Predicting Every MLB Team’s 2024 Opening Day Lineup, Version 3.0

Predicting Every MLB Team’s 2024 Opening Day Lineup, Version 3.0

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    SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 16: J.D. Martinez #28 of the Los Angeles Dodgers prepares to bat during the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Saturday, September 16, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Liv Lyons/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

    Liv Lyons/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    The start of spring training is right around the corner, yet there are still a number of notable free agents looking for a new home, including Blake Snell, Matt Chapman, Jordan Montgomery, J.D Martinez and Jorge Soler.

    For now, it’s time for another update to our Opening Day lineup predictions, with version 1.0 published on Nov. 29 and version 2.0 released on Jan. 4.

    Ahead, we’ve assigned all of the top remaining free agents to logical landing spots on the way to predicting each MLB team’s Opening Day lineup for the 2024 season.

    Last season’s lineup data from Baseball Reference, the projected rosters from FanGraphs and a healthy amount of speculation on where remaining free agents will sign went into compiling each team’s batting order.

    This will be updated throughout the offseason, so stay tuned for further updates.

    Note: Names in bold indicate a projected acquisition.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

    Lourdes Gurriel Jr.Norm Hall/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    RF Corbin Carroll
    2B Ketel Marte
    3B Eugenio Suárez
    1B Christian Walker
    LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
    DH Joc Pederson
    C Gabriel Moreno
    CF Alek Thomas
    SS Geraldo Perdomo
    SP Zac Gallen


    -The D-backs have essentially replaced Evan Longoria and Tommy Pham with Eugenio Suárez and Joc Pederson this offseason, and that should end up being a net positive gain in terms of overall value.

    -It will be interesting to see if top prospect Jordan Lawlar can push Geraldo Perdomo for playing time this spring. After earning an All-Star selection in 2023, Perdomo hit just .214/.322/.297 in 221 plate appearances during the second half, so his hold on the starting shortstop job may be tenuous at best.

Atlanta Braves

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    Michael Harris II

    Michael Harris IIMitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    RF Ronald Acuña Jr.
    2B Ozzie Albies
    3B Austin Riley
    1B Matt Olson
    DH Marcell Ozuna
    C Sean Murphy
    CF Michael Harris II
    LF Jarred Kelenic
    SS Orlando Arcia
    SP Max Fried


    -The Braves could still use a right-handed-hitting platoon partner for Jarred Kelenic in left field, but the options are dwindling in free agency, and there has been little talk of a potential reunion with Adam Duvall. Keep an eye on Randal Grichuk as a potential low-cost option.

    -What’s the backup plan at shortstop now that Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake have both been traded this offseason? Offseason additions David Fletcher and Luis Guillorme both look like strong candidates for a bench spot, and Fletcher could be a nice bounce-back candidate following a change of scenery.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Ryan O'Hearn

    Ryan O’HearnNorm Hall/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    3B Gunnar Henderson
    C Adley Rutschman
    RF Anthony Santander
    DH Ryan Mountcastle
    1B Ryan O’Hearn
    LF Austin Hays
    CF Cedric Mullins
    SS Jackson Holliday (R)
    2B Jordan Westburg
    SP Kyle Bradish


    -Ryan O’Hearn had a career year in 2023, posting a 122 OPS+ with 22 doubles, 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 368 plate appearances. The 30-year-old should get first crack at playing time at first base, but if he regresses, it could open the door for Heston Kjerstad to find his way into the lineup.

    -The Orioles seem poised to give top prospect Jackson Holliday every opportunity to break camp with a roster spot. If he does return to Triple-A to open the year, Jorge Mateo and Ramón Urías are still on the roster as stopgap options on the infield.

Boston Red Sox

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    Masataka Yoshida

    Masataka YoshidaSam Hodde/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    CF Jarren Duran
    3B Rafael Devers
    1B Triston Casas
    SS Trevor Story
    DH Masataka Yoshida
    LF Tyler O’Neill
    RF Garrett Cooper
    2B Vaughn Grissom
    C Connor Wong
    SP Lucas Giolito


    -The Red Sox have been linked to Garrett Cooper as a potential fallback plan if they are unable to re-sign veteran slugger Adam Duvall. The 2022 All-Star had a .904 OPS and 10 extra-base hits in 112 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last season and is one of the more intriguing bargain bats left on the market.

