Future Power Rankings: Where Every MLB Team Will Stand 3 Years from Now

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2019

Future Power Rankings: Where Every MLB Team Will Stand 3 Years from Now

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Anyone who has sat through an HGTV marathon is familiar with the term "good bones" in the context of a house. It's used in regards to a fixer-upper that needs some work but has a good foundation to build around.

    That's the basic concept behind our future power rankings.

    Ahead, we've put together projected lineups and pitching staffs for all 30 MLB teams based on how their rosters would look three years from now if they were unable to retain any of their upcoming free agents.

    Included is a look at where each team fell in our latest farm system rankings, a rundown of the notable free agents each team stands to lose between now and 2022 and a few key notes to consider.

    Here's how the projected rosters were assembled:

    • Players Under Contract: The obvious starting point was to pencil in the players who are under contract through the 2022 season.
    • Arbitration-Eligible Players: Next up were players who will have not yet reached free agency when 2022 rolls around but have already established themselves as everyday big leaguers.
    • Top Prospects: From there, the rest of the roster was filled in with top prospects from the farm system. These players are the toughest to project, as they have yet to prove anything at the big league level, but homegrown talent is key to building a winner.
    • Free Agents: Free agency plays a major role in reshaping the MLB landscape, but for the sake of this exercise, we made no assumptions as to where players would sign once they hit the open market.
    • Player/Club/Vesting Options: While no assumptions were made when it came to free agents, we did take the liberty of predicting whether contract options would be exercised or not. Since those players are technically under team control, it made sense to include them as part of the projected roster when applicable.
    • Financial Flexibility: While free-agent signing predictions were not made, a team's expected financial flexibility did ultimately factor into its spot in our rankings.

    With all of that in mind, a combination of each team's projected roster, overall quality of young talent and financial freedom factored into its final ranking.

    Let's get started.

30. Baltimore Orioles

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    Adley Rutschman
    Adley RutschmanNick Wass/Associated Press

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    CF Yusniel Diaz SP Grayson Rodriguez
    C Adley Rutschman SP DL Hall (L)
    1B Ryan Mountcastle SP John Means (L)
    LF Trey ManciniSP Dean Kremer
    DH Renato NunezSP Zac Lowther (L)
    RF Anthony Santander CL Zach Pop
    C Chance Sisco  
    2B Adam Hall 
    SS Cadyn Grenier         

    Farm System Rank: No. 12


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: DH Mark Trumbo
    • 2020-21: IF Jonathan Villar
    • 2021-22: SP Dylan Bundy, SP Alex Cobb, RP Mychal Givens



    • The Orioles have four elite-level prospects in catcher Adley Rutschman, first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, right-hander Grayson Rodriguez and left-hander DL Hall. That foursome, along with breakout slugger Trey Mancini and 2019 All-Star John Means, make up the long-term core.
    • The final two spots on the starting staff could wind up going to any combination of Dean Kremer, Zac Lowther, Michael Baumann, Blaine Knight, Keegan Akin, Cody Sedlock, Brenan Hanifee, Alex Wells or a number of other quality arms in the system. There's a lot of pitching depth here.
    • Technically, the Orioles will still owe Chris Davis a whopping $21.1 million in 2022, but it's hard to see him still being part of the team. Whether he's released, traded or simply retires, it's a safe bet that the two sides will part ways at some point in the next three years.

29. Texas Rangers

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    Joey Gallo
    Joey GalloBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    CF Leody Taveras SP Hans Crouse
    SS Elvis AndrusSP Joe Palumbo (L)
    RF Joey GalloSP Ariel Jurado
    DH Willie CalhounSP Brock Burke (L)
    3B Josh JungSP Kolby Allard (L)
    C Sam HuffCL Jose Leclerc
    1B Sherten Apostel  
    LF Nick Solak  
    2B Rougned Odor        

    Farm System Rank: No. 21


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: OF Hunter Pence, IF Logan Forsythe
    • 2020-21: SP Mike Minor, DH Shin-Soo Choo, C Jeff Mathis, RP Jesse Chavez, RP Shawn Kelley
    • 2021-22: SP Lance Lynn, RF Nomar Mazara, UT Danny Santana, OF Delino DeShields, RP Nate Jones



    • Starting pitching has seemingly always been the biggest question mark for the Rangers, and that remains the case looking ahead to 2022. That said, with a 70-grade fastball and a wipeout slider, Hans Crouse has a chance to be an impact starter.
    • While his prospect stock has fallen a bit, Leody Taveras is still only 20 years old. He's hitting .282 with a .351 on-base percentage and 32 steals while playing stellar defense in center field and still looks like a potential table-setter.
    • The Rangers acquired high-floor lefty Kolby Allard and infielder/outfielder Nick Solak in a pair of under-the-radar deadline deals that sent veteran reliever Chris Martin and minor league reliever Peter Fairbanks the other way. Both newcomers have a chance to be a big part of the long-term picture in Texas.

28. Colorado Rockies

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    Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado
    Charlie Blackmon and Nolan ArenadoDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    RF Charlie Blackmon SP German Marquez
    SS Brendan RodgersSP Kyle Freeland (L)
    3B Nolan Arenado SP Peter Lambert
    LF David Dahl SP Ryan Rolison (L)
    1B Colton WelkerSP Antonio Senzatela
    CF Raimel Tapia CL Ben Bowden (L)
    2B Ryan McMahon 
    C Dom Nunez 

    Farm System Rank: No. 24


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: 1B Yonder Alonso
    • 2020-21: C Chris Iannetta, SP Chad Bettis, RP Chris Rusin, RP Jake McGee ($9M option)
    • 2021-22: SS Trevor Story, SP Jon Gray, RP Scott Oberg, IF Daniel Murphy, RP Wade Davis, RP Bryan Shaw, SP Tyler Anderson, UT Ian Desmond ($15M option)



    • With Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon locked up long-term and All-Star David Dahl under team control through 2023, the Rockies can fill out their offense around that standout trio.
    • Colorado has had such a hard time drafting and developing pitching talent over the years, it might be worth considering an extension for Jon Gray. The No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft has been worth 5.0 WAR this season, which is good for fourth among National League pitchers.
    • The Rockies have an abundance of corner infield talent in the minor league ranks. With Arenado at third base, Colton Welker, Grant Lavigne, Tyler Nevin, Ryan Vilade, and 2019 draft picks Michael Toglia and Aaron Schunk could all be battling for the first base job.

