Updated MLB Power Rankings: Where Does Your Favorite Team Stand?

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees watches his third-inning two-run homer in the third-inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Yankee Stadium on July 14, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

As the trade deadline draws ever closer, where does your favorite team stand in this week's MLB power rankings?


1: New York Yankees (57-38, Previous: 1)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

With the improved performance of Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes, along with the continued solid pitching of CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees have a solid one through four in their rotation.

They'll likely continue to search for a replacement for Freddy Garcia on the trade market, and possibly a left fielder, but they are in as good a position as anyone entering the season's most important months.


img2: Washington Nationals (55-39, Previous: 3)

Last Week's Record: 4-4

The Nationals got closer Drew Storen back this past week, although he will remain in a setup role for the time being. However, they lost shortstop Ian Desmond to a torn oblique muscle that could keep him sideline for an extended period of time (h/t ESPN.com).

The team could potentially add a starter at the deadline, as they look to make what is already a fantastic rotation even better and provide some depth to aid with Stephen Strasburg's innings count situation.


3: Cincinnati Reds (55-40, Previous: 4)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

After struggling to stay in first place all season, the Reds have looked dominant of late winning 11 of 13, yet they still hold only a half-game lead over the Pirates in the NL Central.

The search continues for someone who can get on base in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the lineup, but the team continues to win despite not only their top-of-the-order struggles but also being without Joey Votto as he makes his way back from knee surgery.


4: Texas Rangers (56-38, Previous: 2)

Last Week's Record: 2-3

The Rangers have looked beatable of late, going 6-9 in in their last 15 games and dropping a series to the rival Angels to close out this past week.

Starters Roy Oswalt and Colby Lewis could both be headed to the DL, as injuries to the pitching staff continue to be a sore spot (h/t Blair Angulo, ESPNDallas.com). That should only ramp up the team's effort to land a starter or two at the deadline, as they look to regain the dominant form they showed earlier this season. 


5: Los Angeles Angels (52-44, Previous: 5)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

The Angels faced as tough a slate of games as anyone this past week, as they dropped three of four to the Tigers before taking two of three from the division rival Rangers to close out the week.

Shortstop Erick Aybar could be headed for a DL stint, and would be replaced by top prospect Jean Segura. On the flip side, catcher Chris Iannetta is on the comeback trail and Dan Haren rejoined the rotation on Sunday.


6: Pittsburgh Pirates (54-40, Previous: 9)

Last Week's Record: 5-1

The Pirates offense has slowly rounded into form around MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen (.372 BA, 22 HR, 66 RBI, 14 SB), but glaring holes remain at shortstop and catcher.

The starting pitching has not been quite as good as it was early on, and the team could look to add a starter, but they still look like legitimate contenders here in late July. 


7: Detroit Tigers (52-44, Previous: 13)

Last Week's Record: 6-1

The Tigers are finally putting it all together, as they have gone 13-2 in their last 15 games, and with a sweep of the White Sox they have moved into first place in the AL Central.

The pitching staff behind Justin Verlander has begun to round into form, led by a healthy Doug Fister, as they are finally backing the team's potent offense. There is still a hole at second base, and the team could still look to add a starter, but they are finally looking like the team everyone expected them to be as we close out July.


8: San Francisco Giants (53-42, Previous: 6)

Last Week's Record: 4-2

The Giants remain the class of the NL West, thanks in large part to an improved offense to back their phenomenal pitching staff.

Tim Lincecum has looked like his old self of late, allowing two runs over 15 innings in his past two starts, and if he can return to form their rotation has four frontline guys.


9: Atlanta Braves (52-43, Previous: 7)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

The Braves have looked like geniuses for taking a chance on Ben Sheets so far, as he has not allowed a run over 12 innings through his first two starts. Still, with the struggles of Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens, the team could look to add a starter.

Shortstop is also an area of concern, as the duo or Tyler Pastornicky and newly acquired Paul Janish provide little in the way of offensive production. However, there is not much on the market, so they will likely just have to wait until Andrelton Simmons is back.


10: Oakland Athletics (51-44, Previous: 15)

Last Week's Record: 5-1

The A's closed out their week with a four-game sweep of the Yankees, in the latest David versus Goliath matchup of the two opposite ends of the payroll spectrum.

There is no hotter team in all of baseball right now than the A's as they have gone 14-2 in their last 16 games to pull within six games of the Rangers. That despite an MLB-worst .228 team batting average, as pitching and timely hitting has carried them to this point. Can they keep it up?


11: St. Louis Cardinals (50-45, Previous: 11)

Last Week's Record: 4-2

With the Cardinals' improved starting pitching of late and positive signs from Jaime Garcia on the comeback trail, the team is not as set on adding a starter at the deadline as they were a few weeks ago (h/t Derrick Goold, stltoday.com).

The team has dealt with significant injuries all season and has always found someone to step up, and now with the entire offense healthy and their rotation close to being as healthy as it's going to get, they find themselves in a good position heading into August.


12: Los Angeles Dodgers (52-44, Previous: 12)

Last Week's Record: 4-2

The Dodgers have yet to make the splash that many expected them to at the deadline, but there is still time and with Chad Billingsley hitting the DL with shoulder soreness the team has more reason than ever to add a starting pitcher.

The left side of their infield, currently made up of Luis Cruz and Adam Kennedy, could also be upgraded as the team also looks to bolster its lineup alongside star outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Expect the silence in Los Angeles to be broken in the days ahead.


13: Baltimore Orioles (51-44, Previous: 14)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

The Orioles have managed to right the ship after a rough patch leading up to the All-Star break, as their starting rotation has looked better sans Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta.

Despite that, they will still likely try to add a low-cost starter at the deadline, as they look to claim one of the two wild-card spots and make the postseason for the first time since 1997.


14: Chicago White Sox (50-45, Previous: 8)

Last Week's Record: 1-6

The White Sox have dropped five straight, as they were swept and subsequently passed for first place in the AL Central by the Tigers to close out the week.

They'll get starter Gavin Floyd back on Monday, and they traded for Astros closer Brett Myers to bolster their bullpen, so they're still in a good position. Things are shaping up for a good battle between the Tigers and White Sox over the final two months.


15: New York Mets (47-48, Previous: 10)

Last Week's Record: 1-5

The slide that many Mets fans had feared appears to be in full effect, as they are 1-9 in their last 10 games and have fallen 8.5 games behind the Nationals in the NL East. 

Making matters worse, a sprained ankle has landed Johan Santana on the DL and ineffective veteran Miguel Batista was designated for assignment on Sunday (h/t C. Trent Rosecrans, CBSSports.com). That could open the door for top prospect Matt Harvey to make his debut, and if he can pitch well and the team can make a move (or three) to upgrade their bullpen they still have a shot.


16: Tampa Bay Rays (49-47, Previous: 16)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

Getting back Matt Joyce (.277 BA, 11 HR, 35 RBI) is a big addition for the offensively challenged Rays, but now Luke Scott is on the DL and has been replaced by Hideki Matsui (.147 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI).

The team has a big decision to make regarding James Shields, as he represents one of the best arms on the market if he is made available and with two option years he has the team control that teams covet. Moving him could help the team shore up their middle infield or catcher situations in the short term.


17: Toronto Blue Jays (48-47, Previous: 19)

Last Week's Record: 3-3

For all that has been made of the Blue Jays decimated starting rotation, Aaron Laffey and Carlos Villanueva have stepped in and done a fantastic job. The duo has gone a combined 5-1 with a 2.53 ERA and reached the sixth inning in seven of nine starts.

Former top prospect Travis Snider (.325 BA, 13 HR, 57 RBI in minors) has been called up in what could be his last chance to prove himself, as the now 24-year-old was in the majors as a 20-year-old and looked to be a future star.


18: Arizona Diamondbacks (47-48, Previous: 21)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

A solid week has kept the Diamondbacks in the playoff picture, and they could look to make up even more ground this coming week as they take on the lowly Rockies and the sliding Mets.

You can't say enough about what Jason Kubel (.300 BA, 21 HR, 71 RBI) has meant to the team this year, as he and Aaron Hill (.308 BA, 13 HR, 45 RBI) have carried the offense. Now they will look for 23-year-old Ryan Wheeler to make an impact at third base after he posted a .351 BA, 15 HR, 90 RBI line at Triple-A.


19: Boston Red Sox (48-48, Previous: 18)

Last Week's Record: 3-4

Just as the Red Sox were getting back to full strength, with the returns of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz, slugger David Ortiz was lost to an Achilles' tendon injury.

Big picture though, pitching has been their biggest issue and they remain in the market for a starter as the deadline approaches. They're currently in last place in the AL East, but they could make some late-season noise if they are able to bolster their pitching staff.


20: Cleveland Indians (47-48, Previous: 17)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

While they are still only 4.5 games out of first in the AL Central, they have lost four straight and are 4-9 in their last 13 games as they are sliding fast.

With the Tigers finally playing up to their potential and the White Sox solid all season, the Indians have their work cut out for them if they hope to make a postseason push. Adding a right-handed bat to a lineup that features seven left-handed hitters and two switch-hitters would be a step in the right direction.


21: Milwaukee Brewers (44-50, Previous: 20)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

A sweep at the hands of the Reds this weekend could be the final push the Brewers needed to be sellers at the deadline, and there is no question Zack Greinke is their most intriguing trade chip.

The team reportedly has offered Greinke an extension in the neighborhood of $100 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports and Greinke confirmed that that was the case. If he declines their offer, there is no shortage of teams interested, and even as a rental player he could net a big return.


22: Miami Marlins (44-51, Previous: 22)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

For a team that entered the season with playoff aspirations after an expensive offseason, it has been a tough year for the Marlins. As a result, they could be sellers in the days to come and they are reportedly willing to listen to offers for anyone (h/t Buster Olney, ESPN.com).

Starter Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante look like the most likely players to be moved, as the Marlins look to bolster their farm system while remaining in a position to make a run at the postseason next year.


23: San Diego Padres (36-54, Previous: 26)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

The Padres have opted to hold on to some of their most appealing trade chips, as they signed outfielder Carlos Quentin to a three-year, $30 million extension (h/t C. Trent Rosecrans, CBSSports.com) and are looking to re-up with closer Huston Street as well (h/t Scott Miller, CBSSports.com).

With a strong farm system and a solid group of young players already making an impact, the Padres appear to be looking to turn things around sooner rather than later in the rebuilding process. That could be due in part to improved play of late, as they've gone 14-7 in their last 21 games.


24: Philadelphia Phillies (42-54, Previous: 23)

Last Week's Record: 3-3

With Roy Halladay back, the Phillies are at full strength for the time all season, but it will be too little too late as they dug far too big of a hole early on to rebound from.

It remains to be seen if Cole Hamels will be dealt, as the team is ready to offer him a six-year, $130 million extension (h/t SI.com). However, Shane Victorino is almost certainly on his way out, as he is set to hit free agency at season's end and has struggled through a down season.


25: Seattle Mariners (37-53, Previous: 27)

Last Week's Record: 5-2

The Mariners offense has been nothing short of awful this season, as they have only one player with an OPS over .800 (John Jaso, .861), and the evaluation period should begin shortly as they'll start to take a long look at some of their young talent.

As for trade chips, pitchers Jason Vargas and Kevin Millwood could both be on the move, potentially opening up a rotation spot for top prospect Danny Hultzen down the stretch.


26: Minnesota Twins (40-55, Previous: 28)

Last Week's Record: 4-3

The Twins will need to decide soon if they are going to trade left-hander Francisco Liriano, who has turned things around in a big way since an early season demotion to the bullpen, going 3-4 with a 2.84 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 63.1 innings of work over his last 10 starts.

Moving forward, the team needs to find some answers in the starting rotation as their offense has been good enough to win this season, but their AL-worst 4.88 team ERA has kept that from happening.


27: Kansas City Royals (40-54, Previous: 24)

Last Week's Record: 2-5

The season has been a disappointing one for the Royals, and while the team has been reluctant to sell, they have a big decision to make regarding closer Jonathan Broxton who is one of the more sought-after arms in the market (h/t Danny Knobler, CBSSports.com).

Once the deadline passes and we move into August, expect to see top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi called up as they will get an opportunity to play their way into a significant role next season.


28: Chicago Cubs (38-56, Previous: 25)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

As of Sunday, the fire sale had yet to begin in Chicago, but with Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker all drawing some level of interest it is seemingly only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, looking to the future, Anthony Rizzo (.329 BA, 4 HR, 10 RBI) has looked great through 21 games and has shown flashes of being the middle-of-the-order slugger the Cubs hope he'll be for years to come.


29: Colorado Rockies (36-58, Previous: 29)

Last Week's Record: 2-4

The Rockies and Royals swapped disappointing starters, with Jeremy Guthrie going to Kansas City for Jonathan Sanchez. Both are free agents at the end of the year, so it was little more than a change of scenery move between struggling teams.

There is some reason for excitement in Colorado despite the team's struggles, as the outfield trio of Carlos Gonzalez (.972 OPS, 19 HR, 66 RBI), Dexter Fowler (.910 OPS, 12 HR, 39 RBI) and Tyler Colvin (.894 OPS, 13 HR, 41 RBI) has been among the best in all of baseball.


30: Houston Astros (34-62, Previous: 30)

Last Week's Record: 1-6

The Astros pulled of a massive 10-player trade with the Blue Jays, with J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon heading to Toronto for some solid prospects, outfielder Ben Francisco and closer Francisco Cordero (h/t ESPN.com).

They also unloaded closer Brett Myers, shipping him to the White Sox for a pair of minor leaguers and a player to be named (h/t ESPN.com). They still have one major trade chip in Wandy Rodriguez, and they will have officially dealt all of their veteran pieces over the past three years as they have fully committed to rebuilding.


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