MLB hot stove: Sizing up NL’s landscape as Mets, Padres join Dodgers, Braves in top tier of contenders

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The calendar has flipped to 2021, and the only thing you can say about Major League Baseball’s competitive landscape is that it looks an awful lot like it did in 2020. The Padres and Mets gave the hot stove a much-needed jolt these last two weeks, otherwise things have been very quiet. Only 12 of our top 60 free agents have signed, including only one of the top 14.

Spring training is scheduled to begin in five weeks, though there’s a chance it will be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. MLB is pushing for a delay to avoid playing games without fans while the MLBPA wants a full season with full pay. History tells us the two sides will continue their bickering publicly over the next few weeks. Hopefully hot stove action provides a nice distraction from the labor war.

Now that we’re in a new year, let’s take a look at the National League’s competitive landscape. It’s important to note this is only a snapshot in time, because rosters will change between now and spring training, whenever that is. We tackled the American League last week, and now it’s time to cover the Senior Circuit (teams are listed alphabetically within each tier).  

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