1 Sentence to Describe Every MLB Team During the Lockout

Brandon Scott@@brandonkscottFeatured Columnist IJanuary 31, 2022

1 Sentence to Describe Every MLB Team During the Lockout

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Nearly two months into the MLB lockout and with no clear end in sight, it's worth a refresher on the state of each team as they sit in this holding pattern.

    Once the union and owners finally reach an agreement, clubs will be scrambling to make the moves they would have otherwise been making without the work stoppage.

    As always, some teams will try harder to win than others. But everyone has a story to tell, sad as a few of them may be in comparison.

    As a reminder, here is the 30-pronged set of glances at what the landscape looked like Dec. 2 when the lockout first took effect.

    Now, let's take a glimpse at where they are two months later, as everything moves at a snail's pace.

American League East

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Baltimore Orioles

    There is no light at the end of the tunnel for Orioles fans, as Cedric Mullins is on the trading block after a breakout season, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman, and they are not likely to spend much on the 2022 roster, meaning any incremental progress this year must come from their own core players. 


    Boston Red Sox

    Japanese superstar Seiya Suzuki is expected to sign with an MLB team after the lockout ends, per multiple reports, and the Red Sox, who just happen to be in the market for an outfielder, are one of the teams linked to him


    New York Yankees

    The Yankees did not make noise before the lockout, but they still have a tremendous need at shortstop, and Carlos Correa, the best available this offseason, is still out there with Scott Boras as his recently hired agent and looking for a deal in the $340 million range, per Heyman.


    Tampa Bay Rays

    For all of the money Tampa spent on committing $182 million to Wander Franco over 11 years and bringing in Corey Kluber on a one-year, $8 million pact, the most interesting story to follow is whether Tyler Glasnow, who's recovering from Tommy John surgery and will hit free agency after 2023, is traded.


    Toronto Blue Jays

    The biggest offseason transaction in Toronto happened in November when the team signed Jose Berrios to a seven-year, $131 million extension, and the lack of expected action will make this lockout feel even longer for Blue Jays fans.

American League Central

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    Sam Hodde/Associated Press

    Chicago White Sox

    The White Sox face questions about whether they can survive among the American League's upper class, as they have proved during consecutive early playoff exits to simply not be good enough—though they did add to their collection of young talent by signing Cuban prospect Oscar Colas this month.


    Cleveland Guardians

    They are predictably quiet on the free-agent front, but it's worth watching if the Guardians shop Jose Ramirez, since he is the small-market club's most valuable trade asset and is likely headed for free agency after the 2023 season ($14 million club option for that year).


    Detroit Tigers

    Here is one team that's relaxing during the lockout, since the Tigers took care of business beforehand, signing free agents Javier Baez and Eduard Rodriguez to upgrade some of their greatest needs at shortstop and starting pitcher, respectively.


    Kansas City Royals

    The Royals might be rebuilding, but a crowd of talented infielders is a good problem to have, as the group includes top prospect Bobby Witt Jr., who plays shortstop like 26-year-old Nicky Lopez, who hit .300 last season.


    Minnesota Twins

    While the White Sox seem like the clear division leaders, the Twins at least have a chance to be competitive in the AL Central if they press the right buttons and sort out their pitching situation. 

American League West

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    Bill Sikes/Associated Press

    Houston Astros

    With Justin Verlander back in the fold after recovering from Tommy John surgery—his contract secured before the lockout began—all Houston needs is a viable replacement for superstar shortstop Carlos Correa, since the Astros are unlikely to pay his reported $340 million asking price. 


    Los Angeles Angels

    A healthy Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and the addition of Noah Syndergaard are all bright spots for the Angels in 2022, but they still need more from their young pitching depth and have not addressed the need at shortstop.


    Oakland Athletics

    Matt Olson is a likely trade candidate as the A's look to slash payroll, per The Athletic's Melissa Lockhard, which means the countdown to a resolution for the collective bargaining agreement is when it's really time to start watching out for Olson-to-the Yankees talk.


    Seattle Mariners

    Signing the American League Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and trading for All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier piques curiosity, but landing another star such as Trevor Story, Kris Bryant or Kyle Schwarber would really get some attention. 


    Texas Rangers

    After the team's $556 million investment in Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray, Rangers fans are left to ponder whether it means they'll be any good. 

National League East

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press


    Absent this lockout, it would likely be known where Atlanta legend and free-agent first baseman Freddie Freeman will play in 2022, which would add some much needed clarity for the World Series champs.


    Miami Marlins

    The Marlins are "intent on adding another big bat," per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, not ruling out top free agents such as Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos and Seiya Suzuki, while Eddie Rosario has also been mentioned as a possible signing.


    New York Mets

    After winning the offseason with signings of Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha and Max Scherzer, the Mets finally have a manager in Buck Showalter, who signed a three-year deal in December.


    Philadelphia Phillies

    The Phillies are looking up at the Mets, while Atlanta and Washington boast two of the past three World Series titles and Miami at least says it's trying, so Philly better get a move on.


    Washington Nationals

    There has been recent speculation about Josh Bell as a trade candidate, which makes sense since he's entering his final year of arbitration and could be gone long before Washington is back to being competitive. 

National League Central

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    Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

    Chicago Cubs

    This rotation should at least be respectable with the additions of Wade Miley and Marcus Stroman, who might make his greatest contribution if he successfully recruits free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa.


    Cincinnati Reds

    Goodness, the Bengals did not have to outshine the Reds the way they did this winter, going to the Super Bowl while the baseball team loses its best player and watches as a bystander this offseason.


    Milwaukee Brewers

    The Brewers season ended with a glaring need to improve the offense (their .714 OPS was 11th in the NL), and that just hasn't happened yet. Nor does there seem to be a clear path for it.


    Pittsburgh Pirates

    This outfit is all about its young players and is fully committed to the rebuild, so absent trades, there is no reason to expect anything of significance after the lockout. 


    St. Louis Cardinals

    The Cardinals do not have to force anything after re-signing T.J. McFarland and adding Steven Matz to their rotation, but just imagine if they go all-in and sign a Trevor Story or Kris Bryant to boost the middle-of-the pack offense (.725 OPS, eighth-best in the NL).

National League West

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    The Diamondbacks risked $14 million over two years in signing 36-year-old closer Mark Melancon, possibly thinking he'd turn into a trade chip, which would contribute to the rebuild in Arizona.


    Colorado Rockies

    It's been a snoozefest in Denver, as the biggest free-agent signing was the one-year, $1.25 million deal with right-hander Jhoulys Chacín, which doesn't exactly drum up excitement. 


    Los Angeles Dodgers

    As important as it was to re-sign Chris Taylor, it still has to feel hollow to see Max Scherzer and Corey Seager get away this offseason. 


    San Diego Padres

    An upgraded bullpen with the additions of Luis Garcia and Robert Suarez, along with bringing in manager Bob Melvin from the A's, is apparently the Padres' secret sauce for getting back to the playoffs.


    San Francisco Giants

    The best San Francisco's front office could do was try to stop the bleeding, as front-end starter Kevin Gausman left for the Blue Jays and Buster Posey retired, but they landed free-agent right-hander Alex Cobb and brought back a pair of key starters in Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood.