MLB Power Rankings 2012: Dangerous Teams to Watch After Trade Deadline
As we approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the landscape of Major League Baseball for the rest of 2012 could be drastically altered.
There have already been two big deals that saw big names move across the country—Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers and Zack Greinke to the Angels—and there could be more moves made in the next 24 hours.
With that in mind, here is our look at the most dangerous teams who will make big moves after the deadline.
Los Angeles Angels
Even though the Oakland A's are all the rage in the American League West right now, the team is clearly only the third best in the division.
The Angels, on the other hand, look like a powerhouse just waiting to catch fire at the right time. This team made the biggest deal of the trade season thus far, acquiring Greinke to upgrade a pitching staff that already includes Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.
If Dan Haren can stay healthy and pitch at the level he normally does, this rotation is better than any in baseball.
The offense is so dependent on Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols that they have to stay healthy, but with such a deep starting rotation, this team won't need that much offense.
Tampa Bay Rays
Which Team Is The Most Dangerous?
This year's Rays are not that much different from the 2011 version, which was biding time before making a September surge into the postseason. (Yes, the Red Sox falling apart helped, but the Rays did go 17-9 in the last month of the campaign.)
Like the Angels, the Rays boast a deep starting rotation that can mask a lot of the team's other problems.
Namely, the offense without Evan Longoria.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Longoria is healthy and playing in rehab games. Getting him back healthy will basically be like adding a big bat at the deadline. I don't expect the Rays to make any significant move before July 31. However, don't ignore this squad in the American League wild-card race.
St. Louis Cardinals
I have no idea why this team is "only" 54-48. The Cardinals have the best lineup in the National League, and it isn't particularly close. The starting rotation, while struggling at various times, is very good.
The bullpen has had its problems, and should be addressed at the deadline. However, if this team is able to put their act together over the final two months of the season, the National League Central race will be theirs for the taking.
The Pirates are a nice story, but that offense still isn't very good and the pitching staff is starting to show some cracks. The Reds are the only team that can compete with them on a talent level, but the Cardinals are still clearly superior.
Don't be shocked to see the Cardinals reel off a stretch of games and go 12-3. This team is that good.
|MLB POWER RANKINGS FOR WEEK OF JULY 30|
|1. New York Yankees|
|2. Texas Rangers|
|3. Washington Nationals|
|4. Cincinnati Reds|
|5. Atlanta Braves|
|6. Pittsburgh Pirates|
|7. Oakland A's|
|8. San Francisco Giants|
|9. Chicago White Sox|
|10. Detroit Tigers|
|11. Tampa Bay Rays|
|12. Los Angeles Angels|
|13. St. Louis Cardinals|
|14. Los Angeles Dodgers|
|15. Baltimore Orioles|
|16. Arizona Diamondbacks|
|17. Toronto Blue Jays|
|18. Boston Red Sox|
|19. New York Mets|
|20. Cleveland Indians|
|21. Miami Marlins|
|22. Seattle Mariners|
|23. Minnesota Twins|
|24. Philadelphia Phillies|
|25. Milwaukee Brewers|
|26. San Diego Padres|
|27. Chicago Cubs|
|28. Kansas City Royals|
|29. Houston Astros|
|30. Colorado Rockies|
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