Fingers crossed that the 2021 MLB season will start on time – and that we’ll be seeing live baseball at the stadium this year.
In the meantime, Buster Olney concludes his annual ranking of the top 10 players in each position ahead of the coming season – based on feedback from industry reviewers – with a rundown of full squads. With more moves to do, which team is # 1 (and 2 … and 3 …) on paper right now?
Many traditional baseball rivalries are dormant. The Red Sox are retooling and the Yankees, not rushed by Boston, have yet to make aggressive moves this winter. The Cubs are slashing their payroll and traded their best starter, Yu Darvish, and the Cardinals’ most important decision was to turn down the option of Gold Glove second baseman Kolten Wong. The Giants are at least two years away to challenge the Dodgers. Astros and Athletics are seeing some of their best players leave – Oakland looks set to lose Liam Hendriks, while George Springer looks certain to leave the Astros.
In that void we now have the Dodgers and San Diego Padres, clubs that live in the same division, play in ball parks 200 miles apart and have the best talent collections – and here’s the bonus: when they’re on. the pitch, at least these two teams don’t seem to like each other very much. The Dodgers have won the National League West for eight straight seasons and the Padres, after catching Darvish and Blake Snell, are going straight for LA San Diego wants what the Dodgers have possessed.
As a senior official said the other day, the Dodgers are clearly the best team in baseball, but the Padres are just second. Their matches will be one to watch in the coming year.
The 10 best baseball teams: