MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Entering 2022-23 Free Agency
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AP Photo/David J. Phillip
The 2022 MLB season is officially complete, and the Houston Astros are World Series champions after knocking off the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.
The focus now shifts to the offseason, and with that it’s time for an updated version of our MLB power rankings to set the stage for what’s to come this winter.
For our first offseason
reshuffling of these rankings, teams are ranked based on their 2023
outlook. That includes how complete the roster is heading into free
agency, how active the club is expected to be in the coming months and
the overall direction the franchise is headed.
together fresh versions of these power rankings throughout the
offseason, with clubs shifting according to their wheelings and
For now, this serves as a baseline for those future editions of our offseason rankings.
a personal note, I want to once again say thanks to everyone for reading along all
season. This was my 11th year authoring our weekly MLB power rankings
here at Bleacher Report, and it’s still one of my favorite parts of the job.
30. Washington Nationals
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The best player on the Washington Nationals roster over the final two months of the 2022 season was 30-year-old rookie Joey Meneses.
That’s not meant to be a knock on Meneses, who hit .324/.367/.563 with 13 home runs in 56 games after making his MLB debut on Aug. 2, but it also speaks volumes to the current state of the roster.
The 2023 season is going to be the ground floor of what figures to be a multiyear rebuild, and attracting anything but fringe free agents to join the party is going to be difficult for the foreseeable future.
29. Oakland Athletics
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The Oakland Athletics have proved capable of doing more with less over the last few decades, but it’s difficult to remember a time their roster was this stripped to the studs.
Their only true impact player is catcher Sean Murphy, and given his rising arbitration cost and the fact that various teams are in need of help behind the plate, there’s a non-zero chance he’s traded as well this winter.
Sprinkle on top of that the commissioner’s recent comments about the likelihood they become the Las Vegas Athletics someday soon, and it’s a tough time to be an Oakland baseball fan.
28. Pittsburgh Pirates
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The Pirates have a few quality building blocks in Bryan Reynolds, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz, and that group should grow larger in the coming years with several impact prospects climbing the organization rankings.
That said, the projected starting rotation of Roansy Contreras, Mitch Keller, JT Brubaker, Johan Oviedo and Bryse Wilson is short on experience and MLB success. Until they find a way to substantially bolster the pitching staff, it’s difficult to view them as anything more than a likely cellar-dweller.
At the very least, look for them to hunt for another bargain veteran after hitting on José Quintana this past offseason.
27. Detroit Tigers
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The Detroit Tigers looked poised for a significant step forward in 2022 after finishing the 2021 season with 77 wins and then splurging on Javier Báez and Eduardo Rodríguez in free agency. Instead, they finished 66-96 and provided little reason for optimism going forward in the process.
Rookies Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene fell short of expectations, and the flashy offseason additions flopped. Outside of left-hander Tarik Skubal, it’s hard to say anyone on the roster took a meaningful step forward, and even he ended the season on the injured list after undergoing flexor tendon surgery.
With San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris hired as the new president of baseball operations, it’s back to the drawing board this winter.
26. Cincinnati Reds
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It’s difficult to believe the Cincinnati Reds were a playoff team as recently as 2020, as the roster has been gutted the past few years and they are now coming off their first 100-loss season since 1982.
The young trio of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft gained some valuable experience, and they will now be asked to anchor the rotation going forward with veteran Mike Minor likely headed for free agency and nothing else resembling a proven arm on the staff.
The front office has done a great job stocking the farm system with high-ceiling talent, but most of the top names are at least a couple of years away from their first taste of the big leagues. Until then, they’ll be biding their time at the bottom of the NL Central.
25. Colorado Rockies
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The Colorado Rockies have not had a winning season since 2018, and they enter another offseason looking just as aimless as ever.
The decision to sign Kris Bryant to a seven-year, $182 million deal last offseason was a complete flop in year one, and their early reported interest in Brandon Nimmo feels like another ill-advised move that doesn’t address the larger roster issues.
As long as they are unable to lure high-end pitching talent in free agency or develop their own, it’s impossible to see this club contending, and they were dead last in the majors once again in 2022 with a 5.06 ERA.
24. Kansas City Royals
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The Kansas City Royals feel like a team poised to take a significant step forward in the near future, and while they have never been a top-tier spender, they have plenty of financial wiggle room with a 2022 Opening Day payroll that was roughly $50 million below their peak spending in 2017.
Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez all look like long-term pieces offensively alongside established star Salvador Perez, while 2018 first-round pick Brady Singer now looks like a bona fide staff ace after posting a 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 150 strikeouts in 153.1 innings.
Veteran Zack Greinke is also expected to return in free agency, and with a few other complementary additions to the roster and another step forward from their young core, this team could be a dark-horse contender in 2023.
