1. Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber, limited to two regular-season games last season after a first-week injury sustained in an outfield collision, rode the streets of Chicago in November as a Fall Classic legend. ’Nuff said about the Cubs’ repaired relationship with the baseball gods.
2. Cleveland Indians: Best cure for a postseason hangover? Acquiring the big-boom bat of Edwin Encarnacion, and looking forward to Andrew Miller further redefining the role of bullpen anchor.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers: Intriguing rotation packs a mix of accomplished veterans (Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir) and 20-year-old phenom Julio Urias.
4. Boston Red Sox: Speaking of intriguing rotations, perennial Cy Young candidate Chris Sale joins David Price (who won the award in 2012) and Rick Porcello (who won it in 2016).
5. Washington Nationals: Bryce Harper’s 2016 stats weren’t terrible, just terrible for a defending MVP projected to be the youngest Triple Crown winner since Ty Cobb.
6. Houston Astros: Performance of recently obtained vets (catcher Brian McCann, DH Carlos Beltran, outfielder Josh Riddick) will determine whether ’Stros will fulfill the destiny — 2017 World Series champs — foreseen last year on a Sports Illustrated cover.
7. Texas Rangers: Jurickson Prufar (24), Roughned Odor (23) and Nomar Mazera (21) represent the nucleus of a young team whose owner has decided Globe Life Ballpark, which opened in 1994, is too old.
8. Seattle Mariners: Tough April schedule will challenge M’s to put together the cushion they’ll need to survive an even tougher August schedule.
9. San Francisco Giants: Mark Melancon provides reinforcement for a bullpen that couldn’t preserve a 5-2, top-of-the-ninth-inning lead over the Cubs in Game 4 of the NL Division Series.
10. St. Louis Cardinals: Among the 10 most negative scenarios facing the Cardinals on the eve of spring training, losing young starter Alex Reyes to season-ending elbow surgery ranked No. 1.
11. Toronto Blue Jays: Right-hander Marcus Stroman (MVP of the World Baseball Classic) is part of a starting rotation that could be the best reason to believe in a team recently known for its heavy-hitting lineup.
12. New York Mets: The rotation still oozes potential, but the clock is ticking — eight position-player regulars are at least 30.
13. Baltimore Orioles: O’s can bash with anybody, but all bets hinge on ace right-hander Chris Tillman, recovering from a shoulder ailment.
14. Detroit Tigers: A foot injury will render slugger J.D. Martinez inactive until May, but don’t count out a club that finished two games behind Baltimore and Toronto in the 2016 wild-card race.
15. Colorado Rockies: Strongest starting rotation in franchise history could prove key in snapping skid of six losing seasons.
16. Pittsburgh Pirates: Bucs’ struggles last season corresponded with regression of former MVP outfielder Andrew McCutchen, an early candidate for Comeback Player of the Year award.
17. New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez is an emerging superstar, and the farm system got restocked by trades that brought huge talent hauls for Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Brian McCann.
18. Kansas City Royals: With several core players eligible for free agency next year, 2017 could be the last waltz for championship team that reinvigorated baseball in Kansas City.
19. Minnesota Twins: Youth movement built around designated hitter Miguel Sano (23) and outfielders Byron Buxton (23) and Max Kepler (24).
20. Tampa Bay Rays: Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi are mainstays of a quality rotation, but the Rays were undone last season by a bullpen charged with 33 losses, most in baseball.
21. Arizona Diamondbacks: D-Backs trusting that A.J. Pollock’s recovery from a broken elbow will compensate for trading Jean Segura to the Mariners.
22. Atlanta Braves: Relocation to SunTrust Park in Atlanta suburbs gives Braves and their fans emotional jump-start.
23. Miami Marlins: Boating accident that killed ace starter Jose Fernandez continues to haunt Marlins.
24. Milwaukee Brewers: General manager David Stearns’ rebuilding project puts premium on athletes prone to manufacture runs with speed and aggressiveness. Sound familiar?
25. Los Angeles Angels: With Angels wallowing in Mike Trout’s prime, it’s fair to wonder how long they’ll be able to resist temptation to trade baseball’s best player for all-world prospects.
26. Oakland Athletics: Raiders’ imminent move to Las Vegas might help A’s resolve their stadium issues with city of Oakland.
27. Chicago White Sox: Team in transition, with veterans such as Jose Quintana and Todd Frazier looming as trade chips, and some big-time prospects knocking on the door.
28. Philadelphia Phillies: Third baseman Maikel Franco remains an unfinished project with flaws in his plate approach, but he hit 25 home runs last year.
29. Cincinnati Reds: Cincy fans don’t dig the long ball — Reds surrendered a record 258 homers last season.
30. San Diego Padres: The rotation is a mess, and offense has trouble scoring, but at least the Padres aren’t candidates to ditch San Diego.
John McGrath: firstname.lastname@example.org