Under-the-Radar Roster Holes MLB Teams Are Ignoring This Offseason
While there are some very obvious needs that teams have addressed thus far this offseason, such as the New York Yankees signing Brian McCann to play catcher and DH, other teams have not been able to resolve their issues.
In some cases, there are under-the-radar needs that teams have failed to fill or really even approach at this point in the offseason.
Given that there are still a number of names on the market, this could change, but at the moment some teams are missing out on some potential key acquisitions.
Miami Marlins: Power Hitter
There were a number of issues that the Miami Marlins faced last season, and one of the most prominent was a lack of a second power hitter in their lineup behind Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins finished the season with a major league low 95 home runs, 12 behind the San Francisco Giants.
Convincing players to come to Miami may be difficult given the team's ownership and outlook for the future, but the Marlins need another big bat.
Miami has an interest in Dioner Navarro according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. While this would be a start, the Marlins need more power in their lineup than Navarro would be able to provide.
Minnesota Twins: Strikeout Pitcher
Pitching is key to the success of any team in the major leagues and it was a big problem area for the Minnesota Twins last season. They had one of the worst ERAs in the majors and were the only team that did not reach the 1000 strikeout mark as a pitching staff.
Minnesota has realized that this is an issue and is looking at a number of different pitchers this offseason. However, the Twins are not looking at starters that will solve their strikeout woes.
According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Twins are interested in both Gavin Floyd and Chris Capuano. Neither of these players has a career K/9 ratio above 7.5, so the Twins will still struggle to strikeout opposing hitters even if they make a signing.
Seattle Mariners: Someone to Hit Left-Handed Pitching
During the 2013 season, no team was worse against left-handed pitchers than the Seattle Mariners. As a team, they hit a collective .229 with a .293 on-base percentage and 51 home runs.
If the Mariners are going to have a chance to contend in 2014, they are going to need to step up their performance when a southpaw is on the mound.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has mentioned that the Mariners are interested in bringing Kendrys Morales back. While Morales is a career .262 hitter against lefties, he is not going to substantially increase the Mariners' performance against them.
Los Angeles Angels: A Better Defensive Shortstop
Having a strong defense is a big confidence booster for any pitcher who takes the mound. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles Angels last season, their defense struggled.
The Angels committed 112 errors last season, and Erick Aybar was responsible for 15 of them in 138 games at shortstop. While he may have won a Gold Glove in the past, Aybar was worth -7 runs defensively last season according to Baseball-Reference, and he was actually worth -1 runs in the year in which he won the Gold Glove.
After signing Aybar to a four-year extension in 2012, it seems clear that the Angels will be sticking with him, but they should be going after someone who could serve as a defensive replacement.
Detroit Tigers: A Base Stealer
Power played a big role in the Detroit Tigers' success last season as they slugged 176 home runs as a team. However, while they had the big bats, the team lacked an element of speed and stole an MLB-low 35 bases on the year.
Detroit does have some players who can turn on the jets, such as Austin Jackson, who has a career high of 27 steals, but adding another speedster could make their lineup much more dynamic.
Adding a player such as Rajai Davis, who has not been linked to the Tigers, could be a good fit for the team if they can somehow find a way to make room for him in their outfield with Nick Castellanos ready to make an impact.