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Top Five Teams Worth Rebuilding in MLB The Show 19 When it Hits Store Shelves

MLB The Show 18

Top Five Teams Worth Rebuilding in MLB The Show 19 When it Hits Store Shelves

MLB The Show 19 is set to launch in just over two months, and roughly half the offseason is in the books. With the 2019 MLB season approaching sooner each day, let’s take a look at the top five teams to rebuild in franchise mode.

But before we get started, I will qualify a team as an attractive rebuild candidate under specific parameters. First and foremost, the team will likely not contend in 2019. Yes, this is arbitrary, and anything can happen, but for this exercise, let’s operate under the general consensus for how the upcoming season is going to shake out. Some other key attributes a team may hold is a weak farm system, aging stars, bad contracts, or young players ready to become household names in 2019. Lastly, free agency still is up in the air in some big respects, but I’m going to assume the likes of Machado and Harper won’t change this list too much considering the teams I’ll be talking about.

With that out of the way, let’s start in the Pacific Northwest.

The Seattle Mariners

The Mariners have been a fan favorites in recent years for franchise streaming and rebuilds. Having had a depleted farm system for the better part of five years, as well as aging superstars such as Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz, the Mariners were the perfect candidate to try and “turn the page” to a new era. With Cano and Cruz now gone, as well as a laundry list of other guys having departed, the Mariners are betting on a newly revamped farm system to get the team back into contention in the next 2-3 years. Let’s take a closer look.

Rotation stalwart Felix Hernandez is a shell of what he once was, and only has one year left on his current contract. Their new shiny toy from Japan, starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, is a complete unknown, but will likely come with considerable potential in The Show. Filling out the rotation with guys like Mike Leake, Marco Gonzalez and Wade LeBlanc leaves something to be desired. The farm system added some top pitching prospects in Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn, as well as Erik Swanson, all of whom could challenge for rotation spots in 2019.

In the field, Mitch Haniger is as close to a star as you’ll find, with names like Dee Gordon, Kyle Seager and Mallex Smith providing additional offensive punch. But again, the organization is betting on some prospects in 2019 and beyond. Newly acquired OF prospect Jarred Kelenic is another prize of the offseason for them, but is likely 2-3 years out. Guys like outfielder Kyle Lewis and first baseman Evan White will need to contribute soon if Seattle is to turn the team around as quickly as they’d like.

The team will also likely have cash to burn after the 2019 offseason considering Felix Hernandez’s contract will end, giving them at least 27 million on top of the salary cutting they already did this offseason.

The Mariners likely won’t compete in 2019, and while they’ve added some nice pieces to their prospect pool this offseason, the general consensus is they’re still slightly below average because the farm system was just that depleted before these offseason deals. Regardless, Seattle will again be a popular choice among gamers looking to build something up from the studs.

The Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates are probably closer to competing in 2019 than the Mariners are, but given their current farm system and division they play in, it’s unlikely they’ll be a playoff team this season. That being said, they’re an attractive team to attempt a rebuild.

The Pirates operate on a tight budget, so users will have to be more creative and bet on young talent to rebuild the team. The team has some nice pieces to build around, all of whom are cost-controlled. Starting pitchers Jameson Taillon and Chris Archer have several affordable years of control ahead of him, and outfielders Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco continue to be enticing outfielders on long-term deals. But the infield is a mess. Colin Moran and Kevin Newman on the left side of the infield leave a lot to be desired. Adam Frazier and Josh Bell on the right side are a better combo, but they still lack the game-changing ability necessary to move the needle.

In the farm, Pittsburgh has a third baseman by the name of Ke’Bryan Hayes who may challenge Moran sooner rather than later for the starting job at the big league level. Starting pitcher Mitch Killer will almost certainly get a cup of coffee in Pittsburgh in 2019 and has decent potential, albeit not ace stuff. Some lower level guys like Travis Swaggerty and Oneil Cruz have some upside as well.

