One Piece Every MLB Team Still Needs to Add This Offseason
One Piece Every MLB Team Still Needs to Add This Offseason
Whether a Major League Baseball team seems to be totally complete or not to we fans, the truth is that a good team is always improving. One piece removed here and another added there can make a lot of difference not only during the regular season, but also during the postseason should the team make it that far. Surely not every team you might say but yes every team has something that can be changed that would improve the team.
If you don’t believe it just ask the team’s GM. I would just about guarantee you that they would say they weren’t finished with the team yet. That’s why a team with seven current starting pitchers coming to spring training will still entertain trade offers as well as talk to various free agents. The staff can never be too strong just like the offense can never be sealed at just being good enough.
Every position needs not only to be good but to also have some plan for what the team would do if the starter goes down for a 15-day DL stint or worse. No two seasons are exactly the same for even a good relief pitcher which means a team can never be satisfied with the group they have before a season starts.
It goes without saying that some teams need more of an overhaul than others. There are team who have a stocked full depth chart but needs exist all over the field. Other teams you look at and think they must be set until you check their stats from last year and see that the same group didn’t get it done. The GM might want to change things in that case. So here is one piece, some little and some larger, that every team needs. Leave a comment below if you care to share your opinion.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Starting Pitcher
Though the DBacks have gone a long way towards being one of the most active and successful teams this offseason, they still could use one more solid and proven starting pitcher. They are big into the market for Masahiro Tanaka and have talked about David Price for this very reason.
Atlanta Braves – Veteran Starter
Since the Braves were outmatched on the mound in the postseason this past year, they spoke of wanting to add an ace-level starter for the top of the rotation. They have signed one pitcher but have most certainly not done what they said they wanted to do. The team officials have claimed they aren’t finished yet so we’ll see if they can do what they themselves claimed they needed to do.
Baltimore Orioles – Closer
We all thought this was filled by Grant Balfour but the Orioles opted out of that deal. That’s their right but the fact remains they traded their closer and now do not have one. They’ll need to grab one before the start of the season.
Boston Red Sox – Bullpen Arm
The Red Sox are the World Series champs but they did so with a bullpen that wasn’t threatening to break into the MLB’s top 10. Obviously they have a pretty good closer right now but the rest of the pen needs solidifying that would come with one more good and reliable arm.
Chicago Cubs – Outfielder
There are a few areas the Cubs could focus on but even if their outfield turns out to be great as is, they will need some good outfield bench players for that all important fourth outfielder role. They could go ahead and grab one who has starting potential as well and give some nice insurance for the outfield group.
Chicago White Sox – Late Inning Reliever
The Sox traded away some late inning bullpen talent. While they have stocked the rest of their team with young and promising players, it wouldn’t hurt to place a wily veteran in a late inning relief role.
Cincinnati Reds – Starting Pitcher
More specifically that just a starting pitcher, it would be ideal if the Reds could end up the victors in the Bronson Arroyo sweepstakes and have him return for another year or so. They are interested in him once again and having him would definitely add some depth in the rotation which has proven very important with injuries to Johnny Cueto.
Cleveland Indians – Mid-Rotation Starter
I don’t blame the Indians for not inking Ubaldo Jimenez to a long-term deal at all. That makes financial sense because of the players they have coming through their pipeline. The fact remains that they need some solid options to add depth there however. Someone like Paul Maholm would be a good veteran addition to the team.
Colorado Rockies – Pinch Hitter/Bench Player
It might seem odd to suggest but the Rockies have a lot of good pieces in place right now. They have improved their offense, starting pitching and bullpen but there are no big name reliable bench guys. This team is trying to compete for a postseason spot this season. To do that they will need at least one go-to pinch hitter and possibly more than one. At least one of them needs to be a solid veteran who knows how to come off the bench and contribute.
Detroit Tigers – First Base/DH Insurance
Miguel Cabrera is starting at first and Victor Martinez looks good at DH; way to go Tigers! The only problem is that there is no one below those guys other than each other. Bench players are important in the American League too and they absolutely need someone to back up big Miggy at first. The same guy could be a good backup DH as well as a bench bat.
Houston Astros – Outfield Power
There are a few needs on this team but the addition of some reliable outfield power would be awesome. It is possible this piece could be added from within the organization with prospect George Springer but if not him, they could use a good one-year deal with someone.
Kansas City Royals – Rotation Depth Addition
The signing of Jason Vargas gave the Royals five starters including Wade Davis and the others. They need more than five at this point in the offseason leading to the spring though. There needs to be some competition as well as all important depth at the starter position. A pipeline prospect would be one decent way to add this piece but veterans with non-roster invites can be a goldmine as well.
Los Angeles Angels – Outfield Depth/Power
I love what the Angels have done this offseason. They’ve added where they needed to add the most, at starting rotation. In the process however they left a potential weak spot in the outfield corner opposite Josh Hamilton. Raul Ibanez could back that up as well as serve as a DH but one more offensively reliable outfielder would add precious depth here after losing such depth in the two guys sent packing this offseason.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Catcher
The Dodgers are about as finished as anyone could be. They have too many starting outfielders and a solid starter and backup all around the infield. We all know about the starting rotation and the bullpen is just getting sick this offseason. That only leaves one spot where they could improve and that is behind the plate. I like A.J. Ellis but his lack of run production could be an issue this season if the bats dry up late like they did in 2013. A power-capable catcher to at least add to the mix might be a good add for the team.
