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2022 Preseason MLB Power Rankings



By Kyle Glaser

After a 99-day lockout, a transactions freeze that extinguished the hot stove, games being canceled and then un-canceled and spring training and Opening Day being delayed, the 2022 regular season has finally arrived.

Teams spent more than $3 billion in free agency wrapped around the labor negotiations that shut down the sport, moves that have the potential to reshape the balance of power in both leagues.

The Mets, after a disastrous end-of-season skid that cost them the NL East title last year, spent more than $250 million on a free agent class headlined by Max Scherzer. The defending World Series champion Braves let franchise cornerstone Freddie Freeman walk in free agency and replaced him by trading for Matt Olson, who they promptly signed to an eight-year, $168 million extension. Freeman, in turn, signed with the Dodgers for six years and $162 million.

The Rangers were the surprise of the baseball world, spending more than half a billion dollars to sign Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray after the franchise suffered its first 100-loss season in 38 years. In the days after the lockout ended, the Twins struck with the shocking signing of Carlos Correa, the final move in a buildup that included the acquisitions of Sonny Gray and Gary Sanchez in blockbuster trades.

And that’s just the start. Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, last year’s World Series MVP Jorge Soler, stalwart closers Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel, 2021 breakout pitchers Kevin Gausman and Carlos Rodon, premier shortstops Javier Baez and Trevor Story, sluggers Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, Josh Donaldson and Kris Bryant and high-potential aces Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman are among the many other players who changed uniforms.

And that’s to say nothing of a large group of talented prospects set to open the year in the majors with the potential to make an immediate impact, headlined by Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez, Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson.

With so much player movement, rosters across the game are markedly different from a year ago. Whether that movement will result in meaningful changes in teams’ fortunes will be revealed soon enough.

Here are Baseball America’s power rankings entering the 2022 season. You can find BA’s full 2022 MLB season preview here.

30 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 4/6/2022
  1. 1
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    Los Angeles Dodgers

    Notes:

    Last year’s record: 106-56, second in NL West
    Key additions: 1B Freddie Freeman, RHP Craig Kimbrel, LHP Andrew Heaney
    Key losses: RHP Max Scherzer, SS Corey Seager, RHP Kenley Jansen, OF A.J. Pollock.

    The Dodgers lost franchise icons Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen in free agency, as well as trade deadline savior Max Scherzer, but they still remain baseball’s most talented team. Freddie Freeman gives the lineup needed contact skills from the left side after Seager’s departure and Kimbrel replaces Jansen in a flamethrowing bullpen that includes Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol. With baseball’s best lineup, a standout top three in the rotation and a deep bullpen, the Dodgers only questions lie at the back of their rotation. Trevor Bauer’s availability remains undetermined, Tyler Anderson tailed off badly at the end of last year, Andrew Heaney hasn’t been effective in four years and Tony Gonsolin’s command regressed horribly last season. Getting Gonsolin fixed and having Dustin May return healthy from Tommy John surgery would go a long way toward sewing up the Dodgers’ one and only hole.

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  2. 2
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    Toronto Blue Jays

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 91-71, fourth in AL East
    Key additions: RHP Kevin Gausman, 3B Matt Chapman, LHP Yusei Kikuchi
    Key losses: LHP Robbie Ray, 2B Marcus Semien, LHP Steven Matz, OF Randal Grichuk

    The Blue Jays lost reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray and MVP third-place finisher Marcus Semien from last year’s 91-win team, but they still boast one of baseball’s most dangerous offenses and best starting rotations. The acquisition of Matt Chapman shores up their hole at third base and the organization’s previous success fixing Ray and Steven Matz bodes well for their chances of getting the most out of another talented but inconsistent lefthander in Yusei Kikuchi. Continued growth from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Alek Manoah and full seasons from George Springer and Jose Berrios give the Jays a chance to be the American League’s best team.

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  3. 3
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    Chicago White Sox

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 93-69, first in AL Central
    Key additions: OF A.J. Pollock, 2B Josh Harrison, RHP Kendall Graveman
    Key losses: LHP Carlos Rodon, RHP, Craig Kimbrel

    The White Sox won 93 games last year despite significant injuries to Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal and a substandard defense undone by players playing out of position. The additions of A.J. Pollock and Adam Haseley provide desperately needed defensive help in the corner outfield spots, and better health should render improvements on both sides of the ball. The pitching staff is arguably the best in the American League even with the loss of Carlos Rodon. Michael Kopech’s transition to the rotation behind the established foursome of Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease and Dallas Keuchel will be a key development to watch, while Liam Hendriks and Kendall Graveman give the White Sox a pair of closer-caliber pitchers that should help them withstand the losses of Garrett Crochet (injury) and Craig Kimbrel (trade).

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  4. 4
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    Atlanta Braves

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 88-73, first in NL East
    Key additions: 1B Matt Olson, RHP Kenley Jansen
    Key losses: 1B Freddie Freeman, OF Jorge Soler, OF Joc Pederson

    The defending champions lost franchise icon Freddie Freeman and World Series MVP Jorge Soler in free agency, but they still have one of the National League’s best lineups after trading for Matt Olson and with Ronald Acuña Jr.'s looming return from a torn ACL. The additions of Kenley Jansen and Collin McHugh give the Braves one of the NL’s best bullpens and the rotation has a stout top three with Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Ian Anderson. The Braves need two of Huascar Ynoa, Kyle Wright, Tucker Davidson and Kyle Muller to step up in the back of the rotation and the loss of Freeman should not be discounted, but they’re a legitimate contender to defend their World Series crown. If talented young starter Mike Soroka returns and stays healthy, that will only strengthen their chances of a repeat title.

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  5. 5
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    Houston Astros

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 95-67, first in AL West
    Key additions: RHP Hector Neris
    Key losses: SS Carlos Correa, RHP Zack Greinke, RHP Kendall Graveman

    The Astros lost another cornerstone of their championship core with the departure of Carlos Correa in free agency a year after losing George Springer. Still, the Astros should once again have one of baseball’s best offenses with Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker, plus a starting rotation that largely remains intact from last year’s American League championship team. The health of Lance McCullers, who will miss the start of the season with a forearm strain, and Justin Verlander, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, will be key in determining if the rotation is merely solid or one of the AL’s best.

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  6. 6
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    Seattle Mariners

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 90-72, second in AL West
    Key additions: LHP Robbie Ray, OF Jesse Winker, 2B Adam Frazier
    Key losses: 3B Kyle Seager, LHP Yusei Kikuchi

    The Mariners are primed to end their 21-year playoff drought after winning 90 games last year and adding a boatload of talent in the offseason. The addition of reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray gives the Mariners a needed ace atop a solid group of starters, and a deep well of pitching prospects in the upper minors lies in wait behind them. The trade acquisitions of Jesse Winker, Adam Frazier and Eugenio Suarez filled Seattle’s biggest lineup holes and should improve an offense that had the lowest batting average (.226) and fourth-lowest OPS (.688) in the majors a year ago. The biggest addition will likely be Julio Rodriguez, the No. 2 prospect in baseball and a foundational outfielder whose debut should come early in the season.

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  7. 7
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    Tampa Bay Rays

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 100-62, first in AL East
    Key additions: RHP Corey Kluber
    Key losses: 3B Joey Wendle, DH Nelson Cruz, RHP Collin McHugh

    The Rays pitching depth will be tested immediately with Tyler Glasnow, Shane Baz, Nick Anderson and Pete Fairbanks all injured for at least the start of the season. Hard-throwing but unproven righthanders Luis Patiño and Drew Rasmussen will be counted on to take a jump in the rotation behind emerging ace Shane McClanahan while Corey Kluber provides a veteran presence, although he hasn’t made it through a full season healthy in four years. The Rays mix-and-match lineup finished second in the majors in scoring last year and now gets a full season from emerging superstar Wander Franco.

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  8. 8
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    Milwaukee Brewers

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 95-67, first in NL Central
    Key additions: OF Hunter Renfroe, OF Andrew McCutchen
    Key losses: OF Avisail Garcia, OF Jackie Bradley Jr., LHP Brett Anderson

    The Brewers still have arguably baseball’s best pitching staff but need more from an offense that finished 20th in team OPS (.713) a year ago. Continued progress from infielders Willy Adames and Luis Urias and the addition of outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Andrew McCutchen should help, but the club desperately needs Christian Yelich to stay healthy and rediscover his pre-2020 form. With three legitimate aces in Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta leading a deep and talented pitching staff, even a modicum of improvement from the offense will go a long way.