27. Miami Marlins

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    Sixto Sanchez
    Sixto SanchezBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    CF Monte HarrisonSP Sixto Sanchez
    3B Brian AndersonSP Caleb Smith (L)
    RF Jesus SanchezSP Sandy Alcantara
    LF JJ Bleday SP Braxton Garrett (L)
    2B Isan Diaz SP Pablo Lopez
    1B Lewin Diaz CL Edward Cabrera
    SS Jazz Chisholm 
    C Jorge Alfaro  

    Farm System Rank: No. 10


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: IF Neil Walker, IF Martin Prado, OF Curtis Granderson, SP Hector Noesi, 2B Starlin Castro ($15M option)
    • 2020-21: IF Miguel Rojas
    • 2021-22: SP Jose Urena, SP Wei-Yin Chen, RP Adam Conley



    • Of the 14 players listed above, only Brian Anderson (3rd round, 2014), Braxton Garrett (1st round, 2016), Edward Cabrera (AFA, 2016) and JJ Bleday (1st round, 2018) began their pro careers in the Marlins organization.
    • The starting rotation could go in a lot of different directions going forward. Trevor Rogers, Nick Neidert, Jordan Holloway and hard-throwing Jorge Guzman are also viable candidates to be part of the future staff, and that depth could allow them to address other areas of need via trade.
    • The Marlins have no contracts on the books beyond 2021 when they will finally be out from under the ill-advised Wei-Yin Chen deal. They could be major players in free agency in the not-too-distant future. They could also continue to operate like a business rather than a baseball team and not spend at all.

26. Detroit Tigers

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    Casey Mize
    Casey MizeMark Cunningham/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    SS Willi CastroSP Casey Mize
    3B Jeimer Candelario SP Matthew Boyd (L)
    DH Miguel CabreraSP Matt Manning
    LF Christin StewartSP Tarik Skubal (L)
    RF Daz CameronSP Spencer Turnbull
    2B Isaac Paredes CL Joe Jimenez
    C Jake Rogers 
    1B Niko Goodrum  
    CF JaCoby Jones        

    Farm System Rank: No. 13


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SS Jordy Mercer, SP Tyson Ross, SP Matt Moore
    • 2020-21: SP Jordan Zimmermann
    • 2021-22: SP Daniel Norris, RP Blaine Hardy



    • The Tigers are in excellent shape from a pitching standpoint. Casey Mize and Matt Manning are among the top pitching prospects in baseball, while others such as Tarik Skubal, Franklin Perez, Alex Faedo, Joey Wentz and Beau Burrows will face off with incumbents Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull to round out the rotation.
    • The offense is a different story. The continued development of big leaguers such as Jeimer Candelario and Christin Stewart, as well as prospects such as Daz Cameron and Isaac Paredes, will be key.
    • Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is still owed $124 million over the next four years, including $32 million in 2022 and 2023. With 2,789 hits and 474 home runs to his credit, he has some major milestones on the horizon.

25. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Josh Bell
    Josh BellJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    2B Kevin NewmanSP Mitch Keller
    3B Ke'Bryan HayesSP Jameson Taillon
    LF Bryan ReynoldsSP Joe Musgrove
    1B Josh BellSP Trevor Williams
    RF Gregory PolancoSP Colton Bolton
    CF Travis SwaggertyCL Felipe Vazquez (L)
    SS Oneil Cruz 
    C Elias Diaz 

    Farm System Rank: No. 18


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: C Francisco Cervelli, RP Francisco Liriano, OF Melky Cabrera, OF Lonnie Chisenhall
    • 2020-21: RP Keone Kela, RP Tom Koehler
    • 2021-22: CF Starling Marte, SP Chris Archer, RP Michael Feliz



    • The Pirates have an abundance of middle infield talent with Adam Frazier, Kevin Newman, Oneil Cruz, Kevin Kramer, Ji-Hwan Bae and Rodolfo Castro in the mix for future playing time. Frazier has thrived in a super-utility role in the past, so don't discount his being part of the long-term plans despite not being listed above.
    • Josh Bell (.946 OPS, 31 HR, 98 RBI) and Bryan Reynolds (.326 BA, .921 OPS, 41 XBH) are having breakout seasons, and they will lead the offense going forward. Third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes is capable of joining them if he delivers on his potential.
    • The health of Jameson Taillon is a big question mark after he underwent a second Tommy John surgery earlier this month. The 27-year-old looked like a budding ace last season, but he has a long road ahead and will likely miss the 2020 season.

24. Kansas City Royals

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    Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier
    Whit Merrifield and Hunter DozierSarah Stier/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    2B Adalberto MondesiSP Brady Singer
    3B Whit MerrifieldSP Jackson Kowar
    SS Bobby Witt Jr.SP Daniel Lynch (L)
    DH Hunter DozierSP Brad Keller
    CF Khalil LeeSP Kris Bubic (L)
    1B Nick PrattoCL Scott Barlow
    RF Seuly Matias 
    LF Kyle Isbel 
    C MJ Melendez 

    Farm System Rank: No. 11


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: LF Alex Gordon ($23M mutual option)
    • 2020-21: RP Ian Kennedy
    • 2021-22: C Salvador Perez, OF Jorge Soler, SP Danny Duffy, SP Mike Montgomery, IF Cheslor Cuthbert



    • The emergence of Hunter Dozier has given the Royals a legitimate building block. The 27-year-old took time to live up to the expectations that came with going No. 8 overall in the 2013 draft. He has a 140 OPS+ with 23 doubles and 22 home runs and he's raised his walk rate from 6.2 to 10.8 percent.
    • Will Bobby Witt Jr. be ready by 2022 after going No. 2 overall in this year's draft out of high school? The five-tool shortstop earns praise for his makeup and baseball IQ, so don't be surprised if he moves quickly.
    • The 2018 draft haul of Brady Singer (No. 18 overall), Jackson Kowar (33), Daniel Lynch (34) and Kris Bubic (40) has completely transformed the long-term outlook of the starting rotation. All four college hurlers are off to impressive starts to their pro careers and look like future MLB starters.

