MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After the Winter Meetings

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand After the Winter Meetings

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    The winter meetings have come and gone, and while it was one of the quieter four-day periods in recent memory, many believe that once the two big names Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke finally sign, the domino effect will be a quick one.

    Still, there were a number of moves made at the meetings and the MLB landscape has certainly changed at least enough to justify an updated set of power rankings.

    Since it's impossible to accurately predict how the rest of the offseason will play out, the power rankings that follow serve as a baseline for where each team stands at this very moment.

    That is to say, these rankings reflect where I would place each team if the season started today with their rosters as-is.

    This will be continue to be updated throughout the offseason as we continue the push toward spring training and eventually Opening Day.

     

    *Note: Rosters taken from MLBDepthCharts.com.

30. Houston Astros (Previous: 30)

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    Offseason Overview

    A year after moving closer Mark Melancon to the Red Sox and getting an impact bat in Jed Lowrie, the Astros again trade their young closer in Wilton Lopez to the Rockies for a pair of pitchers.

    One of them, Alex White, is a former first-round pick who the Rockies acquired from the Indians in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal. He has a high ceiling and should open the season in the rotation. The team also added veteran Phil Humber, who threw a perfect game last season for the White Sox, to their rotation.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    2B Jose Altuve
    RF Jimmy Paredes
    SS Jed Lowrie
    1B Brett Wallace
    DH Fernando Martinez
    CF Justin Maxwell
    C Jason Castro
    LF J.D. Martinez
    3B Matt Dominguez

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Lucas Harrell
    SP Bud Norris
    SP Phil Humber
    SP Jordan Lyles
    SP Alex White
    CP Hector Ambriz 

29. Miami Marlins (Previous: 29)

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    Offseason Overview

    It's going to be a long season in Miami after the team was gutted earlier this offseason in a trade with the Blue Jays.

    The team flipped one of the players they acquired from Toronto, Yunel Escobar, to the Rays for infield prospect Derek Dietrich, who looks to have a bright future, but it only further weakened a team whose marquee offseason offensive addition to this point has been Juan Pierre.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    LF Juan Pierre
    2B Donovan Solano
    1B Logan Morrison
    RF Giancarlo Stanton
    CF Justin Ruggiano
    3B Greg Dobbs
    C Rob Brantly
    SS Adeiny Hechavarria
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Ricky Nolasco
    SP Henderson Alvarez
    SP Wade LeBlanc
    SP Nathan Eovaldi
    SP Jacob Turner
    CP Steven Cishek

28. Cleveland Indians (Previous: 28)

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    Offseason Overview

    Though they were quiet at the winter meetings, one has to imagine the Indians laid the groundwork for a number of potential deals as the offseason progresses/.

    Asdrubal Cabrera is one of the best trade chips in all of baseball now due to the complete lack of options at the shortstop position, and while the team's asking price is high, expect someone to bite. Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Perez and Justin Masterson are also players who could be on the move for the rebuilding Tribe.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    RF Shin-Soo Choo
    2B Jason Kipnis
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    C Carlos Santana
    CF Michael Brantley
    3B Lonnie Chisenhall
    1B Yan Gomes
    DH Mike Aviles
    LF Ezequiel Carrera

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Justin Masterson
    SP Ubaldo Jimenez
    SP Zach McAllister
    SP Corey Kluber
    SP Carlos Carrasco
    CP Chris Perez

27. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 27)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Twins have now dealt outfielders Denard Span and Ben Revere, and return they received a trio of solid young pitchers in what appears to be a pair of solid moves for a franchise in desperate need of arms.

    Span landed the team Alex Meyer (10-6, 2.86 ERA, 9.7 K/9), who had a terrific first pro season and has the stuff to be a future ace. Vance Worley will step in as the team's ace, and he came over from the Phillies along with Trevor May (10-13, 4.87 ERA, 9.1 K/9), who entered last season as the No. 69 prospects according to Baseball America.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Darin Mastroianni
    2B Jamey Carroll
    C Joe Mauer
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau
    DH Ryan Doumit
    RF Chris Parmelee
    3B Trevor Plouffe
    SS Pedro Florimon Jr.

