The 2022 Major League Baseball offseason has been a wild one, and the Mets upped the insanity Wednesday.
New York reportedly agreed to a massive deal with Carlos Correa, who had agreed to a deal with the Giants last week. The reported move leaves San Francisco without Aaron Judge, who was believed to be heading back home to the Bay Area, and without one of the four top shortstops on the market.
What is a loss for the Giants is a huge gain for the Mets, who have not been afraid to spend this offseason. But where does Correa put New York among the top infields in MLB? There are eight standout infields in the league, and here’s where they stand as of Wednesday.
8. San Diego Padres
A National League Championship Series run seemed to be the spark for the Padres to try to make a push for a World Series berth in 2023. San Diego believes Xander Bogaerts can help in that quest, and the former Boston Red Sox shortstop will be another big bat alongside Manny Machado. Jake Cronenworth was a fine bat for the Padres during their postseason run, and San Diego hopes it has built the pieces needed for a championship-level team.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski acquired one of the top shortstops on the market in Trea Turner. The 29-year-old joins an NL pennant squad that has the likes of Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura on the right side of the infield. Turner should be a solid fit in what is expected to be a competitive NL East.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
Young stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are the highlights for the Blue Jays, and Matt Chapman proved to be a solid upgrade at third base in his first season in Toronto. Guerrero took a slight step back from his breakout 2021 season, but the 23-year-old should be up for the challenge in 2023 and help the Blue Jays make a deeper postseason run.
5. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals continue to produce seemingly endless amounts of talent. NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt is the highlight of the team, but Nolan Arenado still produces All-Star production and Gold Glove-level defense. Brendan Donovan and Tommy Edman also are solid young players that help St. Louis always remain in the hunt, despite a lackluster 2022 postseason.
4. Cleveland Guardians
The Guardians never are the most exciting team to talk about, but they always are a threat due to their talent. All-Stars Andrés Giménez and José Ramírez lead an infield that added Josh Bell this offseason. Amed Rosario doesn’t put up flashy numbers, but he is a solid bat in the lineup.
3. New York Mets
All the spending has to lead to something right? On paper, the Mets are a dangerous team. New York added Justin Verlander and Japanese ace Kodai Senga to the rotation. Correa links up with Francisco Lindor, and one would think the Mets will be able to work out the left side of the infield between those two. New York also has power bats in Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, which will make the Mets must-watch television in 2023.
2. Atlanta Braves
The 2021 World Series champions lost Dansby Swanson to the Chicago Cubs, but, like the Cardinals, there appears to be an endless talent pool in Atlanta. Matt Olson and Austin Riley are the highlights in the corner infield spots, and Vaughn Grissom showed promise in his rookie season, which likely is why the Braves won’t miss Swanson too much.
1. Houston Astros
The rich just get richer. The 2022 World Series champions added first baseman José Abreu this offseason. He will join the always reliable Jose Altuve, along with Alex Bregman and Jeremy Peña, who broke out this postseason and proved he can be relied upon in the big moments by winning World Series MVP.