NL West Off-Season Roundup: Tanakamania to the East Coast

Andy Lyons

With Tanaka signing a 7 year contract to play in the Bronx, the Dodgers and D-backs missed their chance to land the ace Japanese pitcher. But did anything else happen in the NL West this week? And who has the best first baseman in the NL West?

Note: Since I'm lazy and really don't feel like talking about people like Joaquin Arias avoiding arbitration, go here to see all the latest updates in arbitration. Now moving onward....

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Signed Shelly Duncan to minor league contract

Our Diamondbacks literally did nothing this week besides signing Shelly Duncan to a minor league deal. This was partly due to waiting to hear for Tanaka's decision. The Dbacks were one of the final 5 teams in the race for the right hander, but fell short to the Yankees. It appears that with no Tanaka, the dbacks starting pitching is set, but it's still out there that KT might offer pitchers like Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Bronson Arroyo contracts.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies also did very little this week. But Colorado could be one of the favorites to land a pitcher still left on the market. The Rockies pitching staff era was dead last in the NL, and 26th in MLB. One of the reasons for this is because the Rockies are playing half their games in the best hitting park in baseball. So with that said, it will be a lot tougher to get a pitcher like Santana to sign a contract. It'll be interesting to see how hard Colorado push for one of these starters, and if their even willing to trade Cargo or Tulo to free up some payroll.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers signed catchers Miguel Olivo and and Griff Erickson to minor league contracts, and will battle with with Tim Federowicz for the backup catcher role. Los Angeles then signed Chone Figgins to a minor league deal. After making the 2009 All-Star team and signing a 4 year deal with the Seattle Mariners, Figgins has been a disaster, hitting .227/.302/.283 in 1209 PA.

But the biggest news for the dodgers this week wasn't a signing or trade. They were the runner up in the bidding war for Tanaka. Never thought you would see the day, huh? If the Japanese pitcher is as good as advertised, he would have easily given the Dodgers the best rotation in baseball, if they don't have it already. Los Angeles obviously don't need to sign another free agent pitcher as bad as some teams, but they still have interest in Bronson Arroyo, and do need to sign Hanley Ramirez to a contract extension and they are already in talks about that.

San Diego Padres

Wow. You talk about random. We went from the Braves-Dbacks epic 7 player deal last year to this crap? This might go down as the most least notable 7 player trade in history. But in all seriousness, let's look at this deal for both teams.

The Padres get one of the better left-handed relievers in baseball with Alex Torres. The lefty had an era of 1.71 and racked up 62 K's in 58 innings at the age of 25.

The main piece for the Rays in this deal is infielder Logan Forsythe. In 762 PA, Forsythe has a batting average of .241 and 12 career homeruns. But since he is playing for Tampa, he'll bat .311 with 15 homers, and lead the Rays to the 2014 AL East Title. I only wonder which prospect in this deal will take them to the 2017 World Series........

San Francisco Giants

The Giants signed 3 relievers and traded for 1. Every one of these relievers has a career era over 4.(Yes we still remember you J.C). But hey, they're pitching for the Giants and Bruce Bochy. So they picked the right team and manager to be a reliever for...

Other NL West Notes

It looks like we won't be calling him fat panda anymore.

NL West First Baseman Ranking

From now till the start of the season, I'll be ranking every NL West team in their position. These rankings will be based off hitting, fielding, speed, and health. (Of course until we get to comparing pitching staffs and bullpens!). If there is every a situation like Didi/Owings, I will always choose the guy who played the most games in 2013. So with that said, let's take a look at the NL West first basemans!

5. Yonder Alonso

Hitting: Coming off a nice rookie season where he came 6th in ROY, Alonso suffered a down year in 2012. He still hit .281, but injuries kept him off the field. One of the problems Alonso has had in SD is hitting home-runs. When traded from the Reds, the Padres were hoping they found their next big power bat. In near 1,000 PA in a camouflage uniform, Alonso only has 15 homers. He should improve, but not exactly the big hitting first baseman yet. 6/10

Defense: Being a big guy Alonso doesn't exactly get around that well. Even when he can he's not the greatest fielder in the world, with a .992 fielding percentage. 5/10

Speed: Probably the worst part of every first baseman's game, Alonso doesn't fare much better. Alonso had 6 stolen bases last year, and 9 for his career. Not as bad as some first baseman's, but you get the point. 3/10

