• Scholar & Athlete is the Tracy High School student newspaper
  • Email for newspaper adviser - Brandon Red, [email protected]
  • Tracy High School - 315 East Eleventh Street - Tracy, California 95376 - Phone 209.830.3360
The student news site of Tracy High School

Scholar & Athlete

The student news site of Tracy High School

Scholar & Athlete

The student news site of Tracy High School

Scholar & Athlete

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

MLB: 2024 Upcoming Season Preview

The Yankees had a pretty respectable offseason as they were able to bring in Juan Soto and Trent Grisham through a blockbuster trade with the Padres while also bringing in the dominant veteran Marcus Stroman to the pitching staff through Free Agency. After their disappointing season last year that resulted in them missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016, they are much needed additions to the Yankee lineup. The biggest move that the Orioles made this offseason was the big trade with Milwaukee for the 2021 Cy Young award winner, Corbin Burnes. The addition of Burnes looks like a perfect fit for this Baltimore team as they had an incredible year that showcased great young talent around the batting order but displayed a lack of a dominant starting pitcher. This trade looks great for Baltimore and should help them build on their breakout 2023 season. Unlike their previous two AL East teams, the Blue Jays couldn’t make many huge splashes in the offseason as their most notable signings in free agency were Justin Turner, Kevin Kiermaier and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Now, Justin Turner looks like their best signing as he started a great 2023 season with the Red Sox and adds a veteran to the team.

After ending last place in the AL East with a losing record in 2023, the Red Sox pretty much cleaned the house this offseason with their most notable departures staying in the AL East as Alex Verdugo was traded to the Yankees and the Blue Jays signed Justin Turner. They also brought over Tyler O’Neill and Lucas Giolito in free agency who have shown some great performances in previous years.

Even after their great 2023 season with the second-best record in the American League, the Rays continued to be hesitant to sign any big-name players and seemed to lose more key players than they gained with the uncertainty of the young phenom Wander Franco’s future in baseball and the loss of Tyler Glasnow in free agency.

Much like Detroit, the Kansas City Royals have built on their rebuild with some solid offseason moves with the additions of Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha, who will both look to build off their successful seasons last year and bring a veteran presence to the locker room. They also brought in Hunter Renfroe who showcases good defense in the outfield and hit 20 home runs last year.

The Twins followed their successful 2023 season in which they became the top seed with a mediocre offseason. They were able to bring in a veteran power bat to their lineup with Carlos Santana, who was solid in last year’s campaign with the Pirates by hitting 23 home runs and a .240 batting average. They also brought in Justin Topa, who also had a successful 2023 season with a 2.61 ERA in 75 games. Minnesota also acquired Anthony DeSclafani, who will be looking to get back to his 2021 form in which he played a key role in San Francisco’s 107-win season. One player that the Twins were not able to keep was Sonny Gray, who was their ace on the mound and made the 2023 All-Star team.

The White Sox’s didn’t do much to improve on the team this offseason as they have been almost dead silent and haven’t been linked to any of the big-name targets out there. They were able to sign the veteran reliever John Brebbia, who doesn’t blow anybody away with amazing velocity or movement but gets the job done often as the set-up guy for the closer. They also brought in the Houston Astros’ long-time catcher who is great behind the dish but has fallen far behind with his bat in the past couple years. One key departure from the White Sox’s is the star shortstop Tim Anderson, who will be missed for his talent, but it would probably be better for the Clubhouse in the end as he brings a lot of drama on and off the field.

The Guardians were also very inactive in the offseason as they continued the “Moneyball philosophy” of bringing in small players under the radar and switching the lineup around based on matchups. One change they made going into the year was bringing in Steven Vogt as the new manager who is loved by many in the baseball world and will be interesting to see in his first time being the lead guy. With the lack of big talent being brought in and the new leadership in the clubhouse it will be interesting to see how the Guardians will try to bounce back from their disappointing 2023 season.

After their disappointing end to the 2023 season with a loss to the Rangers in game seven of the ALCS, the Astros added some great players to keep their recent postseason dominance going. The biggest signing Houston made was with Josh Hader, who was a dominant closer with the Brewers before being traded to the Padres and has racked up five NL Reliever of the Year awards. Hader’s new five-year, 95-million-dollar contract with the Astros became the most lucrative deal in MLB

history as a reliever and closing pitcher. Houston also brought in Victor Caratini to replace Martin Maldonado as their leading catcher. With how great the lineup has been and their postseason dominance in the past, the Astros have a good chance to still be a top team in the MLB.

The Mariners had a decent offseason as they try to build on their recent success with the young lineup which could become one of the top teams in the American league within the next couple years. The best signing Seattle made was Mitch Garver. In 2023, Garver was a solid backup catcher on the World Series winning Rangers team as he was solid with the bat and ended the campaign with 19 home runs and a .270 batting average. Seattle also signed Jorge Polanco, who plays solid defense from both shortstop and second base while displaying a solid middle of the lineup bat. The last major move that the Mariners made was by bringing back Mitch Haniger, who was sub-par with the bat in 2023 before his season-ending forearm fracture. Seattle will be hoping that Haniger gets back to his 2021 form in which he hit 39 home runs with the Mariners. One key departure was in the trade that sent their ace Robbie Ray to the Giants after his Tommy John surgery that will likely take him until the second half of the season before he returns to the bump.