23. Seattle Mariners

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    Evan White
    Evan WhiteChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    CF Jarred KelenicSP Logan Gilbert
    RF Mitch HanigerSP Marco Gonzales (L)
    LF Julio RodriguezSP Justin Dunn
    DH Dan VogelbachSP Yusei Kikuchi (L)
    1B Evan WhiteSP George Kirby
    SS J.P. CrawfordCL Joey Gerber
    2B Shed Long 
    3B Joe Rizzo 
    C Cal Raleigh     

    Farm System Rank: No. 9


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Felix Hernandez, RP Arodys Vizcaino, RP Cory Gearrin, SP Tommy Milone, SP Wade LeBlanc ($5M option)
    • 2020-21: RP Anthony Bass, IF Tim Beckham
    • 2021-22: OF Domingo Santana, 2B Dee Gordon, 3B Kyle Seager ($15M option)



    • From the above projected lineup, Jarred Kelenic, J.P. Crawford, Shed Long and Justin Dunn were all added in trades this past offseason, while Yusei Kikuchi was signed in free agency and George Kirby was selected No. 20 overall in the 2019 draft. That's a ton of talent added to the mix in a short period of time.
    • Current catcher Omar Narvaez will be 30 years old and in his final year of arbitration in 2022. It will be interesting to see how long he can hold off prospect Cal Raleigh. The 2018 third-round pick has an .809 OPS with 22 doubles and 25 home runs between High-A and Triple-A this year.
    • Starting pitching is the biggest question mark for the Mariners going forward, as it has been for quite some time. Logan Gilbert has flashed frontline potential this season with a 1.95 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 124.2 innings over three levels, and his continued development will be key.

22. New York Mets

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    Pete Alonso
    Pete AlonsoCarmen Mandato/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Jeff McNeilSP Jacob deGrom
    RF Brandon NimmoSP David Peterson (L)
    1B Pete AlonsoSP Thomas Szapucki (L)
    3B Mark VientosSP Kevin Smith (L)
    SS Ronny MauricioSP Franklyn Kilome
    CF Amed RosarioCL Edwin Diaz
    2B Andres Gimenez 
    C Tomas Nido 

    Farm System Rank: No. 22


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Zack Wheeler, 3B Todd Frazier, RP Luis Avilan, OF Juan Lagares ($9.5M option)
    • 2020-21: SP Marcus Stroman, LF Yoenis Cespedes, IF Jed Lowrie, RP Justin Wilson
    • 2021-22: OF Michael Conforto, SP Noah Syndergaard, SP Steven Matz, RP Jeurys Familia, C Wilson Ramos



    • Will the Mets front office pursue extensions for Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard? Pitching has been a focal point of the team for the past several seasons—what will the starting rotation look like in 2022?
    • The Mets found a good one in Ronny Mauricio, who was signed to a $2.1 million bonus as part of the 2017 international free-agent class. The 18-year-old is hitting .273 with 28 extra-base hits and strong glove work at Single-A.
    • Catching prospect Francisco Alvarez is enjoying a great season with a .328/.423/.500 line and 14 extra-base hits in 35 games. However, he's still just 17 years old, and the Mets won't rush him to the majors. Expect a stopgap catcher to be on the shopping list for the 2021-22 offseason.

21. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Zac Gallen
    Zac GallenDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Alek ThomasSP Zac Gallen
    CF Ketel MarteSP Jon Duplantier
    RF Kristian RobinsonSP Corbin Martin
    1B Seth BeerSP Levi Kelly
    3B Kevin CronSP Merrill Kelly
    2B Joshua RojasCL J.B. Bukauskas
    C Carson Kelly 
    SS Geraldo Perdomo 

    Farm System Rank: No. 3


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: OF Adam Jones, OF Jarrod Dyson, C Alex Avila, IF Wilmer Flores ($6M option)
    • 2020-21: SP Robbie Ray, OF David Peralta, SS Nick Ahmed, SP Taijuan Walker, SP Mike Leake, OF Steven Souza, 1B Jake Lamb, RP Andrew Chafin
    • 2021-22: 3B Eduardo Escobar, RP Archie Bradley



    • The Diamondbacks acquired Seth Beer, Corbin Martin, J.B. Bukauskas and Joshua Rojas in the deal that sent Zack Greinke to Houston at the trade deadline. All four could wind up being long-term pieces, especially if Martin can get healthy and Bukauskas can refine his command.
    • Kristian Robinson (57 G, .876 OPS, 23 XBH, 16 SB) and Alek Thomas (103 G, .303/.384/.462, 15 SB) are 18 and 19 years old, respectively. However, both players have polished games relative to their age, and Robinson has one of the highest ceilings in minor league baseball.
    • There are some intriguing under-the-radar prospects to watch in this system as well. Shortstop Geraldo Perdomo is hitting .282 with more walks (63) than strikeouts (62) as a 19-year-old in a full season between Single-A and High-A, and right-hander Levi Kelly has racked up 122 strikeouts in 93.1 innings with a 2.12 ERA as a 20-year-old at Single-A.

20. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Brandon Woodruff
    Brandon WoodruffQuinn Harris/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    3B Brice TurangSP Brandon Woodruff
    2B Keston HiuraSP Aaron Ashby (L)
    1B Christian YelichSP Drew Rasmussen
    RF Tristen LutzSP Ethan Small (L)
    CF Lorenzo CainSP Trey Supak
    LF Trent GrishamCL Josh Hader (L)
    C Mario Feliciano 
    SS Orlando Arcia 

    Farm System Rank: No. 29


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Jhoulys Chacin, SP Gio Gonzalez, SP Jordan Lyles, RP Matt Albers, RP Drew Pomeranz, C Yasmani Grandal ($16M mutual option), 3B Mike Moustakas ($11M mutual option)
    • 2020-21: SP Jimmy Nelson, RP Jeremy Jeffress, 1B/OF Eric Thames, UT Hernan Perez, LF Ryan Braun ($15M mutual option)
    • 2021-22: SP Chase Anderson, SP Zach Davies, RP Corey Knebel, RP Alex Claudio, 3B Travis Shaw, IF Tyler Saladino, C Manny Pina



    • The Brewers owe Christian Yelich just $41.5 million over the next three seasons, including a $15 million club option for 2022. That might be the most team-friendly contract in baseball.
    • Shortstop Brice Turang is hitting .260 with a .363 on-base percentage and 27 steals between Single-A and High-A this season, and he's well on his way to reaching the majors before 2022. With Keston Hiura and Orlando Arcia locked into the middle infield spots, someone could wind up sliding over to the hot corner.
    • Aside from the five starting pitchers listed above, guys like Devin Williams and Zack Brown also have a chance to be long-term rotation pieces, while Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta could get more cracks at starting.

