MLB Power Rankings: Post-Trade Deadline Edition
It's been 10 days since our MLB power rankings have been updated, as we opted to wait until after the MLB trade deadline to put out the latest edition. Obviously, plenty has changed since then.
The deadline was a quiet one compared to recent years, but a number of players who will have an impact on the pennant races changed teams nonetheless.
So here is a look at where all 30 MLB teams currently stand post-trade deadline. Their recent performance, as well as what each team did or did not do at the deadline was taken into account. Be sure to check back here each Monday morning the rest of the year for an updated look at where all 30 MLB teams stand.
30. Houston Astros (35-70, Previous: 30)
July 29: OF Danry Vasquez and player to be named later acquired from the Tigers for RP Jose Veras.
July 31: SP Kyle Smith acquired from Royals for OF Justin Maxwell.
July 31: OF L.J. Hoes, SP Josh Hader, Comp Round A pick acquired from Orioles for SP Bud Norris.
The rest of the season in Houston will be used to evaluate young talent for the future, and top hitting prospects Jonathan Singleton and George Springer could both see a September call-up.
The front office has done a nice job stripping this team down to the bare bones and stockpiling a good collection of young talent in the minor leagues. They're no doubt still several years from contending, but the groundwork is in place for this team to be long-term contenders once they do turn things back around.
29. Chicago White Sox (40-64, Previous: 28)
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July 12: OF Brandon Jacobs acquired from Red Sox for RP Matt Thornton.
July 29: Player to be named later or cash considerations acquired from Rays for RP Jesse Crain.
July 30: OF Avisail Garcia, SS Cleuluis Rondon, RP J.B. Wendelken, SP Francellis Montas acquired in three-team trade for SP Jake Peavy.
Though they didn't find a suitable package for right fielder Alex Rios, the White Sox did a nice job selling off a handful of other attractive trade chips, including right-hander Jake Peavy. They may have been able to get more for the three-time All-Star, but Avisail Garcia is a Top 100 prospect who has .280 BA, 20 HR, 80 RBI potential in the near future.
This deadline activity should only be the start of what needs to be a full-scale rebuild. They have $23 million coming off the books with Paul Konerko and Gavin Floyd hitting free agency, and Adam Dunn and his $15 million salary is gone following next season. There is some high-upside talent in the farm system, but the rebuild won't be a quick one.
28. Miami Marlins (40-65, Previous: 29)
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July 6: RP Josh Wall, RP Steven Ames, RP Angel Sanchez acquired from Dodgers for SP Ricky Nolasco.
With the trade of Ricky Nolasco in early-July, the Marlins highest-paid players became Adeiny Hechavarria and Placido Polanco, both of whom make $2.75 million. That after they had a payroll north of $100 million on Opening Day last year, so if nothing else, kudos to the front office on blowing this thing up quickly and getting a good crop of young talent to build around in the process.
All-Star and staff ace Jose Fernandez, starters Justin Nicolino, Andrew Heaney, Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob Turner and outfielders Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick and Marcell Ozuna give the team a promising core to build around. Let's see if they can do it the right way this time around and aim for sustained success as opposed to the boom and bust approach they've taken to this point.
27. Milwaukee Brewers (46-61, Previous: 27)
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July 23: 3B Nick Delmonico acquired from Orioles for RP Francisco Rodriguez.
Despite rumors they could look to move starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse as well as a number of their relievers, the Brewers settled for flipping one-year signee Francisco Rodriguez for a very good corner infield prospect in Nick Delmonico.
There is still a good deal of talent on this team, and they have a chance to be solid next year. The biggest issue for them is finding five reliable starters. They do have a sizable crop of young pitchers in the minor league system to choose from, though, so these next two months will be about evaluating them and figuring out what they have to work with for next season.
26. Minnesota Twins (45-58, Previous: 26)
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The Twins got a nice return for outfielders Ben Revere and Denard Span in the offseason, and they really didn't have much to deal at the deadline. Closer Glen Perkins is signed to a team-friendly deal and was wisely kept, while Justin Morneau will likely re-sign in the offseason, for a salary substantially lower than the $14 million he'll make this year.