Pittsburgh is largely considered to have farm system in the bottom-third for organizations in baseball, so they have an uphill climb ahead of them.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks were a National League darling just two years ago, but have now decided to retool after their salary cap began to balloon. It also appears they will not re-sign CF A.J. Pollock. Even more telling, having already traded franchise icon Paul Goldschmidt, as well as purportedly preferring to deal starting pitcher Zack Greinke this offseason, it’s clear more changes could be coming.

Arizona may still have the talent to compete, but in a division with the Rockies and Dodgers, that is no small task.

On the field, the Diamondbacks still have some impactful names like third baseman (and Show god) Jake Lamb, second baseman Ketel Marte and OF David Peralta. However, these names are a far cry from what could have been a lineup featuring Pollock, Haniger, Lamb, Goldschmidt, Segura and Peralta had the team played its cards differently.

The rotation is Arizona’s strength featuring guys like Greinke (if he’s still with the team), Taijuan Walker (still recovering from Tommy John surgery), Robbie Ray and Zack Godley.

The farm system ranks near the bottom of the league, featuring just one — and in some publications zero — top 100 prospect in starting pitcher Jon Duplantier. Some lower level guys like pitcher Taylor Widener and shortstop Jazz Chisholm provide some considerable upside should they continue to develop. It’s hard not to want to rebuild an organization around a guy named Jazz, but a considerable challenge exists nonetheless.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds may be one of the more fun teams to dabble with in 2019 given their offseason acquisitions and the top of their farm system. For years now, the Reds haven’t competed. They’re probably still at least one year away, but the organization is definitely showing signs of life.

On the field, the lineup offers some incredibly fun names. First baseman Joey Votto may be the best pure hitter in baseball and is an annual threat to win the MVP award. Second baseman Scooter Gennett offers some of the best power the position has to offer (as well as sporting an exceptional name). Newly acquired outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp are household names for baseball fans and can really rake. So the lineup is there.

But it’s the rotation that has regularly ranked at or near the bottom of the league in recent years that needs help. The additions of Alex Wood and Tanner Roark will undoubtedly help in this regard. The Reds have also made it clear they would prefer to add one more arm before the season begins. Even if that doesn’t happen, guys like Anthony DeSclafani and Luis Castillo will need to produce in 2019 if the team hopes to compete.

Down on the farm, Cincinnati has two guys who will almost certainly play a big role in the upcoming season. Nick Senzel has been a top 10 prospect for a couple years now, and whether he ends up playing third base or center field or anywhere in between, the team will be counting on him to pack a punch at the plate. Outfielder Taylor Trammell also comes with considerable offensive upside and should see the field for the Reds in 2019. Beyond those two, the Reds have former second-overall pick Hunter Greene, a young starting pitcher who throws absolute gas. The team’s 2018 first-round pick, third baseman Jonathan India, will likely move quickly through the system.

The Reds could win 70 games in 2019. The Reds could win 90 games in 2019. Time will tell, but some might say this is the year to make the jump. Puig, Kemp, Gennett, Wood and Roark will all be free agents after this season, so another step back in the rebuild may be imminent. Either way, it’s an attractive scenario for gamers looking to rebuild an organization.

The Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are stuck in the AL East, which automatically puts a handicap on their ability to make the playoffs each year. Having to play the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox over 30 times each year can definitely sour a team’s postseason aspirations. But the Blue Jays have some things going for them that make them an intriguing, albeit challenging, rebuild candidate. Before we even get to the team currently on the field, it would be an injustice not to start at the top of the farm.

Third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the number one prospect in all of baseball, and he may be the best bat to come through any minor league system in the last decade. His future grades rank higher than Kris Bryant’s ever did.

Or Carlos Correa’s. Or Corey Seager’s. Or Joey Gallo’s.

All of those players ranked as supreme offensive prospects when they were promoted, but when Vladdy Jr. gets the call, he’ll likely be expected to immediately be one of the top 10 third basemen in baseball. Some have said he could be a future .330 hitter with annual 40 home run power. He may be the best offensive prospect since Miguel Cabrera in 2003. This alone may be too tempting for people to pass up.

