The 2023 MLB regular season has concluded. Some teams met or exceeded expectations, while others would like to turn the page on 2023 as quickly as possible. Here’s a look at our grades for all 30 teams based on regular-season performance.
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Arizona Diamondbacks: A-
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Since the trade of Paul Goldschmidt five years ago, we’ve heard that the kids are coming in Arizona. They finally arrived in 2023, with youngsters Corbin Carroll and Gabriel Moreno contributing greatly along with veterans Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Manager Torey Lovullo and pitching coach Brent Strom deserve credit for piecing together the pitching staff behind Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, while the acquisition of closer Paul Sewald at the deadline played a big role in Arizona capturing the NL pennant for the first time since 2001.
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Atlanta Braves: A+
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Falling short of a World Series championship will be viewed a disappointment after the spectacular season Atlanta had in 2023, but it shouldn’t diminish the team’s regular-season dominance (but try consoling Braves fans with that line). The offense was historic, led by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Olson, while the pitching survived just fine despite major injuries to Max Fried and Kyle Wright. Spencer Strider continued to establish himself as the most dominant pitcher in the game, while the bullpen was as deep as any in baseball. The Braves have now had back-to-back 100-plus win seasons after winning the World Series in 2021.
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Baltimore Orioles: A
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Baltimore surprised to post a winning record last season, and made another leap this year behind their young roster. The breakout stars were numerous, including Gunnar Henderson, Kyle Bradish, and Grayson Rodriguez, while the front office also uncovered major assets in Yennier Cano, Aaron Hicks, and Ryan O’Hearn. Despite a big early AL East deficit behind Tampa Bay, Baltimore won the division with relative ease.
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Boston Red Sox: C
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Missing the playoffs for the second straight year and falling short of .500, Boston fired baseball ops head Chaim Bloom. Despite the sub-par season, Boston has to be encouraged by the performance of many young players including Triston Casas, Jarren Duran, Wilyer Abreu, Brayan Bello, and Kutter Crawford. The team entered the year handicapped by Trevor Story’s injury and Chris Sale’s inability to stay healthy. The new front office head will have a lot to work with heading into 2024.
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The Cubs got the most out of their 2023 roster, finishing in the top 10 in runs scored and the middle of the pack in run prevention. The coaching staff successfully revived Cody Bellinger’s career, while Christopher Morel also continued to develop well offensively. Marcus Stroman was a Cy Young candidate early before injuries struck, and Justin Steele maintained elite performance the entire season. The team also built a bullpen almost out of nothing, led by new closer Adbert Alzolay and journeyman Julian Merryweather. Chicago’s collapse late in the year to miss the playoffs shouldn’t be forgotten, but the big picture shows progress.
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Chicago White Sox: F
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If there’s a grade below an F, the White Sox would be deserving. The organization experienced their fifth 100-loss season in history despite Spring Training expectation of a playoff berth. The White Sox had the second-worst run total, as bats like Tim Anderson, Andrew Benintendi, and Yoan Moncada performed well below expectation. The starting rotation was nearly as poor, with Dylan Cease finishing with a 4.58 ERA and Lance Lynn sporting an ERA above 6.00 before getting traded. New GM Chris Getz has his work cut out for him, and it’s a surprise the team opted to retain manager Pedro Grifol.
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Cincinnati Reds: A-
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Cincinnati came just short of a playoff spot, an outcome few expected after losing 100 games in 2022. Like the Orioles, Cincinnati’s rebuild has produced faster than expected with rookies Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Will Benson, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Noelvi Marte, Andrew Abbott, and Brandon Williamson delivering immediately. The only discouraging sign was the struggles with performance and durability from starters Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo.
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Cleveland Guardians: C
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With the exception of Jose Ramirez and the Naylor brothers, it’s hard to see how Cleveland’s offense could have performed worse. They finish the year near the bottom of the league in runs after disappointing seasons from Andre Gimenez, Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez, and departed players Josh Bell and Amed Rosario. The pitching staff also had some tough luck with arm injuries for Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie, and Cal Quantrill, though rookies Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen, and Gavin Williams provide real hope. The team has more young players coming, but need to address the lineup in the offseason.
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Colorado Rockies: F
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The Rox had tough luck with injuries, but their struggles weren’t unforeseen. Their franchise’s first 100-loss season featured arm injuries to German Marquez and Antonio Senzatela that will alter their 2024 plans, while franchise player Kris Bryant also missed half the year. Colorado saw some encouraging developments from young regulars Ezequiel Tovar, Brenton Doyle, and Elehuris Montero, but the team appears nowhere close to competing.
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Detroit Tigers: B-
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Detroit’s sub-.500 season still deserves a positive grade. The starting rotation was solid with a rebound season from Eduardo Rodriguez, the return of Tarik Skubal from injury, and the emergence of Reese Olson. While near the bottom of the league in runs scored, the lineup also saw breakout seasons from former first-rounders Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson along with Kerry Carpenter. The team could be ready to compete in the AL Central if ownership is willing to spend during the offseason.
