After Boston’s fourth World Series in the last 15 years, the MLB offseason is already getting into full swing. Plenty will change in the coming months with free agency and trades, but this is where each team stands heading into free agency.
1. Boston Red Sox
The world champion Red Sox were clearly the best team in baseball this season, and they’re going to be tough to beat over the next few years.
2. Houston Astros
Some of the things that are being said about the Red Sox being a potential dynasty were said about the Astros this time last year. We’ll see if they keep the entire starting staff together this offseason.
3. New York Yankees
The Yankees have a stacked roster, but expect them to be huge players in free agency after their archrival won another World Series. The franchise did finally avoid the luxury tax penalty this year, which might not happen again anytime soon.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
A great late-season run nearly got the Brewers all the way to the World Series, and that pitching staff has scary-good potential moving forward.
5. Chicago Cubs
It was weird not having the Cubs play late into October this year, but they recorded 95 wins during the regular season despite inconsistencies from the offense and Yu Darvish not working out in year one. The Cubs are likely to be players for Bryce Harper.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
After the deadline was extended, it feels like Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers are just trying to figure out the best way to remain together. LA should again be contenders next season.
7. Oakland Athletics
The Athletics exploded from three straight last place finishes in the division to their highest win total since 2002 (the Moneyball season). Look for Billy Beane to target starting pitching in free agency.
8. Cleveland Indians
Not being tested much in the division during the regular season might have hurt the Indians in October, but they are the clear 2019 AL Central favorites as things stand.
9. Atlanta Braves
There were some ups and downs, but the Braves had a surprising breakout season and showed the potential they have. Could they make a play for Manny Machado?
10. Colorado Rockies
Rocktober was fun while it lasted for the Rockies, who made the postseason in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history. Nolan Arenado’s contract situation is something to watch moving forward.
11. St. Louis Cardinals
Mike Shildt earned the full-time manager job for the Cardinals, as the team made a playoff push and got to 89 wins. They could be big spenders in free agency.
12. Tampa Bay Rays
Despite trading Chris Archer and seemingly not in the mix for a playoff spot, the Rays had a great second half including a 19-9 September. Competing in the American League is difficult, but the Rays should be in the mix next season.
13. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners were basically the opposite of the Rays, with a hot start to the season including a 19-9 June, but they cooled off as the season progressed. There’s obviously upside.
14. Philadelphia Phillies
Everyone will be watching the Phillies in free agency, as they’ve been linked to both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, with some even speculating they’ll sign both players. The franchise has money to spend with a low payroll and a lucrative television deal.
15. Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani was just as good, if not better, than advertised in his first major-league season, and it’s unfortunate we won’t see him on the mound next season. There’s a lot to build around with him and Mike Trout, though.
16. Washington Nationals
This offseason probably isn’t bigger for any team than it is for the Nationals. Washington is trying to keep Bryce Harper, and they’ll be in a tough spot if he signs elsewhere.
17. Minnesota Twins
The Twins have received a lot of praise for hiring Rocco Baldelli as their manager. A change could potentially spark the Twins getting back to the postseason in 2019.
18. Arizona Diamondbacks
A dreadful end of the season must be forgotten about as the Diamondbacks head into the offseason. The Paul Goldschmidt situation is interesting, as he’s set to become a free agent after next season. Unless there’s an extension, a slow start in 2019 could lead to him being traded.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates
There were flashes of great play throughout the season for the Pirates, including a rare five-game sweep of the Brewers. Clint Hurdle’s squad should again be competitive in 2019.
20. San Francisco Giants
The veteran additions did not work out for the Giants, but they’ll look to reload and go at it again next season. The end of the season couldn’t have been much worse.
21. Toronto Blue Jays
Hopefully Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is on the opening day roster next year, as baseball fans are ready to see him in the majors. The Jays might surprise with their young talent.
22. New York Mets
The Mets’ hiring of ex-agent Brodie Van Wagenen as their general manager is interesting to say the least. Especially in New York, it’s going to draw a lot of scrutiny if things don’t work out.
23. Cincinnati Reds
David Bell looks like a great hire as the Reds’ new manager. He has managerial and coaching experience, and he can relate to his players as a former player himself.
24. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are going to have to add some pieces this offseason, but they have a ton of young talent that’s looking to grow together.
25. San Diego Padres
After they signed Eric Hosmer last offseason, expect the Padres to again look to go after Bryce Harper or Manny Machado this year. If they open the checkbook, don’t be surprised if one of them sign in San Diego.
26. Texas Rangers
GM Jon Daniels and the Rangers are still looking for a manager, and they hope whoever that person is will lead a big turnaround next season. The Rangers are likely to be in on some of this year’s top free agents.
27. Kansas City Royals
I like Ned Yost returning to manage the Royals next season, as he got his team to play well down the stretch in what was a difficult season. Kansas City might be one of those worst-to-first teams next year.
28. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers aren’t expected to compete next season, but players will have opportunities to show they can contribute to a contender in the future.
29. Miami Marlins
Perhaps the Marlins will spend big this offseason, but don’t expect it to happen yet. They’ll probably lose another 90 or so games in 2019.
30. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles finished with a 47-115 record and a whopping 61 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East, so there’s obviously a lot of work to do.