23. Miami Marlins
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The Miami Marlins had one of the best starting rotations in baseball in 2022, with NL Cy Young front-runner Sandy Alcántara anchoring a staff that ranked eighth in the majors with a 3.70 ERA.
However, the offense once again left a lot to be desired, finishing near the bottom of the league in OPS (.657, 27th), home runs (144, 24th) and runs per game (3.62, 28th). They spent to add Avisaíl García and Jorge Soler in free agency last winter, but that did little to move the needle.
The front office will have to explore the idea of moving one of their controllable starters for an offensive upgrade, with Pablo López, Jesús Luzardo and Braxton Garrett all potentially on the block.
22. Texas Rangers
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There’s no reason to think the Texas Rangers are going to stop spending after they shelled out $556 million to add Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray in free agency last winter.
Starting pitching needs to be the No. 1 focus, and bringing back Martín Pérez would be a great first step after he turned in a career year on a one-year, $4 million deal and the team opted against moving him at the deadline.
With Seager, Semien, Nathaniel Lowe, Adolis García, Jonah Heim and late-season call-up Josh Jung making up a strong offensive core, this team might be a few impact arms away from relevance in the AL West.
21. Boston Red Sox
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With Xander Bogaerts expected to opt out and Nathan Eovaldi, J.D. Martinez, Michael Wacha, Rich Hill and Matt Strahm all headed for free agency, the Boston Red Sox are at a crossroads.
If they are unable to retain Bogaerts and can’t make any headway on an extension with Rafael Devers, who is ticketed for the open market after the 2023 season, the front office will need to consider taking a step backward to reload for the future.
Assuming they do push to contend in the short term, multiple starting pitchers and multiple late-inning relievers will need to be added to the mix.
20. Chicago Cubs
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The Chicago Cubs finished the 2022 season on a high note, going 12-3 over their final 15 games, and now they enter the offseason with money to spend and some positive momentum to build off going forward.
The question now is just how aggressive the front office is going to be in its pursuit of Aaron Judge, the top-tier shortstop market and other high-end talent with little in the way of star power on the roster.
They have some building blocks in Nico Hoerner, Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, Christopher Morel and 2022 All-Star Ian Happ, who is entering his final year of club control, but they are still several significant pieces away from a return to contention.
19. Arizona Diamondbacks
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If you’re looking for a dark horse to contend for a playoff spot in 2023, the Arizona Diamondbacks are a team worth keeping an eye on this offseason.
The starting rotation has a chance to be a major strength with Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly leading the way and up-and-comers Ryne Nelson and Drey Jameson both throwing the ball well down the stretch. They also have a solid offensive core with Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas, and it’s only a matter of time before fast-rising Jordan Lawlar joins the party.
The D-backs have been a sleeping giant on the free-agent market in the past, swooping in to sign Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner to megadeals. Don’t count them out for a similar splash this winter.
18. Chicago White Sox
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Change is coming for the Chicago White Sox after a wildly disappointing 2022 season.
“The White Sox loved having José Abreu the past nine years, and he has been nothing but a class act and valuable hitter, but they plan to part ways with him. Simply, they need to shake up their team and are making virtually everyone but Dylan Cease and Andrew Vaughn available in trades,” wrote Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Lucas Giolito might be the most obvious trade candidate a year away from free agency, while it’s also worth wondering if they might consider flipping the oft-injured Eloy Jiménez while his upside still carries significant value.
The White Sox have the talent to contend in the AL Central, but it sounds more like they’re ready to spend 2023 retooling the roster.
17. Los Angeles Angels
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A 14-game losing streak that ended in early June effectively torpedoed the Los Angeles Angels season, and once again superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani were left watching from home when the postseason began.
That said, there is some reason for optimism going forward, largely stemming from the seasons that young pitchers Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers had behind Ohtani in the starting rotation. The starting staff has been a glaring hole for years, but there’s finally some hope that they could field a viable rotation next year with a modest outside addition or two.
The impending sale of the team hangs a cloud of uncertainty over things this offseason, and expect to hear Ohtani’s name mentioned early and often in trade rumors as he enters his final year of club control, but this does look like a team that might be just a few key pieces away from getting over the hump.
16. Minnesota Twins
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The Minnesota Twins spent the bulk of the 2022 season in first place in the AL Central standings, and they held a share of the division lead as late as Sept. 4, but a 10-20 showing over their final 30 games dropped them below .500 and put them on the outside looking in for a playoff spot.
With Carlos Correa expected to opt out and Miguel Sanó, Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy all likely to have club options declined, there will be significant money to spend this offseason if they decide to reinvest in the current group.
Shoring up the starting rotation behind Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan will be the biggest priority, though there’s still a chance they could come to terms with Correa on a new long-term deal after a successful first season in Minnesota.
