Seasons in review:
What might be next for 30 teams.
Arizona Diamondbacks 82-80, 3rd, NL West
What now: After a September collapse, the Diamondbacks could lose two key players — center fielder A.J. Pollock and left-hander Patrick Corbin — to free agency. Corbin, 29, was 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA and a careerbest adjusted ERA. Pollock, who’ll be 31 in December, has exceeded 115 games just once in five years but is the team’s second-best all-around player.
Offseason focus: The front office has to account for not only Pollock and Corbin but also the long-term future of perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt. His 2019 team option is a budget-friendly $14.5 million; it might be time, though, to see if a long-term deal can happen. He just turned 31. Prospects to watch: Arizona placed one prospect, right-hander Jon Duplantier at No. 48, in Baseball America’s top 100. Catcher Daulton Varsho was rated the No. 10 prospect in the high Class A California League.
Atlanta Braves 90-72, 1st, NL East
What now: For the first time since 2013 and just the second since 2005, the Braves are National League East champions. They’ll enter the postseason with plenty to gain and almost nothing to lose, as a young team arriving ahead of schedule and already exceeding expectations. No matter what, this will be the year outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and second baseman
Ozzie Albies became stars and the Braves got back in the hunt.
Offseason focus: The biggest free agent decisions will involve outfielder Nick Markakis and right-hander Anibal Sanchez. But the bigger focus for the Braves will be on how they can build on their 2018 success.
Prospects to watch: Most of the Braves’ young pitchers got at least a look in 2018, including Mike Soroka, Bryse Wilson, Touki Toussaint and Kyle Wright. Watch for third baseman Austin Riley in the spring.
Baltimore Orioles 47-115, 5th, AL East
What now: After a historically bad year, the Orioles go into the offseason with many more questions than answers. Among the most important: Who will be the general manager and manager, with the contracts of both Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter ending? Whoever gets those jobs will have a busy winter — the Orioles face a roster overhaul.
Offseason focus: You name it and the Orioles must deal with it, especially in terms of the pitching staff. September was like a tryout camp. Other than center fielder Cedric Mullins, who pushed veteran Adam
Jones to right field, the newcomers did not offer many answers. Jones is a free agent.
Prospects to watch: Mullins arrived in August and gave the Orioles reason to be optimistic about his future. It remains to be seen, though, what they can expect from the 15 players they got in midseason trades.
Boston Red Sox 108-54, 1st, AL East
What now: The Red Sox had a historically outstanding regular season, won their third straight division title and have two MVP candidates, Mookie
Betts and J.D. Martinez. But if they bow out of the postseason in the Division Series, as they have the last two years, it will feel like a failure. Offseason focus: Closer Craig Kimbrel is the most prominent of Boston’s free agents. If the Red Sox don’t bring him back, they will need to find a replacement without an apparent heir in house. The rest of the bullpen also needs work.
Prospects to watch: Keep an eye on infielders Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec and lefthanders Jay Groome, making his way back from Tommy John elbow surgery in May, and Darwinzon Hernandez. First baseman Sam Travis shows promise despite struggling in limited major league opportunities.
Chicago Cubs 95-68, 2nd, NL Central
What now: The Cubs made the postseason for the fourth time in four seasons since Joe
Maddon became manager. However, after building a fivegame lead on Sept. 2, the Cubs lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in a tiebreaker for the division title and settled for a wild card.
Offseason focus: The Cubs have decisions to make about 2019 club options on left-handers Cole Hamels ($20 million) and Jose Quintana ($10.5 million). They could stand to add another starter even if both pitchers are retained. Shoring up the bullpen will be another priority. Shortstop Addison
Russell’s future is cloudy after he finished the season on administrate leave following accusations of domestic violence.
Prospect to watch: Righthander Adbert Alzolay likely would have made his major league debut this year if his season hadn’t been ended in May by a torn lat muscle.
Chicago White Sox 62-100, 4th, AL Central
What now: The White Sox took a step backward in the second year of rebuilding, including their hitters setting the single-season major league record for strikeouts. However, management believes the organization is on the right path.
Offseason focus: The White Sox do not want to block any of their prospects but would like to add a veteran starting pitcher to join their promising young trio of Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito in the rotation. They also are willing to add an outfielder on a shortterm contract. Like last winter, the White Sox will look to sign relievers in quantity on minor league deals. Prospects to watch: Outfielder Eloy Jimenez has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues after the 21-year-old hit a combined .337 with 22 home runs in 108 games in Class AA and AAA this season.
Cincinnati Reds 67-95, 5th, NL Central
What now: It was yet another long season for the Reds as they finished last in the National League Central for the fifth consecutive year while also again losing at least 94 games. Manager Bryan Price was fired on April 19 following a 3-15 start, but it ultimately made little difference as the Reds had an awful September. Offseason focus: Finding a full-time manager is the primary focus. Interim manager
Jim Riggleman will be given consideration, but outside candidates also will be interviewed. The Reds say they have “significant” capacity to sign free agents, and their focus will be on pitching. Prospects to watch: Though there isn’t an opening for him in the lineup, infielder Nick Senzel figures to be in the majors soon. Senzel, 23, hit .310 in Class AAA but was limited to 44 games because of a torn tendon in his right index finger.
Cleveland Indians 91-71, 1st, AL Central
What now: The Indians cruised to their third straight American League Central title during a season in which three of their four division rivals were rebuilding and the Minnesota Twins sold off pieces at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The franchise again is looking to win its first World Series title since 1948, the longest current drought in the major leagues.
Offseason focus: Three key players are eligible for free agency — closer Cody Allen, left-handed reliever Andrew Miller and left fielder Michael
Brantley. The small-market Indians likely will be able to sign only one. They have left-hander
Brad Hand as a replacement for Allen but will need outfield depth even if they re-sign Brantley. Prospects to watch: Righthander Triston McKenzie should be ready to join the rotation at some point in 2019.
Colorado Rockies 91-72, 2nd, NL West
What now: Try to parlay the franchise’s fifth playoff berth, the result of a closing hot streak, into a second pennant and first World Series title. Offseason focus: Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, top setup reliever Adam Ottavino and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez head the team’s group of pending free agents. Keeping Ottavino makes the most sense, but he has leverage thanks to a dominant season. Face of the franchise Nolan Arenado is due a raise on his $17.75 million salary and will be entering his contract year, so plotting his long-term future is on the short list, too. And now that he’s eligible for arbitration, compensating MVP candidate Trevor Story well above his $555,000 salary has to be on the agenda. Prospects to watch: Brendan Rodgers, No. 11 on Baseball America’s top 100, looks like the successor to LeMahieu.
Detroit Tigers 64-98, 3rd, AL Central
What now: The Tigers flirted with 100 losses for the second consecutive season before falling short of that ignominious mark and don’t figure to contend for a few years until the rebuilding process advances. However, owner Chris Ilitch says he is confident the organization is on the right track under general manager Al Avila and manager Ron Gardenhire.
Offseason focus: The Tigers likely will make small upgrades, such as adding a starting pitcher on a short-term contract. They also could look to bring in a shortstop to replace Jose Iglesias, who is a free agent.
Prospects to watch: Righthander Franklin Perez, acquired from the Houston Astros in the Justin Verlander trade last year, was limited to seven starts in high Class A this season because of a right lat strain.