They have two consensus top 10 prospects in Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, and a solid crop of pitching prospects in Alex Meyer, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May and 2013 first-round pick Kohl Stewart. The future is bright in Minnesota, but with most of those guys still at least a year off, it could be another long season in 2014.
25. San Francisco Giants (46-59, Previous: 19)
July 26: SP Guillermo Moscoso acquired from Cubs for player to be named or cash considerations.
The 2013 season has been nothing short of a disaster for the reigning champs, and getting swept last weekend by the Cubs for the first time since 1993 in San Francisco shows just how far the team has fallen this season.
That said, there is still plenty of talent on the roster to make another run in 2014. The team opted not to trade Hunter Pence, a free agent at season's end, and that's likely a good indication that they plan to re-sign him. Adding a starter in the offseason seems like a must, and they could always use another run producer, but don't be surprised to see them contending again next year.
24. Philadelphia Phillies (50-56, Previous: 21)
The Phillies had an understandably high asking price for ace Cliff Lee, their hands were tied on where they could trade Michael Young and they are reportedly looking to extend free-agent-to-be Chase Utley, so when the dust settled on the deadline, the team ended up staying with the status quo.
They're in a tough spot right now, as they're paying a handful of aging veterans a lot of money, and don't have much in the way of up-and-coming young talent. Left-hander Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco look to have a bright future, but the rest of the system is thin, and this could be a team that hangs around .500 for the next couple seasons.
23. Los Angeles Angels (48-57, Previous: 18)
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July 29: RP Cory Rasmus acquired from Braves for RP Scott Downs.
July 30: 2B Grant Green acquired from A's for IF Alberto Callaspo.
The Angels managed to get a pair of solid prospects capable of contributing next season, and did so without aggressively selling off any key pieces of the team, as they'll look to once again turn what is an impressive team on paper into a winning product on the field in 2014.
Shoring up the rotation behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson has to be the focus of the offseason, and given how thin the farm system is and the money they have invested in this group, they'll remain in win-now mode for the foreseeable future.
22. Chicago Cubs (48-58, Previous: 24)
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July 2: SP Jake Arrieta, RP Pedro Strop acquired from Orioles for SP Scott Feldman, C Steve Clevenger.
July 2: RP Matt Guerrier acquired from Dodgers for RP Carlos Marmol, cash.
July 8: SP Ivan Pineyro acquired from Nationals for RF Scott Hairston.
July 22: 1B Mike Olt, SP C.J. Edwards, SP Justin Grimm, player to be named later acquired from Rangers for SP Matt Garza.
July 26: Player to be named later or cash consideraions acquired from Giants for SP Guillermo Moscoso.
July 26: SP Corey Black acquired from Yankees for LF Alfonso Soriano, cash considerations.
No one was busier this July than the Cubs, as they did a great job flipping some one-year contracts for prospects, managed to move their two worst deals in Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol and got a huge return for the market's top trade chip in Matt Garza.
The farm system has rapidly become one of the best in all of baseball, and the 2015 season remains a good bet for when this team could legitimately make some noise in the NL Central once again. Optimism is hard to come by as a Cubs fan, but there's a lot to like about what's going on on the North Side right now.
21. New York Mets (48-56, Previous: 23)
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The Mets decision not to trade Marlon Byrd, a 35-year-old journeyman on a one-year deal who is far exceeding expectations this season, may be the worst of the deadline, but the Mets future looks bright nonetheless.
With the duo of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler already giving a glimpse of what lies ahead at the big league level, and top prospect Noah Syndergaard not far off their trail, the staff should be a real strength going forward. Second base prospect Wilmer Flores (.890 OPS, 14 HR, 85 RBI in Triple-A) and catcher Travis d'Arnaud should see the big leagues at some point in September, but the team still needs to add a few impact bats moving forward.
20. Toronto Blue Jays (49-57, Previous: 20)
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It's been a rough season in Toronto, as the team stumbled out of the gate, then made a brief run at relevance, only to settle back into a distant last place in the AL East once again.