After the Angels lost Shohei Ohtani in free agency, they didn’t do much to fill the void for their fans and show all signs of going into a complete rebuild. The most notable signing they made was with the veteran Aaron Hicks, who was very solid for the breakout Orioles team in the 2023 season after being moved from the Yankees. Overall, Los Angeles will be looking to develop the younger prospects in their system this season as there wasn’t much for Angels fans to be happy about after their loss of the best player in baseball.

After claiming the World Series title in their 2023 campaign, the Rangers didn’t do much to improve their lineup. One of the key losses to the team was in the starting rotation with Jordan Montgomery leaving in free agency. Montgomery was a workhorse in the postseason and surprised many as he was dominant against every team he faced and was one of the biggest reasons why they were able to win the World Series. That said, the Rangers still have plenty of great players on their team and shouldn’t be taking that much of a step back with the return of Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer in the starting rotation, along with a stacked lineup.

The biggest news that the Oakland A’s have had this offseason has been about the future of where they will play in the upcoming years while they await their move to Las Vegas. The lack of big moves to improve on the poorly built team isn’t much of a surprise to many as they have had a history of being very cheap and letting go of all the star players that come through the organization. The biggest additions they made to the team are Alex Wood and Ross Stripling, who both had very disappointing 2023 campaigns with the Giants.

The Mets took the league by storm last offseason by adding some of the top free agents and breaking records for the highest payroll in baseball while many people saw them as the early World Series favorite. That didn’t turn out so great for them in the end as they completely fell apart and led them to get rid of all the valuable players, they could sell to initiate a full rebuild.

After getting top prospects in trades at the 2023 trade deadline with the trades of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. The Mets have started to add some value to their current lineup through free agency. They ended up signing two starting pitchers that have shown a high ceiling in past years with Sean Manaea and Luis Severino, while adding the speedy Harrison Bader to the outfield. Overall, I think the Mets did a great job of letting the team rebuild from within and adding some players to the roster that display a high ceiling and can help the team win now.

The Nationals continued to carry through their rebuild and made some decent signings along the way this offseason while they wait for the team to be able to compete against the top teams in the league. The most notable name that they added to the lineup was Joey Gallo. Even though Gallo hasn’t been the same in the past couple years, he still showcases a lot of power and is more consistent with his home run numbers than his batting average.

Even though the Braves didn’t add any big-name players to the team, they still have plenty of talent across the board and have solidified themselves as a powerhouse in the National League. Atlanta did take a chance on Chris Sale, the veteran pitcher that had been dominant in the league before injuries derailed the last couple years of his career. They also brought in Jarred Kelenic, the former Mariners top prospect that didn’t pan out in his time in the big leagues. Kelenic still has time to prove that he can get back on track with the new scenery in Atlanta as he is only 24.

After the last couple years of bringing in big time players to the team in the offseason, the Phillies have been almost radio silent during the offseason. The biggest thing they did for the team was signing their veteran ace Aaron Nola to a seven year, 172-million-dollar contract. Nola has been great for this Phillies team in the past couple years as he has been the guy they go to when they need a win in their last two deep postseason runs. The Phillies also saw a couple of key departures with Craig Kimbrel going to the Orioles and Rhys Hoskins going to the Brewers. Even though they haven’t done much to improve on the team this year, the Phillies have already proved that they have more than enough talent and support from their fanbase to beat the better teams in the league.

After placing third in the AL East in their 2023 campaign the Marlins really haven’t added anyone that could help them over the hill to claim a postseason spot. This doesn’t seem to be a great sign as they haven’t really shown enough talent on their roster lately that can stack up against some of the other teams in their division.

With the breakthrough season the Reds had last year in which they showed great signs for the future with all the young stars on their roster that were incredible in their first times in the big leagues. The first player they added to the lineup was Jeimer Candelario, who had a good season last year with 22 home runs and a .251 batting average. They also added Nick Martinez to the pitching staff who posted a 3.43 ERA last year. Cincinnati has done a great job of carrying out their rebuild over the past years and finally shows some hope for the future of the organization with players like Elly De La Cruz who shows the potential to be one of the biggest faces of the MLB.

The Cubs had a decent offseason as they added some good players to the team but lost some high caliber players like Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman to free agency. The most interesting player that they added is Shota Imanaga, who was signed out of Japan and has a high ceiling for his pitching performance as he had a lot of success both in Japan and with his time in the WBC representing the Japanese team. Chicago also brought in Hector Neris, who was great last season with the Astros as he posted a 1.71 ERA in 68 innings pitched.

