MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Teams Stand Post-Trade Deadline

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2014

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Teams Stand Post-Trade Deadline

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    The 2014 MLB trade deadline is now behind us, and to say that Thursday was an exciting one around the league would be an understatement. 

    A total of 12 trades involving 37 different players went down on the final day before the deadline, with a pair of aces in David Price and Jon Lester among the players that were on the move.

    These deals no doubt shake up the MLB landscape heading into the final months of the season, so it's worth updating our MLB power rankings here after the deadline.

    Any movement in these rankings is based solely on trades that have gone down since my last rankings were published on Monday and do not reflect the games that have been played since the rankings were last published.

    A full update, based on the week's action, will be published in its regular Monday-morning slot.

    Think of this as my last chance to reshuffle the rankings based on subjective opinion and future projection, before the stretch run and the final two months of the season.

30. Texas Rangers (Previous: 30)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/16: RP Jason Frasor traded to Kansas City Royals for RP Spencer Patton
    • 7/23: RP Joakim Soria traded to Detroit Tigers for SP Jake Thompson and RP Corey Knebel

    Deadline Overview

    Injuries robbed the Rangers of a chance to contend this season in what could have been an even more impressive AL West race if they were involved. They were clear sellers at the deadline.

    Setup man and impending free agent Jason Frasor was the first to be moved, and the team received 26-year-old reliever Spencer Patton in return. His ceiling is limited, but his peripheral numbers in Triple-A (0.974 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, 11.8 K/9) suggest that he could contribute soon.

    The big haul came in dealing closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers had a glaring need, Soria carries a very reasonable $7 million option for next season, and the Rangers were able to get an impressive package in return.

    Starter Jake Thompson (No. 6 TEX) and reliever Corey Knebel (No. 7 TEX) both now rank among the team's top 10 prospects. Thompson is just 20 years old and has front-of-the-rotation upside, while Knebel profiles as a future candidate to close games.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    RF Alex Rios, RP Neal Cotts

29. Houston Astros (Previous: 29)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/31: SP Jarred Cosart, OF Austin Wates, UT Enrique Hernandez traded to Miami Marlins for 3B Colin Moran, OF Jake Marisnick, SP Frances Martes, comp-round pick

    Deadline Overview

    After selling off the bulk of their veteran pieces over the past few seasons, the Astros didn't have nearly as many movable parts as they have had in years past.

    That didn't stop them from pulling off a significant deal, though, as they were made an offer they couldn't refuse for right-hander Jarred Cosart.

    Colin Moran and Jake Marisnick both profile as everyday players, and Marisnick should join the big league outfield immediately. Giving up a solid young arm like Cosart may seem counterproductive, but for the haul the Astros received, it was worth it.

    They decided to hold on to veteran closer Chad Qualls, who is signed through next year with a $3.5 million option for 2016, as he will continue to bring a much-needed veteran presence to the young pitching staff.

    Reliever Tony Sipp and slugger Chris Carter also stayed put, despite popping up as prime candidates to be moved.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    DH Chris Carter, RP Tony Sipp

28. Chicago Cubs (Previous: 28)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/5: SP Jeff Samardzija, SP Jason Hammel traded to Oakland Athletics for SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney and SP Dan Straily
    • 7/28: 2B Darwin Barney, cash traded to Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Jonathan Martinez
    • 7/30: SP Felix Doubront acquired from Boston Red Sox for PTBNL
    • 7/31: UT Emilio Bonifacio, RP James Russell traded to Atlanta Braves for C Victor Caratini

    Deadline Overview

    The Cubs pulled the trigger on moving their two biggest trade candidates back at the beginning of the month, shipping starers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for an impressive package of young players.

    Addison Russell (No. 3 CHC, No. 7 MLB) is one of the game's elite prospects and one capable of making a serious big league impact soon, despite being just 20 years old.

    Billy McKinney (No. 9 CHC) also checks in as a top-10 prospect in the Cubs' talented farm system, while 25-year-old Dan Straily is just a year removed from a rookie season in which he went 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts to finish fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

    The team also unloaded slick-fielding second baseman Darwin Barney, trading him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 20-year-old right-hander Jonathan Martinez. The emergence of Arismendy Alcantara significantly cut into Barney's playing time.

    Chicago managed to pull off one final move at the deadline, packaging Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell together to acquire a solid catching prospect in Victor Caratini.

