2021 MLB Bold Predictions: NL West


(Gregory Bull/AP)

By: Evan Brown


Arizona Diamondbacks: MadBum trade rumors and a Top 5 Pick


For World Series MVP and 3x champion Madison Bumgartner, leaving San Francisco is starting to look less and less like the right move. Arizona is in a bit of a tough spot this year because on paper they look like a middle-of-the-pack team who could push for a wildcard spot if they wanted. Then, the NL got stacked. With both the Dodgers and Padres fighting for the top spot in this division, and other teams like the Braves, Mets, and Cardinals looking solid this year, Arizona might be better off rebuilding for just one more year and then pushing hard in free agency next year. Given another top-5 pick, and a steadily growing bid of prospects for Bumgartner, who a contending team would love to add, especially in the NL, would better prepare the D-Backs for a weaker NL.


Colorado Rockies: Trevor Story is dealt


Now that the Nolan Arenado situation has been dealt with, it would be smart of the Rockies to completely blow it up and retool for the future. The question remains, however, does that future include Trevor Story? The 28-year old SS is an upcoming free agent in a year loaded with top-end shortstops looking to get paid big time and probably won’t be around once Colorado is ready to compete again. So, in a division the Rockies won’t win given LA and San Diego’s offseason, it’s time to go full rebuild. Colorado trades Story at the deadline to get some value out of a guy who would’ve walked after this year anyway, in an effort to get great potential in return.


Los Angeles Dodgers: Trevor Bauer doesn’t live up to his deal


Trevor Bauer was the biggest free agent heading into this past offseason and got PAID to join the World Series Champions. About $34 million in each of the next three seasons is a hefty price for a Cy Young winner who went from a good starter to an ace in a year. I don’t doubt Bauer will be a good addition for the Dodgers and will perform at a high level, but for a guy with a career ERA just under 4, LA definitely overpaid to get Bauer. But, then again, money doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Dodgers, so they probably won’t be losing sleep over it anytime soon.


San Diego Padres: New look rotation wins the division over the Dodgers


San Diego enters 2021 with a deep, proven, scary rotation that will be outstanding for years to come. A rotation that will only get stronger in the future as Mike Clevinger comes off the IL next season and MLB’s #6 ranked prospect MacKenzie Gore waiting in the wings. Plus, other than having one of the best total rotations in the league, they also have a solid bullpen and a dangerous lineup that I think is better offensively than LA. Most people have LA running this division because they are the World Series champs. I think it’s time San Diego reigns supreme. (Barring, of course, the dreaded cover curse for Tatis)


San Francisco Giants: Johnny Cueto ends 2021 traded and/or retired


At 35 years old Johnny Cueto is nearing the end of what can only be described as a very unique career. Whether it be his ever-changing pitching form, unpredictable seasons, or his numerous different injuries throughout his 13 year career, Cueto was a name many in baseball could and will never forget. After a dismal 2020, which saw his second consecutive season of an ERA above 5, Cueto will get the Giants a little bit of future value at the deadline where Cueto can have one more run at the title. But, if he struggles again this might be it. No matter what, Johnny Cueto will be a memorable name in baseball history and no Royals fan will forget his complete game win against the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series.