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Vance Worley
    SP Scott Diamond
    SP Liam Hendriks
    SP Brian Duensing
    SP Cole De Vries
    CP Glen Perkins

26. Chicago Cubs (Previous: 26)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Cubs have had a busy offseason so far, signing starters Scott Baker and Scott Feldman, as well as adding Nate Schierholtz to be the primary right fielder and bringing back Ian Stewart for another try at third base.

    These aren't exactly the type of moves that are going to fire up the fanbase, but the team is holding strong to its commitment to building the franchise top to bottom and avoiding spending big. They may still look to add another starter to fill out the rotation.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF David DeJesus
    RF Nate Schierholtz
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    SS Starlin Castro
    3B Ian Stewart
    C Welington Castillo
    2B Darwin Barney
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Matt Garza
    SP Jeff Samardzija
    SP Travis Wood
    SP Scott Feldman
    SP Chris Rusin
    CP Carlos Marmol

25. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 24)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Royals have understandably made starting pitching their area of focus this offseason, as they brought Ervin Santana aboard and re-signed Jeremy Guthrie. They should also benefit from the continued development of Jake Odorizzi.

    The biggest question now is if the team will deal top prospect Wil Myers to land a frontline starter as rumors continue to swirl (h/t CBSSports). If they don't move him, he'll likely push Jeff Francoeur for his starting outfield spot and will make the Royals good, young offensive core even better.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Lorenzo Cain
    SS Alcides Escobar
    LF Alex Gordon
    DH Billy Butler
    3B Mike Moustakas
    C Salvador Perez
    1B Eric Hosmer
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    2B Chris Getz

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Jeremy Guthrie
    SP Ervin Santana

    SP Bruce Chen
    SP Luke Hochevar
    SP Luis Mendoza
    CP Greg Holland

24. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 25)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Rockies bolstered their bullpen this offseason by acquiring Astros closer Wilton Lopez, who had a 2.17 ERA and 10 saves in what was his third straight season logging over 60 appearances with an ERA under 3.00.

    The team also brought back Jeff Francis to fill out the back of the rotation, though they could look to add more pitching after registering the worst ERA in baseball as a group last season. The offense looks strong as ever though, and getting Troy Tulowitzki back should only make them better.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Dexter Fowler
    2B Josh Rutledge
    LF Carlos Gonzalez
    SS Troy Tulowitzki
    RF Michael Cuddyer
    1B Todd Helton
    C Wilin Rosario
    3B Chris Nelson
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Jorge De La Rosa
    SP Jhoulys Chacin
    SP Drew Pomeranz
    SP Juan Nicasio
    SP Jeff Francis
    CP Rafael Betancourt

23. New York Mets (Previous: 21)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Mets' biggest offseason move thus far was a major one, as they locked up third baseman David Wright with an eight-year, $138 million extension (h/t ESPN New York).

    They'll now turn their attention to either locking up ace R.A. Dickey or dealing him, as they don't have a ton of money to spend on the free-agent market but could net a big haul in moving Dickey. Regardless of what they do with him, they'll likely look to add someone to bolster their outfield.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    SS Ruben Tejada
    2B Daniel Murphy
    3B David Wright
    1B Ike Davis
    LF Lucas Duda
    RF Mike Baxter
    CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
    C Josh Thole
    Pitcher 

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP R.A. Dickey
    SP Johan Santana
    SP Jon Niese
    SP Dillon Gee
    SP Matt Harvey
    CP Frank Francisco

22. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 22)

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    Offseason Overview

    It's not Josh Hamilton, but the Mariners added Jason Bay to a low-cost deal in an effort to boost their offensive production.

    There are still a ton of holes though, and they could explore both the free-agent and trade market in an attempt to avoid finishing last in the American League in runs and batting average for the fourth straight season.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    2B Dustin Ackley
    CF Franklin Gutierrez
    3B Kyle Seager
    DH Jesus Montero
    C John Jaso
    1B Justin Smoak
    LF Jason Bay
    RF Michael Saunders
    SS Brendan Ryan

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Felix Hernandez
    SP Jason Vargas
    SP Hisashi Iwakuma 
    SP Erasmo Ramirez
    SP Blake Beavan
    CP Tom Wilhelmsen

21. San Diego Padres (Previous: 23)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Padres have already added Jason Marquis and Tyson Ross to the staring pitching mix, and they could look to add another arm behind the promising duo of Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard.