    The most intriguing move, however, may have been the addition of Boston Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront. The team struck gold buying low on Jake Arrieta last July, and it'll look to do the same with the 26-year-old Doubront.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    RF Nate Schierholtz, RP Wesley Wright

27. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 26)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/5: RP Joe Thatcher, OF Tony Campana traded to Los Angeles Angels for OF Zach Borenstein, RP Joey Krehbiel
    • 7/6: SP Brandon McCarthy traded to New York Yankees for SP Vidal Nuno
    • 7/31: IF Martin Prado traded to New York Yankees for 1B Peter O'Brien and PTBNL or cash
    • 7/31: OF Gerardo Parra traded to Milwaukee Brewers for OF Mitch Haniger, LHP Anthony Banda

    Deadline Overview

    The Diamondbacks were expected to be one of the more active teams of July, and they did not disappoint.

    Lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, who was acquired at the deadline last year for starter Ian Kennedy, brought them solid outfield prospect Zach Borenstein and a high-ceiling reliever Joey Krehbiel.

    Flipping Brandon McCarthy, who had a 5.01 ERA through 18 starts at the time of the trade, for a decent rotation replacement in Vidal Nuno looked like a decent move at the time. However, McCarthy has been great since joining the Yankees and looks to be a big part of their playoff push.

    Martin Prado brought a nice power-hitting prospect in Peter O'Brien, who has a .906 OPS with 23 doubles and 33 home runs in 386 at-bats between High-A and Double-A. He is, however, already 24 years old.

    Finally, they moved Gold Glove outfielder Gerardo Parra to the Milwaukee Brewers for a decent outfield prospect in Mitch Haniger (No. 11 ARI) and a low-level pitcher. Parra is a free agent after next season, and the emergence of David Peralta made him more or less expendable.

    Second baseman Aaron Hill and relievers Brad Ziegler and Oliver Perez both came up fairly often in trade talk, but nothing came to fruition. Perez is set to hit free agency at the end of the year, so he seems like a prime waiver candidate.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    2B Aaron Hill, RP Oliver Perez

26. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 27)

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Deadline Deal

    • 7/24: SP Chris Capuano sold to the New York Yankees

    Deadline Overview

    Plenty of Troy Tulowitzki rumors swirled leading up to the deadline, but in the end they were nothing more than rumors. It will be interesting to see if he requests a trade at some point in the near future, though.

    There were also talks surrounding starter Jorge De La Rosa and reliever LaTroy Hawkins, and while Hawkins could still be a candidate to be moved in waivers, the team seemed to have no real interest in moving De La Rosa.

    The Orioles showed some interest in the left-hander, but the Rockies made the ridiculous request of Kevin Gausman in return. He now seems like a prime candidate to be re-signed by the Rockies this coming winter.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    RP LaTroy Hawkins, RP Matt Belisle, SP Brett Anderson

25. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 25)

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Deadline Deals

    • None

    Deadline Overview

    Despite a very obvious need to start rebuilding, Philadelphia was quiet at the deadline.

    According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Phillies did not receive "acceptable offers for ANY of their players" and "can try again in the offseason."

    Unloading big-money guys like Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon was understandably going to be tough, but it's hard to believe that the Phillies couldn't have lined up a viable deal for outfielder Marlon Byrd or reliever Antonio Bastardo before the deadline passed.

    Seems like another missed opportunity for a franchise that still doesn't have a clear direction moving forward.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    RF Marlon Byrd, RP Jonathan Papelbon, SP A.J. Burnett, SP Kyle Kendrick, RP Antonio Bastardo

24. San Diego Padres (Previous: 24)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/19: RP Huston Street, RP Trevor Gott traded to Los Angeles Angels for 2B Taylor Lindsey, SS Jose Rondon, RP R.J. Alvarez, SP Elliot Morris
    • 7/22: 3B Chase Headley traded to New York Yankees for IF Yangervis Solarte, RP Rafael De Paula
    • 7/31: OF Chris Denorfia traded to Seattle Mariners for OF Abraham Almonte, RP Stephen Kohlscheen

    Deadline Overview

    As far as sellers go, the Padres had as many attractive trade chips as anyone.

    Closer Huston Street was arguably their most sought-after piece, with free-agent-to-be Chase Headley the most likely to be moved, and both guys were gone well before the deadline.

    Street brought back a package of four prospects from the Los Angeles Angels, highlighted by a pair of infield prospects in shortstop Jose Rondon (No. 9 SD) and second baseman Taylor Lindsey (No. 11 SD).

    The Padres also got a potentially dominant bullpen arm in 23-year-old R.J. Alvarez (24 G, 0.30 ERA, 12.2 K/9) and a 22-year-old starter with a relatively high floor in Elliot Morris.

    Headley didn't quite garner the same return, which was to be expected given his limited production. The team did get an immediate replacement for him in Yangervis Solarte, who is controllable through 2019, and a high-upside bullpen arm in Rafael De Paula.

    San Diego also did a nice job flipping free-agent-to-be Chris Denorfia for a pair of 25-year-olds that could turn into decent role players in the near future.

    Ian Kennedy and Joaquin Benoit were two other names that popped up frequently in rumors, but with both guys under team control beyond this season and the GM situation still in flux, San Diego opted to hold on to them. 

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates


23. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 22)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/26: SP Jake Peavy, cash traded to San Francisco Giants for SP Edwin Escobar, RP Heath Hembree
    • 7/30: SP Felix Doubront traded to Chicago Cubs for PTBNL
    • 7/31: SP Jon Lester, OF Jonny Gomes, cash traded to Oakland Athletics for OF Yoenis Cespedes, comp-balance pick
    • 7/31: SP John Lackey traded to St. Louis Cardinals for RF Allen Craig, SP Joe Kelly
    • 7/31: RP Andrew Miller traded to Baltimore Orioles for SP Eduardo Rodriguez
    • 7/31: SS Stephen Drew traded to New York Yankees for IF Kelly Johnson

    Deadline Overview

    Can you say fire sale?

    It was certainly a busy trade deadline for the Boston Red Sox, as they had the most talked-about chip on the market in ace Jon Lester. He was far from the only piece moved, though.

    Lester was shipped to the Oakland A's for All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who is under contract through the end of next season.

    There's a very real possibility that the Red Sox lock up Cespedes long term and find a way to bring Lester back this winter, and if that happens, this deal would be an absolute slam dunk.

    The team also did nice job moving Jake Peavy, who was not having a great season, for a pair of promising young arms in Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree.

    Escobar has scuffled a bit making the jump to Triple-A this year, but he's still just 22 years old and a year removed from going 8-8 with a 2.80 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 128.2 innings. Hembree was once viewed as the Giants' closer of the future, and he should be able to help in the bullpen soon.

    Boston's asking price on reliever Andrew Miller was high from the start, and the Sox didn't back down from their request of a top prospect. In the end they got one, landing 21-year-old left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez from the Baltimore Orioles.

    It was clear that Felix Doubront needed a change of scenery, and he had become a distraction of sorts, so moving him was a wise move as well.

    All of this wheeling and dealing puts the Red Sox in a fairly good position moving forward, but as far as the rest of 2014 is concerned, expect to see a lot of young arms taking the hill in Boston.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates


22. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 23)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/24: DH Kendrys Morales traded to Seattle Mariners for RP Stephen Pryor
    • 7/31: SP Tommy Milone acquired from Oakland A's for OF Sam Fuld

    Deadline Overview

    The Twins did well to flip DH Kendrys Morales for decent young bullpen arm Stephen Pryor. Morales hit just .234/.259/.325 with 11 doubles and one home run in 154 at-bats after being signed by the team in June.

    It was somewhat surprising to see impending free agents Josh Willingham and Kevin Correia stay put. However, significant interest never seemed to develop for either player.

    The Twins did manage to come to terms on an extension for Kurt Suzuki, locking him up on a two-year, $12 million deal with a vesting option at $6 million for 2017, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

    They also made perhaps the best under-the-radar move of the deadline, shipping outfielder Sam Fuld to the Oakland A's for 27-year-old starter Tommy Milone.

    Considering that Fuld was claimed off waivers from that same A's team earlier this season, flipping him back for a controllable middle-of-the-rotation starter was a fantastic move.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    OF Josh Willingham, SP Kevin Correia

21. New York Mets (Previous: 21)

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    Deadline Deals

    • None

    Deadline Overview

    The Mets were not expected to be overly active at the trade deadline, but it was surprising to see veteran starter Bartolo Colon not moved to a contender.

    According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the market for Colon simply never developed, and that could be at least in part because of his $11 million salary for next season.

    He's having a solid year, but that's still a substantial commitment to someone who will be 42 years old and could conceivably drop off at any point.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    SP Bartolo Colon, OF Bobby Abreu

20. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 20)

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    Deadline Deals

    • None

    Deadline Overview

    While they are not in a position to contend, the White Sox have been a pleasant surprise this season. At just four games under .500 (52-56), they have a chance to make a run at a winning record.