(Side note: This kid is probably going to have a pretty stacked “Future Stars” card in Diamond Dynasty if/when he gets promoted.)

At the major league level, the Blue Jays sport a formidable lineup featuring guys like first baseman Justin Smoak, designated hitter Kendrys Morales, and outfielder Kevin Pillar. The rotation’s success hinges on a bounce-back year from ace Marcus Stroman, if he isn’t dealt before the season starts.

The farm system has some nice pieces in flame-throwing starting pitcher Nate Pearson, as well as shortstop Bo Bichette and catcher Danny Jansen. All four of the aforementioned prospects (including Guerrero Jr.) are ready to contribute in 2019, but there’s not a ton of reinforcements behind them. The 2020 Blue Jays will likely be a very young team with considerable offensive potential.

Other Teams To Watch?

With more and more teams electing to either go all-in on competing or tearing it down to the foundation, the number of appealing teams to overhaul seems to grow each year. One could make a very strong case the Miami Marlins, the San Francisco Giants or several other teams would be just as worthy of a fun rebuild. A lot can change between now and the start of the 2019 MLB season, but franchise mode in MLB The Show 19 should be an enjoyable time for users looking to make something out of nothing.

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  1. I think any of these 5 teams would be a fun rebuild in '19, but I were to choose one, I think I would go with the Mariners for no other reason than I always play as the Cardinals, so playing as an American League team would be a nice change of pace. Plus it would be fun to try to build them up to a playoff contender and then a team that can reach their first ever World Series.
    The orioles look good for anyone who wants a real challenge, as that roster is god awful and there's not a whole lot of prospects to back it up. Throw in that they're in the hardest division and have a lovely, lovely ball park and you should have a great challenge imo
    I intend to carry over my Pirates franchise. They are indeed a challenge in part due to budget.
    Reds should be improved with the Dodger trade.
    Another team which is a major rebuild is Miami. Low budget and not a lot of talent.
    San Diego is another rebuild.
    tessl
    I intend to carry over my Pirates franchise. They are indeed a challenge in part due to budget.
    Reds should be improved with the Dodger trade.
    Another team which is a major rebuild is Miami. Low budget and not a lot of talent.
    San Diego is another rebuild.
    San Diego's farm is so chock-full of talent that the heavy lifting is mostly done.
    Sent from my SM-G955U using Operation Sports mobile app
    with Bryce Harper leaving D.C. (lets  assume?) I'd really love to build the Nats into a World Series  champion, too bad my Braves are in the same division so Washington is a non-starter for me. Usually I roll  with the Orioles in the A.L. East, but that might be a boring proposition in 19.
    Jeffrey Smith
    I usually stay away from my beloved Blue Jays but this year...maybe!
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    IMO you will never have a better prospect to build around and you can “own” his whole career
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    My top 5
    Seattle-never made a World Series
    San Diego-Loaded farm system
    Pittsburgh-Never a winner
    Baltimore-Hardest rebuild
    Texas-Build for the new Park
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    Taylor Trammell isn't going to see the field in Cincy this year. Also you might want to mention Eugenio Suarez and his top 10 in the NL ops when talking about the Reds offense.
    The Blue Jays rebuild is actually mostly done already. Most of the older players have already been traded and/or bought out paving the way for the young prospects to get ample playing time.
    Now they just need let those kids play and see what they got, if Guerrero lives up to his potential and Stroman/Sanchez pitch like aces they could be contending sooner rather than later.
    Sad thing is that a lot of their prospects won't be in the game (Guerrero, Bichette, Biggio, Pearson) due to not playing a game with the team. Will have to snag them from the vaults.
    acts238shaun
    I'll be rebuilding the Marlins, especially since they are getting rid of the horrible idol to wretched baseball management they had in CF.
    Yeah that and the lime green walls were the only things preventing me from using them last year. Glad to see somebody finally wised up. Sun Life was a dump, but at least it didn't make my eyes bleed.
    YankeeGuy
    I think the White Sox should not only be in the top 5 but possibly #1 on this list. Padres should have also made the list.