    Their offense was dealt a blow when Yasmani Grandal was suspended for 50 games following a positive PED test, but they should still be solid and could get a boost from top prospect Jedd Gyorko at some point early in 2013.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    SS Everth Cabrera
    2B Logan Forsythe
    3B Chase Headley
    LF Carlos Quentin
    1B Yonder Alonso
    RF Wil Venable
    CF Cameron Maybin
    C Nick Hundley (Yasmani Grandal suspended first 50 games)
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Edinson Volquez
    SP Clayton Richard
    SP Jason Marquis
    SP Eric Stults
    SP Tyson Ross
    CP Huston Street

20. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 19)

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    Offseason Overview

    The White Sox signed Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million deal to play third base, and with the Yankees making a one-year, $12 million offer to Kevin Youkilis (h/t MLB.com), they appear to have gotten a bargain to fill their void at the hot corner.

    The team also appears ready to move forward with Tyler Flowers as their starting catcher, with A.J. Pierzynski still on the free-agent market but likely to command a high salary after enjoying a breakout season at the age of 35. 

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Alejandro De Aza
    3B Jeff Keppinger
    DH Adam Dunn
    1B Paul Konerko
    RF Alex Rios
    LF Dayan Viciedo
    SS Alexei Ramirez
    C Tyler Flowers
    2B Gordon Beckham

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Chris Sale
    SP Jake Peavy
    SP John Danks
    SP Gavin Floyd
    SP Jose Quintana
    CP Addison Reed

19. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 18)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Pirates pulled off a bit of surprise when they non-tendered starter Jeff Karstens, and while they could still look to add a starter, that will likely open up a rotation spot for prospect Jeff Locke or perhaps even Gerrit Cole at some point in 2013.

    The team opened its wallets to add Russell Martin on a two-year, $17 million deal, and as long as young Starling Marte can continue to develop in the leadoff spot their offense should be solid as they look to make another run at a winning season and more.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    LF Starling Marte
    2B Neil Walker
    CF Andrew McCutchen
    1B Garrett Jones
    3B Pedro Alvarez
    C Russell Martin
    RF Travis Snider
    SS Clint Barmes
    Pitcher 

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP A.J. Burnett
    SP Wandy Rodriguez
    SP James McDonald
    SP Jeff Locke
    SP Kyle McPherson
    CP Joel Hanrahan

18. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 20)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Red Sox were as busy as anyone at the winter meetings as they signed Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara to join Jonny Gomes and David Ross as new additions to the team.

    Pitching remains an issue and they will likely sign at least one starter, but the team is much better off than they were a few weeks ago. They may have overpaid a bit for Victorino and Napoli, but they had money to spend and managed to keep the deals short-term.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    RF Shane Victorino
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    DH David Ortiz
    1B Mike Napoli
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    LF Jonny Gomes
    SS Jose Iglesias

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Jon Lester
    SP Clay Buchholz
    SP Felix Doubront
    SP John Lackey
    SP Franklin Morales
    CP Andrew Bailey

17. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 17)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Brewers have been quiet so far this offseason, as they acquired reliever Burke Badenhop from the Rays to help bolster what was one of the worst bullpens in baseball, but have done little else.

    The team could look to add another proven starter behind Yovani Gallardo, and will likely sign at least another reliever or two to the 'pen. There's also still an outside chance that they could make a run at Josh Hamilton, but that is seeming less and less likely.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    RF Norichika Aoki
    2B Rickie Weeks
    LF Ryan Braun
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    1B Corey Hart
    C Jonathan Lucroy
    CF Carlos Gomez
    SS Jean Segura
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Yovani Gallardo
    SP Marco Estrada
    SP Michael Fiers
    SP Chris Narveson
    SP Mark Rogers
    CP John Axford

16. New York Yankees (Previous: 13)

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    Offseason Overview

    The winter meetings have come and gone and the Yankees still have a ton of work to do. They've brought back a trio of important arms in Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera but have yet to address the offense.

    Right field, catcher and DH remain major areas of need, and now with Alex Rodriguez out until midseason the team will likely need to add a third baseman as well. They reportedly offered Kevin Youkilis a one-year, $12 million deal, though he has yet to agree to anything (h/t Bryan Hoch of MLB.com).