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  9. 9
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    New York Yankees

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 92-70, tied for second in AL East
    Key additions: 3B Josh Donaldson, SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, C Ben Rortvedt
    Key losses: C Gary Sanchez, 3B Gio Urshela, 1B Luke Voit, RHP Corey Kluber

    The Yankees addressed their porous up-the-middle defense by acquiring two defensive stalwarts in shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt to pair with Kyle Higashioka behind the plate, although how much offense either will provide is a question. Josh Donaldson provides another impact hitter in a powerful lineup that includes Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, Joey Gallo and DJ LeMahieu, and Gleyber Torres is a prime bounceback candidate now that he’s back playing second base where he belongs. Luis Severino needs to stay healthy and Nestor Cortes Jr. has to prove last year’s breakout wasn’t a fluke, but the Yankees have the pitching depth to come up and help as needed.

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  10. 10
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    St. Louis Cardinals

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 90-72, second in NL Central
    Key additions: OF Corey Dickerson, DH Albert Pujols, LHP Steven Matz
    Key losses: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim, LHP Jon Lester, LHP J.A. Happ

    A difficult offseason for the Cardinals began with the unexpected firing of manager Mike Shildt and concluded with pitchers Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes both suffering shoulder injuries in spring training. The ageless Adam Wainwright continues to amaze, but lefthander Steven Matz and righthanders Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson all have a recent history of arm injuries and have to stay healthy in the rotation with Flaherty already down. There is more than enough firepower in the lineup for the Cardinals to contend for the NL Central crown if their starters stay healthy. A bounceback season from shortstop Paul DeJong and an improved showing from third baseman Nolan Arenado in year two in St. Louis would help.

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  11. 11
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    San Francisco Giants

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 107-55, first in NL West
    Key additions: LHP Carlos Rodon, OF Joc Pederson, RHP Alex Cobb
    Key losses: C Buster Posey, RHP Kevin Gausman, 3B/OF Kris Bryant

    The Giants were baseball’s biggest surprise last year, but they have a lot to replace if they want to have a repeat season. The retirement of Buster Posey will have an enormous effect on both the lineup and pitching staff and ace Kevin Gausman is now in Toronto after signing with the Blue Jays as a free agent. A solid rotation remains in place with Logan Webb, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood and offseason signees Carlos Rodon and Alex Cobb, but replacing Posey, Kris Bryant and Donovan Solano in the lineup won’t be easy, even with the Giants’ deep bench and ability to mix and match. A lot is riding on rookie catcher Joey Bart to effectively handle the pitching staff and get to his power at the plate.

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  12. 12
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    Boston Red Sox

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 92-70, tied for second in AL East
    Key additions: 2B Trevor Story, OF Jackie Bradley Jr., RHP Michael Wacha, LHP Rich Hill
    Key losses: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, DH Kyle Schwarber, OF Hunter Renfroe.

    The Red Sox already had one of baseball’s best offenses and added Trevor Story, which should simultaneously improve a subpar infield defense as long as his transition to second base goes smoothly. Boston’s concerns lie in the starting rotation, where Chris Sale is already on the injured list, offseason signee James Paxton is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and veteran newcomers Michael Wacha and Rich Hill come with their own checkered injury histories. With little pitching depth in the upper minors, the Red Sox’s season will hinge on the health of their starters.

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  13. 13
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    New York Mets

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 77-85, third in NL East
    Key additions: RHP Max Scherzer, OF Starling Marte, RHP Chris Bassitt
    Key losses: RHP Marcus Stroman, 2B Javier Baez, OF Michael Conforto, LHP Rich Hill

    New general manager Billy Eppler struck quickly after being hired, signing Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Adam Ottavino and Eduardo Escobar and trading for Chris Bassitt in a whirlwind offseason. The new additions will make a difference, but the Mets desperately need Francisco Lindor to have a bounceback year and for Jacob deGrom to come back quickly from his latest injury and stay healthy. The Mets finished 27th in the majors in scoring last year despite the big names in their lineup and need across-the-board improvement to catch the Braves in the division.

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  14. 14
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    San Diego Padres

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 79-83, third in NL West
    Key additions: DH Luke Voit, LHP Sean Manaea, RHP Nick Martinez
    Key losses: OF Tommy Pham, RHP Mark Melancon

    The Padres lost more games due to injury than any other team last year, and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s offseason wrist injury isn’t a promising start on that front. Still, the Padres starting pitching depth is significantly improved with the offseason acquisitions of Sean Manaea and Nick Martinez and the looming return of Mike Clevinger from Tommy John surgery. Combined with Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove and Dinelson Lamet, the Padres have seven veteran starters to choose from, plus talented but inconsistent young arms Chris Paddack, Ryan Weathers and MacKenzie Gore behind them in reserve. Improvement from Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer and Trent Grisham under new manager Bob Melvin’s coaching staff is a must for the Padres offense, especially with Tatis out up to three months.

