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MLB's 2023 hope list for tanking and rebuilding clubs

MLB tanks and rebuilds club’s 2023 hope list

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    Is there hope for the Reds in 2023? Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Depending on how your favorite MLB team looks ahead to the 2023 season, the upcoming start of spring training might have you thinking “OMG!” Oh no…” But for the clubs involved in the latter, this How desperate is it? We tried to calibrate tanks and rebuild team hope gauges – we counted 10, although the list is definitely there Controversial — in Major League Baseball, as the start of the ’23 campaign looms. That means looking at them through the lens of glass half-empty and glass half-full, with as much emphasis on the latter as possible. We set the hope meter on a scale of one to five. The low end means fans are likely to sink into a toxic stew of unwatchability and hopelessness, while the high end suggests something akin to the Baltimore Orioles’ 2022 season: a fun borderline Cinderella story. We’ll start with some honorable mentions and then rank the 10 teams that advance in descending order of their records from last season .

    Honorable Mention

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      ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)Is there any hope for the Reds in 2023?

      Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/ Getty Images

      ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Baltimore Orioles

      The Orioles lost more games than any other team in 2018 and 2021. While they do improve to 83-79 in 2022, their $23 million investment in free agency doesn’t exactly favor them taking the next step in the loaded American East.

      However, the O’s appear to have transitioned from rebuilders to contenders. They can at least chase the wild card spot in 2023, especially if Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson make jaw-dropping projections.

      MLB @ MLB

      @Orioles ‘young phenom Players are ready for the big season. 💪 pic.twitter.com/0gN214oVh6

      ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Chicago Cubs

      The Cubs have a whole new class in 2021 as they trade away the core of their 2016 World Series champions. Set the stage for 91 losses that year and 88 losses last season.

      ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) But, you have to give it to the Cubs, because it cost over the past two winters $420 million in free agency. And the record of 39 wins and 31 losses in the second half of 2022, given the overall weakness of the League of Nations mid lane, should not be underestimated.


      Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

      Los Angeles Angels

      While the Angels are on a streak of seven losing seasons, they’re not so much rebuilding as they’re fighting, and failing. That’s life when you lack depth to your superstars, even guys as good as Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. As such , General Manager Perry Minasian had the right idea and he Concentrate on depth throughout the winter. The result is a team that looks good on paper, and if the star cast is just right, they could well end up competing.

      ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

      Texas Rangers ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

      The Rangers have generally lived a miserable life since they last made the playoffs in 2016, with just 373 wins and 497 losses. Jon Daniels finally paid the price last August when the team removed him from the general manager job. Similar to the Cubs, however, the Rangers haven’t been playing like rebuilders lately. They’ve spent nearly $825 million in free agency over the past two years, including $244 million this winter on three new pitchers who look like playoff-caliber rotations. Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

      Boston Red Sox

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        Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

        AP Photo/Steven Senne

        ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Records for 2022: 78-84

        2023 WAR Prediction: ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) 38.4 (18th in MLB)


        Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) glass half empty ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)

        This offseason was supposed to get the Red Sox back on track, from nearly making the World Series in 2021 to finishing last in the AL East in 2021. But if anything, they’ve backed off.

        They just didn’t add enough to cover the loss of Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi and JD Martinez. Especially knowing that his elbow issues and corresponding throwing issues are no big secret, they should have been better prepared for Trevor Story’s elbow surgery. Because they don’t, they’re basically shortstop-less right now.


        Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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        With the face-saving measures in place, the Red Sox did well to sign Rafael Devers, a club-record $331 million extension. He’s an excellent partner on the basis of his hard-hitting talent alone, not to mention the fact that he’s still only 26 years old. Across the diamond from Devers is Triston Casas’ primary breakout candidate, with right-hander Brayan Bello still on the mound another person. And in shortstop Marcelo Mayer, Boston has an elite prospect who could fill said void in 2024. As for the team’s WAR predictions that fall by the wayside, well, who knows? If Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and Justin Turner can turn back the clock, and Masataka Yoshida lives up to the Red Sox’s optimistic projections of its strength, this team could salvage the .500 record at least in 2023. ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) hope meter: 5

        ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Contention ETA: 2024

        Arizona Diamondbacks

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          Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Record in 2022: 74-88

          War Prediction 2023: 33.1 (24th in Major League Baseball)

          glass half empty While 2022 is a substantial improvement over the 110-loss disaster the Diamondbacks suffered in 2021, GM Mike Hasson concludes Well done with this comment: “Congratulations, we stink less than last year.”

          Two things could justify 2023 being in trouble again, starting with a frankly bad pitcher projected at just 9.2 WAR. Another is the top-heavy nature of the NL West, which Arizona knows all too well last year when it went 5-14 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.


          Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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          Have you got a lot of this Corbin Carroll guy? All he did last year was hit 24 home runs and 31 stolen bases in the minors, followed by a 32-game major league debut where he posted an .830 OPS with the best rushing pace of any player.

          MLB @ MLB

          . @corbin_carroll is zooming! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/90QuzLclaN


          in Carroll, Christian Walker, Ketel Marte and Jake Between McCarthy and freshmen Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Evan Longoria and Gabriel Moreno — the latter a top-10 prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays this time last year — the ’23 D-backs should offer fun and energy if nothing else attack. Arizona fans should also be excited about Jordan Lawlar. He’ll be our third-biggest prospect through 2023, and he might even have his own Carol-style coffee with Arizona in September. Hope meter: ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)3

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Contention ETA: 2024

          Miami Marlins

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          Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)2022 Record: 69-93 War Prediction 2023:

          36.5 (U.S. 20th in Major League Baseball)


          glass half empty The Marlins are bottom of the National League in 2022, so adding impactful hitters around the versatile Jazz Chisholm Jr. golfer. Definitely their top priority this offseason. The only thing they’ve added so far is that Jean Segura is a… well, what word is stronger than “catastrophe”? Even more important than the Diamondbacks in the NL West, the Marlins are also in NL East survival facing a daunting task. Atlanta and the New York Mets both won 101 games last year, while the Philadelphia Phillies made it to the World Series.

          half full DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 16: Pitcher Jake Bird #59, catcher Brian Serven #6 and Kris Bryant #23 of the Colorado Rockies celebrate their win against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field on July 16, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)Detroit Tigers' Riley Greene (31) is congratulated by Spencer Torkelson (20) after scoring off a sacrifice fly by Harold Castro during the first inning of a baseball game in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) To be sure, the Marlin The door isn’t closed for the team yet, adding the impact hitters they need. Frankly, it would be a surprise if they didn’t turn right-hander Pablo López over to bat at this point. Even without López, the Marlins have the potential to be a strong run defense this season. Defending NL Cy Young Award winners Sandy Alcántara, Jesús Luzardo and Edward Cabrera have had plenty of unhappiness, while rookie Johnny Cueto remains an effective pitcher even as he approaches his 37th birthday on Feb. 15. Also, it might not be too long to see Eury Pérez in Miami. All you really need to know about him is that he’s a 6-foot-8, 220-pound right-hander with a fastball averaging 98 mph. Hope meter: 4ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Contention ETA: 2024DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 16: Pitcher Jake Bird #59, catcher Brian Serven #6 and Kris Bryant #23 of the Colorado Rockies celebrate their win against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field on July 16, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

          Colorado Rockies

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          Is there any hope for the Reds in 2023? Matthew Stockman/Getty Photo Agency

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)2022 remember Record: ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)68-94ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) War Prediction 2023: 25.6 (30th in Major League Baseball)Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)glass half-empty

          Remember when the Rockies – 2017 and 2018 playoffs ? Those were good times, but since then, the losses have been heavy and it seems like there is nothing but bad decisions. These include trading Nolan Arenado for Peanuts, not trading Trevor Nor did Storey trade Jon Gray, sign a significantly shrunken Kris Bryant for $182 million, and a whole bunch of weird extensions. It’s as if the person who wrote the plan here has trembling hands and is using an etch sketch.

          Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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          Sorry, Rockies fans. For a team with 94 losses in the 2022 season, if the WAR prediction is successful, this team is likely to be the worst team in the league this year, and there is only so much sweetness we can give them. The strength of the NL West certainly doesn’t help either. Still, we wouldn’t rule out a healthy Bryant reemerging as an effective center field hitter. Or Brendan Rodgers adding a Silver Slugger to match his Gold Glove. Or Germán Márquez reversing the pattern of diminishing returns over the past two seasons.

          Rob Friedman @PitchingNinja

          German Marquez, Dirty broken ball. 😷 pic.twitter.com/743KNHxGoR


          Also, MLB.com’s Sam Dykstra will be The Farm System in the Key Mountains ranks as the most improved system throughout 2022. The big prize goes to outfielder Zac Veen, who couldn’t have come at a better time to debut for his major league positioning. The newly installed larger bases are his ticket to showing off his skills in stealing 55 of 64 bases in the minors last year.

