Heading into the offseason, there were many of us that thought the team might be close to a .500 record with the lineup set up the way it was already, but would still fall short of that goal. It was a nice hope, that getting to an 81-81 record would represent a huge leap in the rebuild that would ultimately lead to better things in 2019 and 2020. Then came the signings of Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek. While at first glance they don’t seem like earth shattering moves, they did signal to those that observe the team that they were serious about at least protecting whatever leads they had, shoring up a bullpen that at times sprung some leaks and gave away wins. However, they didn’t really push the team any closer to a playoff spot since relievers don’t usually swing a pennant race all by themselves.
Signing Carlos Santana signaled that the team believes it is closer to contending that even we initially thought. By getting Santana, it is obvious that the front office believes they can win now. It’s a type of move that helps put teams over the top, becoming that last piece of the puzzle that creates a playoff bound roster. We can also assume that the team feels it is better than it actually is since they were serious about acquiring Manny Machado and still remains in the hunt for a top flight pitcher to go with Aaron Nola to lead the rotation.
And yet still - it feels like there is still so much to do.
Even with the Machado rumors peetering out (for now), the team remains engaged in talks to get that pitcher to shore up the rotation. The rotation as a whole still needs improvement. There still remains an outfield logjam that needs to have a resolution - one that doesn’t involve rotating four players into three positions. While the infield issue has been (temporarily) solved, if the team gets bowled over for Cesar Hernandez, do they entrust Scott Kingery with the position from day one?
What I am asking for is: now that the first few dominoes have fallen in the team’s plan, what else needs to happen to finish off the 25 man roster? Is Chris Archer the answer? Danny Duffy? Is there another pitcher out there that you think would make this team better? Do they dive into the free agent market and surrender more draft picks/international money? Is there something else you would do that would make this team better now and in the future?
Head on over to the FanPost section and give us your opinion on how the team needs to finish up its offseason shopping.