    For a team that has never been one to look to rebuild, that was enough for them to stand pat at the deadline.

    Holding on to starter John Danks makes sense, as he is signed for a reasonable $28.5 million over the next two years. They would be selling low and looking for a salary dump if they did deal him.

    The big surprise was that Adam Dunn wasn't moved, as he is a free agent at the end of the year. It looked as though he would attract more interest in a market devoid of power bats.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    SP John Danks, DH Adam Dunn, RP Matt Lindstrom

19. Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 19)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/18: IF Donnie Murphy signed as a free agent

    Deadline Overview

    A few weeks ago, the Cincinnati Reds looked to be in the market for an outfield bat and some bullpen help.

    However, a rough 2-10 stretch since the All-Star break was enough for them to reconsider and stand pat at the deadline.

    They were shopping starter Mat Latos in the hours leading up to the deadline, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN. No move was made, but that's telling as to how the Reds view their chances the rest of the way in 2014.

    Potential Waiver-Trade Candidates

    OF Ryan Ludwick

18. Cleveland Indians (Previous: 17)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/7: OF Chris Dickerson acquired from Pittsburgh Pirates for PTBNL or cash
    • 7/30: SP Justin Masterson traded to St. Louis Cardinals for OF James Ramsey
    • 7/31: SS Asdrubal Cabrera, cash traded to Washington Nationals for IF Zach Walters

    Deadline Overview

    Once they decided to become sellers, the Indians had two major pieces to move in starter Justin Masterson and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, and they managed to get a decent return for both of them.

    Masterson was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday for outfield prospect James Ramsey.

    Ramsey, 24, is hitting .300/.389/.527 with 14 doubles and 13 home runs at the Double-A level this season. He was taken with the 23rd pick in the 2012 draft, and he has the upside to be an everyday guy down the road.

    Cabrera was moved just before the deadline, with the Indians chipping in some cash and sending him to the Washington Nationals for infielder Zach Walters.

    Walters, who is also 24, is hitting .300/.358/.608 with 18 doubles and 15 home runs in Triple-A this year. He'll serve as a nice bridge to top prospect Francisco Lindor at shortstop, and if nothing else, he should be able to carve out a nice role as a utility guy with a plus bat.

    These deals won't help the Indians' chances here in 2014, but they were smart to accept their fate as sellers and got a decent return on a pair of expiring contracts.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates


17. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 16)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/6: RP Scott Downs signed as a free agent
    • 7/8: SP Joe Saunders signed as a free agent
    • 7/16: RP Jason Frasor acquired from Texas Rangers for RP Spencer Patton
    • 7/28: C Erik Kratz, SP Liam Hendriks acquired from Toronto Blue Jays for 3B Danny Valencia

    Deadline Overview

    The Royals kicked the tires on a few different starting-pitching options on deadline day, but they were not able to pull off any trades.

    K.C. added setup man Jason Frasor to its bullpen in a trade with the Texas Rangers a few weeks ago, and flipped Danny Valencia for a backup catcher and some low-end starting-pitching depth.

    The Royals are still in the wild-card hunt, but a quiet deadline that came and went without them acquiring a power bat to play right field could be enough to put an end to their playoff hopes.

    Notable Waiver-Trade Candidates

    SP James Shields, OF Nori Aoki

16. Miami Marlins (Previous: 18)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/31: SP Jarred Cosart, OF Austin Wates, UT Enrique Hernandez acquired from Houston Astros for 3B Colin Moran, OF Jake Marisnick, SP Frances Martes, comp-round pick

    Deadline Overview

    Thanks to a recent run of success, the Marlins went into the deadline as prospective buyers, with another starting pitcher atop their wish list.

    They were linked to a number of different guys, including John Lackey, who eventually wound up in St. Louis, but in the end they landed a solid, young arm in Jarred Cosart.

    Miami gave up a good deal to acquire him, but with an outfield of Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton, the Fish could afford to deal Jake Marisnick to fill another area of need.

    The 24-year-old Cosart is 9-7 with a 4.41 ERA (4.02 FIP), and while his strikeouts-to-walk ratio of 75-to-51 needs some work, he has the stuff to be a plus arm down the road.

    More importantly for the Marlins, he's under team control through the 2019 season and not arbitration-eligible until after the 2016 season. He's exactly the kind of controllable arm they were looking for that could help them in both the short term and the long term.

15. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 14)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/31: SP David Price traded to the Detroit Tigers in three-team deal for SP Drew Smyly, IF Nick Franklin, SS Willy Adames

    Deadline Overview

    It went right down to the wire, but the Rays finally did pull the trigger on trading ace David Price, shipping him to the Detroit Tigers in a three-team deal.

    They picked up a controllable, young starter in Drew Smyly, who can replace Price in the rotation for now and should help keep the Rays competitive in the AL East.

    Nick Franklin was also acquired, a player that the Rays have shown interest in before. He will likely serve in a utility role before taking over everyday duties at either second base or shortstop.

    The X-factor here is 18-year-old shortstop prospect Willy Adames.

    Adames is already playing at the Single-A level this year, where he is hitting .269/.346/.428 with 14 doubles, 12 triples and six home runs in 353 at-bats.

    He was ranked as the No. 3 prospect in Detroit's system in the latest update from Prospect Watch, and he looks to have a ton of upside.

    It is no doubt a tough deal for Rays fans to swallow now, but the pieces are there for it to wind up being a trade that is praised down the road.

    As for the immediate impact, this certainly hurts the Rays' playoff chances, but a rotation of Alex Cobb, Smyly, Chris Archer, Jeremy Hellickson and Jake Odorizzi still looks like the best in the AL East.

14. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 12)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/5: OF Cole Gillaspie selected off waivers from Seattle Mariners
    • 7/6: OF Nolan Reimold selected off waivers from Baltimore Orioles
    • 7/28: 3B Danny Valencia acquired from Kansas City Royals for C Erik Kratz, SP Liam Hendriks

    Deadline Overview

    Not dealing top prospects Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris was a smart move by the Toronto Blue Jays. Not dealing for anything at all, on the other hand, was a bit of a head-scratcher.

    Improvement from the starting rotation made adding another arm there less of a glaring need, but the Jays are still working with a bullpen that ranks 26th in the MLB with a 4.34 ERA.

    There is also a hole at second base, where a platoon of Munenori Kawasaki, Ryan Goins and Steve Tolleson is currently holding down the fort. The addition of Danny Valencia likely means that Brett Lawrie will be manning second once he returns, but adding another infielder to the mix at a low cost still would have been nice.

    Not wanting to make a splash and mortgage the future was the right move. Not making any moves of significance may wind up costing the Blue Jays a shot at a wild-card spot or even a division title.

13. New York Yankees (Previous: 15)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/6: SP Brandon McCarthy acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Vidal Nuno
    • 7/22: 3B Chase Headley, cash acquired from San Diego Padres for IF Yangervis Solarte, RP Rafael De Paula
    • 7/24: SP Chris Capuano purchased from Colorado Rockies
    • 7/31: SS/2B Stephen Drew acquired from Boston Red Sox for IF Kelly Johnson
    • 7/31: IF/OF Martin Prado acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks for 1B Peter O'Brien and PTBNL or cash

    Deadline Overview

    The Yankees added some nice offensive pieces at the deadline in Stephen Drew and Martin Prado, but they failed to land another proven starter to slot alongside Hiroki Kuroda and early-July pickup Brandon McCarthy in the rotation.

    That means they'll be making a playoff push with some combination of Chris Capuano, Shane Greene, David Phelps and Chase Whitley filling out the final three spots in the rotation.

    The Yankees may be able to sneak into the playoffs as a wild-card team or perhaps even upend the Baltimore Orioles to win the AL East, if everything goes right. They've got zero chance against the Oakland A's or Detroit Tigers come October, though.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 11)

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    Deadline Deals

    • None

    Deadline Overview

    The Pirates were thought to be aggressively pursuing both Jon Lester and David Price at different times over the past couple days, but the deadline came and went, and they wound up doing nothing.

    Instead, they'll rely on the return of starter Gerrit Cole from a lat injury to give them a boost down the stretch.

    Adding another bullpen arm would have been nice, but the pieces are still there for this team to make a return trip to the playoffs. The Pirates got where they are now by cultivating young talent, not shipping it out in trades, so it's hard to fault them for continuing with that approach.

11. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 10)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/26: SP Jake Peavy, cash acquired from Boston Red Sox for SP Edwin Escobar, RP Heath Hembree

    Deadline Overview

    The Giants picked up a starter to replace the injured Matt Cain a few days before the deadline, dealing a pair of decent pitching prospects to the Boston Red Sox for Jake Peavy.

