The World Series champions already have lost right-handed starter Johnny Cueto and second baseman Ben Zobrist to free agency -- and their homegrown, four-time Gold Glove-winning left fielder could be next. Alex Gordon has drawn interest from plenty of suitors this offseason but has yet to sign, meaning the answer to Kansas City’s biggest need is still available. It remains to be seen, however, whether Gordon will offer any sort of 'hometown discount' to return.
MLB Photos via Getty ImagesLG Patterson
Missing pieces: Cardinals OF, SP
Their problems are twofold. The 100-win team from this past season lost its Gold Glove-winning on-base machine right fielder and its only starting pitcher who topped 200 innings. Worse, both Jason Heyward and John Lackey signed with the division-rival Cubs. The Cardinals’ front office has said it isn’t looking to spend big on either need, but it might have to rethink that stance. There are plenty of outfield (Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton) and rotation (Mike Leake, Scott Kazmir) available as free agents, as well as in trades.
Justin K. Aller & Chris Lee (St.
Missing piece: Dodgers SP
Here’s a team that really would love a reset option for the offseason. After the unexpected loss of Zack Greinke in free agency, the Dodgers watched David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Jordan Zimmermann, among others, sign elsewhere. And their deal with Hisashi Iwakuma fell apart just as quickly as their trade for closer Aroldis Chapman. The growing speculation is that Los Angeles will deal from its collection of prospects in the hopes of acquiring Jose Fernandez, Jake Odorizzi, Sonny Gray or another young, controllable starter.
Getty ImagesSean M. Haffey
Missing piece: Mets OF
We know how stagnant the lineup was before the Mets swung their deadline deal for Yoenis Cespedes, and a strong case can be made that the team wouldn’t have reached the postseason without him. Well, Cespedes is still available and his price tag seemingly has dropped (or will drop soon) because of it. New York addressed the loss of second baseman Daniel Murphy with a shrewd trade to acquire Neil Walker, and now it must address its outfield need, especially after Michael Cuddyer’s retirement.
Getty ImagesSean M. Haffey
Missing piece: Pirates 1B
It isn’t often that a postseason team non-tenders its leading home run hitter, but that’s what the Pirates did with first baseman Pedro Alvarez. Left with a sizeable offensive void, the team has re-signed Sean Rodriguez, who can play first base but it is better suited as a utility man. Ditto for Mike Morse. During the Winter Meetings, there were rumblings that Pittsburgh was making a push for Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, but those talks apparently have stalled. Free agent Chris Davis would be a perfect match, but likely is out of the Pirates’ price range.