November 15, 2012
On the Beat
NL Shopping Lists
Workers were putting up the tree at a local restaurant the other day, and it was the first sure sign that it was that time of the year. Then, a few days later, the Marlins lit enough Yule logs to create a fire sale and, sure enough, the Christmas season was officially upon us. With that in mind, let's take a look at the shopping lists of the 15 National League clubs. We'll even look at what the Marlins might be looking for, though if Santa Claus is a true fan of competitive balance, he will put a large lump of coal in owner Jeffrey Loria’s stocking.
Braves: They probably won't be able to re-sign Michael Bourn, which will make a center fielder and a leadoff hitter their biggest needs. They also have an opening in left field, as Atlanta plans to shift Martin Prado back to the infield and third base to replace the retired Chipper Jones. The Braves have the starting pitching depth to trade youngsters Randall Delgado or Julio Teheran for a center fielder like the Twins' Denard Span, and they could sign a free agent like Cody Ross to play left.
Brewers: The bullpen is the top priority, as they would like to find two set-up relievers to put in front of closer John Axford.
Cardinals: They are only looking for stocking stuffers, such as a left-handed reliever and a bench player with some pop. Sean Burnett will fit the lefty bill perfectly as a free agent.
Cubs: Even an organization fully committed to youth needs some veteran stopgaps. In this case, a third baseman and center fielder are necessary to buy more developmental time in the minor leagues for Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson. Chicago would also like to add one more starting pitcher and are eyeing free agent Shaun Marcum.
Diamondbacks: A long-term shortstop would be nice; Cliff Pennington surely isn't anything more than a stopgap. Upgrading at third base would also help, though Chris Johnson could probably tide Arizona over for 2013. A veteran starting pitcher is also on the list, as the Diamondbacks are currently in line to have two rookies in the rotation when the 2013 season begins. They'd like to do one-stop shopping by trading right fielder Justin Upton to fill all three needs.