    -The Depth Charts projections at FanGraphs are extremely optimistic on Vaughn Grissom, predicting a .284/.353/.422 line with 29 doubles, 10 home runs, 62 RBI and 2.2 WAR in 123 games as the team’s starting second baseman.

Chicago Cubs

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    Cody Bellinger

    Cody BellingerJoe Sargent/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    2B Nico Hoerner
    SS Dansby Swanson
    CF Cody Bellinger
    RF Seiya Suzuki
    LF Ian Happ
    DH Christopher Morel
    1B Michael Busch (R)
    C Yan Gomes
    3B Nick Madrigal
    SP Justin Steele


    -If the Cubs find a way to bring back Cody Bellinger, he could slot in as the team’s starting center fielder to open the year, giving Pete Crow-Armstrong more time to develop offensively after he went 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts in his first MLB action.

    -That would leave Michael Busch, Patrick Wisdom and Matt Mervis to compete for playing time at first base to open the year, with Busch and Wisdom also in the mix for playing time at the hot corner.

Chicago White Sox

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    Yoán Moncada

    Yoán MoncadaJustin Casterline/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    LF Andrew Benintendi
    3B Yoán Moncada
    CF Luis Robert Jr.
    DH Eloy Jiménez
    1B Andrew Vaughn
    2B Amed Rosario
    RF Oscar Colás
    SS Paul DeJong
    C Martín Maldonado
    SP Dylan Cease


    -Light-hitting Nicky Lopez could be the White Sox starting second baseman, but he is better suited for a utility role. There are a number of established second basemen still looking for a new home on the open market, and Amed Rosario could look to rebuild his value on a one-year deal.

    -Can Yoán Moncada rebound in the final guaranteed season of his contract? The 28-year-old has posted an 86 OPS+ with 1.5 WAR in 196 games over the past two seasons, and his five-year, $70 million deal pays him $24.8 million in 2024 with a $25 million club option and $5 million buyout in 2025.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Jonathan india

    Jonathan indiaJason Miller/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    CF TJ Friedl
    2B Matt McLain
    LF Spencer Steer
    1B Jeimer Candelario
    SS Elly De La Cruz
    DH Jonathan India
    RF Jake Fraley
    3B Noelvi Marte (R)
    C Tyler Stephenson
    SP Hunter Greene


    -It’s looking less and less likely that Jonathan India is going to be traded this offseason, despite plenty of rumors, which creates a logjam on the infield. The odd man out in this projected lineup is slugger Christian Encarnacion-Strand, though the team could also opt to start top prospect Noelvi Marte at Triple-A.

    -Flame-thrower Hunter Greene was Cincinnati’s Opening Day starter in 2023, and he looks like the leading candidate to take the ball for the opener once again even after veterans Frankie Montas and Nick Martinez were added in free agency.

Cleveland Guardians

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    Gabriel Arias

    Gabriel AriasRon Schwane/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    LF Steven Kwan
    2B Andrés Giménez
    3B José Ramírez
    DH Josh Naylor
    RF Ramón Laureano
    C Bo Naylor
    1B Kyle Manzardo (R)
    SS Gabriel Arias
    CF Myles Straw
    SP Tanner Bibee


    -It looks like Cleveland will have an open battle for the starting shortstop job between Gabriel Arias, Brayan Rocchio and Tyler Freeman this spring, with Rocchio looking like the long-term answer at the position even if he doesn’t break camp with the job.

    -Prospect Kyle Manzardo is not currently on the 40-man roster, but after Josh Bell was traded at the deadline and he put up strong numbers in the Arizona Fall League, he looks like a strong candidate for a roster spot.

Colorado Rockies

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    Hunter Goodman

    Hunter GoodmanDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    DH Charlie Blackmon
    SS Ezequiel Tovar
    LF Nolan Jones
    1B Kris Bryant
    3B Ryan McMahon
    RF Hunter Goodman (R)
    C Elias Diaz
    2B Brendan Rodgers
    CF Brenton Doyle
    SP Kyle Freeland


    -Unless an outside addition is made, slugger Hunter Goodman will have a chance to win a starting job after a pair of 30-homer seasons in the minors. The 24-year-old posted a .919 OPS with 30 doubles, 34 home runs and 111 RBI in 106 games in the upper levels of the minors in 2023.

    -Kyle Freeland, Austin Gomber and newcomer Cal Quantrill are all candidates to be the Opening Day starter for the Rockies, while Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela will start the year on the injured list while they continue to recover from Tommy John surgery.

Detroit Tigers

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    Spencer Torkelson

    Spencer TorkelsonKatelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    3B Zach McKinstry
    CF Riley Greene
    1B Spencer Torkelson
    DH Kerry Carpenter
    RF Mark Canha
    LF Eddie Rosario
    SS Javier Báez
    2B Colt Keith (R)
    C Jake Rogers
    SP Tarik Skubal


    -The Tigers announced a six-year, $28.6 million extension with top prospect Colt Keith earlier this week, and that should pave the way for him to break camp with the starting second base job. The 22-year-old hit .306/.380/.552 with 38 doubles, 27 home runs and 101 RBI in 126 games in the upper minors.

    -After finishing 24th in the majors with 165 home runs last year, the Tigers could still stand to add more power to the lineup, and outfielder Eddie Rosario is coming off a 100 OPS+ with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 142 games with the Atlanta Braves last year.

Houston Astros

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    Jake Meyers

    Jake MeyersMichael Owens/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    2B Jose Altuve
    3B Alex Bregman
    DH Yordan Alvarez
    1B José Abreu
    RF Kyle Tucker
    C Yainer Diaz
    LF Chas McCormick
    SS Jeremy Peña
    CF Jake Meyers
    SP Justin Verlander


    -With Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers both expected to fill starting roles in the Houston outfield, the Astros starting lineup appears to be set, though they could still use another productive bench piece to pencil in alongside Victor Caratini, Jon Singleton and Mauricio Dubón.

    -Will it be Justin Verlander or Framber Valdez who gets the Opening Day start for the Astros? Valdez stepped into the role of staff ace after Verlander departed in free agency last year, only for the future Hall of Famer to return in a deadline deal with the New York Mets.

Kansas City Royals

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    Michael Massey

    Michael MasseyMatt Dirksen/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    LF MJ Melendez
    SS Bobby Witt Jr.
    C Salvador Perez
    1B Vinnie Pasquantino
    RF Hunter Renfroe
    DH Nelson Velázquez
    2B Adam Frazier
    CF Kyle Isbel
    3B Maikel Garcia
    SP Cole Ragans


    -The Royals signed veteran Adam Frazier to a one-year, $4.5 million deal last week, and he will compete with Michael Massey for playing time at second base while also potentially seeing action at the corner outfield spots.

    -Nick Loftin hit .323/.368/.435 for a 121 OPS+ in 68 plate appearances as a September call-up last year, and he has seen action at all four infield spots during his time in the minors. The 25-year-old could push Maikel Garcia for playing time at the hot corner to start the year.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Zach Neto

    Zach NetoBrace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    1B Nolan Schanuel
    2B Luis Rengifo
    CF Mike Trout
    DH Brandon Drury
    LF Taylor Ward
    3B Anthony Rendon
    RF Mickey Moniak
    C Logan O’Hoppe
    SS Zach Neto
    SP Blake Snell


    -The Angels are one of the few obvious potential fits for 2023 NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell, with money to spend and a glaring need atop the starting rotation. Reid Detmers, Griffin Canning and Patrick Sandoval are currently the leading in-house candidates for the Opening Day start.

    -Shortstop Zach Neto made his MLB debut on April 15 last year, but he only played in 84 games while spending two separate stints on the injured list with oblique and back injuries. The 23-year-old could take a significant step forward with a clean bill of health in 2024.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Gavin Lux

    Gavin LuxIcon Sportswire

    Projected Starting Lineup

    2B Mookie Betts
    DH Shohei Ohtani
    1B Freddie Freeman
    C Will Smith
    3B Max Muncy
    LF Teoscar Hernández
    CF James Outman
    RF Jason Heyward
    SS Gavin Lux
    SP Walker Buehler


    -There is no obvious hole in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup after Teoscar Hernández was signed to a one-year, $23.5 million deal, but the way they have been spending money this offseason, another outside pickup would also be far from surprising.

    -Gavin Lux has one productive big league season under his belt, when he hit .276/.346/.399 for a 109 OPS+ in 2022 while primarily playing second base. There is no guarantee he is going to be a standout everyday shortstop, but the team does still have Miguel Rojas around as a backup option.

