National League West
Key Additions: RHP Zack Greinke, RHP Shelby Miller
No team other than the Chicago Cubs has been more active in trying to improve their team in 2016. After another third place, near .500 finish in the National League West, the Diamondbacks have finally decided that enough is enough. While the Dodgers and Giants have been the class of the NL West in recent years, the D’backs appear ready and willing to give both those teams a run for their money in 2016. Not only did the D’backs steal Zack Greinke from right under the nose of both the Dodgers and Giants, but they also added a solid starter behind Greinke in Shelby Miller. While the team had to give up some real talent to acquire Miller, the moves definitely make the D’backs pitching staff much stronger than in recent years. Paired with the D’backs top ranked NL offense of last year, the D’backs could make some serious waves in the NL West.
San Francisco Giants
Although the Giants lost Tim Hudson to retirement, and both Tim Lincecum and Mike Leake to free agency, they were able to sign both Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija this offseason, making their rotation all around better than it was in 2015. Beyond Cueto and Samardzija, the Giants return Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, and, of course, Madison Bumgarner. While the Giants have been quite a formidable rotation, one that should mirror that of both the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, the team has, at least to this point, ignored their other pressing needs. While the infield is set with Matt Duffy, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Brandon Belt, the outfield is in need of more immediate help. While Hunter Pence is locked into right field if healthy, Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco and Jarrett Parker will all compete for playing time in center/left. None of these three are very inspiring options, and the Giants will need to upgrade this offseason to continue their even year World Series success.
San Diego Padres
Following a busy offseason in 2014-2015, that resulted in yet another losing record, the Padres are just as busy the second time around under still new general manager A.J. Preller. Rather than collecting salaries as occurred last season, the Padres have been shedding salaries this offseason and collecting quite a few prospects and cheaper, cost controlled players. The Padres have saved quite a good chunk of money with the trades of Kimbrel, Benoit, Alonso, and Gyorko, and have set themselves nicely financially in 2016. With that being said, the Padres still have the contracts of Matt Kemp and James Shields on the books, and also have a very tradable pitching asset in Tyson Ross. While the Padres clearly don’t want to go full rebuild, there is still a lot of work to be done to put a decent team on the field in 2016.
Los Angeles Dodgers
With a main priority of improving their pitching staff going into this offseason, the Dodgers offseason has gotten off to a rather quiet start. To start off the offseason, the Dodgers watched as their 2nd-best pitcher (I use that phrase very, very lightly) signed with their division rivals in Arizona. The Dodgers front office was apparently unwilling to give Greinke that sixth year, which solidified his choice to go to Arizona. The Dodgers then did not sign any of the other big remaining free agent pitchers, including watching their other division rivals, the San Francisco Giants, sign both Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto, and also lost a trade target in Shelby Miller, also to the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers were able to sign Hisashi Iwakuma, although that was prior to the Dodgers backing out of his contract due to some medical concerns. There is clearly still a lot of offseason left, but the Dodgers have only gotten worse this offseason, and have watched their two main division rivals take big steps forward for 2016.
Even with their lack of action so far this offseason, the Dodgers still aren’t the most inactive team in the NL West. That would be the Colorado Rockies. Clearly in need of a lot of parts, and falling further and further behind the power houses in the West, the Rockies have been awfully quiet so far this offseason. Aside from a few minor reliever signings to replace Axford, and the signing of Mark Reynolds to fill the void left by Morneau, the Rockies have not done much of anything else. They have been in talks with several teams about pretty much their entire starting outfield, but so far no trades have been consummated. For a team in need of a lot of work to keep up in the West, the Rockies have been awfully quiet this offseason.