Way too early MLB power rankings: Cubs have a lot to prove early on

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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Eloy Jimenez , Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers / Leon Halip/GettyImages

MLB Power Rankings: White Sox praying for a quick turnaround

  • 14: Chicago White Sox
  • 13: Minnesota Twins
  • 12: Seattle Mariners
  • 11: Tampa Bay Rays
  • 10: St. Louis Cardinals

This was supposed to be the era where the White Sox reigned as the Cubs trudged through their rebuild. Instead, Tony La Russa and an underperforming roster finished the 2022 season at 81-81, missing the postseason and drawing endless criticism from those around the game.

This team has a ton of talent, but hasn't ever put it all together at the level Rick Hahn and the front office hoped for. Eloy Jimenez has mashed, but hasn't stayed healthy, and they're hoping outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who signed the biggest free agent deal in franchise history this winter, can help balance the lineup in 2023.

Their division rival, the Minnesota Twins, surprisingly came out the winners in the Carlos Correa sweepstakes and will look to challenge Cleveland for the AL Central crown. Pacing ahead of both of these teams, you find the Mariners - who snapped a two-decade postseason drought last fall, the Rays, who always find themselves in the thick of things late in the year and the Cardinals.

It's a changing of the guard, of sorts, for St. Louis - who watched Yadier Molina (and Albert Pujols) hang up their spikes. All Jon Mozeliak did to replace Molina was snatch longtime Cubs backstop Willson Contreras in free agency, signing him to a five-year deal. Now on the other side of that historic rivalry, the three-time All-Star will look to twist the knife in the side of his former team.