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    LF Brett Gardner
    SS Derek Jeter
    2B Robinson Cano
    1B Mark Teixeira
    CF Curtis Granderson
    DH Eduardo Nunez
    RF Chris Dickerson
    3B David Adams (Alex Rodriguez out until midseason)
    C Chris Stewart

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP CC Sabathia
    SP Hiroki Kuroda
    SP Andy Pettitte

    SP Phil Hughes
    SP Ivan Nova
    CP Mariano Rivera

15. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 14)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Diamondbacks made a splash early this offseason when they acquired Cliff Pennington and Heath Bell in a three-team trade that sent Chris Young out of town.

    Though they were quiet at the winter meetings, the chance remains that they could move Justin Upton as they look to upgrade at shortstop with Asdrubal Cabrera, with one of the Rangers duo of Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar still intriguing options.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Adam Eaton
    2B Aaron Hill
    RF Justin Upton
    C Miguel Montero
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    LF Jason Kubel
    3B Chris Johnson
    SS Cliff Pennington
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Ian Kennedy
    SP Trevor Cahill
    SP Wade Miley
    SP Trevor Bauer
    SP Tyler Skaggs
    CP J.J. Putz

14. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 16)

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    Offseason Overview

    After missing out on their top target B.J. Upton, the Phillies found a solution to their center field need as they traded Vance Worley and Trevor May to the Twins for Ben Revere.

    The team still has holes at third base and could use another outfielder perhaps, but their biggest need now will be replacing Worley in the rotation. Tyler Cloyd is capable of stepping into the role, but the team has little depth and would benefit from signing another veteran arm.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    SS Jimmy Rollins
    CF Ben Revere
    2B Chase Utley
    1B Ryan Howard
    LF John Mayberry Jr.
    RF Domonic Brown
    3B Kevin Frandsen
    C Erik Kratz (Carlos Ruiz suspended first 25 games)
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Roy Halladay
    SP Cliff Lee
    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Kyle Kendrick
    SP Tyler Cloyd
    CP Jonathan Papelbon

13. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 15)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Rays have taken steps to upgrade their offense already this offseason, signing James Loney to play first base and acquiring shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Marlins.

    Loney could provide the same low-cost value that Casey Kotchman did two years ago, and Escobar is not too far removed form being one of the top offensive shortstops in the league. The question remains now whether or not the team will move James Shields or another pitcher to further bolster its offense.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Desmond Jennings
    SS Yunel Escobar
    RF Ben Zobrist
    3B Evan Longoria
    LF Matt Joyce
    DH Brandon Guyer
    1B James Loney
    2B Ryan Roberts
    C Jose Molina

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP David Price
    SP James Shields
    SP Jeremy Hellickson
    SP Matt Moore
    SP Jeff Niemann
    CP Fernando Rodney

12. Texas Rangers (Previous: 11)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Rangers have yet to make a move this offseason, but they appear to be controlling the market right now, and according to team president Nolan Ryan the prospect of adding both Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke remains a possibility (h/t ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth).

    Assuming they only get one, Justin Upton may be the answer to replacing Hamilton and James Shields could be an alternative to Greinke. Either way, it appears the team has a good chance to land a part-time outfield bat and a frontline starter.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    3B Adrian Beltre
    RF Nelson Cruz
    LF David Murphy
    DH Michael Young
    1B Mitch Moreland
    C Geovany Soto
    CF Leonys Martin

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Yu Darvish
    SP Derek Holland
    SP Matt Harrison
    SP Alexi Ogando
    SP Martin Perez
    CP Joe Nathan

11. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 10)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Dodgers started off the offseason by signing Brandon League, and appeared ready to spend big in addressing the starting rotation.

    However, they've been silent since, and after being viewed as the front-runner to sign Zack Greinke they are seemingly now forced to wait and see how things play out with the Rangers. That said, once the chips begin to fall, expect the Dodgers to spend.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    2B Mark Ellis
    RF Andre Ethier
    CF Matt Kemp
    1B Adrian Gonzalez
    SS Hanley Ramirez
    3B Luis Cruz
    LF Jerry Hairston Jr. (Carl Crawford questionable to start season)
    C A.J. Ellis 
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    SP Clayton Kershaw
    SP Josh Beckett
    SP Chris Capuano
    SP Aaron Harang
    SP Ted Lilly
    CP Brandon League

10. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 9)

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    Offseason Overview

    In a move that was at least mildly surprising, the Orioles non-tendered Mark Reynolds, who win his final year of arbitration was due for a raise over the $7.5 million he made last season.

    With Manny Machado ready to step in at third, he was expendable and the team can now use that money to perhaps sign another veteran starter to add some stability to its young rotation. Nate McLouth was also brought back on a one-year deal after providing a spark in a comeback season last year. 

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    LF Nate McLouth
    SS J.J. Hardy
    RF Nick Markakis
    CF Adam Jones
    C Matt Wieters
    1B Chris Davis
    DH Wilson Betemit
    3B Manny Machado
    2B Brian Roberts

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Jason Hammel
    SP Wei-Yin Chen
    SP Chris Tillman
    SP Miguel Gonzalez
    SP Zach Britton
    CP Jim Johnson

9. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 12)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Braves have already made a pair of major moves this offseason, signing B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75.25 million deal and trading starter Tommy Hanson to the Angels for reliever Jordan Walden.

    Gerald Laird was brought in to replace David Ross as the backup catcher and will likely open the season as the starter with Brian McCann still recovering from shoulder surgery. The biggest remaining question is third base, which will likely be solved by signing an outfielder and shifting Martin Prado.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    LF Martin Prado
    CF B.J. Upton
    RF Jason Heyward
    1B Freddie Freeman
    2B Dan Uggla
    3B Juan Francisco
    SS Andrelton Simmons
    C Gerald Laird (Brian McCann doubtful to start season)
    Pitcher 

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Tim Hudson
    SP Kris Medlen
    SP Mike Minor
    SP Paul Maholm
    SP Randall Delgado
    CP Craig Kimbrel

8. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 8)

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    Offseason Overview

    The Blue Jays have been quiet since pulling off their blockbuster deal with the Marlins and signing Melky Cabrera, and even if they enter the 2013 season without making another move they should be in a solid position to contend in the AL East.

    J.A. Happ is a solid fifth-starter option, but for a team with title aspirations they may look to sign or acquire another top-of-the-rotation starter with the health of Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow far from a sure thing.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    SS Jose Reyes
    LF Melky Cabrera
    RF Jose Bautista
    1B Edwin Encarnacion
    CF Colby Rasmus
    3B Brett Lawrie
    DH Adam Lind
    C J.P. Arencibia
    2B Emilio Bonifacio 

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Josh Johnson 
    SP Mark Buehrle

    SP Brandon Morrow
    SP Ricky Romero
    SP J.A. Happ
    CP Casey Janssen

7. Oakland Athletics (Previous: 5)

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    Offseason Outlook

    The A's will look to recapture the magic they had last season with essentially the same group of players as they've been quiet so far this offseason.

    Chris Young was acquired from the Diamondbacks and he'll see at-bats all over the outfield despite opening the year as a reserve. Shortstop is the biggest issue, and bringing back Stephen Drew remains perhaps the best option the team has.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Coco Crisp
    DH Seth Smith
    LF Yoenis Cespedes
    1B Brandon Moss
    RF Josh Reddick
    3B Josh Donaldson
    2B Scott Sizemore
    C Derek Norris
    SS Adam Rosales

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6) 

    SP Brett Anderson
    SP Jarrod Parker
    SP Tom Milone
    SP A.J. Griffin
    SP Daniel Straily (Bartolo Colon suspended for first five games)
    CP Grant Balfour

6. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 6)

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    Offseason Overview

    Even with Kyle Lohse and Lance Berkman parting ways, the Cardinals entered the offseason with little in the way of major needs heading into the 2013 season.

    Their biggest need was another left-handed reliever to go alongside Marc Rzepczynski, and they filled that void by signing Randy Choate to a three-year, $7.5 million deal. He's the definition of a lefty specialist and he'll serve a vital role in the 'pen after making 80 appearances last season.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    SS Rafael Furcal
    1B Allen Craig
    LF Matt Holliday
    RF Carlos Beltran
    C Yadier Molina
    3B David Freese
    CF John Jay
    2B Daniel Descalso
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Adam Wainwright
    SP Chris Carpenter
    SP Jaime Garcia
    SP Jake Westbrook
    SP Lance Lynn
    CP Jason Motte

5. Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 3)

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    Offseason Outlook

    Things got very interesting in Cincinnati when the Reds decided to bring back reliever Jonathan Broxton to close and moved flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman to the rotation as a result. Mike Leake is the odd man out as a result, but will no doubt be kept around as an insurance policy.

