Don’t expect the New York Mets to spend the big sack of money they raked in during the playoffs on retaining free agents online sports betting fans. They are likely to stay with their approach of keeping a payroll that is in the middle of the pack, if not lower. That means Yoenis Cespedes is likely gone, because he will probably bring in a deal worth over $100 million. His contract and the mid season trade means the Mets can’t extend him a qualifying offer. Daniel Murphy is also likely gone. The team needs some middle infield help and some solid reinforcement in the bullpen. Shortstop Ian Desmond of the Nationals would be a smart shortstop target who would come at a value. The team needs another right handed setup reliever to go with Addison Reed.
Taking a Look at the MLB NL East Hot Stove Online Betting Preview
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 5, 2015
The Washington Nationals probably have the strongest starting rotation in the division, but they need some help on the back end. They also need to look at a catcher, as Wilson Ramos only hit .229. His defense is above average, but the Nats are likely to look at a second catcher who has more pop with the bat. The bullpen still has Jonathan Papelbon on the roster, which will be interesting given his attempt to strangle Bryce Harper late in the year and his subsequent dismissal for the remainder of the season. Drew Storen could also use a new team. The Nats could try to trade for Aroldis Chapman.
The Miami Marlins have already re-signed Ichiro Suzuki, who is only 65 hits away from 3,000 in his MLB career. The team needs outfield help and some starting pitching after Jose Fernandez and Tom Koehler. Henderson Alvarez is already going to miss Opening Day thanks to labrum surgery. The Marlins are not likely to spend a lot of money in free agency, but Brett Anderson or Mike Leake could be likely candidates. Because the ownership here is not going to spend, it’s difficult to see how the Marlins can contend in the East.
The Atlanta Braves need help in their rotation, at catcher and in the bullpen. A.J. Pierzynski will likely need in the neighborhood of $2 million to come back. Matt Wieters is a likely candidate but the team is more likely to bring in a cheaper name such as Geovany Soto or Alex Avila. The closer is Jason Grilli (39 years old and returning from an Achilles rupture). The team needs a veteran presence in the rotation to eat innings, and they need setup options to get the ball to Grilli.
In Philadelphia, the team is simply looking to leave 2014 in the rearview mirror. They need rotation help, but they also need help elsewhere. This is a young, exciting team thanks to trades of such veterans as Cole Hamels. 2016 is going to be a rebuilding year, but as the young players build some confidence, the team will start exciting its fans again. Ryan Howard is finally in the last year in his contract. Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera was impressive in center field. Adam Morgan, Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff are young starters who will have the year to develop. The Phillies might add someone like Bartolo Colon, Yovani Gallardo, Mark Fister or Colby Lewis to be a veteran innings-eater who will also work with the kids.