The offseason needs for every MLB team

Every MLB team enters the offseason with the ultimate goal of building a World Series roster. These are the most pressing needs for all 30 teams heading into the offseason.

 

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It’s clear Arizona is on the right track with young stars powering the team, but they still have major holes to fill. Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and Brandon Pfaadt are the only three starting pitchers the team can count on entering the offseason, and an additional innings eater would be welcomed. Left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s bat could be tough to replace as a pending free agent, and the team probably shouldn’t count on Jace Peterson or Emmanuel Rivera at the hot corner.

 

Atlanta Braves: SP, RP, OF

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Atlanta’s core is under contract for 2024 and beyond, so there aren’t many pressing needs entering the offseason. The team will need to replace multiple bullpen arms, including Joe Jimenez and Jesse Chavez, and could look at improving on Eddie Rosario’s bat in left field. The loss of Kyle Wright to shoulder surgery for the entire 2024 also creates a hole in the starting rotation. However, the lineup should remain monstrous with Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson, and company.

 

Baltimore Orioles: RP, SP

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Baltimore’s young players shined in 2023, and there are more on the way, led by shortstop Jackson Holliday. Still, there should be some nervousness surrounding the pitching staff after Felix Bautista tore his elbow, plus Kyle Gibson’s pending free agency. The team could use a veteran innings eater to protect its young pitching staff, and a proven closer might be worth the investment after struggling to close games late in the year.

 

Boston Red Sox: MI, DH, P

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For all the criticism former front office lead Chaim Bloom received before his firing, the Red Sox roster is in better shape than when he found it. The lineup looks deep next season with the return of Trevor Story and presence of young hitters Jarren Duran, Ceddanne Rafaela, Wilyer Abreu, and Triston Casas, on top of stars Rafael Devers and Masataka Yoshida. It remains to be seen if either Pablo Reyes or Emmanuel Valdez are the answer at second base, and DH Justin Turner will be tough to replace. The pitching staff has depth, but a replacement for free agent James Paxton would be worthwhile.

 

Chicago Cubs: 1B, 3B, SP, RP

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The Cubs came just short in their playoff endeavors and now have the massive task of replacing Cody Bellinger, Marcus Stroman, and Kyle Hendricks. The jury is out on Matt Mervis as the first baseman of the future, while Christopher Morel didn’t get much play at the hot corner. Settling on answers at those spots will be key. The team liked what they saw from Jordan Wicks and have more pitching prospects on the way, but some surefire innings behind Justin Steele are needed. Going cheap on bullpen help didn’t comeback to bite the Cubs last season, thanks in large part to the emergence of Adbert Alzolay, but a couple of new arms would be helpful.

 

Chicago White Sox: MI, SP, RP

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It remains to be seen how drastic new baseball ops head Chris Getz will go after a 101-loss season, but it’s clear changes are needed. Shortstop Tim Anderson likely needs a change of scenery, while Lenyn Sosa didn’t do enough to earn the second base job. Top shortstop prospect Colson Montgomery should be ready at some point in 2024, but there’s no reason to rush him. The pitching staff desperately needs to be reworked behind Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech, though the pen does have some intriguing arms led by Gregory Santos and Garrett Crochet.

 

Cincinnati Reds: Bench, SP, RP

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Few organizations show more promise than the Reds, with a long list of young players emerging in 2023. The lineup is all but set and even has some excess with an extra infielder between Jonathan India, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Noelvi Marte. Some veteran leadership on the bench could be key as the young players continue to develop, and franchise legend Joey Votto would make sense if he decides to play one more season. The Reds have some exciting, young arms led by Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, Brandon Williamson, and Andrew Abbott, but they’ve already shown durability issues. The bullpen settled behind Alexis Diaz, but the overuse of the pen returned to haunt the team late in the year.

