What’s new: Additions include OF Michael Brantley, C Robinson Chirinos and LHP Wade Miley. Gone are C Brian McCann, UT Marwin Gonzalez, DH Evan Gattis, LHP Dallas Keuchel and RHP Charlie Morton.
Cause for concern: Versatile RHP Lance McCullers Jr. is out for the 2019 season after needing Tommy John surgery, and former top right-handed pitching prospect Francis Martes is suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Ace RHPs Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are each on track to become free agents after the season.
Astros - Favorites - AL - Roster - Addition
Projecting 2019: The Astros are once again among the favorites in the AL, returning a star-studded roster that will benefit from the addition of three-time All-Star Brantley. With Verlander leading the staff, pitching remains a strength, and top right-handed pitching prospect Forrest Whitley isn’t far from adding himself to the mix. Outfield prospect Kyle Tucker could stick in the majors after making his debut last season, adding to a core that received a long-term boost in the form of 3B Alex Bregman’s six-year, $100 million extension.
What’s new: Additions include C Jonathan Lucroy, 1B Justin Bour, RHPs Matt Harvey, Cody Allen and Trevor Cahill and new manager Brad Ausmus. Gone are RHP Garrett Richards and former skipper Mike Scioscia.
Cause - Concern - DH - Shohei - Ohtani
Cause for concern: DH Shohei Ohtani (Tommy John surgery) won’t be ready for Opening Day in addition to not being able to pitch all season. LHPs Tyler Skaggs (forearm) and Andrew Heaney (elbow) remain injury-prone this spring.
Projecting 2019: The Scioscia era has come to an end in Los Angeles, but the Angels made sure the Mike Trout era will last the bulk of the star outfielder’s career with a record-shattering, 12-year deal worth more than $430 million signed this spring. Trout remains a perennial MVP candidate capable of keeping the Angels in striking distance in the AL...
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