What to Look Forward to for the Exciting Upcoming 2024 MLB Season: NL Edition

Cody Bellinger, from Chicago Cubs returns to the Cubs for 2024
Cody Bellinger, from Chicago Cubs returns to the Cubs for 2024
Noa Prothais

*ALL INFORMATION ON STATS/REPORTS CAN BE FOUND ON MLB.COM AND “THE SCORE”*

MLB Spring training games just kicked off, and 30 baseball teams are preparing and getting their teams ready to battle to hopefully make it to the 2024 World Series. There was a lot of action (trades, signings, etc.) this off-season, so there are plenty of things to look forward to and plenty of things that are still a mystery.

The National League consists of 15 teams each in their divisions, the NL West, East, and Central.

(Top) Shohei Obtain from La Dodgers hits the ball against the Chicago White Sox
(Bottom) Shohei Obtain hits a 2-run HR against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday (Noa Prothais)

NL WEST
Los Angeles Dodgers—
Probably one of the biggest moves this offseason happened in the Dodgers’ organization. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed former Angels’ prodigy, Shohei Ohtani. They offered the Japanese pitcher/DH (designated hitter) a 10-year 700 million dollar contract. However, he suffered a UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) tear which required surgery, keeping him off the pitching mound for the 2024 season. He will have to stay as a designated hitter for the entire season. It will be interesting to see how he does this year seeing that he will only be hitting.

Arizona Diamondbacks—
The Diamondback fell just short of a World Series title last year, losing to the Texas Rangers. This year they are coming back for it all. It will be exciting to watch how they start off the season. Will they come out of the gates hot? Or will the Diamondback come out more preserved, saving all their energy for the “dog days” of August-October?

 

Colorado Rockies—
The Rockies haven’t had anything going for them in the last few years. There is nothing to be expected of them this year. One thing that can be looked forward to, is how they are going to rebuild their team this year so that they can become contenders for the World Series again.

San Francisco Giants—
The Giants acquired RHP(right-handed pitcher) Jordan Hicks on a four year 44 million dollar contract. He hasn’t been having that special of a career, but he has shown some good signs of improvement so it is intriguing to see what he will do for the Giants’ organization this year.

San Diego Padres—
The San Diego Padres lost all-star outfielder, Juan Soto in the off-season who recently just signed with the New York Yankees. The Padres had a rough season last year, as they missed the playoffs after finishing third in the NL West. They just lost an important piece of their scheme so seeing how they do without Soto is something to pay attention to.

NL Central

Ronald Acana, from Atlanta Brares ready for another season in 2024 (Noa Prothais)

Chicago Cubs—

After having a bounceback year with the Cubs, outfielder Cody Bellinger won, “Comeback Player of the Year” (following a two year slump with the LA Dodgers) the Chicago Cubs re-signed him on a three year 80 million dollar contract.

After having a good bounceback year it is very exciting to see what Bellinger is going to do this year. Will he perform about the same? Or maybe he will do even better? Bellinger has a lot of talent so anything is possible for him. Another big thing about the Cubs is they lost their star pitcher, Marcus Stroman in free agency. Stroman signed a deal with the NY Yankees, leaving the Cubs without their best pitcher.

Cincinnati Reds—
Former NL Rookie of the Year, infielder Johnathan India extended his contract with the Reds for two years. He has been very reliable for the Reds over the last few years and is safe to say is an important player for them. Something else for the Reds is star pitcher, Hunter Greene, who agreed on a contract extension, six years 53 million dollars.

Milwaukee Brewers—
The Brewers traded their best pitcher, All-Star, and former CY Young winner, Corbin Burnes to the Baltimore Orioles. He was a very big part of the Brewers’ culture and performance, and they traded him away for LHP DL Hall and infield prospect Joey Ortiz.

Pittsburgh Pirates—
The Pittsburgh Pirates just signed RHP Aroldis Chapman to a one year 10.5 million dollar contract. Last year, Chapman was a part of the Texas Rangers bullpen and won the World Series. The Pirates also signed RHP Mitch Keller to a five year 77 million dollar contract. The Pirates have two very good pitchers and after struggling the last few years, it was probably a good move by the Pirates to sign the two pitchers.