Considering what they gave up in the offseason, they really have no choice but to gear up for contention once again next year. Josh Johnson is set to depart in free agency, and they'll likely look to add a frontline starter to replace, but for the most part the team you see now is the team they'll look to win with moving forward.
19. Seattle Mariners (50-56, Previous: 22)
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An eight-game winning streak in the middle of July pulled the Mariners within four games of the .500 mark, and while they had no real shot at contention, the team decided against aggressively selling at the deadline as a result.
Even without selling, the team will likely have a very different look next season, as Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez, Brendan Ryan, Joe Saunders and Oliver Perez are all set to hit free agency. That will likely mean the youth movement that has already begun in Seattle will be in full swing in 2014, and if their young talent can live up to expectations they could be a dangerous team in the near future.
18. Colorado Rockies (51-57, Previous: 15)
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July 15: SP Armando Galarraga acquired from Reds for RP Parker Frazier.
The Rockies made some noise in the first half, but they simply didn't have the pitching to make a legitimate run at contention, despite an offense that is among the best in all of baseball.
All of those offensive pieces should be there again next year, along with pitching prospects such as Jonathan Gray, Eddie Butler and Tyler Anderson. Still, this is a team that should look to add a frontline arm in the offseason, as they have the offense to make a legitimate run at a title.
17. San Diego Padres (50-58, Previous: 25)
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July 31: SP Ian Kennedy acquired from Diamondbacks for RP Joe Thatcher, RP Matt Stites, Comp Round B Selection.
The Padres remain a team on the rise that is still in need of a few major pieces to get them over the hump. One of those pieces may very well be right-hander Ian Kennedy, who the team bought low on in a trade with Arizona.
Kennedy was a legitimate Cy Young candidate back in 2011 when he went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA, but even if he pitches like he did in 2012 (15-12, 4.02 ERA) he'd be a welcome addition to the top of the Padres' rotation and this move will be a win for the team.
16. Washington Nationals (52-55, Previous: 16)
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July 8: RF Scott Hairston acquired from Cubs for SP Ivan Pineyro.
With two gaping holes at the back of their rotation, and an offense that has struggled to consistently put runs on the board, the Nationals have been among the biggest disappointments in baseball this season after entering the year as a popular pick to win it all.
Top pitching prospect A.J. Cole should join the rotation in the near future, but as a whole the farm system is relatively thin. They have the overall team talent to be a contender next year, they just need to put it all together. Expect them to be major players on the starting pitching market in the offseason after the Dan Haren experiment failed this year.
15. Arizona Diamondbacks (54-52, Previous: 12)
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July 31: RP Joe Thatcher, RP Matt Stites, Comp Round B pick acquired from Padres for SP Ian Kennedy
The D-backs were looking to add some bullpen help, and were going to have a logjam in the starting rotation with Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy set to return from the DL, so they opted to sell low on Ian Kennedy and landed one of the better left-handed relievers in the game in Joe Thatcher from San Diego.
The deal helps them in the immediate future, as they try to catch the Dodgers in the NL West, but it's hard to believe they couldn't get more for a guy two seasons removed from a 21-win campaign and under team control through 2015. For now though, the Diamondbacks are still very much in the running for a postseason spot this year.
14. Kansas City Royals (52-51, Previous: 17)
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July 31: OF Justin Maxwell acquired from Astros for SP Kyle Smith.
The Royals are playing very good baseball right now, they are winners of eight of their last 10 and seven in a row, but they remain on the outside looking in for now as far as AL contenders go. They're currently five games back with four teams to pass for the second Wild Card spot.
Still their recent play was reason enough for them to hold onto top trade chip Ervin Santana, and represents a major step for a young team on the rise. If their offense can get back on track next season, and they can add a few second-tier pieces, there is no reason why they can't legitimately contend in 2014.
13. New York Yankees (55-51, Previous: 13)
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July 26: LF Alfonso Soriano and cash considerations acquired from Cubs for SP Corey Black.