19. Los Angeles Angels

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    Jo Adell
    Jo AdellPatrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    3B David FletcherSP Shohei Ohtani
    CF Mike TroutSP Griffin Canning
    LF Jo AdellSP Jose Suarez (L)
    DH Justin UptonSP Chris Rodriguez
    RF Brandon MarshSP Jose Soriano
    1B Matt ThaissCL Keynan Middleton
    2B Will Wilson 
    SS Luis Rengifo 
    C Jack Kruger        

    Farm System Rank: No. 27


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Trevor Cahill, 1B Justin Bour
    • 2020-21: SS Andrelton Simmons, RF Kole Calhoun, IF Tommy La Stella, IF Zack Cozart, RP Hansel Robles, RP Luis Garcia
    • 2021-22: DH Albert Pujols, SP Andrew Heaney, RP Cam Bedrosian, SP J.C. Ramirez, SP Nick Tropeano



    • The Angels' future could rest on the impact Shohei Ohtani makes on the mound. He had a 3.31 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings over 10 starts as a rookie, and he'll be counted on to fill the staff ace role.
    • While the Angels farm system is not one of the game's best, the franchise has quietly assembled a solid collection of middle infield talent with Will Wilson, Luis Rengifo, Jeremiah Jackson, Kyren Paris, Jahmai Jones and Livan Soto. That could give Los Angeles some pull on the trade market.
    • Keep an eye on what role Jared Walsh fills going forward. He hit .328/.434/.686 with 31 home runs at Triple-A while also posting a 2.25 ERA in 12 appearances out of the bullpen.

18. Cleveland Indians

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    Shane Bieber
    Shane BieberDavid Maxwell/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    SS Tyler FreemanSP Shane Bieber
    3B Nolan JonesSP Mike Clevinger
    2B Jose RamirezSP Carlos Carrasco
    DH Franmil ReyesSP Triston McKenzie
    1B Bobby BradleySP Logan Allen (L)
    LF Oscar MercadoCL Nick Wittgren
    CF Bradley Zimmer 
    RF Tyler Naquin 
    C Roberto Perez        

    Farm System Rank: No. 16


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: OF Yasiel Puig, RP Tyler Clippard, 2B Jason Kipnis ($16.5M option), RP Dan Otero ($1.5M option)
    • 2020-21: RP Oliver Perez, SP Danny Salazar
    • 2021-22: SS Francisco Lindor, SP Corey Kluber, 1B Carlos Santana, RP Brad Hand



    • When asked during the offseason what he would say to fans worried about Francisco Lindor's future in Cleveland, Indians chairman Paul Dolan told Zack Meisel of The Athletic: "Enjoy him. We control him for three more years. Enjoy him, and then we'll see what happens." Not exactly comforting words. He'll likely be suiting up elsewhere in 2022.
    • The emergence of Shane Bieber as one of baseball's best starters helped open the door for the Trevor Bauer trade, and there's a good chance Corey Kluber will also be on the move before he reaches free agency. High-ceiling righty Triston McKenzie and high-floor lefty Logan Allen are the top two pitching prospects in the system.
    • Nick Wittgren does not have traditional closer stuff with a fastball that averages 92.6 mph, but he's emerged as a lights-out relief option. The 28-year-old has a 2.77 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 44 appearances, tallying 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings while lowering his walk rate from 4.0 to 1.8 per nine.

17. San Francisco Giants

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    Joey Bart
    Joey BartRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Alexander CanarioSP Logan Webb
    SS Marco LucianoSP Sean Hjelle
    RF Heliot RamosSP Seth Corry (L)
    C Joey BartSP Tyler Beede
    CF Hunter BishopSP Shaun Anderson
    1B Logan WyattCL Melvin Adon
    3B Evan Longoria 
    2B Mauricio Dubon 

    Farm System Rank: No. 14


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Madison Bumgarner, RP Will Smith, 2B Scooter Gennett, C Stephen Vogt
    • 2020-21: SP Jeff Samardzija, CF Kevin Pillar, RP Tony Watson, IF Pablo Sandoval
    • 2021-22: 1B Brandon Belt, SS Brandon Crawford, IF Donovan Solano, C Buster Posey ($22M option), SP Johnny Cueto ($22M option)



    • Assuming the Giants decline their options on Buster Posey and Johnny Cueto, they will have roughly $75 million coming off the books going into the 2021-22 offseason. That financial flexibility coupled with a farm system on the rise gives them an intriguing long-term outlook.
    • Rising prospect Marco Luciano is still just 17 years old and has yet to make his full-season debut, but he has already shown superstar upside. He's hitting .299/.416/.559 with 24 extra-base hits in 46 games, and he's the type of elite-level raw talent who could debut before his 21st birthday.
    • Logan Webb, Sean Hjelle and Seth Corry are all having terrific 2019 seasons, and they are now the clear-cut top three arms in the system. Corry, 20, has taken a huge step forward with his command, posting a 1.74 ERA with a 155-to-52 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 108.1 innings at Single-A.

16. Oakland Athletics

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    Matt Chapman
    Matt ChapmanLachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Jorge MateoSP Jesus Luzardo (L)
    CF Ramon LaureanoSP A.J. Puk (L)
    3B Matt ChapmanSP Frankie Montas
    1B Matt OlsonSP Sean Manaea (L)
    DH Stephen PiscottySP Chris Bassitt
    2B Sheldon NeuseCL Lou Trivino
    C Sean Murphy 
    RF Austin Beck 
    SS Nick Allen        

    Farm System Rank: No. 17


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Homer Bailey, SP Tanner Roark, SP Brett Anderson, SP Marco Estrada, RP Jake Diekman ($5.8M option)
    • 2020-21: SS Marcus Semien, SP Mike Fiers, RP Liam Hendriks, RP Blake Treinen, RP Joakim Soria, RP Yusmeiro Petit, OF Robbie Grossman, UT Jurickson Profar, C Josh Phegley
    • 2021-22: DH Khris Davis, OF Mark Canha, RP Ryan Buchter



    • The Athletics have developed a dynamic homegrown duo in third baseman Matt Chapman and first baseman Matt Olson. Both players offer power production and standout defense, and they will be counted on to lead the club for the foreseeable future.
    • A lot hinges on the development of Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk as the future leaders of the starting rotation. Both lefties have swing-and-miss stuff, but they have also had injuries since starting their pro careers. They will need to be healthy and productive for the A's to succeed.
    • While shortstop Marcus Semien is a candidate to be signed long-term, the slick-fielding Nick Allen could convince the front office to move on if he continues to show enough of a hit tool to warrant everyday playing time. The 20-year-old is hitting .292/.363/.434 with 30 extra-base hits at High-A.