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  15. 15
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    Philadelphia Phillies

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 82-80, second in NL East
    Key additions: OF Nick Castellanos, DH Kyle Schwarber, RHP Corey Knebel
    Key losses: OF Andrew McCutchen, UTIL Brad Miller, RHP Hector Neris

    The Phillies tied a major league record with 34 blown saves last year and aggressively addressed their bullpen in the offseason, signing former closers Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia and Brad Hand and trading for hard-throwing young righthanders Nick Nelson and James Norwood. Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber join reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura in a lineup that should score plenty of runs, but the defense will be ugly and could make run prevention a major issue. If the Phillies play even average defense and their bullpen isn’t historically terrible, their offense gives them a shot at a winning record and a playoff spot.

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  16. 16
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    Minnesota Twins

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 73-89, last in AL Central
    Key additions: SS Carlos Correa, RHP Sonny Gray, C Gary Sanchez, 3B Gio Urshela
    Key losses: RHP Michael Pineda, RHP Alex Colome

    The Twins reloaded after last year’s disastrous last-place finish, stunning the industry with the signing of Carlos Correa and picking up Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela in a trade with the Yankees. Bounceback seasons from Miguel Sano and Max Kepler, a full season of health from Byron Buxton and continued growth from Alex Kirilloff gives the offense a chance to replicate its 2019 showing when it set the major league record for home runs in a season. Finding enough starting pitching behind Sonny Gray will be a challenge, with the progression of young righthanders Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober critical to the team’s success.

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  17. 17
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    Los Angeles Angels

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 77-85, fourth in AL West
    Key additions: RHP Noah Syndergaard, RHP Michael Lorenzen, RHP Archie Bradley
    Key losses: RHP Alex Cobb, RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP Steve Cishek

    The Angels finished 10th in the majors in hitting a year ago despite Mike Trout playing only 36 games and Anthony Rendon playing only 58 games. With improved health from those two to go with Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh and emerging young outfielders Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, the Angels offense has a chance to be dangerous. As usual, the team’s playoff hopes will hinge on its starters. Ohtani and Noah Syndergaard are aces when healthy but have significant injury concerns and Lorenzen is attempting to convert from the bullpen to the rotation. Young lefthanders Patrick Sandoval (3.62 ERA) and Jose Suarez (3.75) maintaining last year’s performance over larger workloads will be critical.

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    Cleveland Guardians

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 80-82, second in AL Central
    Key additions: None
    Key losses: RHP Blake Parker, C Roberto Perez

    Even after trading Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger, Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco within the last three years, the Guardians have a stout rotation topped by Shane Bieber and Cal Quantrill and plenty of pitching depth in the upper minors ready to help. The question is how the Guardians will score. Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes were Cleveland’s only hitters with an OPS over .750 last year, and the club didn’t make any additions to a lineup that finished in the bottom third of the majors in nearly every offensive category. Amed Rosario, Josh Naylor and Andres Gimenez living up to their prospect hype and taking steps forward at the plate would go a long way toward solving Cleveland’s offensive shortcomings.

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  19. 19
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    Detroit Tigers

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 77-85, third in AL Central
    Key additions: SS Javier Baez, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, OF Austin Meadows
    Key losses: LHP Matthew Boyd

    After a four-year rebuild, the Tigers loaded up this offseason in an attempt to get back to the postseason. Eduardo Rodriguez joins a promising young rotation that includes talented young starters Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, while Gregory Soto, Michael Fulmer and Jose Cisnero lead a sneaky-good bullpen that will benefit from the offseason addition of Andrew Chafin. The Tigers face significant offensive questions, but if Javier Baez can perform like he did with the Mets after the trade deadline, touted rookies Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene adjust to the majors quickly and 11th-hour addition Austin Meadows can stay healthy, that may be enough to support a strong pitching staff.