 

Cleveland Guardians: SS, OF, SP

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Cleveland had one of the most anemic offenses in baseball during 2023. While there’s help coming with top prospects Brayan Rocchio and Kyle Manzardo, it would be foolish to solely count on the farm system for what ails the team. It remains to be seen if either Rocchio or Gabriel Arias are viable starting shortstops in the short term. The outfield also desperately needs a power boost after sitting through the struggles of Myles Straw and Will Brennan at the plate. The pitching depth was tested due to the injuries of top starters Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie. Neither pitcher should be relied on next season given their recent arm issues, and Cleveland could use another veteran innings eater so they’re not tempted to overwork prized young arms Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, or Gavin Williams.

 

Colorado Rockies: CF, SP, RP

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An anemic Rox lineup hopes to get an inherent boost next season from a healthy Kris Bryant and Brendan Rodgers, along with further development from young players Nolan Jones, Elehuris Montero, Ezequiel Tovar, and others. The real question is whether the team can continue to count on center fielder Brenton Doyle. Arguably the top defensive player in baseball, Doyle was overmatched at the plate with a pitiful .593 OPS. Colorado’s need for pitching is evergreen, but that’s especially the case next season following the arm injuries to German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela. The Rockies settled on Tyler Kinley as the closer late in the year, but it remains to be seen if he has the chops to handle the job long-term.

 

Detroit Tigers: OF, DH, SP

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With 78 wins and a surprising second-place finish in the AL Central, Detroit appears to be on the right track. They witnessed breakout seasons from Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene, and Kerry Carpenter at the plate, and top prospects Colt Keith, Parker Meadows, and Justyn-Henry Malloy have a chance to help on Opening Day. The team could still use another sure thing at left field and/or DH to prop up the lineup while the young players develop. The pitching staff could lose Eduardo Rodriguez following his opt-out, and they’d definitely want a veteran to help support the intriguing young group of Tarik Skubal, Reese Olson, Matt Manning, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Alex Faedo, and Casey Mize.

 

Houston Astros: LF, C, P

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Houston already answered one of their big needs by reacquiring Justin Verlander during the season, and have powerful catcher Yainer Diaz to step in as the regular behind the plate. It remains to be seen if the team will bring back Martin Maldonado or add another backup catcher. Finding a regular left fielder so that Yordan Alvarez can spend more time at DH should be a priority. The pitching staff is in mostly strong shape, though the team could be playing with fire by relying on J.P. France and Brandon Bielak at the bottom of the rotation again.

 

Kansas City Royals: CF, SP, RP

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It was another disappointing year in KC, and the organization doesn’t look any closer to being competitive. Still, they did see some positives from a young group that includes Nick Pratto, Michael Massey, Maikel Garcia, Dairon Blanco, Nelson Velazquez, and Cole Ragans. There are enough young position players who need at-bats that the needs in the lineup are minimal, though the jury is out on whether center fielders Kyle Isbel or Drew Waters are MLB regulars. The pitching staff desperately needs more depth behind Ragans and Brady Singer, and signings like Jordan Lyles simply don’t cut it.

 

Los Angeles Angels: OF, DH, SP, RP

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The Angels roster could be reshaped more drastically than any in baseball this offseason between Shohei Ohtani’s pending free agency and a possible trade of Mike Trout. There is a lot to like from the young core that including Logan O’Hoppe, Nolan Schanuel, and Zach Neto, though there’s almost no help on the farm. The starting rotation has a viable starting five already, but strongly need a No. 1 starter if Reid Detmers can’t reach his potential. The bullpen was in shambles for much of 2023 despite an adequate season from closer Carlos Estevez.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers: OF, DH, SP, RP

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LA did a nice job working in their young players and remaining dominant in the NL West. However, they can’t rely on an elite pairing of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman forever, and had some clear holes in the lineup. The return of Gavin Lux from knee surgery answers the middle infield need, but the left field situation is unclear and J.D. Martinez is a free agent. The Dodgers look forward to the return of Walker Buehler from Tommy John surgery, but Clayton Kershaw isn’t under contract and the rest of the rotation is exceedingly young. The bullpen more than managed without a true closer but could at least use more depth.