ST. Louis Cardinals—
The ST. Louis Cardinals signed lifetime San Francisco Giant, Shortstop(SS) Brandon Crawford. He is a well-decorated player, having won multiple awards, having been awarded the Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, Def Player of the Year, and more. The Cardinals had also signed infielder Matt Carpenter and re-signed infielder Tommy Edman. The Cardinals have been a competitive team the last few seasons, so these three new additions make them a much scarier team to face in the 2024 season.

NL East

Arolds Chapman, a new addition to the Pittsburgh Pirates (Noa Prothais)


Atlanta Braves—
The Atlanta Braves were the first team to 100 wins in the 2023 season but fell during the playoffs, missing the World Series. It is safe to say that they are coming back for revenge, and their All-Star outfield Ronald Acuna is going to get them there. In the 2023 season, he became the first player in history to hit 40 home runs and steal 70 bases in a single season.

He is arguably the best outfielder in baseball at the current time and is a huge part of the Braves’ offensive scheme. They also signed LHP Chris Sale who will be a massive boost to their pitching rotation. The Atlanta Braves are going to be a top contender for the World Series this season.

New York Mets—
There was nothing really major for the Mets this off-season, but they made a few changes to their infield. First, they signed first baseman Ji-man Choi to a one year deal. They also re-signed their all-star first baseman, Pete Alonso on a one year deal. The Mets are in a similar position as the Colorado Rockies, just looking toward the future.

Philadelphia Phillies—
The Phillies did not make any notable changes to their roster. But for the last few seasons, they have made the playoffs and have made it relatively deep into the playoffs, losing last year in the semi-finals, and losing two years ago in the World Series to the Houston Astros. They are a legitimate team and should not be taken lightly this year and can be expected to have another good year and make the playoffs again.

Miami Marlins—
The Miami Marlins made a monumental addition to their team this offseason. They signed Middle Infielder Tim Anderson to a one year five million dollar contract. This is a huge addition for the Marlins because they already have a star middle infielder, Jazz Chisholm Jr. so the addition of Anderson will be huge in their defensive game going into the 2024 season.

Washington Nationals—
The Washington Nationals are in a similar position to the Mets and Rockies. They are just looking to improve their team by micromanaging, hoping that in the long run they can return to the league as contenders.

The 2024 season kicks off in late March on the 28th. Until then, there will be a ton of spring training games so that teams can get ready for the new season, where everyone gets a fresh start and anything can happen. If you want to know more about what to look for in the MLB Season, you can go check out the AL edition of this article written by Brayden Brewer.

End-of-Season Predictions
NL WEST Winner- Dodgers
NL CENTRAL Winner- Cubs
NL EAST Winner- Braves
WILD CARD 1- Phillies
WILD CARD 2- Cardinals
WILD CARD 3-Diamond-Backs
NL Championship Winner(Advances to World Series)- Dodgers

About the Contributors
Kenan Mansilla, Staff Writer
Kenan is a staff writer on the Sports News Team for the Grizzly Gazette and a 12th grader at Golden Valley High School in Santa Clarita, California.  He is currently involved with the school’s baseball team and has played for all four years of high school.  Kenan has been a CSF member since freshman year and intends to do so again for senior year.  Kenan has been surrounded by sports his entire life, so he is very enthusiastic about being able to do more with sports by being able to cover them in the school paper.  In his free time he spends time playing baseball and watching sports.  His favorite baseball team is the Los Angeles Dodgers and his favorite football team is the Philadelphia Eagles, with his favorite baseball player being Nolan Arenado.  He also enjoys being outdoors by doing things like camping and fishing.  Kenan looks forward to this year of journalism because he wants to learn about new ways to write and express things abroad.  
Noa Prothais, Staff Writer
Noa Prothais is in 10th grade, she is bilingual in French and english. She is a staff writer on the Sports News Team for the Grizzly Gazette. Outside of school work Noa is part of the XC and Track team, and after school she does ballet. She's on varsity for both Track and XC and has been doing ballet for almost 9-10 years. After only doing track for a few months last year she went to CIF. Being an athlete she’s very passionate about writing sports so that she can hopefully share the journey of individual teams or student athlete, she wants to be able to share about personal records and team environment to encourage the respect and time it takes to commit to a sport, she’d also like to write about student spotlight stories or CEPAT, because it involves more than one topic. She really wants to be part of the grizzly gazette to learn more about this profession to hopefully pursue this in the future. She loves writing, running, and dancing, occasionally drawing.