We are just hours into a new year and many of you have likely made resolutions about how you will be better in 2024. From losing weight, to traveling more, to putting away your shopping cart properly (you know who you are), there are plenty of ways that all of us plan to be better in 2024.
But what about resolutions for every Major League Baseball team?
It’s the time of year when every team (well, okay, most teams) have hopes of making a run to the World Series in the same way the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers did last season. However, that’s October and November we’re talking about there.
What about the rest of the campaign?
What about what it takes to actually make it to the Fall Classic?
Knowing the needs of all 30 MLB teams, here are what I believe should be one resolution for every clubhouse between Seattle and Miami and San Diego and Boston.
American League East
Baltimore Orioles: Win a series in the postseason
Last year was incredible for the Orioles, finishing on top of the AL East with 101 wins.
However, all of the euphoria from a tremendous season came to a quick halt with an early exit in the ALDS at the hands of the eventual champion Texas Rangers. Baltimore has the talent to go deep into October in 2024, but first they need to win a playoff series for the first time since 2014.
Boston Red Sox: Rekindle some Fenway magic
The Red Sox had identical records on the road and at home in 2023, going 39-42 in both categories. If Boston is to get back into the AL East race, they have to make Fenway Park a true home-field advantage again.
New York Yankees: Keep Juan Soto and Aaron Judge healthy
The Bronx Bombers can be just that again with Soto and Judge in the heart of the order, but having them available for the majority of the season will be key to any kind of pinstriped postseason hopes. A repeat of Judge’s 106 games last year (thanks to time missed by a toe injury) simply can’t happen again in 2024.
Tampa Bay Rays: Find the next surprising superstar
Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot are members of the Dodgers and Wander Franco’s future with the team is certainly up in the air. Even ace Shane McClanahan is expected to miss all of 2024 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season.
Change is in the air inside Tropicana Field, so who will be the next in the line of prospects or unknown players who will step up for the Rays?
Toronto Blue Jays: Get past the disappointment
Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto are in other clubhouses, and the levels of frustration by missing out on both of those players is palpable among Toronto fans.
Can the Blue Jays land Cody Bellinger or another star player to help move past early offseason disappointments, or can the talent already on the roster step up even more than in 2023?
American League Central
Chicago White Sox: Keep on selling
The White Sox have made plenty of moves dating back to last year’s trade deadline, as they look to fast-track a rebuild. With Dylan Cease and maybe even Eloy Jimenez still on the trade block, the White Sox need to keep loading up the farm and hope that 2024 is a year where some young stars begin to make their way to the South Side of Chicago.
Cleveland Guardians: A return to 2022 form for Andrés Giménez
The Guardians started the 2023 season by inking Giménez to a seven-year, $106 million extension with a club option for 2030 that could be worth $24 million. That came after a 2022 campaign where Giménez posted an OPS+ of 141 and finished sixth in AL MVP voting.
After the extension, however, he took a step back, logging an OPS+ of 98 last year. Cleveland must see a better return from him in 2024.
Detroit Tigers: Keep the momentum going for Spencer Torkelson
In August and September last season, Torkelson hit 16 of his 31 home runs, helping boost his post-All-Star OPS to .816. Compare that to the OPS of .711 before the All-Star break and it’s clear the former number one overall pick found something that worked at the plate.
Now the Tigers hope he can do that for an entire year.
Kansas City Royals: Prove the doubters wrong
The Royals seem to believe the time is now for them to make a run at the AL Central title, and they’ve been busy this offseason with free agent signings to build a roster among a young core of talented players. Can the Royals go from worst (56 wins) in the division in 2023 to first in 2024?
Minnesota Twins: Have this be the year for Byron Buxton
Buxton has played in more than 100 games just once (2017) during his nine-year MLB career.
Injuries have plagued him and kept his production down. Could this be the year when Buxton stays healthy and leads the Twins?
American League West
Houston Astros: Extend Jose Altuve
Altuve’s seven-year, $163.5 million deal ends after this season, but there has already been plenty of talk about making sure Altuve stays in south Texas for years to come.
With Altuve represented by Scott Boras, keeping him won’t come cheap, but it’s a necessary move for Houston that needs to get done sooner than later.
Los Angeles Angels: Have Ron Washington be the long-term answer
Without Shohei Ohtani, there is plenty of reason to turn away from the Angels in 2024. However, Washington’s hire gives at least some hope in Anaheim that better days could be ahead, especially with Mike Trout in the lineup.
Oakland A’s: Give Oakland fans one last memory
Just imagine if the A’s could actually make some kind of run at the division in 2024?
Sure, it’s more along the plot line of “Major League” than it might be reality, but something good must happen inside the Coliseum this season, right? Oakland fans certainly deserve it.
Seattle Mariners: Get back to the postseason
Mariners fans tasted the playoffs again in 2022, then watched their team fall just short of the mark in 2023. There still needs to be some moves made for Seattle to contend with Texas and Houston again this season, but Jerry Dipoto may have a move or two left up his sleeve that could help.