15. Milwaukee Brewers
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The Milwaukee Brewers were arguably the best team that didn’t make the postseason in 2022, and the club’s unwillingness to increase payroll to upgrade the roster last offseason and at the trade deadline cost them a chance to contend.
Their big signing last winter was 36-year-old Andrew McCutchen, who finished with a 99 OPS+ and 1.1 WAR playing on a one-year, $8.5 million deal. Their big move at the deadline was to trade away All-Star closer Josh Hader. These are not the moves of a team trying to push for a World Series appearance.
With that, they squandered a year of Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff both being affordable enough to remain on the roster. Now it’s only a matter of time before one of those guys is traded since an extension for both is highly unlikely.
This team has the pieces to be a legitimate title contender; they just don’t have a front office willing to make that a priority.
14. Baltimore Orioles
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After losing 110 games in 2021, the Baltimore Orioles put together one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent memory, finishing 83-79 and hanging around in the wild-card race into September.
The arrival of top prospects Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson signaled the beginning of this team’s next window of contention, and strong second-half performances from pitchers Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer were equally important to the team’s future outlook.
The front office is expected to open up the payroll for some significant outside additions, and they also have the prospect capital to be active players in the trade market. With that being said, a healthy John Means could prove to be as big of an addition as anyone.
Whether it’s 2023 or shortly thereafter, this is a postseason contender in the near future.
13. San Francisco Giants
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Bold prediction: The San Francisco Giants are going to be comfortably inside the top 10 in these rankings by the time Opening Day rolls around after a busy offseason.
is at the top of the Giants list and they won’t be underbid. If they miss out, it won’t be because of money,” a person with knowledge of the team’s plans told Randy Miller of NJ.com. “The Giants are not going to stop with Judge. They have so much money freed up.”
It does feel like the last few years of bargain hunting and in-house development have been building toward this winter, and with only $20.5 million committed to the 2024 payroll and nothing on the books beyond that year, they are in the perfect position to add multiple megadeals this offseason.
With Carlos Rodón expected to opt out, re-signing him or replacing him with another frontline starter will be just as important as any of the impact bats they decide to target.
12. Tampa Bay Rays
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The Tampa Bay Rays have a whopping 19 players eligible for arbitration, and for a small-market club that regularly ranks near the bottom of the league in team payroll, that’s going to be a significant hurdle to navigate this winter.
First baseman Ji-Man Choi ($4.5M projected) and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough ($4.2M projected) look like potential non-tender candidates as a means of offsetting the other salary increases, though both will first be shopped on the trade market.
This front office has proved time and again it knows how to contend on a shoestring budget, and with Shane McClanahan, Jeffrey Springs, Drew Rasmussen and a healthy Tyler Glasnow, the starting rotation will once again be the driving force behind their success.
After plucking Jason Adam from the scrapheap and turning him into a bullpen ace in 2022, it will be fun to see what diamond in the rough they uncover this offseason.
11. Seattle Mariners
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The Seattle Mariners will return almost the entire roster from the team that finally snapped a postseason drought that stretched all the way back to 2001, with slugger Mitch Haniger and second baseman Adam Frazier the team’s only notable free agents.
That means the pitching staff that ranked eighth in the major with a 3.59 ERA returns fully intact, and with a full season of Luis Castillo and further development from Logan Gilbert and George Kirby, it’s not out of the question to think the starting rotation will be even better.
There is room to make a splashy addition at a middle infield or a corner outfield spot, but even if they don’t reel in a big fish this winter, this team is still poised to contend for years to come.
10. St. Louis Cardinals
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The St. Louis Cardinals leaned heavily on deadline additions José Quintana and Jordan Montgomery on the mound and Albert Pujols at the plate during a 22-7 month of August that vaulted them to the top of the NL Central standings.
That was a lightning-in-a-bottle situation, and with Pujols retiring, Quintana gone in free agency and Montgomery pitching over his head his first two months in St. Louis relative to his career track record, this team can’t simply rest on its laurels this offseason.
Healthy seasons from Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz should give the rotation an in-house boost after they pitched just 84 combined innings in 2022, but they could still use another starter and a power bat to help support Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the middle of the lineup.
9. San Diego Padres
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With a full season of Juan Soto and the eventual return of Fernando Tatís Jr. from his PED suspension, the San Diego Padres have a chance to build off their 2022 success in a big way.
Even in a “down year” by his standards, Soto was a 5.6-WAR player with a .401 on-base percentage and a 149 OPS+ in 153 games. Anyone who doesn’t think that’s elite-level production doesn’t know ball.
With Josh Bell, Brandon Drury, Sean Manaea and Mike Clevinger all hitting free agency and both Nick Martinez and Robert Suárez likely to decline player options to join them, there is work to do this offseason.
However, with Wil Myers’ $22.5 million salary coming off the books they have some money to spend, and general manager A.J. Preller has never been shy about making a splash.
