The Major League Baseball (MLB) 2020 season nears and it could be a make-or-break season for some of the MLB’s most glorified franchises. While teams generally struggle in such a situation like the Baltimore Orioles in 2017, some do step up and do stuff like the Washington Nationals did in 2019.
Make-or-break years are where the teams figure out their identity and where they go next. Here’s a look at five teams who could be facing such a year in 2020.
For the first time in their history, Milwaukee Brewers made two consecutive post-season appearances while coming close to their maiden World Series appearance in 40 years, missing it by a game. While two consecutive seasons put them in good stead, there’s a lot for the Brewers to worry come the MLB 2020.
While they’ve added the likes of Omar Narvaez, Avisail Garcia, Justin Smoak and Eric Sogard to their ranks, none of them is up to the quality of their departures; Mike Moustakas, Eric Thames, Yasmani Grandal. While they have addressed their rotation, question marks remain over Brett Anderson and Josh Lindbloom.
The Brewers need to have something up their sleeve because the foundation looks a lot shakier than it did a year ago. Brewers will look to rebuild when they have Christian Yelich in his prime at the club, which is for another 3 years.
Cleveland Indians copped a lot of flak for trading Corey Kluber, but their inability or unwillingness to add players to their roster last year probably cost them the previous season and they’ve not done anything to stock their roster this time either. If the Indians have a rough year, they, fairly or not, may start veering toward the Orioles' model more than any other team on this list.
But if they start winning, particularly in a division with wins on the table, they could make any idea that they’d break this team up, entirely sound silly. There may be no franchise with more on the line in the MLB 2020 than the Indians.
New York Mets are doing everything they can to win, whether that is the correct strategy remain to be seen. If this pricey, older roster wanes, there could be a reckoning in Queens, or at least some longing glances in the direction of Jarred Kelenic, the prized prospect they sent to Seattle in the Robinson Canó/Edwin Díaz trade. It’s great to try to win now. But eventually, you do have to win now.
In the last three years, San Diego Padres has signed Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado to massive contracts, working off what many have considered one of the top farm systems in baseball. And yet, the Padres still haven’t surpassed the 77 games they won in that first season of AJ Preller's tenure. The San Diego Padres might not tear down their whole organisation if it goes badly in MLB 2020, but something big will have to change. And this is something General Manager Preller surely knows better than anyone.
Philadelphia Phillies haven’t reached the post-season with 2011 and have the fifth-longest playoff drought baseball behind Mariners, Marlins, Padres and White Sox. Considering the amount of money spent, the patience is running out among the club supporters. The Phillies have added the likes of Zack Wheeler, Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius this time and new manager Joe Girardi would hope that there is a change in fortunes come MLB 2020 because the Phillies are running out of time.