It’s still the offseason, but the New Year is a great mile marker for baseball fans.

Roughly halfway between the end of the World Series and the start of spring training. creates two premature Power Rankings during the offseason. The first one lands before the confetti is vacuumed following the World Series parade, and the second just when the calendar has a little better idea of ​​how the next season will shake out. It arrives when it spins, but it’s still far from being able to predict anything with anything close to pinpoint accuracy.

The general consensus among our small and very disorganized voting bodies is that it’s been a dizzying contract offseason so far and there’s still work to be done and the best on paper teams often fail to even reach the postseason.

Well then, we bring you the premature Power Ranking, New Year’s edition.

1. Astros (2022 regular season 106-56)
Repeating as World Series champions won’t be easy, but the Astros deserve the benefit of the doubt. They are in his 6th consecutive appearance in his AL Championship Series. They have won the World Series twice in that span. With a six-man starting staff, he was able to bring AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander to the Mets. The “World Series hangover” is likely not the case this year, considering Houston played at least two games in the postseason and had several days of rest between each round. While the AL West has improved in some areas (the Mariners are strong again and the Rangers have made improvements), the Astros are once again the frontrunners for another division title. prize.

2. Mets (101-61)
This ranking is somewhat based on the assumption that Carlos Correa will eventually come to terms with the Mets, but looking at this development, how the shortstop (or is he third baseman?) knows where to go. is actually not. land. Based on some seemingly strong free agent signings and the fact that they were really good in 2022 despite how disastrously the season ended, the Mets are our second pick. Let’s just say… but be careful. Things could unravel with the old team, and the Mets plan to adopt a starting rotation with more miles on some of their arms.

3. Braves (101-61)
The Braves didn’t need to make a ton of moves in the offseason. You just need to get healthy and stay healthy. And assuming that happens in his 23rd year, they should be well-positioned to fight for the NL East title again.The Braves roster looks strong after trading catcher Sean Murphy . Ozzie Albies and Ronald Cunha Jr. return to top pitching led by a stable and strong young starting pitcher, and if his staff performs as expected, Atlanta will be his favorite for the rest of the NL East. It will be very frustrating. The toughest division in baseball.

4. Padres (89-73)
It’s really been years since the Dodgers weren’t in the top five power rankings. Considering he lost to Los Angeles by a whopping 22 games last year, it’s clear there’s a lot of confidence among voters in the Padres’ ability to make a big leap in 23 years. Yes, the Padres have “defeated the dragon” by bouncing off division foes from the postseason, but expectations look higher this season. Has, and this may be the last best chance in a starting rotation that sees a move to free agency next winter. ’23 years?

5. Yankees (99-63)
The Yankees, based on past performance and assuming health (which is never guaranteed), have addressed one of their big problems this offseason by adding lefty Carlos Rodon to their rotation. There will be more uncertainty about the lineup, which still needs tweaking. If middle fielders Oswaldo Peraza and Anthony Volpe play hard enough, they might be able to do it without even going outside.

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