The National League East is home to the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, the 2019 World Series Champion Washington Nationals, and the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves.
They also have three of the last 5 National League MVP Award Winners in Giancarlo Stanton with the Marlins in 2017, Freddie Freeman with the Braves in 2020, and most recently Bryce Harper with the Phillies in 2020. That’s not even mentioning the Cy Young Dominance that Nationals (and now Mets) Pitcher Max Scherzer and Mets Pitcher Jacob DeGrom have had over the past six years.
Even with all these accolades, the star powered division is considered to be amongst the worst in baseball. The teams can some of the worst of the worst, and the best of the best all in one season.
This offseason is one of the most star-studded free agent cycles that we have seen in a long time, and the trade market is just as crazy. The Mets have been all over it, bringing in stars like Center Fielder Starling Marte, Infielder Eduardo Escobar, 1st Baseman Mark Chana, and now the icing on top, Superstar Pitcher Max Scherzer.
The Mets remain active, while teams like the Phillies and Braves, who were expected to be big players in this market, remain quiet. The Marlins also are expected to make a splash, pun intended. Yet we have yet to hear of any real traction between any major players in this market and either of these teams.
With all these teams being a key player or two away from being in contention for a title, it is strange to see four of five teams being quiet.
The Phillies and Marlins have been linked to outfielders Chris Taylor and Nicholas Castellanos, and it seems like they are both frontrunners for both players, no real movement has been made, per Jon Morosi of the Athletic. The Phillies are also interested in potential infielders turned outfielders Trevor Story and Kris Bryant, though both seem to be looking for contracts out of their price range.
The Braves and superstar 1st Baseman Freddie Freeman have yet to agree on a deal or even to be rumored to be close in negotiations which has come to shock the MLB world.
There has not even been a peep from the Nationals, not even a rumor. A potential extension for their young star outfielder Juan Soto could be in the works, but its yet to be said how Soto feels about his future in Washington.
The balance of power in the NL East could be shifting, as the fate of the teams is in the hands of their front office’s. With Mets being the only team active, we could see a new team on top of the division very soon.