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NL NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

NL NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

We have already gone over the new year’s resolution for
the 15 squads of the American League, so let’s now tackle the other clubs
from the National League!

The start of the new decade has been tumultuous for Major League Baseball. Starting with the Astros and the sign-stealing scandal that shook the sports world in early January. A couple of weeks afterwards, the Dodgers and the Red Sox orchestrated a huge blockbuster trade involving Mookie Betts. If the rest of the calendar year is just as exciting as the first two months of 2020, it will sure be an interesting regular season for America’s pastime. We have already gone over the new year’s resolution for the 15 squads of the American League, so let’s now tackle the other clubs from the National League!

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Washington Nationals: Try to avoid a World Series hangover. Since the start of the 1969 season, 26 teams completely missed the playoffs the following year after winning it all the previous year. Let’s hope the former Expos aren’t the 27th team to be added on this infamous list.

Philadelphia Phillies: Fresh acquisitions, new skipper, more experience, same expectations for the seventh-highest payroll in the MLB. The City of Brotherly Love is desperately starving for a third championship, and it all starts with one man: Joe Girardi.

New York Mets: Build around the young guns. The Mets are in a great position as they enter the new decade. They have a good mix of young guys and experienced veterans. Despite all of that, their rotation should be solid enough to compete in the National League East, barring any significant injuries.

Miami Marlins: Continue the rebuilding process. The veterans they have dealt since the beginning of the 2017 season have netted them great prospects, as their farm system is currently ranked fourth in the league according to MLB.com. Even though the Marlins are still far away from contention, the fans are slowly but surely starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Atlanta Braves: Win the NL Pennant. The Braves blew a 2-1 lead in the NLDS last year. To make sure it doesn’t happen again, Alex Anthopoulos significantly improved the roster over the winter by adding, among others, Marcell Ozuna, Travis d’Arnaud, and Cole Hamels. No excuses are valid for the Braves!

Cincinnati Reds: Get back into the playoffs. The Reds really took advantage of a declining NL Central division over the hot stove season. The Cards, Cubs, Pirates, and Brewers all lost some significant pieces this past offseason while Cincy upgraded some key positions. They must take advantage of that small window of opportunity.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Try to forget about Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow. The Pirates got absolutely robbed in the Chris Archer trade, and there is no question that Pirates fans will continue to have numerous nightmares about the trade, as Meadows and Glasnow continue their quest to become superstars in The Show. Oh, and by the way, it’s time to wave goodbye to Starling Marte as well!

Milwaukee Brewers: Provide more protection in the lineup for Christian Yelich. The 2018 NL MVP had, stat-wise, a better campaign last year compared to his MVP campaign two years ago. Yet, he did all of that without having a true 3-hole hitter batting after him (Ryan Braun hit in the third spot for the majority of the year). Sophomore Keston Hirua should provide more protection for Yelich in the lineup this year.

St-Louis Cardinals: Make sure Jack Flaherty continues to progress. Honestly, I don’t think that the young flamethrower gets the recognition he truly deserves. He was such a stud in the second half of last season, going 7-2 with a microscopic 0.91 ERA. If he can put together a productive full season, the Red Birds will have one of the best young pitchers in the game in their rotation.

Chicago Cubs: Trade Kris Bryant over the summer. I know that this is going to be an unpopular take amongst the Cubs faithful, but I do believe it’s time to trade KB. The star 3rd basemen will be a free agent in 2021, so if the Cubs do decide to pull the trigger on the former Rookie of Year, now it’s the time to do it since his trade value will never be higher coming off a strong 2019 campaign.

San Diego Padres: Finally end the playoff drought. 2006 was the last time the Padres made the postseason, when they lost the NLDS to what would go on to be the eventual champions, the St-Louis Cardinals. With a good blend of younger players and veterans, the Padres MUST make it back to the postseason in order to save A.J Preller’s job.

Colorado Rockies: Try to resurrect Kyle Freeland’s career. No one know what happened to Kyle Freeland in 2019. The southpaw was a Cy Young candidate in 2018 and then he hit a wall in 2019, going 3-11 with a horrifying 6.73 ERA while allowing 25 bombs. If Freeland can rediscover his 2018 form, Colorado will be in great shape to challenge for a wild-card birth, especially if Nolan Arenado stays in the Mile-High City. 

Los Angels Dodgers: Host and participate in the World Series Parade in November. The expectations are sky high for the Dodgers, as they should be, especially after adding David Price and Mookie Betts.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Sign Christian Walker to a long-term contract. The 29-year-old first basemen is coming off a great year at the plate, and will only continue to improve as he hit his prime. The former Oriole is under team control until 2024, when he’ll be 33 years old. The D-Backs could outsmart everybody by buying all three of his arbitration years plus two more years for a total of $35 million.

