This division isn’t just about the likely moves of these five teams in the MLB this winter. It’s a study of existential dread and a mockery of society’s collapse. These five teams will definitely play in the MLB schedule next year, for unknown reasons. Strap on your waders because this is going to get messy.
Chicago White SoxDylan CeasePhoto: Getty ImagesOwner Cheapness Index: Not only cheap, but completely addled and holding two fanbases in the same city hostage waiting for him to die as both of his teams are completely inert. Outlook: Horrid. The Sox appear to be ready to start over but barely have anything to flog. The Sox are already making noise that they want to still be the Royals, rumored to be after both Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez, without realizing that seven years have passed and they’re no longer good. Even if Reinsdorf were willing, this free-agent class isn’t going to provide the two starters and four bats the lineup would need to be good. Ohtani Meter (1-10 likelihood of signing him): 1, but they’ll definitely sign whoever they think is his friend to make it look like they’re trying. Call it “The Yonder Alonso Theory.”
Cleveland GuardiansShane BieberPhoto: Getty ImagesOwner Cheapness Index: Scrooge-levelOutlook: With the Twins downsizing, this could be the best team next year if Shane Bieber and Tristan McKenzie both remain healthy. Cleveland still can’t hit, but they have some promising prospects. Need plenty of help in the outfield, as they’re still punting in center and right. Ohtani Meter: Less than zero
Detroit TigersKerry CarpenterPhoto: Getty ImagesOwner Cheapness Index: We have a brief memory of the Tigers being the Phillies once upon a time. Could be again, in a time-is-a-flat-circle kind of thing. Outlook: The Tigers finished second in this septic tank, but they’ll sell their fans on the green shoots that started to appear last summer. They could use help in multiple positions, including the outfield and the rotation. Ohtani Meter: 2
Kansas City RoyalsZack GreinkePhoto: Getty ImagesOutlook: Look, we’ve all got better things to do than this.
Minnesota TwinsCarlos CorreaPhoto: Getty ImagesOwner Cheapness Index: Growing rapidly. Outlook: It’s probably pointless to wonder what the Twins might add when they just went out and told everyone they are looking to shed. They could use back-end help for their rotation and have to decide what to do with a couple of their players. Ohtani Meter: A hilarious image to be sure, but 1.