Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain unsigned. As pitchers and hunters start reporting this week to Arizona and Florida, it's the big story of the big, a nasty look at what is otherwise a cheerful time of year: Return of baseball.
Still, there are many other spring stories to look at. Here is one for each team …
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Boston Red Sox: Chris Sale's debts. Clearly, sales were not 100 percent at the end of last season when his speed was down in the late season, and Alex Cora jumped over him to launch David Price on a short rest in Game 5 of the World Series. The sale made the last game at the end of that game (and knocked out the side), so maybe all he needed was a resting rest. He also goes into his walk-year, which increases the plot.
Voltage Level: 5. Yes, 108 wins and a World Series title will keep fans excited – though Boston is a football city now.
New York Yankees: Troy Tulowitzki. Can he still play? Is it no matter, considering the Yankees signed DJ LeMahieu and can slip Gleyber Torres over to shortstop and play LeMahieu in second place until Didi Gregorius returns? Any value that Tulo will give is basically a bonus, but if he can play, it gives Yankees more roster flexibility with LeMahieu playing multiple positions.
Voltage Level: 5. Yes, Yankees fans wanted Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. They still have Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Torres, Miguel Andujar, the best bullpen in the game and a rotation that added James Paxton and J.A. Happ (for a whole season) on top of Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka.
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Tampa Bay Rays : Austin Meadows. The rays are one of the most fascinating organizations right down the back, where super stud Wander Franco is a must-see. In the big league camp, the roster is incredibly deep, but lacks a big star in offense (though you watch Tommy Pham who tore it up after coming from St. Louis). Meadows, acquired from Pirates last summer, has always been a top look despite many injuries. Maybe it all comes together for him in Tampa.
Voltage level: 5. See this team, Rays fans!
Toronto Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He can be the story of spring training, since the wunderkind man-child (he does not turn around until March 16) runs up to his first big league season. Of course, Jays will keep him down in minors for 10 days to work on his defense, but Vladdy will immediately begin pursuing baseballs when he arrives in Toronto.
Voltage Level: 3. Outside Guerrero, Jays will need a comeback year from Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez to create excitement on the pitch.
Baltimore Orioles: The new regime. There is a new general manager in Mike Elias, a Maryland native who comes from Astros. The new leader is former Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde. Unfortunately, most players from a 115 team are the same.
Voltage Level: 0. In this division, they might lose 115 again.
Cleveland Indians: All those outfielders. Obviously, the big story just broke on Friday with Francisco Lindor's nausea, but since he seems to miss most of or all spring training, let's turn to the outskirts – which, to say good, is a mess. FanGraph's projects in Indians 29 in left field WAR, 23 in center field and 27 in right field. The plan is to mix and match, but the Indians really have to hope that anyone like Jordan Luplow or rookie Oscar Mercado will surprise in the camp and prove better than the projections.
Voltage Level: 3. The Indians have the rotation to carry the team to a playoff spot in a weak division, but there is not much margin for damage. The inability to tackle off-road or bullpen – while reducing costs – has left the Indians frustrated despite three equal division titles.
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Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton … and Miguel Sano. They were worth combining 7.7 WAR in 2017, and Twins won 85 games and a wild-card quay. They were worth a combined minus-0.8 WAR in 2018, and the twins dropped to 78-84. They need to be healthy in 2019 after fighting for injuries.
Voltage Level: 3. Gemini have not been completely inactive; They signed Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop at no risk, one year's deal. However, the twins are still about $ 30 million last year's salary and $ 91 million under the luxury tax with no long-term pay. They could have played at the Harper / Machado market – or the second level – and opted not to.
Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera. Miggy was actually quite productive last year – .299 / .395 / .448 – before he broke his biceps after 38 games and missed the rest of the season. He had problems again the season before. Although he is no more than Miggy, the Tigers have a healthy Miggy.
Excitement level: 1. Cue up the old videos of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, who are facing Tigers rotation.
