As the Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series to win the first World Series in team history, the other 28 teams were focused on the upcoming free agency period. Each team has an offseason to-do list and players that they are interested in bringing in to join their team. You can see the to-do list for the AL West teams here.

Before the 2019 season, the NL East had the makings of one of the most contested divisions in baseball. With four of its five teams having rosters capable of making the playoffs, the NL East crown seemed like it would be up for grabs up until the last day of the season. That was only partially true. The Atlanta Braves clinched the division title rather early before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. The Washington Nationals rode an unbelievable second half into their first World Series title. The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies could not seem to get out of their own way all year. The Miami Marlins happen to be stuck in a division with four very good baseball teams, and their record reflected that.

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves rode their young core of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies to a second straight NL East title. Their season ended the same, however, losing in the NLDS.

The Biggest Need: Bullpen Consistency

As the Braves look to take the next step, the top of their offseason to-do list should be bullpen help. 11 different pitchers recorded a save and Sean Newcomb, a starting pitcher by trade, spent most of his season in a late relief role. The Braves bullpen let them down in games 1 and 4 of the NLDS and should be their top concern heading into 2020.

Washington Nationals

After years of not being able to advance past the NLDS, the Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS before defeating the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros to claim their first World Series title in team history.

The Biggest Need: Resigning Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg

Arguably the two most important players to the Nationals World Series run are free agents ahead of the 2020 season. Rendon was the most clutch hitter the Nationals had all year and Strasburg was named World Series MVP. Resigning not one but both of these players is critical to the Nationals title defense in 2020. The Nationals were hesitant to offer Bryce Harper a market level deal last offseason which saw him move to the Philadelphia Phillies. If the Nationals take that approach again, they will again lose generational talents from their roster.

New York Mets

The New York Mets rode a historic rookie season from Pete Alonso to 86 wins and expedited their rebuild in the process. The continued dominance of ace Jacob deGrom should continue their upward trajectory towards the playoffs.

The Biggest Need: A quiet offseason

Prior to the 2019 season, the Mets made a splash trade acquiring closer Edwin Diaz and slugger Robinson Cano from the Seattle Mariners. During the season, former manager Mickey Callaway made headlines for all the wrong reasons in the New York media. While the Mets could use help in the bullpen and a resolution to the everlasting Noah Syndergaard trade rumors, the Mets desperately need some time out of the press and get back to playing baseball.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies entered the 2019 season with more hype than maybe every other team in the MLB. The acquisitions of Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto in the offseason pegged the Phillies as potentially the team to beat in the NL East.

The Biggest Need: Stupid money, but spent on pitching

Those words John Middleton said last offseason will live in infamy in baseball lure. The Phillies ended up bidding against themselves for Bryce Harper. This offseason, John Middleton again should open up his checkbook. This time for the likes of Gerrit Cole. Cole is far and away the biggest fish on the market and will command a “stupid money” contract. Stephen Strasburg would be the second name on the Phillies offseason to-do list should Cole decide to go elsewhere.

Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins entered the 2019 season with very little expectations and will enter 2020 the same way. The Marlins are in the middle of a full rebuild and will look to break a 16-year playoff drought when they are ready to contend again.

The Biggest Need: Young, Controllable Talent

Five of the Marlins six top prospects could make their debuts in 2020 including Sixto Sanchez, the prize of the trade that sent JT Realmuto the Philadelphia. In the meantime, the offseason to-do list for the Marlins should be looking for anyone that could be an impactful piece of their next contending team, which should not come for the next few seasons.

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Daniel Damico

Belly Up Baseball Department Head | I am a lifelong Philly sports fan that is currently trapped watching Pirates baseball on TV and hearing about how good the Penguins are. On select occasions I watch the Phillies play terrible baseball and complain about it on the internet.

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