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Houston Astros: A-
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The defending World Series champs seemed to be sleepwalking early in the season, but the return of Jose Altuve from injury and acquisition of Justin Verlander helped spur the team back to the playoffs. Houston saw great seasons from the usual suspects, including Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and Framber Valdez, while young players Chas McCormick and Yainer Diaz made up for struggles from Jose Abreu and Jeremy Pena.
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Kansas City Royals: D+
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KC experienced their third 100-loss season since 2018, with new manager Matt Quatraro getting a rude welcoming. With the exceptions of Bobby Witt Jr., the homegrown talents took a big step back. The good news is that the team did well at the trade deadline, finding Cole Ragans and Nelson Velazquez to build around in 2024.
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Los Angeles Angels: F
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Nothing short of the playoffs would have been deemed a success for the Angels in the final season of Shohei Ohtani’s contract. As usual, costly injuries to franchise players Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon put Anaheim behind the 8-ball, and incremental offseason additions Brandon Drury, Hunter Renfroe, and Tyler Anderson were unable to pick up the slack. The organization compounded their issues by buying at the trade deadline instead of selling Ohtani, before ultimately falling short of playing in the postseason yet again.
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Los Angeles Dodgers: A-
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If only every “rebuild” was this easy. The Dodgers suffered significant offseason losses, led by Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, and Cody Bellinger, and also saw Walker Buehler and Gavin Lux suffer season-ending injuries before the 2023 season. Yet, the team still won 100 games as veterans Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and J.D. Martinez powered the offense, and the pitching had just enough depth. The team’s NL West dominance appears unstoppable.
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Miami Marlins: A
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By most analytical measures, the Marlins were lucky to win 84 games and make the playoffs in 2023. The team scored the fewest runs in the NL, finished with a negative-57 run differential, and went a staggering 33-14 in one-run games. Yet, the results are what they are, and the team advanced in what was considered by many to be baseball’s most difficult division. A remarkable season from Luis Arraez was the headliner, but strong years from Jesus Luzardo, Braxton Garrett, and rookie Eury Perez shouldn’t be overlooked. Ownership and now-former GM Kim Ng also deserve credit for going all-in at the trade deadline, acquiring David Robertson, Josh Bell, and Jake Burger.
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Milwaukee Brewers: A-
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After a slow start, Milwaukee’s pitching came together in the second half with its trio of aces (Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta) pitching as expected. All the while, the Brewers also broke in a group of exciting young players, including Brice Turang, Joey Wiemer, and Sal Frelick. William Contreras had a terrific season after being acquired from Atlanta in the offseason, and Christian Yelich remained the leader atop the lineup. While unspectacular, Milwaukee’s 92-win season and NL Central crown are mission accomplished.
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Minnesota Twins: A-
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The Twins returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2020, albeit in one of the worst divisions in recent memory. That shouldn’t take away from what the team accomplished, with an elite starting rotation led by Sonny Gray and a deep lineup with emerging youngsters Royce Lewis, Edouard Julien, and Matt Wallner. The lack of contribution from highly paid stars Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa is a concern going forward, but doesn’t put a damper on the team’s AL Central division crown.
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New York Mets: F
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The team with the highest payroll in MLB history failed miserably and sold off assets at the trade deadline, led by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. While Francisco Lindor and Kodai Senga appeared to be money well spent, the list of disappointing stars went well beyond Scherzer and Verlander. The Mets are set to regroup in the offseason and saw promising performances from rookies Francisco Alvarez and Ronny Mauricio, but a 74-win season was well below the floor of expectation.
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New York Yankees: D
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The Yankees were able to retain Aaron Judge and add Carlos Rodon last offseason, but injuries to that pair and a general lack of depth doomed the team in 2023. The lineup was very thin as they worked in young players Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, with another disappointing year from Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu. Aside from Gerrit Cole, the starting rotation was also in shambles. The organization hopes an influx of young talent in 2024 turns the tide.
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Oakland Athletics: F
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The A’s met expectations in 2023, which is to say they were one of the worst teams in recent memory with 112 losses. For the most part, their odd offseason signings of Jace Peterson, Aledmys Diaz, and Trevor May didn’t pan out, and the early returns for Sean Murphy (Esteury Ruiz, Freddy Tarnok, Kyle Muller) don’t look good. To add insult to injury for Oakland fans, the move to Las Vegas took a big step forward. The emergence of Brent Rooker and Ryan Noda were a few bright spots.