Chicago White Sox: Eloy Jimenez . Having hit .337 / .384 / .777 with 22 home runs across two levels of minors, Jimenez is ready for the South Side. He has power without much effort, which will make him get a blow from the start.
Voltage level: 2. The white sox should be better – it would help if Yoan Moncada puts things out on the plate – but it only goes up if the White Sox actually lands Machado after trading for his brother-in-law Yonder Alonso and signing buddy Jon Jay.
Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer. Yes, we dig deep here, but remember Zimmer? He was the fifth overall recall in the 2012 draft, but he could not stay fresh and never reached the big ones. Royals appointed him to task last spring, signed him again for a minor league deal and sent him to the Driveline baseball facility outside Seattle. He spent the whole season there, returning to Royals throwing 94 to 97 km / h, and now he's back on 40-man roster.
Voltage Level: 2. It's a story to fight for, but Royals still comes out of a 104-loss season.
Houston Astros: The rookie starters. Astros signed Wade Miley and wants to move Collin McHugh back to the rotation, but watch out for Forrest Whitley and Josh James to support Verlander and Gerrit Cole as well. Whitley is Keith Law's top pitch prospect and should be ready to make an impact after a few months in Triple-A. Last time we saw the heavy-handed James standing out of the bull in the postseason (where he blew 100 mph) and he could win a job out of spring training. Behind these two you also have Framber Valdez and Cionel Perez.
Excitement Level: 5. We could have mentioned Carlos Correa after his injury – afflicted in 2018. He was kind of a forgotten guy last year, and you know he's motivated to recover.
What talented stars tomorrow found a home on this year's list?
• Individual players: Just missed | Top 100: 100-51 | 50-1 | Impact 20
• Team placements: Ranking all 30 farming systems | AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL East | NL Central | NL West
Oakland Athletics: Jesus Luzardo. The 21-year-old lefty cruised through three levels of minors last season to become one of the best pitching prospects in the game. If he can get an impact, Oakland's rotation may not be as bad as everyone thinks.
Voltage Level: 3. I mean … Enhanced 22 games and participation only increased 1,200 fans a game to 1,573,616 overall. It is nothing, but the A&S has drawn 2 million just once in 2005. The offseason has been a typical kill low budget maneuver. Hi, it worked last year.
Seattle Mariners: Prospects! It is the last call to Felix Hernandez and at least for weeks, Ichiro Suzuki, but if there is anything to see in spring training, it is the children that the seafarers acquired in the offseason: Justus Sheffield, JP Crawford, Justin Dunn, Erik Swanson, Shed Long (with Jarred Kelenic in minor league match), plus Japanese left leg Yusei Kikuchi. If everything goes right, Kikuchi, Sheffield, Dunn and Swanson will all be in rotation after the All-Star break. Or maybe it means that everything has gone wrong.
Voltage Level: 2. Mariners fans were not exactly high each other about Jerry Dipoto, who dealt with all his best players (except Mitch Haniger), but the wise understood the argument. Make these King Felix nights count; they can wake up.
Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani's rehab. All we know at this time: He will not pitch in 2019 and he is not ready for the opening day. Besides that, let's hope for a quick return and 500 plates designated hitter.
Voltage Level: 3. You can certainly claim that the angels would have been better off introducing a star play – imagine a left side of the infield with Machado and Andrelton Simmons – rather than the narrow approach with Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Cody Allen, etc.  Texas Rangers: May your health be with you. Rangers take chances for Drew Smyly (missed the last two seasons), Edinson Volquez (missed last year) and Shelby Miller (16th last year). They also signed Lance Lynn. So it could be a really good rotation if you play a simplicity in 2015.
Voltage level: 2. Who are the cowboys for draft?
