|Could Zack Greinke be pitching next year elsewhere in Southern California? (US Presswire)|
The logs are stacked, and the match is lit -- even if the Hot Stove League hasn't really started giving off heat. Teams can negotiate with free agents, and we're at that point where the teams know what they have, what they want and who they're going to talk to in order to improve. So, we here at Eye On Baseball will look at each team by division over the next week or so, starting with the home of the World Series champions, the National League West.
While the Giants won the World Series and the Dodgers have made noise under new ownership, the Diamondbacks were preseason favorites in the division. General manager Kevin Towers hasn't been shy about making moves, making trades in the offseason and during the season alike. The Diamondbacks don't figure to be big spenders on the free agent market, but Towers is always active in trade talks. Any team that's interested in dealing will hear from Towers, and it would be a surprise if the team didn't make a couple of trades during the offseason. It seems once again that the Justin Upton rumors will persist, no matter what Towers said. If Upton isn't dealt, the team could move Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra.
Biggest needs: Starting pitcher, third baseman, left-handed reliever, shortstop
Possible free agency targets: Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Jeremy Affeldt, Drew Sutton, Mark DeRosa
Possible trade targets: James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Justin Masterson, Josh Johnson, Elvis Andrus, Yunel Escobar, Jed Lowrie
Even as an expansion team, the Rockies never lost as many games as they did in 2012, when the team put up a 64-98 record to finish 30 games out of first place. Despite the fact that injuries hurt the team, it wasn't the only problem in Denver. Pitching, as always, is the biggest question.
Biggest needs: Starting pitching, bullpen
Possible free agency targets: Dan Haren, Brandon McCarthy, Joe Blanton, Jeremy Affeldt, Austin Kearns
Possible trade targets: James Shields, Justin Masterson, Jamey Carroll
The team's new ownership didn't wait for the offseason to start flexing its financial muscles, pulling off some of the biggest trades of the season. But nobody expects them to stop there. With free agency starting, the Dodgers aren't going to show restraint -- it seems only an already full outfield is the only thing stopping them from entering the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, and that might not even do the trick.
Biggest needs: Starting pitching, infield depth
Possible free agency targets: Zack Greinke, Hiroki Kuroda, Kyle Lohse, Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Keppinger, Kevin Youkilis
Possible trade targets: James Shields, Josh Johnson
The Dodgers aren't the only team in the division with new ownership and a new TV deal. But unlike the L.A. group, the Padres' new owners haven't come out and said how much they'll be willing to spend in the offseason. They gave out extensions to Carlos Quentin and Chris Denorfia during the season and could do the same with Chase Headley.
Biggest needs: Starters, bullpen
Possible free agency targets: Jake Peavy, Brandon McCarthy, Jeremy Guthrie, Carl Pavano, Kyle Lohse
Possible trade targets: If the Padres can't work out a deal with Headley, they could dangle him for pitching prospects.
While their biggest rivals made splashy moves at the trade deadline and have just started opening their pocketbook for the game's top free agents, the Giants just went on to win the World Series. San Francisco added second baseman Marco Scutaro at the trade deadline, which ended up being one of the biggest additions in the game. San Francisco's lineup was almost completely different from 2010 to 2012, and the 2013 lineup could be drastically different, as well. Right fielder Hunter Pence is arbitration eligible, but might be the most costly arbitration-eligible player in the game. The rest of the outfield is up in the air, as well, with Angel Pagan headed to free agency as is Melky Cabrera.
Biggest needs: Outfield, second base
Possible free agency targets: Josh Hamilton, Marco Scutaro, Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan, Jeremy Affeldt
Possible trade targets: Ian Kinsler, Michael Morse