NL East post-lockout priorities: Braves need to re-sign Freeman, Phillies need outfielders

Winter is right here, and the sport of negotiations is afoot. 

But simply because it’s going to be some time till the homeowners and gamers hammer out some form of decision to finish the lockout, that doesn’t imply we’ve got to cease discussing what would possibly/ought to occur when the game finally resumes.

MORE: Five groups, 5 gamers caught in limbo throughout lockout


Because when it does, and groups are allowed to signal free brokers and make trades once more, you’re going to see a flurry of exercise. It will in all probability be a whole lot of enjoyable, truthfully, to see free brokers ink contracts and to see groups make commerce after commerce. After all, what else are entrance workplace varieties going to do through the lockout aside from plan their back-in-the-saddle technique? 

So we’ll take a division-by-division take a look at what’s on the docket for all 30 groups, beginning with the house of the reigning World Series champs, the NL East.

Atlanta Braves

Pre-lockout recap: Braves followers, drunk on the joy of profitable that surprising World Series, wished just one little factor from the entrance workplace after the championship: Bring again fan favourite Freddie Freeman, the homegrown baseball hero. The entrance workplace didn’t make that occur. And now the Dodgers, with their deep pockets and copious quantities of motivation after dropping left-handed lineup linchpin Corey Seager — he signed with Texas for $325 million — need a lefty slugger within the lineup to change him. Huh. 

The very very first thing to do: Seriously, carry again Freddie. I posted a photograph of World Series merchandise costs from Atlanta — and a video displaying the super-long line wandering round The Battery — and it felt like no less than half the replies have been some variation of “Well, no excuse to not bring back Freddie with all that new money!” If the Braves let Freeman depart, this would be the shortest World Series honeymoon because the Marlins’ hearth sale after the 1997 World Series title. 


Also on the record: Something tells me the Braves don’t need Tyler Matzek, A.J. Minter, Luke Jackson and Will Smith all throwing 100-plus innings out of the bullpen, so the need to add one other established beginning possibility is powerful. Three of Atlanta’s 4 main postseason outfielders are free brokers; are they going to carry again Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario and/or Joc Pederson? Speaking of the outfield, is Marcel Ozuna — who was deemed to have served his home abuse suspension by MLB — in Atlanta’s plans for 2022? 

New York Mets

Pre-lockout recap: As New York native Larry David would say, the primary month of the Mets’ offseason was “pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.” They signed the most effective pitcher available on the market, Max Scherzer, and the most effective middle fielder available on the market, Starling Marte. They added outfielder Mark Canha and versatile infielder Eduardo Escobar. Losing Noah Syndergaard was a bit embarrassing — he mentioned he mainly didn’t hear from the Mets — however the staff rallied properly. 

The high post-lockout precedence: They could have a supervisor employed earlier than the tip of the lockout, proper? Yes. Of course. Probably. A wholesome tandem of Scherzer and Jacob deGrom atop the rotation can be unbelievable, and Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco are an ideal 3-4. Can’t have too many good choices, although, and including one other established starter to the combo that features Tyler Megill and David Peterson, amongst others, would assist. 

Also on the record: How do the Mets view Escobar? Is he a full-time starter at third base (with Jeff McNeil at second), or is he a participant who will get practically full-time PAs bouncing round a number of positions? If that’s the case, discovering a free-agent impression bat at third base (Kris Bryant?) can be a very huge improve.


MORE: Why baseball followers have a tendency to facet with homeowners throughout a piece stoppage

Philadelphia Phillies

Pre-lockout recap: The Phillies had the NL MVP (Bryce Harper) and the runner-up within the NL Cy Young voting (Zack Wheeler) main the best way in 2021 however nonetheless missed the playoffs. Again. And aside from signing Corey Knebel to the bullpen, the entrance workplace didn’t do a lot to persuade Philly followers that 2022 will probably be any totally different. 

The high post-lockout precedence: At the second, Harper is the lone established outfielder. The Phillies declined their choices on Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera (neither was shocking) and have a bunch of fourth/fifth outfielders slotting in these positions in the intervening time. They need an outfielder they usually need a middle-of-the-order bat and Kyle Schwarber continues to be on the market. Makes a whole lot of sense (particularly if/when the DH comes to the NL in 2022 and past). If protection is the precedence, possibly make a cope with Tampa Bay for Kevin Kiermaier? 

Also on the record: At least a dozen new relievers, clearly. Who’s taking part in shortstop in 2022? Didi Gregorius is underneath contract, however he had a 71 OPS+ and a minus-0.8 bWAR. Three different gamers noticed no less than 10 video games at shortstop and had the next on-base percentages: .282, .297, .306. Safe to say there’s room for improved efficiency from that spot. 

Miami Marlins

Pre-lockout recap: The greatest transfer of the offseason was signing Sandy Alcantara to an extension that may hold him with the membership (except there’s a commerce, in fact) via no less than 2026, with a membership possibility for 2027. Alcantara flew underneath the radar final season, however he was actually, actually good, each in limiting runs and consuming innings. They additionally signed a wanted thumper (Avisail Garcia) and upgraded their protection behind the plate (Gold Glove winner Jacob Stallings). Oh, they usually traded for Joey Wendle and Louis Head and prolonged membership cornerstone Miguel Rojas. 

The high post-lockout precedence: Even in the event that they did nothing vital post-lockout, the Marlins determine to be higher in 2022 than they have been in 2021. But signing Garcia was solely a part of the reply, however not the total reply within the lineup (or the outfield). They may actually use one other bat roaming the outfield grass. 

Also on the record: Pitching, largely the bullpen. Same as most groups. 

MORE: MLB free-agency tracker: Latest rumors, offers

Washington Nationals

Pre-lockout recap: They traded just about everybody they may commerce earlier than the July 30 deadline, in order that they’re in all probability performed tearing down. They signed infielder Cesar Hernandez, who’s a stable piece of the puzzle. 

The high post-lockout precedence: The Nationals have to deal with the pitching workers. They need starters they usually need relievers. They have loads of inner choices, in fact, however not a lot in the best way of dependable producers. They’re in all probability not going to compete for the highest remaining arms — they received’t compete for the playoffs in 2022, barring some kind of minor miracle — however the Nats really feel like an ideal vacation spot for pitchers wanting to rebuild their worth subsequent season, then re-entering the free-agent market after 2022. 

Also on the record: What about Ryan Zimmerman? The franchise icon has indicated he needs to play in 2022, however will that occur in D.C.?

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