Atlanta Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. Bravesne signed Josh Donaldson, brought back Brian McCann, and all the young starters – both those who are already in the big ones and those coming close to coming there – will be convincing, but in an offseason, when Braves refused to swing to the fences, it's about Acuna. He immediately became one of the most compelling players in the game as a rookie, and after his monster second half – he was third in the big in OPS – there is a question: Can he be MVP?
Level of excitement: 5. Imagine whether they had actually signed Harper or acted on J.T. Realmuto as they should have done.
Washington citizens: Life without Bryce … life with Juan. With a return to D.C., which is unlikely for Harper, citizens certainly did not avoid improving their roster: $ 140 million for Patrick Corbin; replace the dead weight with catcher with Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki; Signing Anibal Sanchez and Brian Dozier; and add bullpen pieces to Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough. For the most part, I just want to see Juan Soto here.
Voltage Level: 4. It's not an election year, and citizens look good on paper, but there will be something after Bryce's suffering. Win the division and Harper will be in yesterday's news.
Philadelphia Phillies: Will they sign Machado or Harper? It's still the big issue in Philly, even after the offseason additions of Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and David Robertson.
Voltage Level: 4. Philly is a tough crowd and fans want Machado or Harper.
New York Mets: All the new faces. Robinson Cano-Edwin Diaz Trade was seen with mixed feelings from many Mets fans who apparently considered Jarred Kelenic as the next Mickey Mantle or something. Mets also signed Jed Lowrie and Wilson Ramos and bought Keon Broxton. They are deeper than last year (although another starter would have been nice) and certainly more interesting.
Voltage Level: 4. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen betrays confidence, and some of it actually rubs on Mets fans.
Miami Marlins: Probably not Neil Walker. In 2017, this train wreck of a franchise had a series of 2017 NL MVP, 2018 NL MVP, plus Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon and Justin Bour. Now they have … umm, Austin Dean, JT Riddle and Peter O & # 39; Brien. Not to pick on a player here, but tag O & # 39; Brien. He is apparently the first first baseman (although it could end up being Walker or Garrett Cooper), is 28 years old, and while having a .838 OPS at 74 PA with Marlins in 2018, he hit .216 in minors. He hit .191 in the minor season before. His strike rate in the two seasons was 34 percent – in minors. It's going to be another long season (though being fair, the rotation can be almost respectable if everything falls right).
Voltage level: Negative 1 million.
Milwaukee Brewers: Jimmy Nelson's health. Lots of things are going on here, from the battle at second base to Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, potentially going from bullpen to rotation to Christian Yelich's MVP encore. But all eyes will be on Nelson, the team's best starts in 2017, missing all of 2018 after injuring his shoulder running the bases late 2017. He recently tweeted, "I'm the best place I've been in past 17 months" and that he has never been more enthusiastic about spring training.
Voltage Level: 5. They were a victory from the World Series last season, and the most underrated baseball city in the country is ready for a big summer.
Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish's Health. Cubs lost NL Central tiebreaker games to the brewers, and there is no doubt that with a healthy one they would not have been in that game in the first place. Darvish suffered a stress reaction in his elbow and made only eight starts, but he already jumps in bullfighting in Arizona and said he feels good after a recent 45-pitch session.
Voltage level: 3. Four equal playoff tours and an average of 97 wins per day. Season, but 2016 feels so long ago a crabby group of Cubs fans.
St. Louis Cardinals: Where does Alex Reyes want? Yes, the Paul Goldschmidt deal should give a good boost, and Andrew Miller – assuming he can avoid the damaged list – will strengthen the bullpen. But it will be curious to see how the early uber view looks to miss almost all two seasons. Although Reyes starts the season in relief, he has the potential to be the team's No. 1 starter who comes to the playoffs.
Voltage Level: 5. After missing the playoffs three seasons in a row, nothing less than a division title will be enough for Cardinals Nation.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Trevor Williams & # 39; s sinking. In his second full season, Williams finished 14-10 with a 3.11 ERA, including a remarkable race over his last 13 starts when he laid out a 1.29 ERA and had eight scoreless excursions. He doesn't throw hard or rack up strikeouts so we'll see if he can repeat his soft-contact success story. In that case, the pirates may have a chance of surprising.