    How do you rebuild a rebuild? There is no more talent to sell off, its just a waiting game on prospects and going after free agency holes..
    I have done what I call a reverse rebuild; take a team like Houston or the Cubs, come in as cheap mgmt/ownership, tear that sucker down & rebrand as a under $100 million contender. With a $164 million payroll in 18, San Fran was on my radar, I just ran out of time. One of the first things I'll do in 19, outside of playing an actual game is check out each teams payroll.
    YankeeGuy
    I think the White Sox should not only be in the top 5 but possibly #1 on this list. Padres should have also made the list.
    The White Sox, Padres, and Blue Jays are largely done. Their farm systems are already so stacked that all a user would have to do is plug and play.
    This article highlights teams needing to be dug out of a bigger hole.
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    TheKnack
    The White Sox, Padres, and Blue Jays are largely done. Their farm systems are already so stacked that all a user would have to do is plug and play.
    This article highlights teams needing to be dug out of a bigger hole.
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    The only advantage in using the default roster instead of OFSM might be in getting to rebuild each teams organisation and not worry about preconceived notions of this team or that team doesnt need rebuilding. I dont even know if this article takes into account OFSM, especially since the new guys had to distance themselves from it.
    EDIT: maybe this guy did go against the grain and did use real minors as his basis
    :shrug:
    If you want a true challenge you take on the Marlins. That team is stripped of all it’s talent and has to rebuild it’s entire farm system.
    There will be plenty of losing but the rewarding feeling if you pull it off....will be unmatched.
    I would say if you want a fun rebuild the Giants are also a team that would interest me personally. Cool park, some really nice veteran stars that can be moved for prospects.
    For the A.L. The Rangers to me are a rebuild for sure as well as the Mariners.
    TheKnack
    The White Sox, Padres, and Blue Jays are largely done. Their farm systems are already so stacked that all a user would have to do is plug and play.
    This article highlights teams needing to be dug out of a bigger hole.
    Sent from my SM-G955U using Operation Sports mobile app

    I disagree about the Padres. Their rotation is terrible and have literally nobody at 3b. I think there is still slot of work to be fine to make them competitive
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    I'm going to rebuild the Tigers into a contender in one year by trading all my prospects because it will give me something fun to do while the RL Tigers are bad.
    catswithbats
    I'm going to rebuild the Tigers into a contender in one year by trading all my prospects because it will give me something fun to do while the RL Tigers are bad.

    Bye bye Miggy? lol
    I know he's not a prospect but he could net a few holes to fill
    My Top five rebuilds would be:
    5. Marlins. After the Realmuto trade, they did get Alfaro and Sanchez to go along with some other decent pieces, but the farm system is still weak.
    4. Giants. An odd mix of players on the roster, and a bottom half farm system/
    3. Royals. Weak team, weak system.
    2. DBacks. Average farm system, and no true superstars after the Goldschmidt trade.
    1. Orioles. The team is a dumpster fire, and a farm system that needs to be rebuilt. Not a whole lot to build around.
    mariner690
    IMO you will never have a better prospect to build around and you can “own” his whole career
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    Ronald Acuna and the Braves would like to have a word with you
    Armor and Sword
    If you want a true challenge you take on the Marlins. That team is stripped of all it’s talent and has to rebuild it’s entire farm system.

    jbooth2367

    5. Marlins. After the Realmuto trade, they did get Alfaro and Sanchez to go along with some other decent pieces, but the farm system is still weak.