Miami Marlins

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    Luis Arraez

    Luis ArraezRich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    2B Luis Arraez
    SS Tim Anderson
    1B Josh Bell
    3B Jake Burger
    CF Jazz Chisholm Jr.
    DH C.J. Cron
    LF Bryan De La Cruz
    RF Jesús Sánchez
    C Gary Sánchez
    SP Jesús Luzardo


    -The Marlins will undoubtedly benefit from full seasons of Jake Burger and Josh Bell, but it’s still shocking they have not done more to try to upgrade the offense this winter. The three proposed moves above could all come in the form of one-year deals, especially if those players are still searching for new homes once spring training starts.

    -Luis Arraez has seen his name come up in trade rumblings once again this offseason, due in part to his rising price tag. The Marlins were unable to come to terms with the NL batting champ on a 2024 arbitration salary, with Arraez seeking $12 million and the Marlins offering $10.6 million.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Sal Frelick

    Sal FrelickKayla Wolf/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    DH Christian Yelich
    C William Contreras
    SS Willy Adames
    1B Rhys Hoskins
    RF Sal Frelick
    LF Garrett Mitchell
    CF Jackson Chourio (R)
    3B Tyler Black (R)
    2B Brice Turang
    SP Corbin Burnes


    -The Brewers signed Rhys Hoskins to a two-year, $34 million deal that includes an opt-out after the 2024 season, making a rare splash to acquire an impact bat in the middle of what will likely be a young lineup.

    -Prospect Tyler Black hit .284/.417/.513 with 55 extra-base hits and 55 steals in 123 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and his numbers actually improved after he was promoted to Triple-A in the second half. He should push Andruw Monasterio for the starting third base job this spring.

Minnesota Twins

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    Byron Buxton

    Byron BuxtonNick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    2B Edouard Julien
    SS Carlos Correa
    3B Royce Lewis
    CF Byron Buxton
    RF Max Kepler
    DH Jorge Soler
    LF Matt Wallner
    1B Alex Kirilloff
    C Ryan Jeffers
    SP Pablo López


    -With Jorge Polanco traded to the Seattle Mariners and Byron Buxton recently announcing that he is fully healthy and plans to return to center field in 2024, the Minnesota Twins lineup is starting to take better shape.

    -The Twins now have some money to spend after the Polanco trade was a net positive from a payroll standpoint, and one of the big designated hitter bats left on the market could be a potential fit for an already potent lineup.

New York Mets

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    Brett Baty

    Brett BatyRich Schultz/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    LF Brandon Nimmo
    RF Starling Marte
    SS Francisco Lindor
    1B Pete Alonso
    DH J.D. Martinez
    2B Jeff McNeil
    C Francisco Álvarez
    3B Brett Baty
    CF Harrison Bader
    SP Kodai Senga


    -The Mets still look like an obvious landing spot for J.D. Martinez or Jorge Soler with a glaring hole at designated hitter after Dan Vogelbach was non-tendered. They could go with internal options, but that likely means leaning on Brett Baty and Mark Vientos for everyday at-bats after both had less-than-stellar debuts in 2023.

    -The one-year, $10.5 million deal that Harrison Bader signed could wind up being one of the best bargains of the offseason if he can return to the form that saw him post a 3.8-WAR season and win a Gold Glove in 2021.

New York Yankees

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    DJ LeMahieu

    DJ LeMahieuJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    3B DJ LeMahieu
    CF Aaron Judge
    RF Juan Soto
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    DH Giancarlo Stanton
    2B Gleyber Torres
    LF Alex Verdugo
    SS Anthony Volpe
    C Jose Trevino
    SP Gerrit Cole


    -The only glaring weakness for the Yankees from a position player standpoint is depth at the middle infield spots, with Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera both coming off poor 2023 seasons and no other viable options behind Gleyber Torres and Anthony Volpe if injury strikes.

    -Expect rookie Austin Wells to split time evenly behind the plate with incumbent veteran Jose Trevino to open the year, but he will have every opportunity to play his way into a larger role as he proves himself defensively.

Oakland Athletics

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    Shea Langeliers

    Shea LangeliersRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    1B Ryan Noda
    2B Zack Gelof
    DH Brent Rooker
    RF Seth Brown
    C Shea Langeliers
    3B Abraham Toro
    LF Robbie Grossman
    CF Esteury Ruiz
    SS Darell Hernaiz (R)
    SP JP Sears


    -The Athletics will likely pick through the free agency scraps once spring training begins, and outfielder Robbie Grossman could be a nice low-cost pickup to fill a corner outfield spot while providing a veteran presence in the locker room.

