Sport

Which teams are actually trying to win?

Baseball has lurched to the one-week mark until almost every spring training camp opens, and of course you’re well-aware dozens of unsigned players won’t be walking through those doors.

But never mind the unknown destinations of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and a cadre of others who can greatly improve your hometown nine. At this point, we’re not even sure what entire teams are up to, despite having more than 100 days to build a roster.

Who’s going for it? Who’s tanking? Who’s destined to languish in the middle?

While all this can change with a couple expensive strokes of a few pens, here’s a look at the apparent intentions of all 30 clubs, even as future Hall of Famers wait to discover their permanent homes:

In It To Win It (11)

Red Sox: The defending champs return nearly intact. Even if they’re still down a bullpen arm, a dropoff from 108 wins is hardly cataclysmic.

Yankees: A decade removed from their last title and still pinching pennies, the Bombers nonetheless got better with James Paxton,  D.J. LeMahieu and a true bullpen of death.

Rays: Hey, everything’s relative. The Rays return a 90-win core, dropped a franchise record $15 million per year on Charlie Morton and did their standard hunting and pecking on the fringe of the roster.

Indians: They certainly need outfield help that may yet come. But by not trading any of their dominant pitching, the Indians all but ensured another crack at October.

Astros: And maybe Dallas Keuchel, against all odds, comes back to them.

Braves: Haven’t yet “gone for it” in the bigger manner some anticipated, but a $23 million rental of Josh Donaldson says plenty.

Phillies: They’ll still get a chance to spend that “stupid” money; the $74 million for Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson still feels like mere prelude.

Nationals: Slowly but surely becoming the gold standard for giving a damn.

Brewers: More sock with Yasmani Grandal and more fortifications to come.

Cubs: A terrible winter for the Ricketts, but a good team still in place.

Dodgers: A.J. Pollock and Joe Kelly make them better as several stars flee division rivals.

Need Some Breaks (6)

Twins: Nelson Cruz can nudge them over .500; best-case outcomes from Jonathan Schoop, C.J. Cron and Michael Pineda might make them contenders.

Athletics: Must get repeat performances from lineup and bullpen while hoping several rotation questions are answered positively.

Angels: If small bets on Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill and Cody Allen pan out, Mike Trout may yet find himself in a playoff chase.

Mets: Friends of the GM Robinson Cano and Jed Lowrie make them better. Any pitching injuries could douse the good vibes quickly.

Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller cost them hardly anything. But does it feel like they just made up seven games on both the Cubs and Brewers?

Rockies: Teams churn through relievers all the time but deleting Adam Ottavino’s 112 strikeouts feels like a big deal.

What Are You Doing?! (6)

White Sox: Kelvin Herrera and Ivan Nova lend some stability to the pitching staff. But until the Harper/Machado returns are in, tough to say what their deal is.

Rangers: You want to drop them right in the Tanking Tank, then notice the top six hitters in their order are reputable, and that they spent $30 million on Lance Lynn.

Pirates: Augmented an 82-win club with Francisco Liriano, Lonnie Chisenhall, Erik Gonzalez and Jordan Lyles. Raise it?

Reds: A fun dash for relevance as they add Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Sonny Gray, Matt Kemp and Tanner Roark. Barring another move, however, all but Gray will walk after this year.

Padres: Still pointed toward 2020 with the signing of rehabbing Garrett Richards. Still in play for Machado and Harper. One year after the Eric Hosmer signing, another wild February on tap in Peoria.

Giants: All signs point to significant teardown under new boss Farhan Zaidi. We won’t be fully convinced, however, until all the bigs have found homes elsewhere.

Wait ‘Til Next Year – At Least (7)

Blue Jays: Any other division, and the holdovers and kids on the way would make them a threat. Meanwhile, the natives are getting restless.

Orioles: A long road to contention begins with the knowledge that anything less than 115 losses is an improvement.

Tigers: Might win a few more than expected since no one seems to want Nick Castellanos.

Royals: Adalberto Mondesi leads off and Billy Hamilton finishes – which is probably how you’d arrange them on a 400-meter relay team, too.  

Mariners: Can GM Jerry Dipoto make this a quick fix?

Marlins: J.T. Realmuto might as well look for retirement properties in South Florida – he’s never getting traded, right?

Diamondbacks: They’re not terrible, which makes you wonder if the emotional fallout of dealing Goldschmidt was worth the return.

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