidence in their young and immensely talented core. The biggest, and most unfortunate, news out of San Diego has been that their 23-year old shortstop and MVP candidate, Fernando Tatís Jr., will miss around three months of the season after undergoing surgery on his wrist. Tatís is the biggest part of the Padres plans, and is great for baseball, so this is a blow for San Diego and the league alike. However, if they’re able to stay afloat in his absence, look for his return to provide a spark and push them towards contender status in the stacked NL West.
San Francisco Giants
Brandon Belt (resigned, 1 year, $18.4 million), Alex Cobb (resigned, 2 years, $20 million), Anthony DeSclafini (resigned, 3 years, $36 million), Carlos Rodon (2 years, $44 million), Alex Wood (resigned, 2 years, $25 million)
Kris Bryant (Rockies), Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays)
Tyler Chatwood, Johnny Cueto, Jose Quintana, Donovan Solano, Tony Watson, Alex Wood
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. The reigning NL West champs lost some key pieces in the offseason (not mentioned above is the retirement of Buster Posey), but brought back the majority of the team that won 107 games in 2021, eventually dropping the NLDS to the Dodgers in five games. In Bryant, the Giants loss is the Rockies gain, but their rotation is still stacked with quality names. It’s shaping up to be another dogfight at the top of the division.
★ ★ ★
Jake Mailhot of Fangraphs offers his take on the recent Tapia - Grichuk trade. Both Tapia with the Rockies and Grichuk with the Blue Jays were somewhat redundant, so the trade makes sense and will ideally give both players a chance to excel in a more consistent scenario. While Raimel will surely be missed by fans and former teammates alike, this just gives us all one more reason to watch an incredibly fun Blue Jays team.
Ah, spring training baseball. A time of new beginnings, endless hope, split squads, and ties. Ezequiel Tovar was the star of this one, starting at short and going 2-3 with a double, RBI, and a steal. He’s now hitting .550 with a 1.650 OPS and is making a strong case to start as high in the organization as possible to start the year.
While Tovar was lighting the Reds up, the majority of the Rockies starters were playing the D-Backs across town. C.J. Cron hit his first home run of the spring in what was ultimately a losing effort as the Diamondbacks scored three in the second inning and never relinquished the lead. Ryan Rolison got the start for the Rockies and surrendered the three runs, but struck out four and walked none in 2.1 innings of work.
★ ★ ★
Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!