15. Washington Nationals

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    Juan Soto
    Juan SotoScott Taetsch/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    SS Trea TurnerSP Patrick Corbin (L)
    CF Victor RoblesSP Stephen Strasburg
    RF Juan SotoSP Jackson Rutledge
    1B Drew MendozaSP Wil Crowe
    2B Carter KieboomSP Tim Cate (L)
    3B Luis GarciaCL Matt Cronin (L)
    LF Gage Canning 
    C Israel Pineda 

    Farm System Rank: No. 26


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: 3B Anthony Rendon, 2B Brian Dozier, RP Fernando Rodney, IF Howie Kendrick, SP Jeremy Hellickson, RP Daniel Hudson, OF Gerardo Parra, IF Asdrubal Cabrera, 1B Ryan Zimmerman ($18M option), C Yan Gomes ($9M option)
    • 2020-21: RP Sean Doolittle, C Kurt Suzuki, OF Michael Taylor, 1B Matt Adams
    • 2021-22: SP Max Scherzer, SP Anibal Sanchez, OF Adam Eaton, RP Hunter Strickland, RP Roenis Elias, SP Joe Ross



    • Will the Nationals come to terms on a new contract with third baseman Anthony Rendon? The two sides were discussing an extension as recently as July, according to Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com, but he won't come cheap as one of the top available players in this year's class.
    • The Nationals farm system has a pair of high-ceiling pitching prospects in Jackson Rutledge and Mason Denaburg and high-floor pitching prospects in Wil Crowe and Tim Cate. Those four will seemingly compete with Erick Fedde for the three spots in the rotation behind Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg.
    • Drew Mendoza shifted across the diamond to first base after he was picked in the third round of the 2019 draft, and he has the raw power to develop the necessary offensive profile to be the long-term answer at the position. The 21-year-old could move quickly toward the majors.

14. Cincinnati Reds

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    Luis Castillo
    Luis CastilloAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Jesse WinkerSP Luis Castillo
    1B Joey VottoSP Sonny Gray
    3B Eugenio SuarezSP Nick Lodolo (L)
    RF Aristides AquinoSP Tony Santillan
    CF Nick SenzelSP Lyon Richardson
    2B Jonathan IndiaCL Amir Garrett (L)
    C Tyler Stephenson 
    SS Jose Israel Garcia 

    Farm System Rank: No. 19


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Alex Wood, SS Jose Iglesias, IF Freddy Galvis ($5.5M option)
    • 2020-21: SP Trevor Bauer, SP Anthony DeSclafani, 2B Derek Dietrich, SP Kevin Gausman,
    • 2021-22: RP Raisel Iglesias, RP/OF Michael Lorenzen, C Tucker Barnhart ($7.5M option)



    • The outfield of Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino has a chance to be one of the most productive in baseball in 2022. The 25-year-old Aquino has exploded onto the scene, and while his 50 percent home run-to-fly ball rate is not sustainable, his power is for real.
    • While the Reds have had a tough time developing pitchers in recent years, Luis Castillo is a bona fide ace, and locking up Sonny Gray after acquiring him in an offseason trade looks like a stroke of genius. If high-floor college starter Nick Lodolo and the hard-throwing Tony Santillan develop as hoped, the starting rotation could be a strength.
    • Third baseman Eugenio Suarez is owed $42.9 million over the next four years in one of the most team-friendly contracts in baseball. The 28-year-old has already tied his career high with 34 home runs this season.

13. Houston Astros

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    Yordan Alvarez
    Yordan AlvarezWill Newton/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    2B Jose AltuveSP Forrest Whitley
    3B Alex BregmanSP Bryan Abreu
    1B Yordan AlvarezSP Josh James
    RF Kyle TuckerSP Tyler Ivey
    DH Abraham ToroSP Cristian Javier
    LF Taylor JonesCL Ryan Pressly
    SS Jeremy Pena 
    C Garrett Stubbs 
    CF Myles Straw        

    Farm System Rank: No. 25


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Gerrit Cole, SP Wade Miley, RP Will Harris, RP Collin McHugh, RP Hector Rondon, C Robinson Chirinos, RP Joe Smith, C Martin Maldonado
    • 2020-21: CF George Springer, LF Michael Brantley, RF Josh Reddick, 1B Yuli Gurriel, SP Aaron Sanchez, SP Brad Peacock, OF Jake Marisnick
    • 2021-22: SS Carlos Correa, SP Justin Verlander, SP Zack Greinke, RP Roberto Osuna, SP Lance McCullers Jr., RP Chris Devenski



    • With Gerrit Cole potentially departing in free agency and Justin Verlander, 36, and Zack Greinke, 35, coming down the homestretches of their careers, the Astros rotation will have a distinctly different look in 2022. That makes the development of Forrest Whitley perhaps the biggest X-factor in their long-term outlook.
    • There's a good chance the Astros will extend at least one of George Springer and Carlos Correa. Both players have dealt with injury issues, and both have performed at MVP-caliber levels when healthy, so there will be a good amount of risk-reward involved in any long-term deal.
    • Shortstop Jeremy Pena (.305 BA, .834 OPS, 32 XBH) is having a strong season between Single-A and High-A and was pegged as the "top defender among shortstops in the Houston system" by MLB.com at the start of the season. The 21-year-old looks like an under-the-radar prospect to know, especially if Correa walks.

12. Chicago Cubs

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    Willson Contreras
    Willson ContrerasDylan Buell/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Brennen DavisSP Kyle Hendricks
    SS Nico HoernerSP Yu Darvish
    RF Jason HeywardSP Brailyn Marquez (L)
    C Willson ContrerasSP Riley Thompson
    3B David BoteSP Cory Abbott
    1B Ian HappCL Craig Kimbrel
    2B Chase Strumpf 
    CF Albert Almora Jr. 