    the problem with the Marlins' farm is that it's so boom or bust. Guys like Montee Harrison, Victor Victor Messa, Isan Diaz, and Jorge Guzman are capable of being all-stars or capable of being replacement level players.
    The Reds offseason isn’t done from what I’ve read. I love teams that try to go from zeros to contenders overnight.
    It worked out for the Padres right...?
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    Armor and Sword
    Yeah....once Bravesfan drops his 19 version of his hybrid roster.....we are going to go into the abyss and rebuild........
    The Marlins.
    God help us all.
    No prospects and thin roster to trade away. I imagine Barraclough will be their highest rated player. Now that's a challenge.
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    mariner690
    I disagree about the Padres. Their rotation is terrible and have literally nobody at 3b. I think there is still slot of work to be fine to make them competitive
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    With realistic minors no, just sim a couple of years and maybe trade for a starter or third baseman. Or you could put Tatis at 3rd and leave Urias at SS, and let guys like Paddack, Allen, and Quantrill take their lumps in the rotation in year 1.
    Without yes, they have those glaring holes.
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    bobzyauncle
    What about the Cardinals? I’m not sure what’s going on in that team right now but have always intrigued me as a team to rebuild.

    Their minors are right outside the top 20, so that much would be interesting to rebuild. As for the big league Cards, if I could resign Goldie longterm, he's a good piece to rebuild around, except for his age(31). And even then, thats not real old.
    I rebuilt the Orioles in 18, post Machado trade. It took me to 2025 to make the playoffs and 2026 to win the World Series. All simming.
    Looking for a challenge in 19 and I am debating between a full on rebuild or a middling team and trying to stay competitive while building the farm system up with talent I select.
    I like to do full on challenges and make it tough but I don't want to play the Orioles again and I still harbor ill will from the 97 world series so I can't play the Marlins.
    I think I might give the Royals or Rangers a try.
    Anyone have any good ideas for a middling team to try. Sometimes those are the tough ones. I was thinking the Nationals post Bryce, probably.
    Funkycorm
    I think I might give the Royals or Rangers a try.
    Anyone have any good ideas for a middling team to try. Sometimes those are the tough ones. I was thinking the Nationals post Bryce, probably.

    I'd go with the Rangers. All they can do is strikeout and hit dingers. Unfortunately, it's a lot more of the former. And their minor league system has very little.
    The Nationals won't be bad post-Bryce. They have arguably the best OF prospect in baseball (Victor Robles) just waiting for his opening. Plus, they have a few guys in the minors nearly ready as well (Carter Keiboom, etc.).
    Cod
    I'd go with the Rangers. All they can do is strikeout and hit dingers. Unfortunately, it's a lot more of the former. And their minor league system has very little.
    The Nationals won't be bad post-Bryce. They have arguably the best OF prospect in baseball (Victor Robles) just waiting for his opening. Plus, they have a few guys in the minors nearly ready as well (Carter Keiboom, etc.).

    Thanks for the input. I don't really follow the Nationals so I don't know much about their farm system.
    I was thinking of using the Padres or Reds this year.
    I usually play with my team the Mets but then if they are crappy half way during the season I lose interest cause I cant stand to look at them in the game lol
    I think the Marlins current roster is the closest version of an expansion roster that we have seen in quite some time. I was trying to think of another example but could not think of another team that was this empty with talent and did not have a loaded farm system.
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    mariner690
    I think the Marlins current roster is the closest version of an expansion roster that we have seen in quite some time. I was trying to think of another example but could not think of another team that was this empty with talent and did not have a loaded farm system.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Take a look at the Orioles...
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    Yeah I would agree with The Orioles and Marlins being the toughest rebuilds for this upcoming cycle.
    So are are my top 5 in each league:
    A.L.
    Orioles
    Mariners
    Rangers
    Royals
    Blue Jays
    N.L
    Marlins
    Diamondbacks
    Giants
    Reds
    Pirates
    Armor and Sword
    Yeah I would agree with The Orioles and Marlins being the toughest rebuilds for this upcoming cycle.
    So are are my top 5 in each league:
    A.L.
    Orioles
    Mariners
    Rangers
    Royals
    Blue Jays
    N.L
    Marlins
    Diamondbacks
    Giants
    Reds
    Pirates

    Gonna be a sad year for my Rangers.
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    Scott
    Gonna be a sad year for my Rangers.
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    I'm extra sour because I love Globe Life Park and the final season for it is going to be awful to sit through.

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