    -With every passing week, it looks more and more likely that prospect Darell Hernaiz is going to be Oakland’s starting shortstop in 2024. They could also go with light-hitting Nick Allen at that spot to open the year if Hernaiz looks like he needs a bit more time in the minors.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Kyle Schwarber

    Kyle SchwarberHarry How/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    DH Kyle Schwarber
    SS Trea Turner
    1B Bryce Harper
    RF Nick Castellanos
    C J.T. Realmuto
    3B Alec Bohm
    2B Bryson Stott
    LF Brandon Marsh
    CF Johan Rojas
    SP Zack Wheeler


    -The Phillies entered the offseason with one of the most complete rosters in baseball and almost immediately plugged their biggest potential hole when they re-signed Aaron Nola to a long-term deal.

    -Even the Philadelphia bench looks set with Garrett Stubbs, Edmundo Sosa, Cristian Pache and Jake Cave the heavy favorites to fill the four reserve roles, especially considering Sosa, Pache and Cave are all out of minor league options.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Jack Suwinski

    Jack SuwinskiJustin Berl/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    SS Oneil Cruz
    LF Bryan Reynolds
    3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
    DH Andrew McCutchen
    RF Jack Suwinski
    1B Rowdy Tellez
    CF Michael A. Taylor
    C Henry Davis
    2B Ji Hwan Bae
    SP Mitch Keller


    -The Pirates have quietly had a productive offseason, re-signing Andrew McCutchen while also adding Rowdy Tellez, Edward Olivares, Martín Pérez, Marco Gonzales and Aroldis Chapman to a young roster on the rise.

    -Another outfielder looks like the most obvious final piece to add in free agency, and the Pirates were one of a handful of teams linked to center fielder Michael A. Taylor in early January. The 32-year-old is a perennial Gold Glove contender, and he slugged a career-high 21 home runs in 2023.

San Diego Padres

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    Jake Cronenworth

    Jake CronenworthRich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    3B Ha-Seong Kim
    RF Fernando Tatis Jr.
    DH Manny Machado
    SS Xander Bogaerts
    2B Jake Cronenworth
    1B Carlos Santana
    C Luis Campusano
    RF Randal Grichuk
    CF Jakob Marsee (R)
    SP Yu Darvish


    -The Padres have accomplished their goal of cutting payroll by trading away Juan Soto and Trent Grisham while also letting Blake Snell, Josh Hader, Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo walk in free agency, but there is still work to be done patching up the roster in the aftermath.

    -Fernando Tatis Jr. and light-hitting José Azocar are still the only outfielders on the 40-man roster, and while AFL MVP Jakob Marsee and fellow non-roster invitees Cal Mitchell, Oscar Mercado and Bryce Johnson could all make a case for a roster spot, it’s hard to imagine them not adding at least one more proven outfielder.

San Francisco Giants

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    Marco Luciano

    Marco LucianoThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    CF Jung Hoo Lee (R)
    2B Thairo Estrada
    1B LaMonte Wade Jr.
    3B Matt Chapman
    DH Wilmer Flores
    LF Michael Conforto
    RF Mike Yastrzemski
    SS Marco Luciano (R)
    C Patrick Bailey
    SP Logan Webb


    -Now that the Toronto Blue Jays have signed Justin Turner, a reunion with Matt Chapman seems far less likely, leaving the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants as perhaps the only two logical landing spots for the star third baseman.

    -The battle for spots on the Giants bench this spring is going to be interesting, with Tom Murphy, Joey Bart, Blake Sabol, Casey Schmitt, Brett Wisely, David Villar, Tyler Fitzgerald, Luis Matos, Heliot Ramos and Austin Slater all fighting for what will likely be four roster slots.

Seattle Mariners

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    Mitch Haniger

    Mitch HanigerDaniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    SS J.P. Crawford
    CF Julio Rodríguez
    2B Jorge Polanco
    DH Mitch Garver
    C Cal Raleigh
    1B Ty France
    RF Mitch Haniger
    LF Luke Raley
    3B Luis Urías
    SP Luis Castillo


    -The Mariners may not have made the major splash some fans were hoping for, but with Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Mitch Haniger, Luke Raley and Luis Urías all added to the lineup, they have been as busy as any team in baseball.