    Farm System Rank: No. 28


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Cole Hamels, 2B Ben Zobrist, RF Nicholas Castellanos, RP Steve Cishek, RP Pedro Strop, RP Brandon Kintzler, C Jonathan Lucroy, RP Brandon Morrow ($12M option), Derek Holland ($7M option), RP Tony Barnette ($3M option)
    • 2020-21: SP Jose Quintana, RP Tyler Chatwood, RP David Phelps, IF Daniel Descalso ($3.5M option)
    • 2021-22: SS Javier Baez, 3B Kris Bryant, 1B Anthony Rizzo, SP Jon Lester, LF Kyle Schwarber, IF Addison Russell



    • Surely, the Cubs won't let Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez all walk after the 2021 season. There's a good chance Rizzo will play out his career in a Cubs uniform given how entrenched he is in the community, and it's reasonable to expect at least one of Bryant and Baez to stick around. That guesswork is not part of this exercise, though, and if nothing else, it shows the fragile nature of Chicago's window of contention.
    • The Cubs front office has shown a knack for identifying and developing hitters, and Nico Hoerner could be the next impact bat to reach the majors. The same can't be said for the pitching side of things, though. Hard-throwing lefty Brailyn Marquez looks like a keeper, but the rest of the farm system is a crapshoot when it comes to hurlers.
    • The biggest question might be president of baseball operations Theo Epstein's future. He signed a five-year extension just before the team's World Series win in 2016, so he'll be a free agent after the 2021 season as well.

11. Boston Red Sox

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    Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers
    Xander Bogaerts and Rafael DeversGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Jarren DuranSP Chris Sale (L)
    3B Rafael DeversSP David Price (L)
    SS Xander BogaertsSP Bryan Mata
    DH J.D. MartinezSP Tanner Houck
    CF Andrew BenintendiSP Thad Ward
    1B Bobby DalbecCL Darwinzon Hernandez (L)
    2B Michael Chavis 
    RF Nick Decker 
    C Christian Vazquez        

    Farm System Rank: No. 30


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Rick Porcello, 1B Mitch Moreland, UT Brock Holt, 1B/OF Steve Pearce, SP Andrew Cashner ($10M option)
    • 2020-21: RF Mookie Betts, CF Jackie Bradley Jr., RP Brandon Workman, C Sandy Leon, RP Steven Wright
    • 2021-22: 2B Dustin Pedroia, SP Eduardo Rodriguez, RP Matt Barnes, RP Heath Hembree



    • The Mookie Betts question continues to hang over the Red Sox's future. The 2018 American League MVP will be a free agent after the 2020 season and mentioned during the offseason that he doesn't expect anything to happen until he reaches free agency.
    • Outfielder Jarren Duran has been one of the breakout prospects of 2019. The 22-year-old is hitting .315/.378/.420 with 34 extra-base hits and 43 steals between High-A and Double-A this year, and he looks like a future table-setter.
    • The Red Sox have to figure out how Bobby Dalbec, Triston Casas and Michael Chavis fit into the long-term plan. The 19-year-old Casas might not be ready for the big leagues by 2022, but he has the highest ceiling of the players who make up that group.

10. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Jack Flaherty
    Jack FlahertyJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    CF Harrison BaderSP Jack Flaherty
    RF Dylan CarlsonSP Carlos Martinez
    1B Paul GoldschmidtSP Miles Mikolas
    3B Nolan GormanSP Dakota Hudson
    SS Paul DeJongSP Johan Oviedo
    LF Tyler O'NeillCL Jordan Hicks
    C Andrew Knizner 
    2B Tommy Edman 

    Farm System Rank: No. 23


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: LF Marcell Ozuna, SP Michael Wacha, SP Adam Wainwright, RP Tony Cingrani, C Matt Wieters
    • 2020-21: C Yadier Molina, RP Brett Cecil
    • 2021-22: 2B Kolten Wong, OF Dexter Fowler, RP Andrew Miller, RP Dominic Leone, 3B Matt Carpenter ($18.5M vesting option)



    • The Cardinals locked up Paul Goldschmidt and Miles Mikolas during the offseason, and they will still have Carlos Martinez and Paul DeJong under contract as well in 2022. For a team that relies heavily on the draft-and-develop mentality, it has a good amount of money on the books. That said, St. Louis still has plenty to spend and figures to be active once again this offseason.
    • Tyler O'Neill has a chance to be an impact run producer, and Harrison Bader has a chance to be a Gold Glove center fielder and a table-setter. But will they be? Those are among the biggest questions facing an inconsistent offense. The emergence of Dylan Carlson as a top-tier prospect has been a nice development.
    • Will the 2020 season be the end of the line for Yadier Molina? His replacement is already in place in the form of Andrew Knizner, but that would still be a major changing of the guard.

9. Minnesota Twins

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    Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario
    Max Kepler and Eddie RosarioStephen Brashear/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    SS Royce LewisSP Jose Berrios
    LF Trevor LarnachSP Brusdar Graterol
    RF Max KeplerSP Jordan Balazovic
    1B Alex KirilloffSP Jhoan Duran
    DH Brent RookerSP Lewis Thorpe (L)
    2B Jorge PolancoCL Taylor Rogers (L)
    C Mitch Garver 
    3B Travis Blankenhorn 
    CF Byron Buxton        

    Farm System Rank: No. 5


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Jake Odorizzi, SP Kyle Gibson, SP Michael Pineda, C Jason Castro, 2B Jonathan Schoop, RP Sergio Romo
    • 2020-21: DH Nelson Cruz, UT Marwin Gonzalez, SP Martin Perez, 1B C.J. Cron, RP Trevor May, RP Sam Dyson, IF Ehire Adrianza
    • 2021-22: LF Eddie Rosario, 3B Miguel Sano



    • With Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson and Michael Pineda all headed for free agency, change is coming to the Twins starting rotation. Brusdar Graterol and Jordan Balazovic are consensus top-100 prospects and will be counted on to help pick up the slack.
    • The Twins roster is already loaded with homegrown position-player talent, and more is on the way—led by first-round picks Alex Kirilloff (2016), Royce Lewis (2017) and Trevor Larnach (2018).
    • Rebuilding the bullpen looks like the biggest short-term need, and there are a number of intriguing arms behind Graterol and Balazovic who could emerge as impact relief options. Left-hander Taylor Rogers has stepped into the closer's role, and he'll be in his final year of arbitration in 2022.