Texas Rangers: Hang on until the second half
After the All-Star break, the Rangers are expected to have Jacob deGrom, Tyler Mahle and Max Scherzer available to take their places in the rotation. If Texas can find answers in the first half of the season with their starting pitching, adding names like those for the stretch run will be a big boost to a return to the World Series.
National League East
Atlanta Braves: Break the Philly curse
It’s simple yet badly needed, right? Philadelphia has knocked Atlanta out of the postseason for the last two years. The Braves have all of the talent necessary to get back to the World Series, but they have to figure out a way to beat Bryce Harper and company in October to make that happen.
Miami Marlins: Find the missing piece on the mound
The Marlins were dealt a devastating blow when Sandy Alcantara announced he was undergoing Tommy John surgery and would miss all of 2024. Now the question becomes who will be the ace for Miami with the former Cy Young winner on the shelf?
New York Mets: Bury 2023 and don’t look back
Last season, the Mets were the collective poster child for those who believe money won’t buy championships. Now it’s about the present and future in Queens, and that includes what new president of baseball operations David Stearns can do to make sure the mistakes of 2023 aren’t repeated again.
Philadelphia Phillies: Let Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler lead the way
The Phillies struck first in the offseason by inking Nola to a seven-year, $172 million deal, ensuring the right-hander would stay in Philadelphia.
Now the Phillies need him to live up to the contract as they also reportedly try to extend Zack Wheeler to keep their one-two punch on the mound together.
Washington Nationals: Have CJ Abrams continue to evolve
One of the key pieces acquired by the Nationals from the San Diego Padres in the Juan Soto trade, Abrams made the most of his first full campaign in 2023, hitting 18 homers and posting a slash line of .245/.300/.412, while stealing 47 bases.
Now it’s about what he can do in 2024 to become an even bigger offensive threat.
National League Central
Chicago Cubs: Follow up on the Craig Counsell momentum
The Cubs landed their new manager in the Counsell stunner, but haven’t done much else this offseason. Will Counsell be the key to the Cubs returning to the postseason?
It feels like it is going to take some more moves to make that happen at Clark and Addison.
Cincinnati Reds: Reduce the amount of sophomore slumps
There were plenty of new faces in Cincinnati last season, including Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain and Spencer Steer. Each had their own impressive moments in their rookie seasons, and the Reds will need them to not be just one-hit wonders if they’re going to contend for the NL Central title.
Milwaukee Brewers: Figure out the Corbin Burnes conundrum
The future of the former Cy Young winner in Milwaukee needs to be decided, one way or the other. Burnes has made it clear that he expects to reach free agency, so the Brewers have to decide if it is worth it to make one last run with their ace, or if they should deal him before they miss their chance.
Pittsburgh Pirates: See what Oneil Cruz can do with a full season
There was plenty of buzz around Cruz last season, but it was cut short when he suffered a broken ankle in April. After getting just 32 at-bats before the injuries, Pittsburgh fans are ready to see what he can do for an entire season in 2024.
St. Louis Cardinals: Have the rotation gamble pay off
For all of the things that went wrong in St. Louis in 2023, the lack of quality starting pitching was high on that list. The Cardinals have signed veteran pitchers to rebuild the rotation in 2024, but there are plenty of questions about their age and effectiveness lingering. If St. Louis is to get back to the postseason in 2024, Kyle Gibson, Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn must pitch well and stay healthy.
National League West
Arizona Diamondbacks: Have Eugenio Suarez live up to the billing
The Diamondbacks needed to add power to their lineup and find an answer at third base. They believe they have done both by trading with Seattle for Suarez, who hit 22 homers and drove in 96 runs in 2023.
While his high number of strikeouts are an issue, Arizona seems to be fine with that if he can hold down the hot corner.
Colorado Rockies: Find starting pitching
There are a lot of teams that need starting pitching, and at the top of the list could be the Rockies. With Kyle Freeland and Austin Gomber at the top of the rotation, Colorado traded for Cal Quantrill in the hopes he could provide another veteran arm. More still needs to be done, however, for a rotation with plenty of question marks.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Win the World Series
After a jaw-dropping amount of spending this offseason on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the Dodgers have an abundance of talent (and MVP candidates) on their roster. Now they have to get back to the World Series and win the title. If they don’t, the season will be an even bigger disappointment than past early postseason exits.
San Diego Padres: Win with the talent in place
Yes, the Padres traded off Juan Soto and will lose Blake Snell, Josh Hader and other key pieces of last year’s roster to free agency, but there is still plenty of talent on the roster.
With names such as Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts, fueled by last season’s disappointment and with a new manager in Mike Shildt, San Diego could be sneaky good in 2024.
San Francisco Giants: Have Jung Hoo Lee live up to the hype
After past offseason disappointments, the Giants paid a high price (six years, $113 million) to land the Korean outfielder. Now Lee must show that the numbers he put up in the KBO (.340/.407/.491 in seven seasons) can translate over against MLB pitching.