Welcome to the beginning of the middle of the 2023 MLB season. Much has changed since we first tried to slot teams into their expected destinies before the season. That's been great for some teams (Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks) and not so great for others (St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox).
Now comes what is, in many ways, the most fascinating part of the season, when teams look to overcome slow starts, maintain hot ones or, for the majority, simply try to figure out how good their rosters really are. It's this last area that most concerns us today as we begin to glance ahead at the end of next month and an Aug. 1 trade deadline that has just emerged over the season's horizon.
As has become a quasi-tradition in our June editions of Stock Watch, we're going to take our initial peek at the looming deadline. Teams have been placed in tiers according to the level of aggressiveness they figure to display when it comes to positioning for a playoff run this season. At this point, more than a few teams don't fit easy classification and this picture can -- and almost certainly will -- evolve over the weeks to come.