8. Philadelphia Phillies

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    Bryce Harper
    Bryce HarperHunter Martin/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    SS Jean SeguraSP Aaron Nola
    RF Bryce HarperSP Spencer Howard
    3B Alec BohmSP Adonis Medina
    1B Rhys HoskinsSP Zach Eflin
    CF Scott KingerySP Erik Miller (L)
    LF Adam HaseleyCL Seranthony Dominguez
    SS Bryson Stott 
    C Rafael Marchan 

    Farm System Rank: No. 15


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: OF Corey Dickerson, RP Tommy Hunter, RP Juan Nicasio, RP Nick Vincent, SP Drew Smyly, SP Jason Vargas ($8M option), RP Pat Neshek ($7M option)
    • 2020-21: C J.T. Realmuto, 2B Cesar Hernandez, OF Jay Bruce, RP Blake Parker, SP Jake Arrieta ($20M option), RP David Robertson ($12M option)
    • 2021-22: RP Hector Neris, RP Adam Morgan, SP Vincent Velasquez, 3B Maikel Franco, SP Jared Eickhoff, RF Andrew McCutchen ($15M option), CF Odubel Herrera ($12.5M option)



    • After spending big last offseason, the Phillies will be counting on some of their top prospects to emerge as key contributors to help balance the payroll. Slugger Alec Bohm and right-hander Spencer Howard are the headliners in the system and could debut in 2020.
    • The offense appears to be in excellent shape for the long haul, and don't count out 2016 No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak as a potential future contributor. Still just 21 years old, he's hitting .261/.315/.455 with 50 extra-base hits and 15 steals at Double-A.
    • Aaron Nola needs to stay healthy and continue pitching at a frontline level with so many question marks behind him in the rotation. Francisco Morales, Enyel De Los Santos, JoJo Romero, David Parkinson and 2019 breakout lefty Damon Jones are among the other long-term rotation candidates.

7. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette
    Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo BichetteMark Blinch/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    SS Bo BichetteSP Nate Pearson
    3B Jordan GroshansSP Alek Manoah
    LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.SP Anthony Kay (L)
    1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.SP Trent Thornton
    RF Griffin ConineSP Sean Reid-Foley
    2B Cavan BiggioCL Hector Perez
    DH Randal Grichuk 
    C Danny Jansen 
    CF Chavez Young        

    Farm System Rank: No. 6


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: 1B Justin Smoak, SP Clay Buchholz, SP Clayton Richard
    • 2020-21: RP Ken Giles, SP Matt Shoemaker
    • 2021-22: RP Ryan Tepera, 2B Devon Travis



    • The Blue Jays have welcomed Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (93 G, .809 OPS, 37 XBH), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (79 G, .879 OPS, 39 XBH), Cavan Biggio (69 G, .706 OPS, 20 XBH) and Bo Bichette (20 G, 1.027 OPS, 17 XBH) into prominent roles this season, and all four look like long-term pieces.
    • The hard-throwing Nate Pearson has emerged as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. With a triple-digits fastball and a wipeout slider highlighting a polished four-pitch repertoire, he's posted a 2.15 ERA with 104 strikeouts in 83.2 innings while reaching Double-A this year. The 23-year-old has ace potential.
    • Slugger Griffin Conine could be one of the steals of the 2018 draft as the 52nd pick. He's hitting .278/.353/.574 with 14 doubles and 20 home runs at Single-A. His development as well as the progression of the team's other top pitching prospects behind Pearson could determine how quickly the rebuild moves.

6. Chicago White Sox

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    Eloy Jimenez
    Eloy JimenezAlex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    2B Nick MadrigalSP Lucas Giolito
    3B Yoan MoncadaSP Michael Kopech
    RF Luis RobertSP Dylan Cease
    LF Eloy JimenezSP Reynaldo Lopez
    1B Andrew VaughnSP Dane Dunning
    SS Tim AndersonCL Ian Hamilton
    C Zack Collins 
    DH Jake Burger 
    CF Steele Walker        

    Farm System Rank: No. 7


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: 1B Jose Abreu, SP Ivan Nova, OF Jon Jay, C Welington Castillo ($8M option)
    • 2020-21: RP Alex Colome, C James McCann, OF Leury Garcia, IF Ryan Goins, RP Kelvin Herrera ($10M option)
    • 2021-22: SP Carlos Rodon, IF Yolmer Sanchez



    • With Yoan Moncada turning in a breakout season, Eloy Jimenez just scratching the surface of his vast potential and Luis Robert knocking on the door with a huge season in the minors, the White Sox have the makings of a dynamic offensive core. Throw in first-round picks Nick Madrigal (2018) and Andrew Vaughn (2019), and this team could pile up runs.
    • Everyone in the projected rotation was acquired via trade. After a trying 2018 season, Giolito has taken a huge step forward with a 3.41 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 182 strikeouts in 142.2 innings.
    • Can Jake Burger get healthy? Can Zack Collins handle catching duties? Can the team's other young starters take Giolito-esque steps forward? Will the front office make another aggressive push in free agency like it did for Manny Machado? Those are among the questions that still need to be answered by the South Siders.

5. San Diego Padres

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    MacKenzie Gore
    MacKenzie GoreHector Vivas/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    CF Taylor TrammellSP MacKenzie Gore (L)
    SS Fernando Tatis Jr.SP Chris Paddack
    3B Manny MachadoSP Luis Patino
    1B Eric HosmerSP Cal Quantrill
    RF Hunter RenfroeSP Joey Lucchesi (L)
    LF Wil MyersCL Andres Munoz
    C Francisco Mejia 
    2B Luis Urias 

    Farm System Rank: No. 1


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: RP Craig Stammen, RP Adam Warren ($2.5M option), RP Aaron Loup ($2M option)
    • 2020-21: RP Kirby Yates, RP Robbie Erlin, SP Garrett Richards, 2B Ian Kinsler ($3.5M option)
    • 2021-22: OF Travis Jankowski, IF Greg Garcia



    • Guys like outfielder Josh Naylor, middle infielder Xavier Edwards and catcher Luis Campusano are all top-100 prospect talents who will be ready for everyday roles by 2022. That could make the Padres major players on the trade market.
    • Likewise, the projected rotation does not include Adrian Morejon, Ryan Weathers, Eric Lauer or Dinelson Lamet. Quality starting pitching depth is a necessity in today's game, but they should be able to dip into that crop of arms to pull off a major trade as well.
    • Eric Hosmer ($21 million) and Wil Myers ($22.5 million) will be in the final guaranteed year of their contracts when the 2022 season arrives. Aside from Manny Machado's, those are the only contracts on the books beyond 2020.

