9. Detroit Tigers
The good news for the Tigers is that they got one heck of a future star when they drafted Spencer Torkelson with the first overall pick in the 2020 draft. The bad news is that this year will be yet another rebuilding year for fans.
The Tigers were 26th in the majors in batting average in 2019, 29th in home runs, and 28th in team ERA. None of their offseason moves push the needle that much closer to respectability, so they should be good for easy wins again this year, at least until their young talent they’ve been collecting is MLB-ready.
8. Pittsburgh Pirates
Key Additions: P Derek Holland
The Pirates still have talented youngsters such as Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds who will only continue to get better over time. The problem is that they didn’t really do anything in the offseason to improve the team and even traded away arguably their best player in Starling Marte last winter as well.
Transition is the name of the game for the Pittsburgh franchise as they replaced both manager Clint Hurdle and GM Neal Huntington last fall. Like the Tigers, they find themselves in rebuilding mode and will likely occupy the bottom of the NL Central in 2020.
7. Kansas City Royals
Key Additions: 3B Maikel Franco, P Trevor Rosenthal, P Greg Holland
Though the Royals have put up more of a fight than teams like the Tigers and Pirates lately, they find themselves in a similar situation to Pittsburgh. They have some good, young talent like Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier, and Salvador Perez and are just waiting for some of the other prospects to catch up.
Rosenthal looked good in the spring and could be a sneaky good add if he looks more like the 2014-2015 version of himself, as could Franco if he ever figures out how to be a more well-rounded player. If some of the younger players take some steps forward as well, Kansas City could be more challenging of a matchup than expected. But it’s more likely they need at least another year, probably more, before truly being able to compete.