Health: Being only 26 years old, already having injury problems is not want you want to hear if you're a Padres fan. But with a fractured hand, Alonso could only play 97 games in 2013. Not saying he'll be injured every year, but it's not exactly the way to have your 2nd full season. 6/10

Overall: Alonso is a very young player, so you can't say he is going to be like this the rest of his career. It doesn't help his stats that he's playing in Pecto Park either. If he can improve his health, I can see him being a nice first baseman, but for now he still has a long way to go. 5/10

4. Justin Morneau

Hitting: After being a star hitter in his prime, Justin has gone through a lot of problems with health and eye sight. This has caused an effect on his hitting skills. Morneau has hit as low as .227 and as high as .259 since 2011. But hitting in Coors should help him enormously and hopefully get him back to the 2008 version. 7/10

Defense: One of the most consistent men there is at the first base position, Morneau holds a career .996 fielding percentage. But getting up there in age, he does not have the range he used to have. 7/10

Speed: You get the point. 1/10

Health: Justin hasn't played a full season since 2008. Not only he's had tons of injuries, in 2011 he had problems with his eye sight that effected his all around game. It will be interesting to see how he fares in Colorado. 4/10

Overall: Obviously he's not the player he once was, but Morneau can still hammer the ball. The rest of his game is pretty crappy, but playing on a non contending rockies team could lead his career to better things.6/10

3. Brandon Belt

Hitting: When Belt was coming up through the Giants system, he was always expected to be a great hitter. It's took him nearly 3 years, but it looks like he's finally becoming one. After hitting around .250 for most of the first half, Belt had a monster 2nd half, hitting .350 in August. He has a decent amount of power, but playing in SanFran hurts him. It'll be interesting to see how he does at #3, and if he can become a legit hitter. 7/10

Fielding: Almost the exact opposite from Justin Morneau. While Morneau is a great fielder with limited range, Belt is an average fielder with pretty good range. If he can improve on his fielding percentage, he will be a very good first baseman. 6/10

Speed: Not the fastest guy in the world, but Belt can steal one every once in awhile. He had only 5 last year, but had 12 in 2012. He's in good shape so he won't be huffing and puffing every time he runs around the bases. 7/10

Health: After being injured in his rookie season, Belt has yet to have any health problems since. 8/10

Overall: Belt needs to be a great hitter if the Giants want to compete in 2014. He's got good health, good range, and can run a little, but he needs to produce offensively the way Giants thought he would. 7/10

2. Adrian Gonzalez

Hitting: Adrian might be the most consistent hitter in baseball. Always a great hitter in SD, he suffered 2 down years in Boston and LAD. But he came back to his normal self in 2013, hitting .293 and driving in 100. The one surprising factor about Gonzalez is the lack of power. He was consistently hitting over 30 homers every year in San Diego. In 798 PA in LAD, Gonzalez has only 25 homeruns. 9/10

Defense: He doesn't have great range, but he is one of the smartest fielders in the game. Gonzalez had a dwar of 0.1 which was 3rd best in the NL. 9/10

Speed: So yeah 1/10

Health: Has yet to have a major injury in his career. Pretty much as reliable as you can get. 10/10

Overall: One of the best all around players in the game. Just don't make him run! 8.5/10

1.Paul Goldschmidt

Hitting: Simply put one of the best hitters in baseball. He has Power, Clutchness, a walks a ton. If he can lower his strikeouts, we may very well be watching the next great hitter in baseball.10/10

Defense: The one void that Goldy had in the minors was his defense. It's safe to say he proved them wrong. With his .997 fielding percentage and 2nd in dWAR, Goldy won the 2013 Gold Glove. He's a big guy, but his range is fantastic and should only get better. 9/10

Speed: He's not the fastest guy around, but he is the smartest. Goldy has 18 stolen bases in 2012, and 15 in 2013. This in fact leads all first baseman the last 2 years. (Of course that doesn't mean much with some of these first baseman.) 8/10

Health: The only time he misses a game is when Gibby sits him. And with the shape he's in, it doesn't look like he'll be missing games any time soon. 10/10

Overall: Goldy is simply one of the best players in baseball. And the scary thing is.....he's only 26 and will get even better. 9.5/10

So that's my opinion. Who do you think is the best first baseman in the NL West?

Trending Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join AZ Snake Pit

You must be a member of AZ Snake Pit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at AZ Snake Pit. You should read them.

Join AZ Snake Pit

You must be a member of AZ Snake Pit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at AZ Snake Pit. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.