The perfect free agent for every NL East squad

Each of the five squads have holes they should address this offseason.

As the free agency process continues to drag on this offseason, many valuable players are still looking for new homes.

There’s not much urgency from teams or players at the moment, though, as both sides will explore all options before the end of the month when spring-training preparations begin.

However, there are still holes each team in the league needs to fill and we’ll take a look at which free agent best suits each team’s needs.

Here’s a look at one free agent each National League East team should take a flier on this offseason:

New York Mets: Jake Peavy

The Mets lost Bartolo Colon to the Braves this offseason, which was probably a year sooner than they wanted to lose the veteran starter.

New York needs one more year before another young crop of pitchers (featuring Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, among others) is ready to contribute in a serious way, so adding another veteran should be a priority.

Peavy fits that bill and would likely accept a one-year deal for a chance to contribute to a contending club like the Mets. The ex-San Francisco Giant struggled his way to a 5.54 ERA last season, but could benefit from a change of scenery and one more chance to go for a third World Series title.

Washington Nationals: Greg Holland

The Nationals have turned over their closer job to Shawn Kelley, who handled the role admirably during Jonathan Papelbon’s implosion.

However, he’s only recorded seven career saves, all last season, so the Nats may want to add some insurance in case the 32-year-old righty struggles.

Greg Holland, coming off a missed season because of Tommy John surgery, is a great candidate for a bounce-back year and could be a fantastic setup man if Kelley manages to hold on to the closer job all season.

But, if Kelley struggles, Holland and his 145 career saves will be there to fill in.

Philadelphia Phillies: Jerry Blevins

For some reason, the Phillies signed 39-year-old Joaquin Benoit and 36-year-old Pat Neshek to their bullpen this offseason.

For a team that’s a couple of years away from serious contention, those signings don’t make sense. The two former closers will likely be used in different roles as Philadelphia continues to roll with Jeanmar Gomez as its closer.

However, the bullpen could still use some work. Currently, unproven rookie Joely Rodriguez, who appeared in only 12 games last season, is the only lefty in the Phillies’ pen.

Therefore, a guy like Blevins makes sense for the team. At 33 years old, the lefty reliever could hang around long enough to contribute when the Phillies are ready to contend and could be a good mentor for Rodriguez.

Atlanta Braves: Matt Wieters

If the Braves are serious about opening their new ballpark with an improved squad, landing Wieters, who is the best catcher on the market, would be a good move.

Wieters has been most recently linked to the Los Angeles Angels, but there is seemingly still time for the Braves to make a run at the longtime Oriole.

Though the 30-year-old has struggled to stay healthy in recent years, he hit 17 home runs and had 66 RBI for the O’s in 2016, so he’s got plenty of pop left in his bat and is a better option than Tyler Flowers.

Miami Marlins: Tyson Ross

Following the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez, the Marlins need to scrap together a pitching rotation heading into 2017.

Obviously, there’s no replacing the charismatic and talented Fernandez, but adding Tyson Ross would help the team on the field.

The Marlins will have plenty of competition, though, to sign the 29-year-old righty, as rumors have linked as many as 20 teams to the former All-Star.

Still, making an offer to Ross wouldn’t hurt. If he signs, Miami could make some noise in the division in 2017.

The perfect team for Jose Bautista and three other free-agent sluggers

Teams looking to add power to their batting orders are in luck this offseason.

There are a surprising number of sluggers still available on the free-agent market, including former Toronto Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista.

However, Joey Bats isn’t the only power hitter looking for work as we approach mid-January — Mark Trumbo, Brandon Moss and Mike Napoli, among others, are searching for a new team. Continue reading “The perfect team for Jose Bautista and three other free-agent sluggers”

Report: Tampa Bay Rays close to landing slugger

Former Houston Astro is nearing a deal with the AL East squad.

The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly close to adding some pop to their batting order.

