MLB Preview: Inside The Game

 The Execs Biggest Surprise Of 2017 Breakout Star Of 2017 Best Offseason By A Team Worst Offseason By A Team
The Assistant GM

The Diamondbacks play in a tough division, but a healthy A.J. Pollock and resurgent Zack Greinke will make a big difference. They have an underrated group of young position players (Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury) and talented young rotation arms, headlined by Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker.

Time will tell, but there’s an argument to be made that Trea Turner will end up as the best player in the 2014 draft, especially if he can sustain his spike in power production.

I expected the Astros to do more to boost their rotation—there’s a decent amount of injury and performance risk among the group—but few teams did as much to bolster their offense this offseason. They’re incredibly deep from one through nine.

The Blue Jays preempted free agency and misread the market by signing Kendrys Morales at an elevated price, thus missing out on Edwin Encarnacion. Aside from Kevin Pillar and Devon Travis, every member of their position player group is on the wrong side of 30.

The Scouting Coordinator

Two years ago, nobody would have projected the Padres to be the frontrunner for the No. 1 pick in 2018. They entered the 2015 season with lofty expectations after a frenzied offseason of “big-bat” buying and pushing towards contention.

The Astros are primed to succeed based on having one of the best left sides of the infield in the game. Shortstop Carlos Correa is on the verge of superstardom, while third baseman Alex Bregman shot through the minors quickly.

For the first time in what seems like ages, the  White Sox have a clear direction and seem to be committed to a rebuilding plan. They seem primed to continue stockpiling young talent over the next few years with high draft position.

The Royals have to be disappointed by factors outside of their control. The Collective Bargaining Agreement really hamstrings them for the next offseason, and they tragically lost Yordano Ventura. Plus, they didn’t add any reinforcements to try to prolong their rapidly-closing competitive window.

The Pro Scout

I can see the Athletics sneaking up on everyone. Their lineup and run-production will improve, and they have no huge holes. The rotation is sneaky good—and young. A lot depends on Sonny Gray bouncing back.

In a few years J.T. Realmuto will be the best catcher in the game. If he didn’t play in Miami he would receive so much more recognition. His athleticism is unreal.

General manager Rick Hahn did an amazing job in his rebuilding deals with the  White Sox.

The Pirates passively went about their offseason and didn’t make a splash to address their holes. They can’t be doing that with teams like the Cubs and Cardinals throwing punches frequently.

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