 

Miami Marlins: C, 1B, SS, DH

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The Marlins made it to the playoffs despite one of the worst offenses in the league. The deadline acquisition of Jake Burger answers some of the offensive issues, but Josh Bell has a player option and Jorge Soler is a free agent. Improving offensively at catcher and shortstop would also go a long way in making the lineup more even. Sandy Alcantara is out for 2024 following Tommy John surgery, but the Marlins have depth to work with if Trevor Rogers and Max Meyer can get healthy.

 

Milwaukee Brewers: 1B, 3B, SP

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Milwaukee has reason to be optimistic about their lineup with a bevy of young outfielders, including the pending arrival of top prospect Jackson Chourio, but the infield has some issues. Rowdy Tellez was a massive disappointment, and third base was an issue for much of the season. Freddy Peralta is the only sure thing in next year’s rotation with Brandon Woodruff nursing more shoulder issues and Corbin Burnes a trade candidate as he enters his final season before free agency. Top pitching prospects Robert Gasser and Jacob Misiorowski make the pitching issues easier to swallow, but the rotation is still a clear need.

 

Minnesota Twins: SP, RP

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Few rosters are in better shape than Minnesota’s entering the offseason, showing young depth in all areas. The emergence of young players Royce Lewis, Edouard Julien, Alex Kirilloff, and Matt Wallner gives the front office a lot to work with on the trade market. Still, there could be a huge void in the starting rotation if pending free agent Sonny Gray walks, and Kenta Maeda is also a free agent. The bullpen should be comfortable late in games with Jhoan Duran, Griffin Jax, and Brock Stewart, but Emilio Pagan is a free agent.

 

New York Mets: DH, SP, RP

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Despite a sorely disappointing season, the Mets lineup remains strong and without many holes as young players like Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, and Ronny Mauricio have emerged. The team needs to see further development from that group, of course, but are ready to see them play more. The organization probably isn’t ready to make Vientos a full-time DH, so replacing Daniel Vogelbach with another bat is needed. The starting rotation is in rough shape after trading Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, with the need for a frontline starter in front of Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, Tylor Megill, and David Peterson. The bullpen will get closer Edwin Diaz back from knee surgery but were thin as the year ended.

 

New York Yankees: OF, SP, RP

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When big contracts don’t perform up to par, a roster is likely to have big holes. The Yankees had that issue last season with Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, and Carlos Rodon struggling. Several needs will be filled by young players in 2024, including Austin Wells, Jasson Dominguez, and Everson Pereira, but the team needs more outfield help as Dominguez returns from elbow surgery. The starting rotation found something in Michael King late in the year, but need to address the backend behind him, Gerrit Cole, Clarke Schmidt, and Rodon, especially if Nestor Cortes’ shoulder woes continue. Moving King to the rotation leaves a need for a right-handed setup man, in addition to replacing lefty Wandy Peralta.

 

Oakland Athletics: OF, SP, RP

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The A’s still aren’t trying to be competitive, but they still have multiple hitters who need more seasoning at the MLB level. The outfield could use more options to go along with Esteury Ruiz, Lawrence Butler, JJ Bleday, and company. Oakland would take pitching wherever they can get it, as J.P. Sears, Ken Waldichuk, Luis Medina, Kyle Muller, and Mason Miller develop.

 

Philadelphia Phillies: 1B, SP, RP

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The Phils have a decision to make at first base, where Rhys Hoskins is a pending free agent. Bryce Harper has shown he can play the position, but is probably a better fit moving back to his right-field home. The starting rotation faces a gigantic loss with free agent Aaron Nola, and Zack Wheeler’s contract expires after next season. It would be a shame to see the revamped bullpen take a step back, with Craig Kimbrel a free agent.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates: 1B, DH, SP, RP

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The Pirates saw another influx of talent this season, headlined by Henry Davis, Endy Rodriguez, and Quinn Priester. The trade of Carlos Santana and potential loss of Andrew McCutchen leaves Pittsburgh with holes to fill at first base and DH, while the pitching staff needs additional depth to buy time for Paul Skenes, Jared Jones, and others to develop. The Pirates are usually an overthought in the free agent market, but an aggressive offseason could allow the team to push up their timetable in the NL Central.

