MLB Season Celling’s: N.L Edition

With Baseball season underway lets take a look at the National League teams and predict what each teams celling is as well as their offseason. With the addition of the DH N.L teams had essentially an extra roster spot to be creative with. Like the A.L remember that rosters are constantly changing so a teams grade or outlook can change on a whim. Let’s get to the list!

New York Mets

Offseason Grade- A+

Season Celling- World Series or Bust

The Mets were the 2022 offseason champions. With the addition’s of Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Chris Bassit and more, the Mets turned a decent team into a powerhouse. They also hired Buck Showalter to manage the team. The Mets have speed, power and two of the greatest pitchers of our generation and a legendary Manager. Expect a bounceback year from Francisco Lindor with the added protection in the lineup. There is zero reason that they should not make the World Series. The only concern with this team is health, especially with Jacob Degrom, but I think the Mets created enough depth to survive a few DL stints. They may not finish with the best regular season record, but with Scherzer and Degrom this team is built for the playoffs.

Philadelphia Phillies

Offseason Grade- A-

Season Celling- World Series Hopefuls

The Phillies have a solid squad but I have a very hard time trusting them. They are the Green Bay Packers of the MLB. They had a solid offseason adding two big bats in Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. The area of concern is the same one it always is. The bullpen is very suspect and the Phillies did not add a lot of marquee names to bolster the pen. The starting pitching is solid, headlined by Zach Wheeler but I think Philadelphia runs the same risk of repeating last year where their starters were tanked and the bullpen was not quality enough to handle bulk innings. They are close to World Series contention, they just need bullpen help badly.

Washington Nationals

Offseason Grade- D+

Season Celling- Last Place

Still crazy to think that only a few years ago the Nationals won the World Series. The Nationals were not too active this offseason, only signing Nelson Cruz who will inevitably get traded at the deadline. I understand that the Nationals want to rebuild the roster, but they had prime opportunities to make moves to be a contender this year and they did nothing. They need to put a team around superstar Juan Soto, they cannot be wasting opportunities to win with him. The roster looks sad for the most part and I honestly predict they will finish below the Marlins in the N.L East.

Miami Marlins

Offseason Grade- C-

Season Celling- 3rd Place

The Marlins made some moves this season, they were just very questionable. The biggest question mark was giving outfielder Jorge Soler a three year contract. Yes he won World Series MVP, but his season as a whole was less then stellar hitting 223 on the season. Avasial Garcia was a better add but is more of a supplemental piece to an already established team rather then a new piece of a core.

The Marlins have a lot of really good young talent, especially in their pitching rotation, I would have liked them to go after a true star bat like Kris Bryant. Bryant would have given them an elite player to build around, plus Bryant offers flexibility in how you want to build the rest of the team as he can play almost anywhere. As it stands now the Marlins are trending upward but need a few splash signings to be contenders.

Atlanta Braves

Offseason Grade- B

Season Celling- World Series or Bust

The defending champions for the most part kept the same team. They lost longtime first baseman Freddie Freeman and World Series MVP Jorge Soler. To replace Freeman the Braves traded for Athletics first baseman Matt Olson. While it is painful for Braves fans to lose a franchise cornerstone, Matt Olson offers longevity and solid production. I’d say replacing Freeman with Olson is essentially a wash. Freeman is the overall better player, but Olson is close in skill and is younger. Losing Soler is all honesty addition by subtraction, as I find it hard to believe he can recrate his playoff run over a full season. They will replace Soler with Marcel Ozuna which is an obvious upgrade. Superstar Ronald Acuna will also be returning from his ACL tear.

The Braves reinforced an already elite bullpen by adding Kenley Jansen, combined with their solid starting pitching, they will be hard to score runs on. The Braves actually have a better roster than they do last year, and they should be right in the hunt to defend their title.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Offseason Grade- C

Season Celling- Last Place

The Pirates are obviously in a deep rebuild, trying to trade off any older assets they have. They have some intriguing young talent such as Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz. What will make this a successful season for the Pirates is if they can get an idea of what assets they have that are usable long term. Any players worth value that has a short contract or is older should be traded for whatever the Pirates can get.

Milwaukee Brewers

Offseason Grade- B-

Season Celling- World Series Hopefuls

The Brewers have arguably the best pitching staff in the MLB. The starting pitching is led by Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta. The bullpen has studs like Josh Hader and Devin Williams. The offense led by Christian Yellich is solid as well. The Brewers pitching staff is good enough to carry them to a playoff birth and much like the Mets they are more built for the post season than the regular season. The reason for their B- offseason grade is because I am not sure they added enough offense. They added Hunter Renfrow and Andrew Mcutchen who are solid veterans but not game changers. This is another team that I think would have really benefited from signing Kris Bryant.

