Despite the increasing likelihood of a delayed MLB season due to the current lockout, there are still 30 teams that will eventually take the field again, each with areas of concern to address when they can.
Here’s one thing each American League team still needs to do ahead of the 2022 season.
Baltimore Orioles: Starting pitching
The Orioles already have Trey Mancini, Ryan Mountcastle and Cedric Mullins. The O’s need to bring in the right pitchers to back up that core. Baltimore has not had a star pitcher in decades, and this team is destined for last place until that changes.
Boston Red Sox: Bullpen
No more Craig Kimbrel, Matt Barnes is inconsistent, and Garrett Whitlock is the only dominant arm left in the pen for the Red Sox. There are some free agency options available, but this is Boston’s glaring weakness.
Tampa Bay Rays: Disciplined hitters
Wander Franco is a superstar in the making, but the Rays need young hitters around him who don’t strike out all the time like other Rays hitters do. The lineup needs a facelift in order for Tampa Bay to stay on top of the AL East.
New York Yankees: Left-handed hitters
The Yankees seemed to fix the lineup trading for Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo. That didn’t really work. The Yankees need to bring in other lefties to balance the lineup around Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres.
Toronto Blue Jays: Cavan Biggio stepping up
Marcus Semien took the second base job from Biggio in 2021, and now it’s on Biggio to earn that job back and join the rest of the young Jays’ hitting core in terrifying opposing pitching staffs.
Chicago White Sox: Starting pitching
The White Sox already have an elite bullpen and a lineup mixed with young rising stars and veterans. The only thing they need is starting pitching behind Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn. Those two are good but are nowhere near enough.
Minnesota Twins: Break it down
Byron Buxton is a top-five player, but he never stays healthy. The rest of this team is trending in the wrong direction. They should sell as much as possible as everyone scrambles to make moves post-lockout.
Cleveland Guardians: Any and all hitting
Cleveland still has Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac in the rotation. Their lineup needs pieces to surround Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes. That alone won’t make Cleveland a contender, but it’s definitely a start.
Kansas City Royals: Young pitcher to step up
KC has talented hitters like Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield with other young prospects also on the way. They have no pitching whatsoever and until the young arms they have elevate their game to the next level, this team will go nowhere.
Detroit Tigers: Hitting prospects to step up
The Tigers have Spencer Turnbull, Casey Mize and Eduardo Rodriguez as solid rotation arms. They have solid veteran hitters, but they need prospects like Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson to get to the majors and get the Tigers back to winning.
Los Angeles Angels: Pitching behind Ohtani
The Angels already have Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout, David Fletcher and reigning-MVP Shohei Ohtani. However, behind Ohtani and lefty Patrick Sandoval, the Angels’ pitching remains a disaster, and they’ll remain mediocre until that is addressed.
Seattle Mariners: Veteran hitters
Kyle Seager spent over a decade as the offensive leader of the Mariners, and now that he’s gone another veteran needs to step in to help young bats like Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez and others develop. The pitching is getting better, so veteran hitters will make the lineup move in the right direction too.
Oakland Athletics: Break it down
The Athletics are sliding down in the AL West. Attendance keeps dropping and there are teams eager to poach some of their best talent. The A’s should work to get the right offers and trade Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and their starting pitchers.
Texas Rangers: Pitchers
Texas already spent $500 million on Marcus Semien and Corey Seager to provide an epic facelift to the hitting core. While they need more than that, the pitching staff has nothing to be proud of besides Jon Gray. With Seattle and Houston looking strong, Texas needs to spend even more to get to that level.
Houston Astros: Bullpen
Yes, losing Carlos Correa hurts, but the lineup is still plenty deep without him. The rotation still features Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia and Justin Verlander. They lost Kendall Graveman from the bullpen, and they need arms in there to keep the games locked down.