 

San Diego Padres: CF, DH, SP, RP

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San Diego was one of 2023’s most disappointing teams, and have giant voids to fill if they’re unable to re-sign pending free agents Blake Snell and Josh Hader. Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha could follow that duo out the door. Consecutive seasons of anemic offense from center fielder Trent Grisham put a spotlight on that position, while DH could also be addressed after the Matt Carpenter/Nelson Cruz combo disappointed.

 

San Francisco Giants: OF, DH, SP

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While there aren’t many glaring needs on the Giants roster, the team is desperate for a superstar hitter after striking out on Aaron Judge last offseason. The DH spot is open with Joc Pederson’s free agency, and could be filled by a new name or one of the team’s current players. San Francisco struggled to fill out their rotation last season. They have plenty of candidates, including Logan Webb, Alex Cobb, Sean Manaea, Ross Stripling, Keaton Winn, Kyle Harrison, and Anthony DeSclafani, a top flite starter will be necessary for the Giants to reach their playoff goals.

 

Seattle Mariners: RF, 2B, 1B

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Seattle’s hitting came together in the second half with Julio Rodriguez playing up to his potential, but the team needs to keep adding. Powerful right fielder Teoscar Hernandez is a pending free agent, and his power would be missed. Second base should definitely be addressed, at least to give Jose Caballero competition, and Ty France was a liability at the plate as the starting first baseman last season.

 

St. Louis Cardinals: SP, RP

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The Cardinals front office made a clear goal of adding three starting pitchers heading into the offseason after the nightmare that was 2023. Rotation filler simply won’t cut it, with incumbents Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz only profiling as back of the rotation options. The backend of games are in good hands with Ryan Helsley and JoJo Romero, but the bullpen has very little depth behind them.

 

Tampa Bay Rays: SP, RP

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The Rays can seemingly never have enough pitching depth, with the costly losses of Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs this season. The team has enough players to fill a strong starting rotation, especially with the pending return of Shane Baz from injury, but the 2023 season showed that more pitching depth would hit the spot. Tampa Bay rarely has trouble building out their pen, though the losses of Robert Stephenson and Jake Diekman would hurt.

 

Texas Rangers: OF, DH, RP

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The question heading into the offseason for Texas is how comfortable they are with rookies in the outfield. Evan Carter lit a spark late in the year, and 2023 first-round pick Wyatt Langford isn’t far behind. Potentially losing free agent DH Mitch Garver would also hurt. Max Scherzer’s addition at the trade deadline solidifies the starting rotation, but the bullpen is a mess with the possible losses of Aroldis Chapman and Will Smith.

 

Toronto Blue Jays: 3B, 2B, OF, DH, RP

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Toronto is set for a busy offseason, potentially losing a long list of significant contributors led by Matt Chapman, Kevin Kiermaier, Whit Merrifield, and Brandon Belt. It’s possible the team will fill some of those holes in house with the likes of Cavan Biggio, Davis Schneider, and Spencer Horwitz. The bullpen is set to thin out, as well, with potential losses of Yimi Garcia and Jordan Hicks.

 

Washington Nationals: 3B, OF, SP, RP

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The Nationals rebuild continues, after seeing strong progress from several key players in 2023. The team has never able to find an adequate replacement at the hot corner after trading Jeimer Candelario, and could use a veteran to buy time for top prospect Brady House. The outfield is in a similar situation, with top prospects James Wood and Dylan Crews nearly ready to look at D.C. real estate. Another innings eater in the rotation wouldn’t hurt, and the bullpen lacked depth behind Kyle Finnegan, Hunter Harvey, and Jordan Weems.



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