    The biggest need is still an outfielder capable of filling the leadoff spot in the lineup, as the team's best option right now in that spot is Brandon Phillips, but he's best utilized in a run-production spot in the lineup.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    2B Brandon Phillips
    SS Zack Cozart
    1B Joey Votto
    3B Todd Frazier
    RF Jay Bruce
    LF Chris Heisey
    C Ryan Hanigan
    CF Drew Stubbs
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Johnny Cueto
    SP Mat Latos
    SP Bronson Arroyo
    SP Homer Bailey
    SP Aroldis Chapman
    CP Jonathan Broxton

4. Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 7)

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    Offseason Overview

    After cutting Dan Haren and Ervin Santana loose, the Angels decided not to wait around and see if they could lure Zack Greinke into re-signing as they've added Tommy Hanson in a trade with the Braves and signed Joe Blanton to fill out their rotation.

    The team could still go after another starter since both Hanson and Blanton are fairly low-cost options and Garrett Richards is still somewhat unproven in the No. 5 spot, but as of now they appear to be in good shape to open the season even without Greinke back.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    LF Mike Trout
    SS Erick Aybar
    1B Albert Pujols
    DH Kendrys Morales
    RF Mark Trumbo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    3B Alberto Callaspo
    C Chris Iannetta
    CF Peter Bourjos

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Jered Weaver
    SP C.J. Wilson
    SP Tommy Hanson
    SP Joe Blanton

    SP Garrett Richards
    CP Ryan Madson

3. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 4)

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    Offseason Outlook

    The Giants spent big to bring back Angel Pagan (four-year, $40 million) and Marco Scutaro (three-year, $20 million), but it's hard to argue with the moves as both players played integral roles in the team winning the title last season.

    Adding an impact bat in left field remains their biggest need moving forward, with Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher ranking as the top remaining options on the market. The team could also look to add a reliever after non-tendering Brian Wilson, and could in fact come to terms on an incentive-laden deal to bring Wilson back.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Angel Pagan
    2B Marco Scutaro
    3B Pablo Sandoval
    C Buster Posey
    RF Hunter Pence
    1B Brandon Belt
    SS Brandon Crawford
    LF Gregor Blanco
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Matt Cain
    SP Madison Bumgarner
    SP Tim Lincecum
    SP Ryan Vogelsong
    SP Barry Zito
    CP Sergio Romo

2. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 1)

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    Offseason Outlook

    The Tigers offense will benefit greatly not only from the addition of Torii Hunter, but also from the return of Victor Martinez after missing all of last season with an ACL injury.

    Pursuit of Anibal Sanchez continues, and the team will likely sign a veteran starter of some sort to fill the No. 3 spot in the rotation before the offseason is over. Regardless of who that starter may be, the team appears to be in great shape to defend its AL pennant.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Austin Jackson
    RF Torii Hunter
    3B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Prince Fielder
    DH Victor Martinez
    LF Andy Dirks
    SS Jhonny Peralta
    C Alex Avila
    2B Omar Infante

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Justin Verlander
    SP Doug Fister
    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Rick Porcello
    SP Drew Smyly
    CP Bruce Rondon

1. Washington Nationals (Previous: 2)

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    Offseason Outlook

    A case could be made that the Nationals were the most complete team in baseball already entering the offseason, as they had to account for the loss of Edwin Jackson and Adam LaRoche but were still in terrific shape. Now, with a pair of moves, they move into the top spot in these rankings.

    The addition of Denard Span not only gives the team the center fielder they've been searching for, but also gives them a legitimate leadoff hitter and allows them to shift Michael Morse in to first base.

    They also added Dan Haren, who is admittedly a risk at this point, but a risk the Nationals can afford to make—and if he returns to form what is already arguably the best rotation in baseball would just be that much better.

     

    2013 Projected Lineup (as of 12/6)

    CF Denard Span
    RF Jayson Werth
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    1B Michael Morse
    LF Bryce Harper
    SS Ian Desmond
    2B Danny Espinosa
    C Kurt Suzuki
    Pitcher

     

    2013 Projected Rotation (as of 12/6)

    SP Stephen Strasburg
    SP Gio Gonzalez
    SP Jordan Zimmermann
    SP Dan Haren
    SP Ross Detwiler
    CP Drew Storen