Miami Marlins – Reliable/Dependable Reliever
The Marlins have done some good things this offseason and could be quite a bit better in 2014 than in years past. That is unless the starter doesn’t go eight or at least seven innings. These guys have a ton of potential but it would be priceless if they could manage to add that all-important reliable set-up guy or even seventh inning holder in the bullpen. It could actually make a season’s worth of difference.
Milwaukee Brewers – First Baseman
Everyone and their brother thought the Brewers would have the luxury of Corey Hart back and healthy this season to serve as a starting first baseman while their minor league slugger comes of age. That didn’t happen however and now they find themselves hoping that Juan Francisco suddenly finds his power potential on the opening day of the season. One quickly signed addition to the first base spot or even one traded for could be a huge addition for a team that has basically done nothing this offseason.
Minnesota Twins – Late Inning Ace
Glen Perkins is so automatic in the ninth inning that literally every team that needed a late inning reliever or closer was interested in trading for the guy. The Twins have firsthand knowledge of how good he is and refused. What they need now to go along with Perkins and their starting rotation additions is a reliable late-inning ace that can bridge the gap between the starters and Perkins more consistently.
New York Mets – Bullpen Meat
Not everyone needs a closer or a set-up guy but every bullpen needs enough inning eaters to keep the top guys from carrying too many innings. The Mets could use a solid addition below that late inning level that had potential to rise to the occasion if it is provided to him.
New York Yankees – Third Baseman
Forget the legal part of it for a minute and imagine losing Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano in the same offseason. That’s quite a chunk of power and run production. Luckily the Yankees will have money if they don’t have A-Rod. They don’t need a reliable offensive punch at both spots because of their solid additions elsewhere but it wouldn’t hurt to add a big man at one place or the other if they can find the right guy.
Oakland Athletics – DH
With as many good things as the A’s have done this offseason you would think they would have someone penciled in at DH but they don’t. There are still a few good names out there like Kendrys Morales among others that could be a good option. They could also look the trade route but someone needs to be placed there eventually.
Philadelphia Phillies – Starting Pitcher
Don’t think big name because the Phillies don’t need that right now with their inability to afford it and all. They could use a nice and reliable arm to add to the mix for depth and competition reasons though. Such a pitcher usually winds up playing a much bigger role through the season as injuries are bound to occur.
Pittsburgh Pirates – First Baseman
You can’t really blame the Pirates for not re-signing Justin Morneau but they at the moment are a little low at the first base side of the diamond. They can certainly make do if they have to but the addition of a first baseman with run production potential.
San Diego Padres – Outfield Power Bat
Some have suggested that the Padres really would do well by adding an additional power bat in the outfield. Though Nelson Cruz seems out of their price range, that is the type of player who would be a very good addition to a team looking to have a tough time sticking with the competitive NL West.
San Francisco Giants – Outfield Power Bat
Hunter Pence could repeat his career year and career month from last September. Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan are slated as the other starters right now and they combined in 2013 for 8 homers and 71 RBI between them. Even though both provide other offensive qualities, they really need another Pence-like bat in the outfield on an everyday basis.
Seattle Mariners – Bullpen Arm
The Mariners were just shy of having the worst bullpen in the majors last season. Whatever they add elsewhere, they need to address the bullpen seriously. More than one is needed if they don’t assume their guys from last year and unproven arms will do the job. Veteran reliability is needed if they can afford it. If they need additional funds to sign someone like that to help the team win, perhaps they can get a loan from their second baseman?
St. Louis Cardinals – Experienced Bullpen Arm
The Cardinals have a solid team all around. Little really could be done to better the team that hasn’t already been done. They do have a slight lack of experience in the bullpen though. They really could use a solid arm to add to the mix out there.
Tampa Bay Rays – Reliever
The Rays will be competing for the AL East again this year because they basically always do. They did lose some bullpen this offseason however. That is a need you know they have a plan to fill before the season starts. Just like usual it will probably be a guy who has been given up on by numerous teams that comes in and stars all season long and then signs with someone else for more money next year. Wash, rinse and repeat.
Texas Rangers – Outfield Power Bat
We can get very specific on this one. The Rangers need to re-sign Nelson Cruz. If they did that then they should be covered nicely for the entire outfield and have one of the more potent line-ups in MLB.
Toronto Blue Jays – Second Baseman
Trading Emilio Bonifacio isn’t the greatest sin the Jays have ever committed as a team. We can all basically understand why that move was made probably. Now the problem is that they have no solid everyday second baseman. If they are going to compete with the big boys in the AL East, they’re going to need one.
Washington Nationals – Bullpen Arm
The Nationals are stacked with the best bullpen and the best rotation in the NL and their offense should come through well enough for them to win it all. Hey, that sounds just like what people said last season when they went out and missed the playoffs because of many reasons; one of which was a bullpen ERA well over a run higher than the Braves. The Nationals, yes those Nats, could use a reliable bullpen arm to run out every other day when one of the legendary starters doesn’t go the distance. It made a difference last year and will do so again if it isn’t addressed.