The National League East has three rookie managers - Dave Martinez in Washington, Gabe Kapler in Philadelphia and Mickey Callaway in New York - and here’s a look at what the NL East teams will be up to this offseason:
Atlanta: The Braves are looking for a replacement to make the roster decisions with general manager John Coppolella leaving because of a controversy involving international signing rules. ... The Braves need to fortify their bullpen and find a power bat. ... Their rebuilding success depends on the progress of their young starters, a rotation that includes Mike Foltynewicz, Luiz Gohara, Max Fried and Sean Newcomb behind veteran Julio Teheran. ... Their infield is set with, from first to third, Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Johan Camargo. Freeman is a dangerous RBI guy and the others are prospects growing into their positions. ... The Braves outfield has Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis, with prospect Ronald Acuna, a five-tool player, about ready to burst into the lineup. It’s possible the Braves could trade former Oriole Markakis, who is in the final year of his contract.
Miami: Derek Jeter, a World Series champion shortstop, is one of the new owners of the Marlins and the big question will be whether they trade outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs with 132 RBIs last season, making him a candidate for NL MVP. He’s got $295 million left on the contract. ... The Marlins have a good offense - their 778 runs scored ranked 11th in the majors - but their rotation is thin. The only proven starters are José Ureña and Dan Straily. Former Oriole Wei-Yin Chen is a question mark with left elbow issues. ... Trading Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna could bring dependable pitching, but the Marlins might only be interested in trading Stanton.
New York: The Mets’ once-promising rotation is filled with injuries and Jacob deGrom was the only healthy starter in 2017. That’s why the Mets hired former Cleveland pitching coach Callaway as their manager, even though he has no experience at that position. Health would make a difference, but who knows about Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Steven Matz? ... The Mets are a blend of youth and experience with prospects Amed Rosario at shortstop and Dominic Smith at first base. ... Third baseman David Wright is another injury question, so the Mets might be in the market for another one with Mike Moustakas, Todd Frazer or Eduardo Nuñez the potential free-agent targets. ...
Philadelphia: New manager Kapler, 42, is Mr. Analytics and Mr. Preparation with passion and intensity. The question is whether his intensity for preparation will burn out his players. ... The Phillies are in the market for free agent pitching. Aaron Nola is the only starter with a spot in the rotation, so the possibility of adding a starter or two, and then letting the prospects - such as Jerad Eichoff, Jake Thompson, Vince Velasquez and Ben Lively - contend for the final rotation spots. ... The Phillies’ infield, from first to third, has Rhys Hoskins, Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco. The outfield is Aaron Altherr, Odúbel Herrera and Nick Williams.
Washington: After interviews with seven different teams and 10 years as a bench coach for Joe Maddon with Tampa Bay and the Chicago Cubs, rookie manager Martinez says that success in 2018 is nothing short of a World Series championship. ... Martinez inherits a team with few flaws. ... The Nationals will try to keep their experienced bench in place by retaining free agent Howie Kendrick. ... Also, the Nationals will have to decide if they’ll go after Brandon Kintzler, a closer with Minnesota before the Twins traded him to Washington July so that he could be used in a setup role. ... Second baseman Daniel Murphy could miss time early with a knee injury, so that likely means Wilmer Difo might be the starter on opening day. ... After a rough offensive year, catcher Matt Wieters will exercise his option to stay in D.C. ... Best guess is that Jayson Werth is done in Washington and that the Nats outfield in 2018 will be Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton and Michael A. Taylor with Brian Goodwin as the fourth outfielder.