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NL West: Moving forward post-Trade Deadline

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

With the Trade Deadline behind us, the focus shifts back onto the field for the final two months and in the National League West that means a good old-fashioned race.

With the Dodgers, D-backs and Rockies in a virtual tie, the Giants still hanging around the periphery and plenty of intradivision games left on the schedule, it should be among the most fun divisions to watch.

With the Trade Deadline behind us, the focus shifts back onto the field for the final two months and in the National League West that means a good old-fashioned race.

With the Dodgers, D-backs and Rockies in a virtual tie, the Giants still hanging around the periphery and plenty of intradivision games left on the schedule, it should be among the most fun divisions to watch.

Here's a look at what each team did before the Trade Deadline, and what to watch for down the stretch:

D-BACKS
What they did at the Deadline

Acquired third baseman Eduardo Escobar and relievers Matt Andriese, Brad Ziegler and Jake Diekman.

Video: Mike Hazen on D-backs acquiring Eduardo Escobar

What it tells us
The D-backs see an opportunity to not just win a Wild Card for the second year in a row, but also to win the division. They upgraded their team without giving away significant Minor League assets.

What's the goal?
With key contributors like Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock set to hit free agency after the season and Paul Goldschmidt the following year, the D-backs want to make sure they capitalize on their window to contend.

Big question
Can they beat the good teams? The D-backs have cleaned up against teams that had sub-.500 records when they played them but have had less success against teams at or above that mark. They will be tested in the final month of the season as every team they face, save the Padres, is currently at .500 or better.

DODGERS
What they did at the Deadline
Acquired shortstop Manny Machado, second baseman Brian Dozier and right-hander John Axford.

What it tells us
The Dodgers outbid a number of suitors to land the biggest deadline prize in Machado. With the division right there for the taking, the team's brass spared no expense in coming up with a replacement for the injured Corey Seager.

Video: Must C Crushed: Machado mashes 1st HR with Dodgers

What's the goal?
The Dodgers came oh-so-close to their first World Series title in 30 years last season, and nothing short of ending that drought this year will be considered a success.

Big question
Can their key producers stay healthy? The Dodgers have been impressive in how they've overcome injuries this year, but they could really use third baseman Justin Turner and ace Clayton Kershaw to stay healthy and productive down the stretch.

GIANTS
What they did at the Deadline
Nothing.

What it tells us
The Giants took neutral path at the Deadline as "strategic buyers," according to executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean. Stuck right around the .500 mark for much of the season, San Francisco did not wave the white flag and trade veterans, nor did it give up more Minor Leaguers to try and add veterans.

What's the goal?
The Giants made it clear with the offseason moves to bring in Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria that they were not willing to do a full rebuild. That still appears to be the case as they hope this veteran group has a late-season run left in it.

Big question
Are they a postseason threat? We'll know a lot more about where the Giants stand in that regard in a couple of weeks as their early-August schedule is a killer. The Giants play four games against the D-backs, two against the Astros, four with the Pirates and three with the Dodgers. If they're still in the race at that point their road gets a little easier the rest of the month.

PADRES
What they did at the Deadline
Acquired Minor League catcher Francisco Mejia.

What it tells us
San Diego continued its impressive stockpiling of prospects by getting Mejia from the Indians. The Padres were also linked to one of the marquee pitchers on the market in Chris Archer. While they keep building, they are prepared to jump at the right veteran.

Video: Preller on acquiring Mejia for Hand, Cimber

What's the goal?
The Padres will get a good look at a lot of their younger players over the last two months of the season, and they will be faced with some difficult decisions this offseason when it comes to deciding which Minor Leaguers to protect on the 40-man roster.

Big question
As the Padres continue to build for the future, the front office and manager Andy Green have to decide which players on the current roster are guys they can build around and which are placeholders. They may be out of the postseason race, but there is still much at stake for the players

ROCKIES
What they did at the Deadline
Acquired right-hander Seunghwan Oh.

Video: OAK@COL: Oh and his translator make Rockies debut

What it tells us
Rather than part with the prospects they've spent the past several years acquiring, the Rockies instead are going to count on improvement from a bullpen they invested a lot of money in this past offseason.

What's the goal?
As it was before the season, the Rockies' goal is a return to the postseason. Last year they nabbed the second Wild Card berth, but as August begins they are one game back for the division lead.

Big question
Can the bullpen get it done? Colorado's offense has come around and the starting pitchers stepped up in July, but for the team to remain in contention, Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee will need to pitch better to help out Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.