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    Chicago Cubs

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 71-91, fourth in NL Central
    Key additions: RHP Marcus Stroman, OF Seiya Suzuki, LHP Wade Miley,
    Key losses: RHP Zach Davies, 3B Matt Duffy

    Even though they’re rebuilding, the Cubs loaded up on arms to get through the season after last year’s disastrous showing on the mound. The Cubs signed Marcus Stroman, Drew Smyly, David Robertson, Mychal Givens, Chris Martin and Daniel Norris and claimed Wade Miley off waivers in a nearly complete makeover for the staff. The back of the rotation remains shaky and the Cubs have little pitching depth in the upper minors, but this year’s staff should still be better than the one that posted the majors’ fourth-highest ERA a year ago. The offense is filled with temporary placeholders while the Cubs wait for their top prospects to matriculate, but Japanese import Seiya Suzuki and young middle infielders Nick Madrigal and Nico Hoerner are talented players to build around for the long haul.

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    Kansas City Royals

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 74-88, fourth in AL Central
    Key additions: RHP Zack Greinke, LHP Amir Garrett
    Key losses: RHP Greg Holland, LHP Mike Minor, 3B/2B Hanser Alberto

    The Royals rebuilding effort took a step back last year with the struggles of young starters Brad Keller, Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic in the rotation, plus Jackson Kowar’s ugly debut. Getting the starters back on track is priority No. 1 for the franchise, especially with a wave of hitters set to arrive in 2022. The impending arrival of Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto should clear out unproductive hitters Adalberto Mondesi and Carlos Santana and go a long way toward improving an offense that ranked 24th in runs scored a year ago. Outfielder Andrew Benintendi and shortstop Nicky Lopez need to continue progressing at the plate in support of catcher Salvador Perez and second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield.

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    Miami Marlins

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 67-95, fourth in NL East
    Key additions: OF Jorge Soler, OF Avisail Garcia, 3B/2B Joey Wendle, C Jacob Stallings
    Key losses: RHP Zach Thompson

    The Marlins have one of the best young rotations in baseball and are trying desperately to field an offense to support it. After parting ways with one-time prospect hopefuls Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, the Marlins spent $89 million to sign outfielders Jorge Soler and Avisail Garcia in free agency and traded for third baseman Joey Wendle and catcher Jacob Stallings, two defensive standouts who can provide steady if unspectacular offense. The Marlins still need more to fully support Sandy Alcantara, Trevor Rogers and Pablo Lopez in the rotation, but they should be more potent after scoring the second-fewest runs in the majors last year.

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    Texas Rangers

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 60-102, last in AL West
    Key additions: SS Corey Seager, 2B Marcus Semien, RHP Jon Gray
    Key losses: SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, INF/OF Charlie Culberson

    After five straight losing seasons, the Rangers spent big in an attempt to turn around their fortunes. They spent more than $580 million to sign Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Gray, Kole Calhoun, Brad Miller, Martin Perez and Garrett Richards and gave the organization a much-needed facelift. There are still holes in the lineup and the rotation lacks depth, but the Rangers are moving in the right direction and have more talent than they’ve had in years. Pitching prospects Jack Leiter and Cole Winn could debut during the year and brighten the future outlook even further.

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    Arizona Diamondbacks

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 52-110, last in NL West
    Key additions: RHP Zach Davies, RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Ian Kennedy
    Key losses: OF Kole Calhoun, RHP Tyler Clippard

    The D-backs aren’t officially rebuilding, but this year is about top young players Daulton Varsho, Geraldo Perdomo, Carson Kelly and Pavin Smith taking steps forward in the majors, young pitchers Zac Gallen and Luke Weaver staying healthy and effective and prospects Seth Beer and Alek Thomas getting acclimated in what should be their first full seasons in the majors. Varsho’s and Perdomo’s late-season surges were promising last year, and now it’s just about slowly building for a team that finished 25th in runs scored and 29th in ERA a year ago.

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    Colorado Rockies

    Notes:

    Last year’s finish: 74-87, fourth in NL West
    Key additions: OF Kris Bryant, OF Randal Grichuk, SS Jose Iglesias
    Key losses: SS Trevor Story, RHP Jon Gray, OF Ramiel Tapia

    The Rockies continue to be baseball’s most confounding franchise. They upgraded their outfield by signing Kris Bryant and trading for Randal Grichuk and have the makings of a decent offense to go with a solid top four of German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, Kyle Freeland and Austin Gomber in the rotation. Yet, they inexplicably failed to tender Jon Gray a qualifying offer, and the only move they made to address one of baseball’s worst bullpens was to sign Alex Colome, who struggled so badly as the Twins closer last year he lost the job at one point. There is talent in Colorado, but the Rockies are far from a complete team.

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