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Hope meter: 1

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Contention ETA: 2025

          Detroit Tigers

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          Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, talks with starting pitcher Hunter Greene before Greene is taken out during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

          AP Photo/ Colin E. Braley

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)2022 record:

          66-96

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) War Prediction 2023:

          30.0 (26th in MLB)

          Tigers 2022 offense is a disaster, at home run Last in the MLB in terms of running and running. It’s not any one player’s fault, but seeing 2020 No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson overwhelmed as he hit . Base hits, which are especially painful. Pitching setbacks are very real too, Casey Mize (Tommy John surgery) and Tarik Skubal (flexor tendon surgery) becomes the latest notable pitcher to be hit hard by injury concerns. As a result, new president of baseball operations Scott Harris inherited a failed rebuilding program from fired GM Al Avila.

          Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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          If nothing else, the Tigers don’t have the same problems as the Red Sox in the AL East, the Marlins in the NL East or the Diamondbacks and Los Angeles in the NL West. Kishan team. AL Central is the worst division in baseball.

          It’s also hard to imagine the offense being as desperate as it was last year, and not just because the fence at Comerica Park is finally coming in . Torkelson and especially Riley Greene have breakout potential, while Javier Báez and Austin Meadows are rebounding candidates. Also, Wilmer Flores deserves attention right now. Not to be confused with the San Francisco Giants infielder, a 21-year-old right-hander with a dude curveball who could appear on The Show this year after reaching Double-A in 2022. Hope meter: 2ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Contention ETA:

          2025 OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Shea Langeliers #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates with Seth Brown #15 after drawing a walk with bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum on October 04, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

          Kansas City Royals

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          Is there any hope for the Reds in 2023?

          Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

          2022 Record:

          65-97

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) War Prediction 2023:

          30.7 (25th in Major League Baseball)

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) glass half empty

          Royals until 2017 Tigers start The rebuilding started a year later, but the pace has not been that slow. You know, just in case anyone is still wondering why the Royals fired Dayton Moore last September. To make things worse for the Royals, we let their farm system start at the start of winter It ranks 25th in the MLB, while Detroit ranks 13th. While the Tigers may be able to fix that with big salaries, that’s historically not a thing for Kansas City.

          Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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          Of course, the prospect pipeline tends to get empty after a team like Bobby Witt Jr., MJ Melendez, Vinnie Pasquantino and Brady Singer are quickly entering the Big Full Contest.

          All four of them showed outstanding star potential last season, none better than Werther. He got off to a cool start, but he ended up hitting 20 homers and stealing 26 bases in his final 130 games. If he can start making better swing decisions, he’s at the edge of being an MVP, let alone an All-Star.

          Kansas City Royals @Royals Bobby Witt Jr. becomes the 5th MLB rookie player in history for a 20/20 season! #TogetherRoyal pic.twitter.com/x46zlt8ihe


          Kansas City can dream of another guy this year It’s Drew Waters. When the Royals acquired him from Atlanta last year, he was a reclamation project. He certainly looked reborn after he posted .940 OPS and .803 OPS for Triple-A Omaha and the Royals. Hope meter: 3ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Competition ETA: 2025

          Pittsburgh Pirates

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          OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Shea Langeliers #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates with Seth Brown #15 after drawing a walk with bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum on October 04, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

          Justin Burr/Getty Images

          2022 record:

          62-100

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)War Prediction 2023:35.1 (23rd in Major League Baseball)

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) glass half-empty

          Okay, let’s see here. The Buccaneers’ 335 losses since 2019 are the most of any team in MLB, and the guy who did more to help them win games than anyone else wants to go. Chances are, Brian Reynolds will get his wish at some point. As for the split surrounding the Buccaneers, the NL Central isn’t great, but it’s not as soft as its American League counterpart either . The Buccaneers might be able to win the series against the Cincinnati Reds for the second straight season, but probably not the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers or Chicago Cubs.


          Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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          The Pittsburgh infield left, at least, has the potential to be elite in 2023. Ke’Bryan Hayes led the majors in defensive runs last year, and Oneil Cruz was an athletic marvel who seemed to find his offensive comfort zone last September when he posted an .884 OPS. The Buccaneers also have capable pitchers in the right positions. In the rotation, Roansy Contreras is a pitcher who can get hitters to swing in his pitch. In the Terminator role, David Bednar is now quietly becoming one of the best receivers in MLB. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers sit on the best farm system of any team we’ve discussed so far. Endy Rodriguez’s promotion looms, while Henry Davis and Termarr Johnson should follow in 2024 and 2025. Their arrival can only fuel the wheels of the Pittsburgh hype train. Hope meter: 3

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Contention ETA: 2025

          Cincinnati Reds

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          AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill Is there any hope for the Reds in 2023?

