As Giants Tweak Roster, They Could Find Themselves in Weakened Division

SAN FRANCISCO - The Hot Stove chatter centered around the NL West on Tuesday. 

The Diamondbacks have talked to the Twins about Paul Goldschmidt, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic said the Indians and Dodgers have been in discussion, possibly to swap a Dodgers outfielder for an Indians starting pitcher or catcher. Multiple reports tied the Padres and Mariners together. 

It has been quiet for the Giants, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They could benefit from a shakeup of the NL West as they seek a quick reboot and a season full of "meaningful games," as Farhan Zaidi put it. Hell, just getting Goldschmidt out of the division could result in, like, seven more wins. 

Thanksgiving is usually a quiet period, so with the holiday approaching, here's a look at how the rest of the NL West has handled the start of free agency … 

Dodgers: They're going to be the heavy favorites next season regardless of what they do before pitchers and catchers report. With Walker Buehler alongside Clayton Kershaw, the rotation has Cy Young candidates at the top and depth everywhere else, especially with Hyun-Jin Ryu accepting the qualifying offer. Yasmani Grandal rejected it, and the Dodgers are in seek of catching help. They also have repeatedly been connected to relief pitchers, and that's an even bigger need with Kenley Jansen having heart surgery in a few days. 

The most interesting part of their offseason will be whether or not they chase Bryce Harper. According to the LA Times, the Dodgers intend to stay under the CBT line in future years, but Harper is from nearby Las Vegas and Los Angeles is a city of stars. If they do get involved, they would have a ton of outfielders to trade for help elsewhere. 

Rockies: They made the postseason last year and should be quite pleased with what they're seeing from the rest of the division right now. If the Giants and Diamondbacks - more on them in a second - take a step back, the Rockies are a clear No. 2 in 2019. They could lose DJ LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez, and still could use offensive help. Their bullpen will almost certainly lose dominant righty Adam Ottavino. Regardless, they're still in go-for-it mode. They have to be, because Nolan Arenado is a free agent at the end of next season. 

Diamondbacks: This is where the division gets really interesting. Arizona won 93 games in 2017 and stayed in the race until September last season, but they're in that dangerous no-man's land and appear poised for a rebuild. Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock are free agents and almost certainly gone, and they would love to find someone to take on Zack Greinke's salary. Then there's Goldschmidt, and they reportedly have been shopping their longtime face of the franchise for weeks. It would be a stunning move, and if you're going to trade Goldschmidt, you might as well start over. This is one team the Giants could leapfrog without much effort at all. 

Padres: They have the best farm system in the game, one so deep that they had to make multiple trades just to clear 40-man spots as prospects were added Tuesday. They also would like to dump Wil Myers, who doesn't appear part of their future but has a huge contract. The Mariners - for old friend Mike Leake and shortstop Jean Segura, as Rosenthal tweeted - make sense. You can bet Zaidi, who got Matt Kemp back in a massive contract swap last offseason, has made a call to see if the Padres want to swap bad contracts. Myers has his flaws, but also is the kind of right-handed power hitter the Giants seek. The Padres are expected to challenge the Dodgers as soon as 2020, but the Braves showed this season that sometimes it can come together a year early when you have those kinds of super-prospects. 

Overall, what do you have here? A division with a clear No. 1, a shaky No. 2, and three others undergoing various levels of a reboot. Zaidi has yet to make his first major move as head of baseball operations, but if he can strike the right balance, the Giants could benefit from the Diamondbacks' sell-off. They are far from contenders, but with the West rapidly changing, they could definitely move up the pecking order next season. 

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