The Brewers showed signs of rebuilding this offseason as the biggest change to the team was the trade in which the ace Corbin Burnes was sent to the Orioles for some of Baltimore’s high prospects. The biggest signing Milwaukee made was for the power bat of Rhys Hoskins, who was a power bat for the Phillies and provided clutch moments for them in their 2022 World Series run before his season-ending injury in 2023. Overall, the Brewers still have some decent talent in the lineup but not enough to stack up against the better National League teams.

The Pirates didn’t make many moves to improve on the team from last season as they will likely be looking to carry out their rebuild and let their prospects develop. They did make a very surprising move by signing the veteran flame throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman, who had a comeback season and won the World Series with the Rangers in 2023. This was a surprising move for the Pirates to make as it doesn’t look like they can make a deep run soon. With the lack of talent they have on the lineup, the Pirates are not expected to have a great 2024 season.

The Dodgers were the team that took the league by storm this year as they brought in plenty of top talent to their already stacked lineup. The biggest signing they made was with Shohei Ohtani, who is regarded as the best player in baseball as he is elite as a pitcher and is arguably the best hitter in the league. His 10-year, 700-million-dollar contract is the most lucrative in MLB history and sparked many debates about the deferred money that allowed the Dodgers to bring in more top players. They also brought in Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who helped make the Dodgers starting rotation the best in baseball. Another move that went under the radar was for Teoscar Hernandez, the outfielder from the Mariners that displays a solid bat and has the potential to his over 30 home runs this year. With all these moves, they have become even more of a powerhouse and are the team to beat as they are the early favorite to win the World Series.

Even though the Giants struck out on guys that ended up going to the Dodgers like Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they still showed their willingness to spend some money and bring in talented players that will help them compete against the better teams in the league. The longest signing the Giants made was with Jung Hoo Lee, who was nickname, “the grandson of the wind,” in his time in the KBO as he displayed great defense and speed in center field while making very consistent contact with high batting averages. They also brought in Jorge Soler as a power bat to the lineup, who many fans hope will finally become the hitter that will hit over 30 home runs for the first time since Barry Bonds. They also added some solid pitchers for the starting rotation with Robbie Ray and Jordan Hicks. Ray shows a high ceiling on the mound as he will wait to return from last year’s Tommy John surgery after the all-star break and get back to his Cy Young form from 2021. Hicks can also be a good middle of the rotation piece as he throws hard and has experience as both a starter and reliever. Very late into the offseason, San Francisco was able to bring in the Gold Glove award winning Matt Chapman as their new third baseman and last year’s Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to the starting rotation. With many Giants fans calling on the team to make some big moves, San Francisco was able to bring in plenty of talent to help create the team desirable for free agents in the future.

After coming up just short of a surprising appearance in the 2023 World Series, the Diamondbacks made some decent moves to improve on the lineup. The most notable additions to the batting order were Eugenio Suarez and Joc Pederson. Both players were added to add more of a home run threat to the lineup as both can hit over 20 home runs in any given season. They also added Eduardo Rodriguez, who was great last season with the Tigers as he posted a 3.30 ERA and a 3.5 WAR. Rodriguez looks like the best addition to the team this year as he will be another great pitcher in their starting rotation that includes Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly. Even though they didn’t add any of the top players in free agency, the players they did add look like great fits to their young and improving team that are ready to win now.

Following their terrible 2023 season, the Rockies didn’t do much at all over the offseason to improve. It looks like they are looking to let their young prospects develop to get themselves in a better position to win in future years. Even though it is not very exciting for Colorado fans, it seems like the right move to let them improve before wasting money on players that will only help them win a couple more games with a bad team. Overall, the Rockies probably will not be in the running for a postseason run in 2024.

Following the last couple years of being the one of the most active teams in the MLB with top free agents, the Padres have pretty much cleared house on all the elite talent they could get rid of. The biggest departures from the team were stars like Juan Soto, Blake Snell and Josh Hader. It is probably for the best that they are letting as many guys as they can go because the failure in building their super team put them in a lot of bad contract situations that will take a while before they recover. This failed experiment can also go to show that even with some of the best lineups in the league, it is all about how the team works together every day and who gets hot when. Even with many of these players leaving the team, the Padres still have good talent in the lineup and have the potential to win more games than people think they will.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Josh Giuliacci
Josh Giuliacci, Sports Editor
Joshua Giuliacci was born on September 12, 2006, and is currently a junior at Tracy High School. Giuliacci is part of a family of seven that includes his mom, dad, two brothers and two sisters. He is a dedicated student-athlete and has played a variety of sports, which include football, baseball, basketball and soccer. Giuliacci has recently decided to only play baseball exclusively due to his love of the game and dream of one day playing college ball. Sports have always been a huge part of Giuliacci’s life because his dad previously worked for the Golden State Warriors and currently works for the San Francisco Giants. After high school, Giuliacci would like to go to college and study in a field that would help him get a job in baseball, similar to his father. His top career choices in baseball would be coaching, broadcasting or reporting for professional teams.  

Comments (0)

All Scholar & Athlete Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *