The Cincinnati Reds still have Joey Votto, couldn’t find a taker for Billy Hamilton in the offseason, and signed Eugenio Suarez to a big contract extension. They might not be trying too hard to win in 2018, but their failures can be more closely tied to a complete inability to develop any of their pitching prospects as opposed to a refusal to try. The Padres are still bad, but they just signed Eric Hosmer to a $144 million deal as they try to recover from their debacle of a 2015 season. The Orioles headed into the season trying to win by holding on to Manny Machado and signing Alex Cobb. Those might not have been wise baseball moves, but they aren’t the moves of a tanking club. The Royals tried to keep contending the past few years after their World Series runs, and they signed one of their own free agents in Mike Moustakas, held on to Danny Duffy, and brought in a few veteran free agents. The Royals are bad, but they’ve been trying to win and haven’t authored a complete teardown.
The Tigers are similar to the Royals, trying to stay afloat for more than a decade as aging stars couldn’t continue to produce and recent big signings haven’t delivered. The White Sox are only a year and a half removed from trading Chris Sale and less than a year from trading Todd Frazier, Jose Quintana, and a host of relievers. If they aren’t at least competitive by next season, it might be fair to criticize their efforts. The Marlins? Yeah, the Marlins are tanking.
Source: Craig Edwards, FanGraphs