Voltage Level: 1. I get the feeling that no fan base is more intertwined these days than Pittsburgh's – and for good reason after ownership did nothing (again) after an 82-win season while you see other teams in NL making movements. Participation was down to nearly 500,000 in 2018, although the team was better and it might fall again. There are ramifications to keep your money unlocked in a bank vault instead of using it on talent.
Cincinnati Reds: Yasiel Puig and his new friends. Unlike Pirates, the Reds have had enough to lose, and they made a lot of "win-now" movements, especially by acquiring Puig, Alex Wood and Matt Kemp's contract from Dodgers. Top View Nick Senzel should also be ready to gain influence. However, all eyes will be on Puig. There is hardly a greater contrast in cities than L.A. and Cincinnati and how he adapts and performs – will he like or play with a chip on his shoulder? – will be a story to see throughout the season.
Voltage Level: 3. For the first time in five years, Red's fans are cautiously optimistic, but they know it's a tough division.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Corey Seager and Julio Urias. I know these are two things, but they are both important! The case's return from Tommy John surgery is, of course, one of the greatest stories in spring training. But I am fascinated to see if Urias is ready to make a big impact; Remember, before his shoulder surgery in 2017, he was undoubtedly the best pitching prospect in baseball. He returned in late 2018, and Dodgers put him on their playoff roster even though he had only put four innings in the normal season. He is still only 22 and can be one of the many rotation pieces for Dodgers.
Voltage level: 4. It must be a 5, but Dodger's fans do a lot on Signing Harper.
Colorado Rockies: Garrett Hampson. I'm a big fan of Hampson, the fast-paced infant who hit .311 across two levels of minors while beating 36 bases in 41 trials. He has also played a few games in the center, and with Charlie Blackmon moving to the left, Hampson will definitely take some time off the track. Frankly, I'd like to see him out there and Ryan McMahon in second place (holding the fort until Brendan Rodgers is ready) and much less by Ian Desmond.
Voltage Level: 4. Nolan Arenado will sign an extension, but after two equal seasons, Rockies fans will be pumped in 2019.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Who is Merrill Kelly? The D-back hopes to draw a coup with Kelly, similar to what the Cardinals did last year when they picked Miles Mikolas out of Japan. Kelly, a former Ray's farm hand, spent the last four seasons in Korea and he will have a crack by replacing Patrick Corbin in rotation.
Voltage level: 2. The franchise icon is gone. Corbin's gone. A.J. Pollock signed with a division rival. I would say that this will affect participation, but Diamondbacks seems to draw 2 million to 2.2 million, no matter how good or bad the team plays.
San Francisco Giants: Buster Posey's hip . The six-hour All-Star is expected to be ready for opening day after hip surgery in August. Posey's power was injured last season because he couldn't explode through the zone with his swing, so hope is he'll turn fresh and hit .300 again. Even when he was last fresh in 2017, Posey only started 96 games at catcher and 30 at first base, so he will probably split even more time between the two positions.
Voltage level: 2. The hunters are old and bad, and their farm system is weak. But Scottsdale in March is still a great place to go.
San Diego Padres: All the Children . Unfortunately, it has been an offseason of a lot of talk and no action for Padres. They have been in Harper and Machado and asked about Realmuto, but their biggest step was signing Garrett Richards, who may not even be punching in 2019 when he returns from the Tommy John operation. Nevertheless, Padres should have one of the most exciting camps because of their top-skilled farming system (and especially Fernando Tatis Jr.) plus already in the great majors such as Franmil Reyes and Franchy Cordero.
Excitement Level: 3. The enthusiasm has been tempered slightly by the lack of a big move, but Padres is rightly the most hopeful they have been this year.