The baseball winter meetings are fast approaching and there are a lot of teams that have needs this off-season in the N.L Central. The Central has been competitive for years and this season should be no different. All teams in the division have needs but in this case, we’ll look at one need for each team. Questions will need to be answered at the winter meetings and the direction of these teams will be known. The N.L Central is going to be a fun division to follow this season.
One Need For Every N.L. Central Team
St. Louis Cardinals: Middle Of The Order Bat
The St. Louis Cardinals won the division last year despite a lack of offensive production from many players. They will lose power-hitting outfielder Marcell Ozuna to free agency which will create a hole in the middle of the order. The Cardinals don’t have a lot of power in that lineup and finding a bat should be their top priority this off-season. The move needs to be a hitter with power and someone who can produce in RBI situations. Whether it’s a three-hole hitter or a four-hole hitter, they will have to be productive with star Paul Goldschmidt also in the middle of the order.
Milwaukee Brewers: Starting Pitching
The one thing that has held the Milwaukee Brewers back these past couple years is their starting pitching. Last season, they were middle of the pack in the N.L in ERA and last in innings. The bullpen had put a lot of innings in because the starting rotation couldn’t get the job done. They have some good arms like Brandon Woodruff but that isn’t enough to compete for the World Series. If the Brewers can get another arm or two this off-season, they can be set up for success.
Chicago Cubs: Bullpen
Last season, the Chicago Cubs bullpen had the highest walk rate in all of baseball which got them into a lot of trouble. Heading into this season, they will be losing a few arms and the depth will be depleted. Names like Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek, who were important parts to this Cubs team in the last couple of years, will be hitting the market. They will need to add not just one arm but a couple to fix the problem. The Cubs still want to be in contention and getting bullpen help would certainly fix most of their problems.
Cincinnati Reds: Outfielder
The Cincinnati Reds have been getting more talented over the past year and they just added infielder Mike Moustakas to the picture. The Reds starting rotation is solid, the infield is full of talent but one area of concern in the outfield. They have plenty of out-fielding options but Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel are coming off season-ending injuries. They also have a young talented outfielder in Aristides Aquino. Even though he is coming off of a great start to his career, they still need to have another plan in place. There are plenty of options on the market and the Reds would be smart to look there.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Catcher
A catcher is by far the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ biggest need in the off-season. They had to rely on backups Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings last season. They aren’t terrible options but they need a real upgrade behind the plate. If they don’t get a starter, they need depth at the position. If the Pirates can get that, they will have a very strong core behind the plate. The direction of this team is to be determined, but getting a catcher would be a step in the right direction.
Hitting For The Fences
All of these N.L Central teams are looking to hit a home-run this off-season and compete for the division crown. All of these teams are more than capable of winning at least 80 games so all of them have to be on edge and make the right move. The hot stove is just getting started and we are all here for it.
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