Here at the Snakepit we've reviewed what the Diamondbacks have been up to in the offseason to get ready for the 2015 season. We've looked at what could go right, and how it could all go horribly wrong. We'd be amiss, though, if we ignored the rest of the NL West, because if everyone else got significantly better (or even just one team) it doesn't much matter what Arizona did.
Get used to the following teams; you're going to see them for about 47% of the year.
Colorado's 2015 plan boils down to this: patch up Troy Tulowitzki with some duct tape and hope everyone else in the division collapses. Good luck with that?
Major Additions Nick Hundley. Major Subtractions: Michael Cuddyer.
Oh boy, what an off-season. If there's a team for 2015 every observer wants to love (or at to at least write clickbait), it's the Padres. They went insane over winter, going from a team kind of treading water to at least acting like they wanted to win now. They pulled off 30 transactions in a short span of time, bring on board Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, and more by trade, and Big Game James Shields via free agency.
So it's easy to be very bearish on San Diego solely on their aggressive maneuvering. The reality might not be as rosy, however, given that some of the players they pursued are likely on the decline and terrible defenders (Kemp), or inconsistent (Upton). If things go right, this could be a glorious season for the Padres, but it very well could turn into a mess. Or it could have been a good idea, but sorely mistimed given that the top two teams in the division have been pretty good in recent years.
Given the assumed top two teams in the NL West, it's tempting to hope all of this frantic dealing works for San Diego. The Giants have had more than enough success for a life time, thank you very much, with their 3 World Series wins in 5 years, and the Dodgers have cultivated an annoying persona with their free-spending ways. So, yeah, I guess if someone has to win the division right now that isn't Arizona, it might as well be the Padres.
Major Additions: James Shields, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Will Middlebrooks, Wil Myers. Major Subtractions: Everth Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal.
The Padres are a question mark because of how many new players they brought to the roster, but the Giants are a question mark because who the hell knows how this team works anymore. San Francisco's winning formula since their World Series runs began has been pitching and defense, with just enough offense. Well, the offense didn't get better with loss of Sandoval to the Red Sox, and the pitching might be on a serious decline if Matt Cain can't come back from last year's season ending surgery, even if Madison Bumgarner is pretty dang good.
But you could have said this on the run up to the Giants 2012 championship, and in 2013, and in 2014. Either they have some powerful, dark magic on their side, or they're too stupid to realize they're not supposed to be good. Yet they'll likely be in the mix for a playoff spot again this year, because life isn't fair.
Major Additions: Nori Aoki. Major Subtractions: Pablo Sandoval, Michael Morse.
Let see, what simile do I want to use today? The Dodgers are that rich kid you knew growing up who had all the Transformers and Lego sets you wanted, oh and their dad totally did their science fair project so OF COURSE they won first place? Or maybe the Dodgers are that neighbor who gets a new luxury car every year, and, oh, don't you ever park in front of their house, bro.
Look, the Dodgers are stacked, but we don't need an over-strained, blog-y description to see that. They lost some big names this offseason, picked up some big names, and are probably just about the same as they were last year. They're going to slay teams with their great starting pitching and offense, and then their bullpen will do its best to not screw it up.
It seems like LA is set up to win over the long haul again, but there is a sort fragile peace in the City of Angels. A couple key injuries, especially to Clayton Kershaw, could derail their season right quick. Or the Padres will be legit threat and steal away the division. It seems pretty much a lock, though, that the Dodgers will be in the postseason yet again.
Major Additions: Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Brandon McCarthy. Major Substractions: Josh Beckett, Dee Gordon, Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez.