With the MLB All-Star break just weeks away, talks about the following trade deadline have begun to heat up.
Before every season, teams make roster changes to put themselves in the best position possible to win a World Series championship, with some going all out and others not so much.
With big acquisitions come big expectations, and with those expectations come some validation but also a couple of disappointments throughout the year.
Here are the three teams that have disappointed the most so far during the 2023 MLB season.
San Diego Padres
San Diego made a significant commitment to longtime Boston Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts, bringing the All-Star to the Padres on an 11-year, $280 million deal. They also brought in Nelson Cruz, Matt Holliday, and Rougned Odor as some veteran presence with some pop, as well as Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo to help their pitching staff. Combining those editions with superstars Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Josh Hader, as well as All-Star level players in Jake Cronenworth, Yu Darvish, and Blake Snell, the Padres looked like a team ready for a World Series run. However, all they’ve shown is that money doesn’t always necessarily buy success, as San Diego has mightily underperformed to start the year.
They sit at 37-42 on the season, which is good for fourth in the NL West (10 games back of first), and 7.5 games out of the third NL Wild Card spot. As a team who made it to the National League Championship Series last season, this year is a massive failure so far, considering the amount of talent they’ve collected on their roster.
New York Mets
The Mets had a stronghold on the NL East all of last season before losing the divisional title to Atlanta in the last couple of weeks of the regular season. Their season would end quickly in the NL Wild Card Series at home, losing to the Padres in three games.
In an attempt to regroup, the Mets replaced the departing Jacob deGrom with reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and brought in Japanese superstar pitcher Kodai Senga to help shore up the rotation. They also re-signed Brandon Nimmo to an 8-year, $162 million deal. They have the highest payroll in baseball, and it has all gone for naught. New York is in fourth place in the NL East division, sitting 16 games back of Atlanta for first place. They also trail the third NL Wild Card spot by 8.5 games.
Their biggest disappointment has been the starting staff, which they put so much faith into coming into this season. Two future Hall of Fame players, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, as well as what Kodai Senga is supposed to bring to the table, had the Mets and their fanbases excited for the season, hoping to build more success in the Steve Cohen era. Unfortunately, they have the fifth-highest ERA, fifth-highest FIP, and third-lowest WAR among all pitching staffs. There are some interesting decisions to be made in Queens over the next couple of weeks.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis’s 2023 season is especially surprising when you consider the division they play in, the NL Central. A team with the likes of NL MVP winner Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, Ryan Helsley, Jordan Hicks, and newly signed All-Star catcher Willson Contreras should not be sitting at FIFTH in the NL Central.
They are extremely lucky to be in a weak NL Central division that allows them to be only eight games out of first place. Nonetheless, this is a team that was expected to take advantage of the division they are in and ride it to an easy postseason spot, and that simply has not happened.
They have the sixth-highest ERA, 15th-best FIP, and only the 17th-best WAR among starting staff. They still have time to turn it around because, once again, they are in the NL Central, but what the 2023 Cardinals have been so far is extremely disappointing, considering what should’ve been.