The Yankees made a move to add some pop to their patchwork lineup in landing perhaps the market's top bat in Alfonso Soriano, and with Derek Jeter back and Curtis Granderson not too far off, the offense should be improved for the stretch run.
However, with the Rays, Red Sox, Tigers and A's all looking like solid bets to make the playoffs and the Indians, Orioles and Rangers also sitting above the Yankees in the standings right now, they have an uphill battle ahead of them if they hope to make the postseason this year.
12. Texas Rangers (58-49, Previous: 8)
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July 22: SP Matt Garza acquired from Cubs for 1B Mike Olt, SP C.J. Edwards, SP Justin Grimm, player to be named later.
The Rangers made perhaps the biggest July move of any team in acquiring right-hander Matt Garza from the Cubs. And while he no doubt bolsters their rotation, the team needs to pick things up if they hope to catch the A's in the AL West.
Adding another impact bat would have been nice, but there weren't all that many available, and after giving up a good deal to get Garza, another blockbuster trade would have really hurt the farm system. They've overcome injuries all season, and have played better than many expected them to entering the year, but they'll need to make the postseason to justify the Garza deal.
11. Cincinnati Reds (59-49, Previous: 7)
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July 15: RP Parker Frazier acquired from Rockies for SP Armando Galarraga.
With Jonathan Broxton and Ryan Ludwick currently rehabbing and Johnny Cueto expected back at some point down the stretch, the Reds were quiet at the deadline in hopes that their in-house additions can make a difference.
They look to be playing for a Wild Card spot, with the Pirates and Cardinals both looking strong above them in the National League Central, but they have the horses to make some noise in the postseason if they can get there.
10. Cleveland Indians (58-48, Previous: 14)
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July 30: RP Marc Rzepczynski acquired from Cardinals for IF Juan Herrera.
Adding a left-handed reliever to a bullpen that currently uses the ineffective Rich Hill (43 appearances, 6.35 ERA) as the only southpaw option was the Indians biggest priority at the deadline. And with the asking price on guys like Javier Lopez and Oliver Perez too high, they settled on Marc Rzepczynski of the Cardinals.
Landing another starter to fill out the back of their rotation, or another bat to replace the struggling Mark Reynolds would have been nice too, but they're playing good baseball right now and have managed to keep the Tigers from pulling away.
9. Baltimore Orioles (59-48, Previous: 6)
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July 2: SP Scott Feldman, C Steve Clevenger acquired from Cubs for SP Jake Arrieta, RP Pedro Strop.
July 12: RP Tim Alderson acquired from Pirates for 3B Russ Canzler.
July 23: RP Francisco Rodriguez acquired from Brewers for 3B Nick Delmonico.
July 31: SP Bud Norris acquired from Astros for OF L.J. Hoes, SP Josh Hader, Comp Round A pick.
The Orioles did everything they could to shore up their shaky pitching staff this July, capping things off with the last-minute acquisition of Astros ace Bud Norris.
The offense is certainly there for them to make some serious noise, so if the trio of Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen and Norris can lead the staff down the stretch, they should have a good chance of edging out the Indians and Rangers for the second Wild Card spot.
8. St. Louis Cardinals (62-43, Previous: 1)
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July 30: IF Juan Herrera acquired from Indians for RP Marc Rzepczynski.
The Cardinals were passed by the Pirates in the NL Central since our last Power Rankings, and failed to add a starting pitcher or shortstop at the deadline. They could also lose Yadier Molina to a DL stint in the near future.
That's enough to bump them down the rankings a bit, but they're still a formidable group, and should be able to at least secure one of the Wild Card spots in the National League. No team in baseball is better at overcoming injuries and utilizing organizational depth, so I certainly wouldn't bet against them.
7. Detroit Tigers (60-45, Previous: 9)
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July 29: RP Jose Veras acquired from Astros for OF Danry Vasquez, player to be named later.
July 30: SS Jose Iglesias acquired in three-team trade for OF Avisail Garcia and RP Brayan Villarreal.
The Tigers landed the late-inning bullpen arm they needed in Jose Veras, then jumped in on a three- team trade with the White Sox and Red Sox to pickup an insurance option for shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who may soon be facing a Biogensis-related suspension, in Jose Iglesias.
