Most Intriguing MLB Teams to Watch in 2023

MLB Teams

Every year, MLB teams are full of wonders and surprises. No matter how much teams prepare for the season, there are always going to be a few to keep a watchful eye on. Last season, the Baltimore Orioles caught everyone by surprise as they finished three games back of the final AL Wild Card spot. Could the Orioles surprise everyone again and make the playoffs once and for all? Perhaps, but it doesn’t mean there are other teams in the majors who are trying to do the same as Baltimore. Here are some of the most intriguing teams to consider as we enter the 2023 season.

MLB Teams to Watch in 2023

Baltimore Orioles

2022 record: 83-79, fourth place in AL East

Manager Brandon Hyde has been the Orioles’ skipper since 2019. Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander got to represent their respective countries at the World Baseball Classic. We all know about Adley Rustchman, but Gunnar Henderson will be another player to watch. Grayson Rodriguez, who didn’t make the Opening Day roster, will more than likely make his debut sooner than later. Last year was a great one for Baltimore, catching everyone by surprise. They were in the AL Wild Card race in early September. While they didn’t do much in the offseason, they got a mix of young and seasoned players.

Cleveland Guardians

2022 record: 92-70, first place in AL Central

Cleveland has a tremendous front office with a future Hall of Fame manager. They signed Josh Bell from the San Diego Padres, a useful switch-hitter who will add power to the lineup. Steven Kwan had a better-than-expected debut in the majors. Kwan hit .289/.373/.400 with 89 runs. Plus, he had more walks than strikeouts at the plate. The Guardians have a great bullpen, with Emmanuel Clase being one of the best closers in baseball. The AL Central division is manageable with its starting rotation, bullpen, and manager. Add those components together, and there’s a team who can take advantage of a very, very weak division.

Chicago Cubs

2022 record: 74-88, third place in NL Central 

The Chicago Cubs had a solid finish to 2022, going 39-31 in the second half. Then, they added a new face to the franchise Dansby Swanson. Chicago comes into 2023 with a few players with something to prove, including Trey Mancini, Eric Hosmer, and Cody Bellinger. Bellinger signed a one-year, $17.5 million deal to rediscover his swing after hitting .193/.256/.355 the past two seasons. A change of scenery could help Bellinger as his progression from NL MVP to struggling hitter remains evident in his prime years.

Arizona Diamondbacks

2022 record: 74-88, fourth place in NL West

Optimism is hovering around the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last season saw Arizona’s win total improve by 22 games to 74-88. It might not be the most considerable improvement, but a step in the right direction. The makings of a decent team are starting to come together for the Diamondbacks. Signs of that were on display last season thanks to a young outfield core of Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and Jake McCarthy. As the D-Backs’ young core continues to grow its game, the team needs enough from its veterans. If that happens, it could push them into the NL Wild Card race late in the season.

Texas Rangers

2022 record: 68-94, fourth place in AL West

The Texas Rangers seem ready to come out of their six-year rebuild. The last intriguing MLB team is the one that landed Jacob deGrom to a five-year, $220 million deal. Two consecutive offseasons where they spent big in free agency have them as an ideal breakout candidate in 2023. If all five starters can avoid injury, the Rangers’ pitching staff has the potential to be a threat. The Rangers want to both win and be competitive now. It’s been the goal the entire offseason, especially hiring Bruce Bochy as the manager. Although, Texas will be put to the test right away in April. A lot will be known about the Rangers once the calendar turns to May.

 Photo Credit: © Cheryl Evans/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Players/managers mentioned:

Brandon HydeCedric MullinsAnthony Santander, Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez, Josh Bell, Steven Kwan, Emmanuel Clase, Dansby Swanson, Trey Mancini, Eric Hosmer, Cody Bellinger, Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and Jake McCarthy, Jacob deGrom, Bruce Bochy