San Francisco Giants: Commit to a full rebuild. The start of the new decade is going to be interesting for the Giants, who currently have 108 million committed to Posey, Cueto, Samardzjia, Belt, Crawford, and Longoria. All past their prime veterans who don’t offer much in terms of on-field productivity.

That’s all folks! Carl Lemelin is back in office for the March 1 edition of the blog. Carl will interview Alexane Fournier, winner of the 2019 female player of the year award from Baseball Quebec.

In the meantime, let us know what you think some of the NL resolutions should be.

Comments

  1. Pete Pete

    Hi Christophe! This wasn't a typical trade and increasingly for the big guys, these trades are becoming about resetting the luxury tax than an actual swap for needs. The Sox aren't a try and see team, they don't need to wait until June 1st and they're not a team who's on the bubble. Reset the luxury tax is the focus, plain and simple. Logically it's JD, Price, Sale and Pedroia salaries you want to dump but who in their right mind is trading for those guys? An NFL style agreement where players can be dropped for lesser or no cap hits would have kept Betts in Beantown. When is the last time a team like the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers or Cubs traded away the second best player in baseball? Come on, this is the stuff the Marlins or Pirates would do and no one would be surprised. But this is the new reality of the cap era. The Yankees had the baseball Gods on their side. All the awful salaries (Giambi, Texeira, A-rod, etc) retired and the farm was stacked. The Sox just shed $50M of salary in one trade and the only possible way to do this is to include the second best player in baseball in that trade. No chance in the world Betts was going to be traded alone without doing something like sleeping with the owner's wife. But, someone had to take a bad salary along with it. The Dodgers are all-in on a championship before Bellinger, Lux, Seager and Muncy are ready to sign real contracts and they are currently in a very healthy spot in terms of luxury tax hit. The Sox aren't the 2016-2018 Blue Jays who were living on borrowed time, but saw an opportunity to steal the NL East from the reeling Yankees and Sox. Win now, fill those seats, sell that beer and get deep in the playoffs because we can't sustain this salary. As soon as it became evident that the giants from the East weren't as weak as they thought and the Rays became relevant too, the Jays went through a fire sale. I'm a little biased in saying this, but to eliminate the welfare tax, the bottom-feeder teams need to go. For every Pirates, Marlins, Orioles, Mariners teams out there, there's 25 Dexter Fowler's out there who are diluting talent but allowing small market teams to survive on their luxury tax money. No welfare tax and many teams just won't survive and that's bad for business. Someone way smarter than me has determined this business model makes sure everyone's pockets are full because even the Marlins are worth $1B.

  2. Christophe Lachance-Tardif Christophe Lachance-Tardif

    Hi Pete! As a Sox fan, how do you feel about the Mookie Betts trade? Do you think the management team made a mistake by trading their superstar outfielder this early? As for myself, I do find it strange that they would get rid of him on the eve of spring training. I know that Mookie really wanted to test the free agent market after the 2020 season, but to me, I feel like they should have started the season with him anchoring the lineup, and then, if Boston is out of the playoff race by the first of June, they could potentially entertain the thought of trading him.

  3. Carl Lemelin Carl Lemelin

    Yeah, same problem for me Pete for posting comments. You may have a point.
    We're working on correcting that issue...

  4. Pete Pete

    I'm so excited to see how the NL shapes up this year. I feel like there could be up to 4 teams battling for the divisions not named AL West. The Dodgers latest move seems so insecure on their part. They probably could have won that division by a landslide without that move, but hey the team I support loves to spend too, so no judgment! It just feels like they thought bringing a bazooka to a fistfight wasn't enough for them to win, so they brought in a nuclear weapon. Price is insignificant at this stage of his career, was a salary dump and won't be a factor. Maybe he'll miss the entire season with carpal tunnel from playing video games. Sorry, as a Sox fan I had to get that last shot in! Middle infield has a lot to prove and the back 3 of their rotation looks like a huge hole. Gingergaard is a wildcard, he may cement a spot in the rotation before the All-Star game. Anyway they have bigger needs they should have addressed at relief pitching, and that might come back to haunt them in the playoffs. Lots of hype around the 2020 Dodgers, I'm not buying it. Playoff team yes, but they won't steamroll their way to a championship. I'm excited for the Braves and still holding out hope that the somewhat young Cubs core will regain dominance. I love to watch teams that gel, grow and dominate together. I am absolutely stoked to watch this new wave of phenoms, especially Tatis Jr in his sophmore year. Who the hell tags up and scores on a pop-up to second base?! There are lots of kids in the NL to be excited about as a fan. Whatever you're a fan of (the sport, a team, exciting players) I think we're in for a treat this year!

    PS Carl: every time I post the first time, I get "Invalid request, please try again..." and I have to start over. I remember to copy my comment and paste it again. Is this partially why it just feels like it's just you and me here?

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