From a Championship to joint bottom of the disappointing NL East, the Washington Nationals were in conversation for most disappointing team in 2020. Despite their ring, the future does not look especially promising in DC. There’s a top heavy roster and payroll, coupled with the economic impact of the pandemic and their poor farm system, suggesting a period of retooling.
Third base is where the deepest levels of talent in the majors reside, with two recent MVPs, multiple long-term deals, and former top five picks. In collating a top five at the position, I have had to leave out some of the most talented players in the league, including Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Kris Bryant and 49 homer Eugenio Suarez.
After a disappointing 81-81 season in 2019 which cost Gabe Kapler his job, the Philadelphia Phillies bring back the key parts of that team whilst adding potential stars for both their offence and pitching. However, in a competitive NL east, Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA projects them to win just 76.8 games.
Stephen Strasburg put himself in a position to opt out of the four years $100 million remaining on his seven-year $175 million contract by having a fully healthy and productive season. After averaging only 145 innings per year between 2015 and 2018, he pitched 209 innings and won World Series MVP, setting him up for another huge payday.