Top need for each NL West team this offseason

December 4th, 2019

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:

D-backs: Outfield
The D-backs were already short on outfielders -- and that was before they non-tendered right fielder on Monday. That leaves Arizona in the market for at least one and probably two outfielders this winter.

should anchor left field in 2020, but the other two spots are wide open. It's possible 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.

As for right field, that's anyone's guess. and are roster candidates. But Arizona would almost certainly prefer an upgrade -- most likely a power bat in an outfield corner.

Dodgers: Relief pitching
and are free agents, so the Dodgers clearly have work to do in the rotation. But with and at the forefront, that rotation is still a strength.

The bullpen, on the other hand, remains entirely too unpredictable. posted a career-high 3.71 ERA last season after a career-high 4.03 FIP two years ago. He's no longer the lights-out closer he once was. After Jansen, and bring plenty of question marks, too.

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
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.

But the Giants’ pitching problems run deeper than that. was shaky in his return from Tommy John surgery last year. Plus, it's still unclear how much value , , and might bring.

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 () and in the outfield (). 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 and expected to join 2019 breakout star eventually. But the projected Opening Day rotation is thin. Paddack and are currently slated for the top, while , and 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, and a few prospects could compete for the final place.

Rockies: Catcher
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.

But at catcher, it's a near certainty that Colorado will add. posted a solid .262/.337/.329 slash line last season, but the Rockies want to bring an experienced veteran on board to share playing time.

Two years ago, the Rockies signed 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.