          2022 record:

          62-100

          War Prediction 2023: 27.5 (29th in Major League Baseball)

          glass half-empty Red Army in 2020 Going into the playoffs and back into contention in 2021 with an 83-79 performance. But then they decided to trade, oh, basically everyone. Sonny Gray? Jesse Wink? Eugenio Suarez? Luis Castillo? Taylor Marler? Brandon Druid? It’s all gone now. Is there a problem with all this? Well, too bad, said Reds chairman Phil Castellini. According to him, fans basically had no choice but to keep rooting for the team. Yet they also have to be sympathetic to the owners, who treat their $1.2 billion estate benevolently as if it were a nonprofit.

          Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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          Fortunately, the Red Army has completed all the layoffs last year and it was not completely in vain. Their farm system is also on MLB.com’s list of top improvements for 2022, though its best talent is already in place earlier.

          That’s 21-year-old infielder Elly De La Cruz, who was 28 in the minors last year 3 homers and 47 stolen bases showcased his legitimate five-run potential, hitting .304. He is a candidate to join the Reds sometime this summer.

          Cincinnati Reds @Reds

          Elly, the No. 2 rookie of the Red Army De La Cruz celebrated being selected for yesterday’s Futures game with three homers in a double in Dayton. #RedsMiLB

          (🎥 @DragonsBaseball &g t;) pic.twitter.com/6ZZ97BVC pI

          In the meantime, let’s not gloss over Taylor Stephenson and the 2021 NFC Player of the Year Top rookie Jonathan India had already nailed the lineup when Dela Cruz arrived. Or young pitchers Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo heading into 2023 with some helium after combining for a 1.82 ERA last September. ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Hope meter: 2ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Competition ETA: 2025

          Oakland Athletics

          10 of 11 )

            Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

          2022 Record:

          60-102Is there any hope for the Reds in 2023?2023 Year War Prediction: 29.2 (27th in MLB)

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) glass half empty As ugly as the Reds’ big sale in 2022, the Athletics somehow managed to get by by shipping Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas and Sean Murph y, they do better. But while you’d think Oakland’s farm system would improve dramatically in the process, it’s actually just fine. The idea that teams will be buying talent anytime soon is… dubious at best. After all, these are the A’s, and they seem more than willing not to even be watched until their stadium issues are resolved. Alas, the whole thing seems hypersensitive to any kind of forward momentum.

          half full Frankly, this is another situation that is hard to hide. But lest anyone think the A’s don’t have anyone to watch, we dare the spotlight on Paul Blackburn, Seth Brown and Shea Langeliers. Blackburn is a breakout player who was named to the AL All-Star team last year. Brown has hit 45 home runs over the past two years. Between his power, speed and throwing power, Langeliers is a cheap JT Realmuto.

          Oakland A’s @Athletics

          Shea Langeliers.
          That’s tweets. pic.twitter.com/D8Zhzuv330

          Tyler Soderstrom Still another talented receiver on the bench in Oakland’s system. And Ken Waldichuk, who struck out 137 hitters in 95 innings last year. The A’s also acquired a major sleeper in the Esteury Ruiz’s Murphy trade. He hit 332/.447/.526 last season, mostly at the Triple-A level. Hope meter:

          1

          ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Contention ETA: 2026

          OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Shea Langeliers #23 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates with Seth Brown #15 after drawing a walk with bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning to win the game against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum on October 04, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

          Washington Nationals

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          Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

          2022 records: 55-107

          War Prediction 2023: 28.1 (28th in MLB)


          glass half empty

          People still say, “Does life come fast?” If so, then that’s the story of the past few years for the Nationals. They’ve gone from the 2019 World Series champions to the least-lost team in Major League Baseball since the start of the 2021 season. Things wouldn’t be so bleak if Juan Soto was still in town, but he’s gone. As if that wasn’t enough to piss off Nats fans, there’s also what’s going on behind the scenes. The team has been on the market for a while now, and at times it seems like the finish line is just around the corner. Lately, though, things seem to have stalled.


          Boston Red Sox's Rafael Devers, left, celebrates with Triston Casas after Casas hit a two-run home run against the New York Yankee during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

          half full If the whole idea is to trade not only Soto, but also veterans Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, thereby shifting the focus from the present to the future, then it’s fair to say the Nats are doing well. Those trades brought back some players already positioned as pillars of Washington’s next contender, including Keibert Ruiz and CJ Abrams and Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore in the rotation. Two of the club’s top rookies, outfielders Robert Hassell III and James Wood, also came to the organization through those trades. Between these guys, fellow top prospect Cade Cavalli and interesting late bloomers like Joey Meneses And Kyle Finnegan, the Nationals might actually put on a good show for potential buyers in 2023. Hope meter: 2ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 08: Jacob deGrom #48 and General Manager Chris Young of the Texas Rangers reacts at an introductory press conference at Globe Life Field on December 8, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Competition schedule:

          2025

          Available from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.

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