Except for Cincinnati, last year was a down year for the NL East. Expect the same in Season 15 as the bottom two teams start a remake of their franchise.
Cincinnati Reds - moose08 Payroll: 89 Million
Last Year 102-68 - 1st Place - lost in NLCS
Key Additions: Walter Cashman - 38 year old Relief Pitcher still has something left and will help shore up the bullpen.
Key Losses: Felix Lee - 1.32 WHIP in Season 14; Rube Cora
Key Players: Vic Lopez - the 24 year old IF hit only .255 last year with 15 HR and 66 RBI. He needs to take a big step forward.
Gustavo James: The 23-year old only hit .246 with 19 HR and 79 RBI after hitting .292, 30, 107 in Season 13. Needs to rebound for Cincinnati to take the next step.
MVP Candidate: Jose Liriano - 52 SVs, 1.15 WHIP is Season 14.
Cincinnati did not make any major additions hoping to rely on increased production from its young players.
Prediction: 100-62 (1st Place)
Washington Nationals: ajb_101 Playroll: 68 Million
Last Season: 88-74 2nd Place - missed playoffs
Key Additions: Lonnie Sweeney - SP - expected to be 3rd or 4th starter
Trevor DeJean - IF - should provided stability in IF
Terry Borland - 3B - more experienced production
Key Losses: Bill Parker, RP - veteran arm will be missed
Danny Seelbach, 1B - Washington must replace 21 HRs and 97 RBI
Key Player: Lon Muellens - hit only 23 HRs after back to back seasons of 40 HRs. Muellens must rebound for Washington to return to the playoffs.
MVP Candidate: Ronniue Handsworth - young catcher hit .334, 27, 118 last year.
Washington hasn't made any big splashes. Should be around where they were last year.
Prediction: 85-77 2nd place
Philadelphia Phillies: lakerross Payroll: 76 Million
Last Season: 66-96 3rd Place - missed playoffs
Philadelphia was very active in cleaning house in Season 15. Under new ownership, Philadelphia made some big free-agent signings.
Key Additions: Eddie Jones - big contract Closer; Sam Nieves - SP; Jeff Stone; Patrick Sabathia, Donaldo Martin - 26 year old already has 270 HRs (hit 64 in Season 11); Al Affeldt, could be potential ace for Philly; Michael Martin, SS will solidify infield.
Key Losses: Not many - with only 66 wins Philly needed to retool.
Key Player: Al Affeldt - Philly will need a big year from their new ace.
MVP Candidate: Eddie Jones - at 16 million this year, he better produce
Philly made some big free agent splashes this year. Will it help? It certainly couldn't hurt.
Prediction: 77-85 - 3rd Place
Chicago Cubs: santorules Payroll: 69 Million
Last Season: 65-97 Last Place - missed playoffs
Chicago has been decreasing in wins the past three seasons. Its time to rebuild in Chicago and thats just what started in Season 16.
Key Additions: None
Key Losses: Jacque Suzuki 37 year old pitcher was past his prime anyway. Chicago had no use for him. But the key innings he provided in the bullpen will still be missed.
Key Player: Branch Nixon: 31 year old hit only 32 HRs after blasting 95 the previous two years. More significantly - his OBP dropped to an unproductive .335.
MVP Candidate: Even with only 65 winds - Hector Sosa is an MVP candidate. Firstbaseman hit .284 with 43 HRs and 120 RBI after hitting .303 44 HR, 133 RBI in Season 13.
Chicago is rebuilding with 20 million in prospect payroll and the 5th pick in the draft. It will take a few years, but young talent exists.
Prediction: 68-94 - Last Place