    -The recent deal to acquire Polanco from the Minnesota Twins means Urías and Josh Rojas will battle for the starting third base job, with the loser filling a super-utility role across the infield.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Lars Nootbaar

    Lars NootbaarPatrick Smith/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    LF Brendan Donovan
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    CF Lars Nootbaar
    3B Nolan Arenado
    C Willson Contreras
    DH Nolan Gorman
    RF Jordan Walker
    2B Tommy Edman
    SS Masyn Winn (R)
    SP Sonny Gray


    -Is Masyn Winn ready for the starting shortstop job? The slick-fielding prospect hit .172/.230/.238 over 137 plate appearances in 37 games after making his MLB debut in August, so he will need to show something at the plate this spring to avoid starting the year back at Triple-A.

    -If Winn does return to the minors, it would be Tommy Edman at shortstop and Nolan Gorman at second base, opening up playing time for someone like Dylan Carlson or Alec Burleson at designated hitter or in the outfield with Jordan Walker serving as DH.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    René Pinto

    René PintoDavid Berding/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    1B Yandy Díaz
    2B Brandon Lowe
    LF Randy Arozarena
    3B Isaac Paredes
    RF Josh Lowe
    CF José Siri
    DH Richie Palacios
    C René Pinto
    SS Junior Caminero (R)
    SP Zach Eflin


    -The Rays still only have one catcher on the 40-man roster, and it’s defensive-minded René Pinto who only has 188 career plate appearances in the big leagues. Unless they want to sign Gary Sánchez, the free-agent market is light on potential options, but there are always experienced backup catchers who are cut loose during spring training.

    -Top prospects Junior Caminero and Curtis Mead will have every opportunity to win a spot on the Opening Day roster, though the addition of José Caballero in a trade with the Seattle Mariners gives them another versatile infield piece.

Texas Rangers

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    Evan Carter

    Evan CarterGreg Fiume/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    2B Marcus Semien
    SS Corey Seager
    LF Evan Carter
    RF Adolis García
    DH Brandon Belt
    3B Josh Jung
    1B Nathaniel Lowe
    C Jonah Heim
    CF Leody Taveras
    SP Nathan Eovaldi


    -The Rangers still have a hole to fill at designated hitter after Mitch Garver walked in free agency, and they were recently linked to veteran Brandon Belt. Manager Bruce Bochy is plenty familiar with Belt from their time together with the San Francisco Giants.

    -Will Evan Carter continue to hit in the middle of the lineup like he did while swinging a red-hot bat in the postseason, or will he be moved down in the order to take some pressure off as he settles in at the MLB level?

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Davis Schneider

    Davis SchneiderMark Blinch/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    RF George Springer
    SS Bo Bichette
    1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
    DH Justin Turner
    LF Daulton Varsho
    C Alejandro Kirk
    3B Gio Urshela
    CF Kevin Kiermaier
    2B Davis Schneider
    SP Kevin Gausman


    -The Blue Jays may be finished adding pieces after signing veteran Justin Turner to a one-year, $13 million contract to serve as the primary designated hitter, but a versatile piece like Gio Urshela could still be a fit on a one-year deal to join Davis Schneider, Cavan Biggio, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Santiago Espinal in the mix for playing time at second base and third base.

    -Prospects Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger both finished the season playing in the upper levels of the minors, and they could be a factor at the hot corner as well before the 2024 season is over.

Washington Nationals

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    Joey Meneses

    Joey MenesesBrandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup

    SS CJ Abrams
    RF Lane Thomas
    C Keibert Ruiz
    1B Joey Meneses
    LF Joey Gallo
    2B Luis Garcia
    DH Stone Garrett
    3B Nick Senzel
    CF Victor Robles
    SP Josiah Gray


    -Expect the Nationals to add a handful of veterans on minor league deals in the days before the start of spring training as they look for value on the fringe of the roster, and they have already made two nice bargain signings in Joey Gallo and Nick Senzel.

    -Joey Meneses posted a 99 OPS+ with 36 doubles, 13 home runs and 89 RBI in his first full season in the majors after breaking through as a 30-year-old rookie in 2022. He will be counted on to be one of the team’s primary run producers.

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