On Baseball: Pitchers and Catchers Report Soon. Which Teams Stand a Chance in 2018?

PHILLIES After a few years of one-year investments in outside talent, the Phillies spent almost $95 million on multiyear deals for three free agents — Carlos Santana, Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter. They won’t lift a 96-loss team to the playoffs, but after five losing seasons, the Phillies are subtly shifting their focus to the present. Their high-impact prospects are starting to arrive, and if he gets enough pitching, Gabe Kapler could make a strong debut as manager.

BRAVES The Braves introduced a new mascot last month, a furry, portly, beige creature with googly eyes and red streamers that shoot from his ears. His name is Blooper, and he replaces a Mr. Met knockoff named Homer. The Braves ranked 28th in the majors in homers last season, and with 89 losses, they also had their share of bloopers. But their young talent is ready to spark a turnaround.

BREWERS Before 2005, Milwaukee had endured 12 consecutive losing seasons. Mark Attanasio bought the team that year, and since then the Brewers’ longest streak of losing seasons has been two. After improving by 13 games last season, to 86-76, Attanasio invested $80 million in Lorenzo…

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