Cincinnati Reds

Offseason grade – F

Season Celling – last place

This is a team that just recently was considered to be playoff caliber. The past two years or so have not been kind to Cincinnati and as a result they are a bottom feeder team. Guys like Sonny Gray, and Nick Castellanos are long gone. Any other players of value such as Luis Castillo are more than likely going to be traded at the deadline. Not all rebuilds garner a bad grade, the problem is the Reds decided to blow things up at the wrong time.

Chicago Cubs

Offseason Grade- B

Season Celling- 4th Place

The Cubs are doing a rebuild the way it should be done. This season the Cubs will be testing out a lot of young talent. Veterans like Kyle Hendricks and Ian Happ are most likely to be traded at the deadline for more younger players. I gave the Cubs a B because they signed a potential cornerstone in Seyia Suzuki and signed low risk high reward players like former top prospect Clint Frazier. The Cubs now have the chance to develop some real talent this season then add onto it and spend big next offseason.

St Louis Cardinals

Offseason Grade- C+

Season Celling- World Series Hopefuls

The Cardinals are a very solid team and should have a very easy path to first place in the N.L Central. My worry with them is that I am not sure they are better than the other contending teams in the National League such as the Dodgers or Mets. They made a few adds, most notably a reunion with Albert Pujols. I am not sure if the 42 year old Pujols is enough to help propel the Cardinals over any of the contending teams. They did not need to make a huge splash signing, but I would have liked the Cardinals to make a few mid level signings to fill out the back end of the rotation and to fill the DH spot.

Colorado Rockies

Offseason Grade- A

Season Celling- Competitive Non-Playoff Team

The Rockies get an A in the offseason by shocking everyone and signing Khris Bryant. Bryant is the perfect signing for a team in rebuild mode. He offers an elite bat and has the defensive versatility that allows the Rockies to have flexibility when it comes to retooling the team. The Rockies look to be on an upswing they have some promising young talent such as Ryan Mcmahon and Brendan Rodgers, they just need a few big bats and a complete revamp of the pitching staff. I expect starting pitcher German Marquez to be traded at the deadline for a nice haul. The Rockies will not make the playoffs this year, but they are closer than many think.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Offseason Grade- F

Season Celling- Last Place

The Diamondbacks are a mess. They are in a state of paralysis, making almost no moves to help push along a rebuild. Ketel Marte is was a hot commodity on the trade block this offseason yet he still remains in Arizona. I am not sure if his trade value will be as high as it was this offseason again. Arizona could have gotten a serious haul that would help rejuvenate the prospect pool. If he gets traded at the deadline, the haul should be good but not nearly as much as it could have been. Christian Walker was another guy who had some interest in the trade market yet he still remains a Diamondback. If Arizona wants to be competitive soon, they need to start accumulating prospects soon.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Offseason Grade- A

Season Celling- World Series or Bust

Yet again the Dodgers are a powerhouse. The lineup is extremely dangerous, adding future hall of fame first baseman Freddie Freeman to a lineup that already includes Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and many more. The pitching is a little weaker this year as they lost Max Scherzer however they still have plenty of arms, led by Walker Buhler and Clayton Kershaw. This is another prime year in Los Angeles that can only be considered a success if it ends in a World Series win.

San Francisco Giants

Offseason Grade- B

Season Celling- World Series Hopefuls

The Giants are fairly hard to read every year but I expect good things from them this season. Their Marquee signing was adding Carlos Rodon. It is a solid add, but he has health issues to be concerned about. The Giants have a good mix of veterans and young talent to make some noise, but it will be an uphill battle in their division. I would like to see them acquire a superstar bat at the deadline like Ketel Marte or Jose Ramirez before I put them in the World Series or Bust category.

San Diego Padres

Offseason Grade- A

Season Celling- World Series or Bust

The Padres took an already solid team and added onto it. They got Sean Manea and Luke Voit on the cheap and added star reliver Taylor Rodgers to the mix as well. Even with Fernando Tatis Jr missing the first three months of the season, the Padres should have one of the better records in the league. The pitching staff among the best and the bats are decent even without Tatis. Once Tatis comes back, you could make an argument that the Padres are the best team in the league.

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