They have not pulled away in the AL Central as many expected them to, but they still have the lead and undeniably the most talented team in the division. All they need to do is get into the postseason, where their dominant starting pitching will make them very dangerous.
6. Atlanta Braves (62-45, Previous: 10)
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July 29: RP Scott Downs acquired from Angels for RP Cory Rasmus.
The Braves were in the market for another starting pitcher, but with Brandon Beachy back from the disabled list, they wound up focusing on the bullpen instead, landing a much-needed second left-hander in veteran Scott Downs.
The offense continues to be as inconsistent as any in baseball, but when they're firing on all cylinders, the Braves look like serious World Series contenders. A recent sweep of the Cardinals is proof of that, and they'll now look to play their best baseball of the season down the stretch with the NL East all but sewn up.
5. Oakland Athletics (63-44, Previous: 5)
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July 30: IF Alberto Callaspo acquired from Angels for 2B Grant Green.
Leave it to Billy Beane to think outside the box when it came to upgrading the offensive hole the A's had at second base. The team was able to land infielder Alberto Callaspo from the rival Angels, who was the Royals everyday second baseman back in 2009.
The team wanted to add a frontline starter as well, but the asking price was too high, so they'll look to secure the AL West crown with the group they currently have. As long as Bartolo Colon is not suspended, they should be in good shape to do just that.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (57-48, Previous: 11)
July 2: RP Carlos Marmol, cash considerations acquired from Cubs for RP Matt Guerrier.
July 6: SP Ricky Nolasco acquired from RP Josh Wall, RP Steven Ames, RP Angel Sanchez.
With a 19-5 record in July, and a 27-6 record since June 22, the Dodgers have successfully righted the ship on what started out as a hugely disappointing season.
Getting closer to 100 percent healthy has certainly helped, and the Ricky Nolasco trade looks like a good one as he's posted a 3.13 ERA in his first four starts with the team. The Diamondbacks are still very much alive in the NL West, but the way the Dodgers are playing right now the division is theirs to lose.
3. Boston Red Sox (64-44, Previous: 2)
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July 12: RP Matt Thronton acquired from White Sox for OF Brandon Jacobs.
July 30: SP Jake Peavy, RP Brayan Villarreal acquired in three-team trade for SS Jose Igelsias and three low-level minor leaguers.
After picking up a solid bullpen arm in Matt Thornton earlier this month, the Red Sox pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal at the deadline, landing right-hander Jake Peavy from the White Sox.
The deal gives the team a formidable starting rotation once Clay Buchholz returns, and a solid insurance option near the top of the staff if he doesn't. Infield is a question mark now with Jose Iglesias sent to Detroit in the Peavy deal, but perhaps Will Middlebrooks can recapture his 2012 form and provide a nice boost down the stretch.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-42, Previous: 4)
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July 12: 3B Russ Canzler acquired from Orioles for RP Tim Alderson.
The Pirates failed to make a splash at the deadline, and while adding a power bat in right field would have been nice, holding onto their top prospects was the right call, especially for a small market team that relies on homegrown talent to succeed.
As it stands, they've taken three straight from the Cardinals to claim the NL Central lead, and this is now the latest they've been in first place since the 1992 season. Even without a splash pickup, this team looks to have all the pieces to avoid another second half meltdown and make the postseason, whether they win the NL Central or not.
1. Tampa Bay Rays (64-43, Previous: 3)
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July 29: RP Jesse Crain acquired from White Sox for player to be named later or cash considerations.
The Rays are usually among the quietest teams at the deadline, and while they didn't make a splash by any means, they did add a solid bullpen arm in All-Star Jesse Crain, provided he comes back 100 percent from a strained shoulder.
They've been as hot as any team in baseball, going 19-3 in their last 22 games, and they look like the team to beat in the AL East right now. Getting Alex Cobb back from injury will only improve a rotation that has done a complete 180 from their early-season struggles, while the offense continues to be among the most improved in baseball.