Wednesday, February 22, 2017

National League Contenders in 2017 | Will the Cubs Repeat?

NL Contenders
Unlike with the American League, in the National League it is much easier to separate the contenders from the pretenders, as the gap is just that big. Let's take a look. Will the Cubs repeat in 2017?

Washington Nationals: The Nationals had a position of need this off season, and made a massive overpay for an above-average solution in center field with Adam Eaton. The rest of the team is great, and these guys could get the Cubs this year if Bryce Harper can put 2016 behind him. However, at the end of the season, it's time to pay the credit card bill, and make some tough decisions for all of these big free agent signings and trades they have made.

New York Mets: Remember how we called the up and coming Mets rotation the greatest thing since sliced bread two years ago? Yeah that didn't happen. Injuries to most of the rotation have pretty much derailed that. Still, they can be very good if they can stay healthy, and they aren't as horrible on offense as they were two years ago at this time. Yoenis Cespedes is back in New York and for the long haul this time. He fits perfectly in the Big Apple.

Chicago Cubs: The Defending World Series champions enter 2017 with the best roster in baseball. However, it won't be as easy as it was in 2016, and they are back to their big gaping hole they had a year ago- the bullpen is bad, and they are running out of prospects to trade to fix it. It's time to rely on the likes of Mike Montgomery and Bruce Rondon to see if they can help fix the issues in the bullpen.

St. Louis Cardinals: Baseball's eternal contenders, the St. Louis Cardinals, have done a tremendous job of making one great move after another over the last decade. This off season, they went out and got Dexter Fowler off the free agent market. He will bring nothing but positive vibes back to that clubhouse, and fills their big gaping hole, center field.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates are running out of chances to get the job done. In fact, 2017 might be it, because after this, it's time to start trading the likes of Andrew McCutchen and others. Speaking of Mr. McCutchen, he moves to right field this season after spending his whole career in center.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Some Dodgers fans may be upset, but it appears as if Andrew Friedman is determined to get the Dodgers into a budget, and that is a good thing. The new CBA rules punish teams even more for going over the luxury tax threshold, so almost every team now is treating it like a salary cap. Instead, he opted for cheap options rather than overpay for the likes of Brian Dozier in the trade market, which is actually a good thing based on what they needed to fix, which wasn't much.

San Francisco Giants: The Giants, kind of like that old reliable friend. They are always there whenever you need them, but sometimes you forget about them. The story for the Giants this season is the same story it's been for the last 8 years- power pitching rotation, elite bullpen, great defense, timely hitting.

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