7 MLB Teams at a Crossroads: What Will They Do in 2024?

The 2024 season brings a lot of uncertainties for Major League Baseball teams. Some are focused on nurturing young players and preparing for the future, while others are dealing with potential deals, bullpen demands, and even relocation plans.

For contesting teams, their primary concern is typically how likely they are to reach new heights and stand for the championship. Other teams, however, face a darker picture, with the concept of “success” still unsure in what might be a challenging season.

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Baltimore Orioles

As spring training approaches, the Baltimore Orioles face a familiar question: should top prospect Jackson Holliday be on the Opening Day roster? Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez, who began at Triple-A before hitting the major leagues, have faced this situation for the past two years.


The problem is even more difficult this year due to a congested infield, which might force the Orioles to sit either Jorge Mateo or Jordan Westburg. Baltimore may consider trading Mateo or Ramón Urías to make a spot for Holliday and enhance their pitching rotation, given his tremendous skill and potential for quick MLB preparedness.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The pressure is on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following two miserable early playoff exits, winning the World Series is the only reasonable conclusion for their heavily invested season. While historically momentous, surpassing the Seattle Mariners’ 2001 regular-season victory total of 116 might not seem like enough.


Their 111-win season from two years ago looks small in contrast to the current roster’s potential. Considering key pitchers Walker Buehler and Tyler Glasnow stay healthy, adding Clayton Kershaw later in the season would complete one of the league’s best-starting rotations.

Houston Astros

The Houston Astros have a huge dilemma about their starting center fielder for the 2024 season. While Jake Meyers provides unquestionable defensive value, there are issues with his offensive productivity, as seen by his entire career OPS of.675.


In November, the Astros explored trading Meyers, but they later stated that he would start in center field. However, even if Meyers fails, the Astros are not without options. Chas McCormick, the probable starting left fielder, has played center field before, while Mauricio Dubón, a Gold Glove winner, has spent much of his career there.


The primary issue is not if the Astros have choices, but how patient they will be with Meyers if his batting does not improve. Given the team’s short miss in the playoffs last year, their patience may be tested. If Meyers fails to perform at the surface, they may be forced to choose the center field sooner rather than later.

Philadelphia Phillies

While José Alvarado appears to be the most likely replacement for Craig Kimbrel, there are a few other options on the table. Gregory Soto has the most career saves on the team, but his 2023 performance with the Phillies is worrisome. 


Seranthony Domínguez, with an impressive professional save total, maybe in the race if he restores his previous strikeout rate and stays healthy.


Despite their lack of close experience, the Phillies placed their confidence in Jeff Hoffman and Orion Kerkering during their postseason run in 2023. Additionally, trade rumors regarding established closers such as Kenley Jansen and Devin Williams add another layer of interest to the Phillies’ closing dilemma.

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees’ hopes for a good season will depend on the health and consistency of their starting rotation. Despite having three strong pitchers (Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodón, and Marcus Stroman) with previous All-Star appearances and Cy Young consideration, each lost significant time in 2023 due to injury. 


This presents an important question: can they remain healthy and regain their former effectiveness?


While the signing of Juan Soto strengthens the offense, depending only on Gerrit Cole for pitching carries a significant weight. If the Yankees struggle in the starting rotation, they may be forced to rely heavily on less experienced pitchers such as Clarke Schmidt, Yoendrys Gómez, and Clayton Beeter, compromising their chances of breaking .500 and competing for a title.

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have a terrific, well-rounded team, maybe even more so than their rival Los Angeles Dodgers. However, their recent playoff difficulties pose an important question: will they finally break the National League Division Series (NLDS) hurdle after four early exits in the last six years, including consecutive defeats to the Philadelphia Phillies?


While offseason signings such as Chris Sale, Aaron Bummer, Reynaldo López, and Jarred Kelenic have strengthened the lineup, it is yet to be determined if they will be enough to get past the NLDS. The next season will test if their stronger roster will translate into postseason success.

Chicago Cubs 

The Chicago Cubs’ offseason has been underwhelming so far. While they acquired Shōta Imanaga, a question mark for Marcus Stroman’s replacement, they also lost trade deadline option Jeimer Candelario and are now negotiating with Cody Bellinger.


Re-signing Bellinger would put them in a strong position to challenge for the NL Central championship. 


If they don’t, they’ll have few choices at first base, either depending on youngster Matt Mervis or staying with Patrick Wisdom, both of which might hurt their lineup compared to last season. 

Ultimately, the Cubs’ success greatly relies on their decision about Cody Bellinger.

Never Miss a Moment with Tipsportal: Coverage Beyond Baseball

As we get closer to the 2024 MLB season, baseball fans everywhere are getting hyped up about what’s to come. The talk of roster changes and World Series hopefuls is only adding to the excitement!

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Who will start in center field for the Houston Astros?

Jake Meyers’ defensive talents are evident, but his offensive performance raises concerns. Despite the Astros’ interest in trading for him, he is now scheduled to start in center field. Other choices are Chas McCormick and Mauricio Dubón, but if Meyers stumbles, the team’s trust in him will be challenged.

Who is going to replace Craig Kimbrel as the Philadelphia Phillies’ closer?

While José Alvarado appears to be the most likely option, Gregory Soto and Seranthony Domínguez are additional options. Trade speculations involving proven closers like Kenley Jansen and Devin Williams complicate the Phillies’ closing dilemma.

What are the New York Yankees’ concerns?

The Yankees’ success relies heavily on the condition and consistency of their starting rotation, especially since important pitchers Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodón suffered injuries in 2023.

What will the Cubs do at first base?

The Cubs have had a quiet offseason, with the addition of Shōta Imanaga as an alternative for Marcus Stroman. Their choice to re-sign Cody Bellinger might have a huge influence on their prospects of winning the National League Central crown. If they don’t, they will have fewer choices at first base, perhaps hurting their lineup compared to the previous season.

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