According to FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, OF Colby Rasmus is close to signing with the AL East squad:

Rasmus played for the Houston Astros in 2016, batting only .206 while slugging 15 home runs and picking up 54 RBI.

It’s possible Rasmus, an outfielder by trade, could see some time at DH for the Rays, too, as the outfield/DH rotation fills out this offseason.

Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 potential setup men for Kenley Jansen

Dodgers’ bullpen still needs work if they want to make a serious run at the World Series in 2017.

The Los Angeles Dodgers locked down closer Kenley Jansen with a five-year, $80 million contract this offseason, but the bullpen still needs some work.

At the moment, the team would have to use Pedro Baez and Luis Avilan in a setup role, which isn’t particularly ideal considering the options still available on the free-agent market.

Having Jansen at the back-end of the bullpen won’t matter if the Dodgers can’t protect leads in the seventh and eighth innings.

Therefore, they need to make a move and make it soon, before all the useful players find new homes. Continue reading “Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 potential setup men for Kenley Jansen”

Why trading for Yovani Gallardo was a bad move for the Seattle Mariners

Former Baltimore Oriole will struggle to find success at SafeCo Field.

The Seattle Mariners made headlines on Friday when they swapped OF Seth Smith for Baltimore Orioles P Yovani Gallardo.

Though 2016 was a rough season for the former Milwaukee Brewer star, Gallardo has been a workhorse pitcher in the past, throwing more than 180 innings in seven of the past eight seasons.

However, the Gallardo trade will likely come back to haunt Seattle, a team that finished just three games out of the final American League wildcard spot in 2016. Continue reading “Why trading for Yovani Gallardo was a bad move for the Seattle Mariners”

Where will Mark Trumbo end up?

Versatile slugger has options, but what team makes the most sense?

Mark Trumbo made himself a lot of money in 2016.

While earning $9.5 million with the Baltimore Orioles on last year’s one-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles, Trumbo hit 47 home runs and drove in 108 runs while batting .256 and slugging a career-high .533.

However, as Spring Training quickly approaches, the right-handed OF/1B still finds himself without a team for the 2017 season.

Here are three places he could end up before pitchers and catchers report for duty:

Colorado Rockies: Fantasy baseball players should be salivating at the thought of having Trumbo playing his home games at Coors Field.

Yes, Colorado just signed Ian Desmond with the intention of playing him at first, but if the Rockies can land Trumbo, they can shift Desmond to the outfield and make Gerardo Parra the fourth outfielder.

That would, without a doubt, give Colorado the most dangerous lineup in all of baseball and could make the Rockies a playoff contender in the NL West.

Baltimore Orioles: Signing Trumbo to a one-year deal last season worked out better than anyone could have imagined.

Clearly, the slugger likes hitting in Baltimore, so it makes sense to bring him back to Camden Yards.

The Orioles still have an opening for him, though the team recently pulled a four-year, $50 million dollar contract off the table. However, that doesn’t mean talks are dead between the two sides.

Oakland A’s: The A’s already have a power-hitting, right-handed corner outfielder in Khris Davis, but if they sign Trumbo, they could potentially work him into the DH mix as well.

Oakland is reportedly interested in the slugger, but he wouldn’t be a full-time player like he was in Baltimore.

Still, for a team looking to add some power, the A’s are targeting the right guy in Trumbo.

Philadelphia Phillies should start rebuilding process now

Though many expect Philly to be a player in the 2018 free agent market, the time is now to make a splash

The Philadelphia Phillies will have plenty of money to spend next offseason and are expected to be major players in the free-agency market that includes current Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper.

However, if the club wants to entice big-name players to come to Philly, it needs to show a commitment to winning now.

Trading for Clay Buchholz and Howie Kendrick was a decent start, but the Phillies need to make a big move before the 2017 season to truly prove they’re ready to get back to the playoffs. Continue reading “Philadelphia Phillies should start rebuilding process now”