As the 2021 season kicks into gear, we set out to create division-by-division MLB superteams.
Let's set the stage with some parameters.
The full roster and payroll breakdown for each superteam can be found here.
Let's get started.
Roster Construction: We selected a 26-man roster for each team, consisting of 13 position players and 13 pitchers who all reside within the same division.
Payroll Limitations: To spice things up a bit, we instituted a payroll cap of $150 million for each team based on 2021 salaries (via Spotrac). For pre-arbitration players whose salaries aren't public, we assigned the league-minimum salary of $570,500.
Notes: Below each division's roster are a few notes explaining the logic behind certain picks, notable omissions and other useful tidbits.
Starting Lineup: 1. CF Alex Verdugo (BOS), 2. 2B DJ LeMahieu (NYY), 3. RF Aaron Judge (NYY), 4. 3B Rafael Devers (BOS), 5. 1B Luke Voit (NYY), 6. SS Bo Bichette (TOR), 7. DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR), 8. LF Randy Arozarena (TB), 9. Christian Vazquez (BOS)
Bench: C Alejandro Kirk (TOR), IF Cavan Biggio (TOR), IF/OF Brandon Lowe (TB), OF Teoscar Hernandez (TOR)
Starting Rotation: 1. RHP Gerrit Cole (NYY), 2. LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR), 3. RHP Tyler Glasnow (TB), 4. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS), 5. John Means (BAL)
Bullpen: LHP Ryan Yarbrough (TB), RHP Chad Green (NYY), LHP Tanner Scott (BAL), RHP Rafael Dolis (TOR), RHP Diego Castillo (TB), RHP Pete Fairbanks (TB), RHP Matt Barnes (BOS), LHP Aroldis Chapman (NYY)
Total 2021 Salary: $149.4 million
Center fielder George Springer ($23.7 million) and shortstop Xander Bogaerts ($20 million) were both tough omissions. Leaving them off allowed room for Gerrit Cole ($36 million) and Hyun Jin Ryu ($20 million) atop the starting rotation, where there were fewer viable options.
With Tampa Bay Rays closer Nick Anderson sidelined with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, splurging on Aroldis Chapman ($17.2 million) became more of a necessity to anchor the back of the bullpen.
The reasonably priced corner infield tandem of Luke Voit ($4.7 million) and Rafael Devers ($4.6 million) freed up money for an expensive pitching staff.