4. New York Yankees

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    Aaron Judge
    Aaron JudgeMike Stobe/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    CF Aaron HicksSP Luis Severino
    RF Aaron JudgeSP Domingo German
    DH Giancarlo StantonSP Deivi Garcia
    C Gary SanchezSP Clarke Schmidt
    1B Luke VoitSP Roansy Contreras
    SS Gleyber TorresCL Luis Gil
    3B Miguel Andujar 
    2B Gio Urshela 
    LF Mike Tauchman        

    Farm System Rank: No. 20


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SS Didi Gregorius, SP CC Sabathia, RP Dellin Betances, OF Brett Gardner, OF Cameron Maybin, C Austin Romine
    • 2020-21: SP Masahiro Tanaka, SP James Paxton, IF DJ LeMahieu, DH Edwin Encarnacion, OF Jacoby Ellsbury ($21M option)
    • 2021-22: RP Aroldis Chapman, SP J.A. Happ, RP Adam Ottavino, RP Tommy Kahnle, RP Zack Britton ($14M option)



    • Who would have guessed that Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman would emerge as long-term pieces? There are certainly regression questions for both players, but it's fair to assume they are more than just flashes in the pan.
    • Absent from the above roster is Clint Frazier, despite his team control through the 2023 season. A breakout season by Tauchman and the return of Aaron Hicks will again leave him without an everyday spot in the outfield. He seems destined to suit up elsewhere.
    • The Yankees system is loaded with high-ceiling arms, and while Deivi Garcia has separated himself from the pack this year, there are a number of young pitchers capable of emerging as impact starters in the years to come.

3. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 10)

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    Wander Franco
    Wander FrancoJason Miller/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    2B Vidal BrujanSP Tyler Glasnow
    RF Austin MeadowsSP Blake Snell (L)
    3B Wander FrancoSP Brendan McKay (L)
    1B Nate LoweSP Yonny Chirinos
    DH Yandy DiazSP Shane McClanahan (L)
    LF Brandon LoweCL Emilio Pagan
    C Ronaldo Hernandez 
    CF Kevin Kiermaier 
    SS Willy Adames        

    Farm System Rank: No. 2


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: IF Eric Sogard, OF Avisail Garcia, C Travis d'Arnaud
    • 2020-21: C Mike Zunino, IF Matt Duffy
    • 2021-22: SP Charlie Morton, OF Tommy Pham, RP Chaz Roe



    • Will Wander Franco be the next uberprospect to arrive on the scene before his 20th birthday? He won't turn 19 until March, and he's already playing at High-A with a .322/.394/.487 line and 42 extra-base hits in 107 games over two levels. He's going to be special.
    • With Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell and Brendan McKay seemingly locked in to rotation spots and prospects such as Shane McClanahan, Matthew Liberatore and Shane Baz rising, the days of Tampa Bay's regularly using an opener could be numbered.
    • Brandon Lowe was locked up long-term during the offseason, so how will all the pieces fit? Franco, Vidal Brujan and Willy Adames could be in the mix for starting infield jobs by 2022, which could push Lowe to left field, where he spent some time in 2018.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Walker Buehler
    Walker BuehlerMichael Reaves/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff 
    LF Alex VerdugoSP Walker Buehler
    SS Gavin LuxSP Dustin May
    RF Cody BellingerSP Julio Urias (L)
    2B Max MuncySP Kenta Maeda
    3B Will SmithSP Josiah Gray
    1B Kody HoeseCL Mitchell White
    CF A.J. Pollock 
    C Keibert Ruiz 

    Farm System Rank: No. 8


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP Rich Hill, IF David Freese, C Russell Martin, IF Jedd Gyorko ($13M option)
    • 2020-21: 3B Justin Turner, OF Joc Pederson, RP Pedro Baez
    • 2021-22: SP Clayton Kershaw, SS Corey Seager, RP Kenley Jansen, UT Chris Taylor, RP Joe Kelly ($12M option)



    • Not many teams could be slated to lose the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Kenley Jansen and still have such a bright outlook. The Dodgers have done a terrific job in both the draft and on the international free-agent market to build a strong foundation.
    • The biggest X-factor might be Dustin May. While Walker Buehler looks like the ace of the staff going forward, someone will need to step into that No. 2 starter role, especially if Kershaw decides to call it quits or signs elsewhere after the 2021 season.
    • The answer to the Will Smith vs. Keibert Ruiz debate might wind up being "both." Smith can serve as the primary catcher until Ruiz is ready to take over and then move into a super-utility role before replacing Justin Turner at the hot corner after the 2020 season. There's a reason the Dodgers place such a high value on versatility.

1. Atlanta Braves

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    Ronald Acuna Jr.
    Ronald Acuna Jr.Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    Roster Outlook

    2022 Lineup2022 Pitching Staff
    LF Drew WatersSP Mike Soroka
    CF Cristian PacheSP Ian Anderson
    RF Ronald Acuna Jr.SP Max Fried (L)
    3B Austin RileySP Kyle Wright
    2B Ozzie AlbiesSP Kyle Muller (L)
    1B Greyson JenistaCL Touki Toussaint
    SS Dansby Swanson 
    C William Contreras 

    Farm System Rank: No. 4


    Notable Free Agents

    • 2019-20: 3B Josh Donaldson, SP Dallas Keuchel, C Brian McCann, OF Matt Joyce, RP Josh Tomlin, RP Chris Martin, RP Anthony Swarzak, RP Jerry Blevins, RP Darren O'Day
    • 2020-21: SP Julio Teheran, RF Nick Markakis, C Tyler Flowers, RP Shane Greene, RP Mark Melancon
    • 2021-22: 1B Freddie Freeman, SP Mike Foltynewicz, IF Charlie Culberson, OF Adam Duvall, CF Ender Inciarte ($9M option)



    • With so many young, cost-controlled players filling major roles, the Braves have a ton of money to spend. That makes it a safe bet that Freddie Freeman will be around beyond the 2021 season when his contract expires, but again, we're not making any assumptions.
    • William Contreras looked like the clear-cut catcher of the future before the team drafted Baylor standout Shea Langeliers with the ninth pick in this year's draft. That will be something to monitor in the upcoming years. Atlanta will also still have slugger Alex Jackson as an option behind the dish.
    • Mike Soroka was the first pitcher to emerge from a loaded farm system to establish himself as a rotation staple. Who will join him? Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright and Kyle Muller are top-tier options still down on the farm, while others like Bryse Wilson and Touki Toussaint are trying to break through. It's a good problem to have.


    All stats accurate through Monday and courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.