8. New York Mets
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The New York Mets have more work to do restocking their roster than any team ranked inside the top 10, which is why they might check in a bit lower than expected in these initial offseason rankings.
With Jacob deGrom (opt-out), Chris Bassitt (player option), Taijuan Walker (mutual option) and Carlos Carrasco (club option) all potentially hitting the open market, the starting rotation needs a ton of attention behind Max Scherzer. The bullpen also needs an overhaul with Edwin Díaz, Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo all reaching free agency.
The club will reportedly prioritize bringing back Díaz and center fielder Brandon Nimmo, who is also a free agent, which could mean deGrom ends up signing elsewhere and the team is hunting for a second frontline starter.
With all of that being said, does anyone really think Steve Cohen is going to take his foot off the gas on spending big?
7. New York Yankees
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The biggest story of the New York Yankees offseason will undoubtedly be whether they are able to retain free agent Aaron Judge, but there are other areas on the roster that will need to be addressed as well.
The pending departure of Jameson Taillon also creates a hole in the starting rotation, and finding another reliable frontline arm to pair with Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes would help solidify the rotation. Shedding the salaries of Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton will also provide some financial flexibility to add to the relief corps.
The Yankees don’t necessarily need to make a splash beyond re-signing Judge, but there is room for improvement on the margins of the roster.
6. Cleveland Guardians
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AP Photo/Phil Long
The Cleveland Guardians were the youngest team in baseball last year, and catcher Austin Hedges is the only notable player set to depart from a team that beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card Series and took the Yankees to five games in the ALDS.
Top prospect Bo Naylor is waiting in the wings to take over the starting catcher job, but finding a defensive-minded veteran to serve as a mentor and stopgap should still be a priority.
With continued development from guys like Josh Naylor, Oscar González, Amed Rosario and Will Brennan alongside the star duo of José Ramírez and Andrés Giménez, they should have more than enough offensive firepower to back a rock-solid rotation and stacked bullpen.
5. Philadelphia Phillies
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With an 87-75 record, the Philadelphia Phillies would not even have been a playoff team if not for the expanded postseason field this year, yet they managed to play the hot hand all the way to a World Series appearance.
The trio of Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suárez returns intact, as does the entire starting lineup outside of second baseman Jean Segura, who will likely have his $17 million club option declined in favor of a $1 million buyout.
The back of the starting rotation and the bullpen will both need to be addressed, and the team could also make a run at one of the top-tier shortstops with rookie Bryson Stott shifting to second base, but the core of talent is there for this team to be a title contender once again in 2023.
4. Toronto Blue Jays
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In terms of on-paper talent, the Toronto Blue Jays are as well-positioned for success going forward as any team in baseball.
The entire offensive core is locked up for next season, as is the trio of Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman and José Berríos atop the starting rotation, which is a great foundation of talent to build around this offseason.
Finding at least one more reliable starting pitcher and a few quality bullpen arms might be all they need to solidify the roster for next season, and their wealth of catching talent could make them major players on the trade market with Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno all potentially capable of bringing back a controllable starter.
3. Atlanta Braves
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With healthy seasons from Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies, and full seasons on the MLB roster from Michael Harris Jr. and Vaughn Grissom, the Atlanta Braves can conceivably improve without any outside additions.
The deadline addition of Raisel Iglesias means they can let Kenley Jansen walk in free agency, freeing up his $16 million salary in the process, and a healthy Kirby Yates could fill that void in the bullpen.
The only major question is whether Dansby Swanson will be re-signed, and if not, who will replace him at shortstop. The two sides have already been talking about an extension, and according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Braves made a $100 million opening offer during the season.
This team is built to contend for years to come.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have a busy offseason ahead with Trea Turner, Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Anderson part of a long list of free agents, as well as a $16 million club option decision to make on veteran third baseman Justin Turner and a potential non-tender decision on Cody Bellinger.
They will need to sign at least two starting pitchers, decide what the middle infield looks like going forward and address the back of the bullpen, where the team’s lack of a shutdown closer was a glaring weakness.
With all of that said, the roster is still loaded with star power, and they have a ton of money to spend on top of their usual free-spending approach to the offseason. Considering this team anything but a World Series front-runner again next year would be silly.
1. Houston Astros
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The Houston Astros have enough starting pitching depth that they can afford to let AL Cy Young front-runner Justin Verlander walk this offseason and still have arguably the best starting rotation in baseball.
Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis García and José Urquidy are all back from this year’s starting staff, while top prospect Hunter Brown got his feet wet down the stretch and could contend for a rotation spot as well.
There is a hole to plug at first base with Yuli Gurriel and Trey Mancini both reaching free agency, key setup man Rafael Montero is also hitting the open market, and a depth addition at catcher would make sense, but this group looks to have as good a chance of repeating as World Series winners as any in recent memory.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.