The 2022 MLB season has been over for less than 12 hours.
Too soon to think about 2023? Never. Here's a way too early look at who might win it all next November.
Rockies fans, the Dodgers aren't going anywhere. And knowing them, their early exit in the NLDS this season will only add fuel to the fire.
They have three key free agents — Trea Turner, Clayton Kershaw and former Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson — but besides that, they have their core locked up for years to come. The Dodgers aren't afraid to spend money to fill in their holes either, they had the second-highest payroll this season.
It seems like every winter the Astros ditch a star and have a new one in place by the fall. Homegrown shortstop Jeremy Peña, the replacement for Carlos Correa, took center stage during the playoffs and was crowned World Series MVP. The Astros stitched together a crew of rookies and veterans to take the title in 2022, and 2023 should be no different. This team is in a position to win 100-plus games for years to come.
The Padres have a long list of free agents, but that shouldn't be an issue as they proved this year that they are all in. Their superstar trade deadline acquisitions didn't lead to the immediate title that they were hoping for, but it did get them that elusive series win over the Dodgers. Expect them to only get better as they continue to gel.
Julio Rodríguez is that guy. The Players Choice AL Rookie of the Year, Rodríguez burst onto the stage this season with his charismatic personality. The Mariners broke their playoff curse and got a small taste of success. With the team they have lined up, it shouldn't take them another 21 years to return to the playoffs.
Other teams to keep track of
The Mets have many question marks entering this offseason, but they have an owner who seems to have no price limit. Their Bronx neighbors have a big decision to make in Aaron Judge. Can the Yankees still thrive without their superstar outfielder? That remains to be seen.
The Orioles and Blue Jays have some of the best young talent in the league. And you of course can't count out the Phillies, who put all the pieces together when it mattered most and made it to the World Series.