The Winter Meetings begin in less than a week, and the National League West certainly features its share of Hot Stove storylines.
All five teams in the division will be busy in San Diego next week. With that in mind, here's a look at the biggest need for every NL West club:
David Peralta should anchor left field in 2020, but the other two spots are wide open. It's possible Ketel Marte becomes more of a center-field regular next season. But that would require an upgrade at second base this winter instead. So pencil "center field OR second base" onto the D-backs' wishlist.
The Dodgers' bullpen deficiencies led to their unraveling in each of the past few postseasons. Right now, the relief market is thin -- and tricky to gauge. But it's hard to envision Los Angeles standing pat in the 'pen.
Giants: Starting pitching
Madison Bumgarner is a free agent, leaving a massive 200-innings-per-season void in the San Francisco rotation. They’d obviously like to find his replacement.
In some respects, it’s a promising group. But the Giants would be well-served to supplement that group -- perhaps with one front-line acquisition and another depth option at the back end.
Padres: Starting pitching
Over the past week, the Padres have pulled off trades to address deficiencies at second base (Jurickson Profar) and in the outfield (Trent Grisham). They're still open to adding at both positions. But it's clear now that the No. 1 objective for general manager A.J. Preller is to find a starting pitcher.
The future seems bright in the rotation, with top prospects MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patiño expected to join 2019 breakout star Chris Paddack eventually. But the projected Opening Day rotation is thin. Paddack and Garrett Richards are currently slated for the top, while Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies and Joey Lucchesi round out the projected starting five.
If the Padres were to land a front-line starting pitcher, suddenly the rotation would seem fairly complete. Paddack and Richards would drop to the 2-3 slots, where they probably belong. Meanwhile, Lamet, Davies, Lucchesi, Cal Quantrill and a few prospects could compete for the final place.
The Rockies could probably stand to upgrade their rotation and bullpen. But the organization remains optimistic that a handful of its pitchers will either bounce back in 2020 or at least get healthy. That mindset has already begun to shape their offseason plan. It seems unlikely the Rockies make a major splash on the mound.
Two years ago, the Rockies signed Chris Iannetta to a two-year contract worth $8.5 million. Now, they're looking for his replacement, and the catching market -- while lacking in big names -- seems to have plenty of depth options.