Grading Each Team’s Offseason (So Far): National League

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves

Credit: Daniel Shirey / Getty Images North America

National League East

Atlanta Braves

Key Additions: C Tyler Flowers, OF Ender Inciarte, SS Dansby Swanson, RHP Aaron Blair, LHP Sean Newcomb, RHP Chris Ellis

Key Departures: SS Andrelton Simmons, RHP Shelby Miller, C Christian Bethancourt, OF Cameron Maybin

Grade: A+

No other National League team, other than perhaps the Chicago Cubs, has had as busy of an offseason as the Braves have had up to this point. It was clear the Braves were in a rebuild last season, after the trades of Justin Upton, Melvin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Jason Heyward, and so on last offseason, and the Braves have done even more towards that end in recent weeks. With the trades of both Andrelton Simmons and Shelby Miller, who are two of the final remaining high trade value players, the Braves obtained even more minor league talent, and have set themselves up rather well for their immediate and long term future. While the product on the Major League field may be even worse next year, the minor league system should be fun to watch, with Aaron Blair, Dansby Swanson, Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis all looking to impress in a new organization. The Braves may still be a year or, more likely two, away from being a contender again, they could not be executing their rebuild any more efficiently so far.

Philadelphia Phillies

Key Additions: RHP Edward Mujica, RHP Andrew Bailey, RHP Ernesto Frieri, RHP Charlie Morton, RHP Vincent Velasquez, RHP Jeremy Hellickson

Key Departures: RHP Ken Giles

Grade: B+

While the Atlanta Braves have been the busiest NL East team, and may be at least slightly ahead in their rebuild, the Philadelphia Phillies have been just as smart in their acquisitions this offseason. The Phillies did not have quite the same amount of tradable talent as Atlanta, but were able to turn their best asset into quite a huge return. With the trade of Ken Giles, the Phillies have gotten an entire pitching staff worth of pitching prospects, and now have almost as much pitching depth in their organization as the Braves do. The Phillies also added a few veteran starters, in Morton and Hellickson, and added several veteran relievers looking for bounce backs. If any of those guys have success, they can once again be traded at the deadline to collect even more young talent. All smart moves for a team looking to collect as many prospects as possible for the long term future.

Washington Nationals

Key Additions: RHP Yusmeiro Petit, LHP Oliver Perez, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Trevor Gott

Key Departures: RHP Craig Stammen, 3B Yunel Escobar, SS Ian Desmond, RHP Doug Fister, RHP Jordan Zimmermann, OF Denard Span

Grade: B-

Next on the list of NL East teams is the Washington Nationals, who have been quiet, but have quietly improved their team for 2016 and beyond. While the Nationals have lost quite a bit of depth around the diamond, and have lost two of their starting pitchers from last year, they have the organizational depth to fill those holes. Even with both Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister gone, the Nationals have the pitching prospects in Lucas Giolito and Joe Ross to fill those holes for cheaper. The Nationals can also slot in Trea Turner to fill the hole left by Ian Desmond, and Michael Taylor to replace Denard Span, making the Nationals quite a bit younger than last season. Add that to several additions to a bullpen that had nothing but problems last year, and the Nationals look to be back in the driver’s seat in the NL East. Clearly the team must add a few more parts, and find some solution to their closer situation, but as it stands they have made big strides so far to this point in the offseason.

New York Mets

Key Additions: 2B Neil Walker, SS Asdrubal Cabrera

Key Departures: LHP Jon Niese, 2B Daniel Murphy, OF Yoenis Cespedes, RHP Tyler Clippard, OF/1B Michael Cuddyer 

Grade: C+

Following a World Series loss, the Mets did have quite a few holes going into the offseason. Known for their pitching depth, the Mets used one of those pitchers, Jon Niese, to acquire a Neil Walker to replace Daniel Murphy for next season. The Mets also re-signed Bartolo Colon, who will likely be used instead of Jon NIese, which helps the team maintain their strong pitching staff. One glaring question mark for the Mets is the departure of Yoenis Cespedes, and how the team can replace his fantastic production from the second half and playoff run last season. The Mets pitching staff could be even better next season, but their offense takes a big hit without Cespedes and Murphy in the middle of the lineup. The Mets have made some good moves, but have not done enough to this point.

Miami Marlins

Key Additions: OF Justin Maxwell, 1B Xavier Scruggs

Key Departures: RHP Henderson Alvarez

Grade: F

There is really not a lot that needs to be said about the Miami Marlins. While they have been at the center of many rumors, and the butt of many jokes as it pertains to those rumors, they have not made any moves of significance this offseason. The team has shopped both Jose Fernandez and Marcell Ozuna, for seemingly unattainable prices, and has also attempted to sign Dee Gordon to a long term contract. While the Marlins have at least been busy by some standard, the team still lacks a clear direction and is looking to once again be mediocre in 2016. At this point the Marlins haven’t done a lot to get better, and may actually be worse next season at this rate. Miami is truly a train wreck at this point in the offseason.

One Response

  1. Dbackdad3043

    Whoever wrote this article is a dummy!! In regards to the Phillies all your key additions with the exception of Hellickson all signed to a minor league contact. The one you omitted could possibly be their closer and signed a one year deal, David Hernandez!!

    Reply

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