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Philadelphia Phillies: A-
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Philly had to tread water early in the year after the season-ending injury to Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper’s recovery from elbow surgery. They did just that, and went on to win 90 games, their highest total since 2011. When it all came together in the second half, the offense was a juggernaut with Trea Turner finding his footing, while Kyle Schwarber, Bryston Stott, and Nick Castellanos also had solid years, albeit uneven. The bullpen wasn’t the problem we’ve seen in recent years following the additions of Craig Kimbrel, Matt Strahm, Gregory Soto, and Jeff Hoffman, and the starting rotation was deep, led by Zack Wheeler.
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Pittsburgh Pirates: C
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The Pirates gave their fans false optimism with a fast start to the 2023 season between regressing, but 76 wins are definite progress. There were several secondary wins for the organization, including re-signing Bryan Reynolds, breakout years from Mitch Keller and Johan Oviedo, and the arrival of ballyhooed prospects Henry Davis, Endy Rodriguez, and others. Still, the early loss of Oneil Cruz was disappointing, and the team doesn’t look much closer to winning a division title than they were one year ago.
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San Diego Padres: D+
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An 82-win season from this loaded Padres roster is a massive disappointment, but we’d be remiss to not mention the team’s bad luck. San Diego’s plus-104 run differential was the best in the NL, but they finished 9-23 in one-run games and 2-12 in extra innings. The team also had several great individual performances, including Juan Soto (.930 OPS), Ha-Seong Kim, likely NL Cy Young Blake Snell, Seth Lugo, and Josh Hader. The team is expected to shed payroll in the offseason, but don’t be surprised if they’re back in the thick of the playoff race next season.
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San Francisco Giants: C
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After winning 107 games and in the NL West in 2021, the Giants hovered around .500 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. Their failure to add star power during the offseason came back to bite them, with a lineup filled with mediocrity and failure for free agent acquisitions Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger to meet expectations. The team’s 1-2 punch of Logan Webb and Alex Cobb were excellent in the starting rotation, as was the bullpen, but the San Francisco market deserves better. The team does have multiple solid young players and prospects on the cusp, so the managerial job should be very attractive following Gabe Kapler’s pink slip.
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Seattle Mariners: B
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With an early-season injury to Robbie Ray, anemic offense, and awful bench, the Mariners dug themselves a hole early in the season that was too difficult to overcome. There were still plenty of positives for the team, which fell just short of a Wild Card berth, as Julio Rodriguez was unstoppable in the second half (.941 OPS), J.P. Crawford had a breakout season, and the starting rotation was elite. Few teams in the league have a better starting five entering the offseason, but it will be on the front office to put the team over the top.
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St. Louis Cardinals: F
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The Cardinals entered the season with the highest expectations, but the 2023 season turned into the Adam Wainwright sideshow. The Cards legend didn’t ride out into the sunset gracefully, posting an ERA above 7.00 as his body failed him at age 41, and the rest of the pitching staff behind him wasn’t much better. The front office’s inability to address the pitching staff wasted a year in the career of likely future Hall of Famers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, and even the diehard St. Louis fans had enough by the end of the year with a 91-loss season, the highest total for the franchise since 1990.
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Tampa Bay Rays: A
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Tampa Bay made the playoffs for the fifth straight year, winning 99 games. Still, the result was a disappointment between squandering a big AL East lead and getting ousted in the playoffs. But what could the team have done differently? They lost three excellent starting pitchers in Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs to major arm injuries, followed by star shortstop Wander Franco’s legal issues. Still, the team remained competitive until the end, and made more great transactions like signing Zach Eflin and claiming Zack Littell and Robert Stephenson. The roster remains very young, and there’s no reason to think the Rays won’t be back to October baseball in 2024.
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Texas Rangers: A-
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Rarely do the teams making the biggest offseason splash also deliver, but Texas did just that. It wasn’t exactly how the team drew it up, with the costly loss of Jacob deGrom to Tommy John surgery and struggles down the stretch, but the Rangers were able to improved by 22 wins and make the playoffs with a revamped pitching staff and Bruce Bochy’s leadership. Huge offensive seasons from Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia, and Josh Jung also played a big role.
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Toronto Blue Jays: B
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Toronto claimed a Wild Card spot for the third time in four seasons, yet there seemed to be plenty of meat left on the bone for this talented squad. The lineup was a massive disappointment, with sub-par seasons from heavy hitters Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer, and Alek Manoah completely collapsed in the rotation. The overall pitching and defense improved, which made a quick exit in the playoffs all the more disappointing. The Jays are likely to see some change in the offseason, but can still be an elite team if the young hitters perform up to their potential.
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Washington Nationals: C
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The expectations were pretty low when a 71-91 season was a success, but that was the case after the team’s recent firesale. The Nats are starting to see the fruits of their trades with breakout years from Lane Thomas, C.J. Abrams, Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, and MacKenzie Gore. Yet, the team is still far away from competing in the excellent NL East, giving fans little consolation for the continued losing.