Now let’s start talking about the NL, starting with the East…
New York Mets—Thanks to a plethora of starting rotation injuries, they really needed a starting pitcher and got one from the Rays in Rich Hill. Their biggest “get” was Javier Baez from the Cubs. He and Lindor haven’t hit well, but what an up the middle defensive combo they’ll make. As long as they get de Grom back for the stretch run, I think they’ll be okay for the playoffs, especially in a weak division.
Atlanta Braves—They’ve been beset by losing players they counted on this year. They had to have an outfielder and got Jorge Soler and his below-the-Mendoza-line offense. They did get valuable reliever Richard Rodriguez from the Pirates, but that bidding war wasn’t as robust as once expected as his performance fell off in July. I don’t see playoffs in their future this year, sorry, Braves fans.
Washington Nationals—They laid an egg the first week after the All Star Break. Then it was announced that Stephen Strasburg needed season ending surgery. Then the for sale sign went up. They had one of the weakest farm systems in baseball going into last week and now have picked up a number of good prospects. To do that, gone are Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber and Jon Lester. Even knowing those moves were necessary, it’s got to hurt to be a Nats fan in the short run.
Philadelphia Phillies—They brought in Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy…but gave up young starting pitcher Spencer Howard to do it. Time will tell if that was a good move. They needed a center fielder and didn’t get one. The lack of moves otherwise by the Phillies is part of why I think the Mets are in pretty good shape to win the division.
Miami Marlins—They were a surprise playoff team last year, but have been mired in last all year this go around. They were expected to be sellers and look to next year, and that is what has happened. They traded away Starling Marte, Yimi Garcia, and Adam Duvall. They brought in Jesus Luzardo, now have four years’ control of his services and are hoping his performance this season is the aberration and not last year’s.