4.) The New York Mets
Steve Cohen bought the Mets in November 2020 and has made the headlines, both positive and negative, early and often. After bringing in Billy Eppler to run the team in 2021, the team has made splashy move after splashy move. Trying to throw money at the problem can be a quick way to dig yourself out of a hole but just because you have money and can sign the most desired free agents, doesn’t mean you’re a competent front office. In fact, since Cohen bought the team, I think most would say the Mets have been a disappointment. With major signings of Francisco Lindor, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and even the failed Carlos Correa, you would think the team would be the class of the NL East. Most recently, in a supposed private conversation, Eppler told Scherzer that the Mets will not be going after the top free agents this off-season and the expectations for 2024 will be lower than they were in 2022 and 2023. This prompted a request from the Mets’ ace to be traded. After the 2023 trade deadline where they sold off Scherzer and Verlander, the farm system took a jump in the rankings and currently stands at the 11th best farm system with five prospects in the top 100. The circus that seemingly follows this organization around has not painted them in a good light, but this team has the financial wherewithal and the willing owner to make a jump at any time. This team is simply 4th on this list because they have the highest of expectations, and with the exception of the regular season last year which they came in second in the NL East and lost in the Wild Card round, they have not lived up to the hype.
3.) The Miami Marlins
If the Mets are a team with all the money in the world but the lack of a savvy front office, the Marlins are the polar opposite. The Miami Marlins have been at the bottom of the standings for quite some time and when they have the names that excite fans, they trade them away. Famously fielding a team in 2017 of eventual MVPs Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich, while also having Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto, these players have all moved on and found major success with other teams. However, notoriously a “cheap” organization, the Front Office, led by the first women MLB GM Kim Ng, is as good as it gets. Ng and company have proven to be an intelligently ran front office that makes relatively low cost moves that pay significant dividends. Since Ng became the GM in 2021, the Marlins have ranked 27th, 26th , and 22nd in total payroll. After finishing the 2021 and 2022 seasons with 95 and 93 losses respectively, in Ng’s third year, they stand with a winning record and right in the thick of a playoff race. The Marlins have produced electric position players like Jazz Chisholm Jr., and even better starters like Sandy Alcantara, Jesus Luzardo, and Eury Perez. The Marlins are the 24th ranked farm system but simply because they have promoted many of their top prospects over the last two years. It can be tough to make significant strides in the standings and get the positive results when your handcuffed by an ownership group who doesn’t want to spend money but outperforming expectations consistently and trending in the right direction earn the Marlins the third ranking on this list.