    Peavy has not had the best season, as he was 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA (4.80 FIP) in 20 starts for the Red Sox. But he's a proven veteran and should benefit from a move back to the National League and to hitter friendly AT&T Park.

    With the rotation addressed, the Giants turned their attention to offense, but they were unable to land their biggest targets in Alex Rios and Emilio Bonifacio.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers still look like the class of the NL West at this point, but the Giants should be in a decent position to make a run at a wild-card spot.

10. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 13)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/24: DH Kendrys Morales acquired from Minnesota Twins for RP Stephen Pryor
    • 7/31: OF Chris Denorfia acquired from San Diego Padres for OF Abraham Almonte, RP Stephen Kohlscheen
    • 7/31: CF Austin Jackson acquired from the Detroit Tigers in three-team deal for IF Nick Franklin

    Deadline Overview

    For a while it looked as though the Mariners' answer to improving their offense was going to be the combination of Kendrys Morales and Chris Denorfia, but they managed to scoop up Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson as part of the David Price blockbuster.

    The deal for them amounted to a trade of infielder Nick Franklin, who had been ousted by the Robinson Cano signing, for Jackson straight up. That's a terrific move for the Mariners, as they got maximum value out of a piece they really didn't need and shored up their biggest hole in the process.

    With the addition of Jackson, and the impending return of left-hander James Paxton, the Mariners should be in the mix for a wild-card spot down the stretch. 

9. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 9)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/31: UT Emilio Bonifacio, RP James Russell acquired from Chicago Cubs for C Victor Caratini

    Deadline Overview

    The Braves had two clear needs at the deadline: upgrading their bench and adding a veteran left-hander to the bullpen. They managed to do both in one last-minute trade with the Chicago Cubs.

    Emilio Bonifacio will see time all over the field in a super-utility role and immediately becomes the team's top pinch hitter off the bench. That was a significant area of concern, as the team is just 19-for-119 with an NL-low seven RBI in pinch-hitting situations this year.

    In the bullpen, 24-year-old Chasen Shreve was the only left-hander prior to the trade. While he's pitched well since taking over for the demoted Luis Avilan, adding a proven arm like James Russell is a nice move.

    Russell, 28, has a 3.51 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 44 appearances on the season. He also has the added value of being under team control through next season.

    Whether that will be enough for the Braves to overtake the Washington Nationals in the NL East remains to be seen, but they look like a strong contender for a wild-card spot even if they don't.

8. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 6)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/31: OF Gerardo Parra acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks for OF Mitch Haniger, LHP Anthony Banda

    Deadline Overview

    While the rest of the NL Central field has certainly closed the gap over the past month or so, there were really no glaring areas of need for the Brewers at the deadline.

    That didn't stop them from making a move, though, as they picked up Gold Glove outfielder Gerardo Parra in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    They got him for relatively cheap, and he's certainly an upgrade over incumbent fourth outfielder Logan Schafer, so it's a nice move by a contending team to fill out its bench.

    It also provides some insurance if Ryan Braun, who has missed time with various bumps and bruises this season and has been playing through a nerve issue in his thumb, ends up on the DL again at some point.

    Another bullpen arm, specifically a right-handed setup man, would have been nice, but it was still a successful deadline for the Brewers.

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 5)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/28: 2B Darwin Barney acquired from Chicago Cubs for RHP Jonathan Martinez

    Deadline Overview

    The Dodgers made it clear heading into the deadline that they were unwilling to part with their trio of top prospects—Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias—and they stuck to their guns.

    That being said, they didn't necessarily have to give up one of those guys to go get some much-needed bullpen help or a veteran rotation arm that could have provided some insurance.

    Their bullpen currently ranks 21st in the MLB with a 3.72 ERA, and with questions about the long-term health of Josh Beckett and the recent struggles of Dan Haren, pitching was a fairly significant area of need for a team looking to contend for a title.

6. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 2)

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    Deadline Deals

    • 7/31: RP Andrew Miller acquired from Boston Red Sox for SP Eduardo Rodriguez

    Deadline Overview

    There is no question that Andrew Miller was one of the best arms on the market; his numbers this year tell the story.

    In 50 appearances, he has a 2.34 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9 and 14.7 K/9. He has emerged as one of the best middle relievers in baseball over the past few seasons, left-handed or otherwise.

    However, for an Orioles team that already has T.J. McFarland and Brian Matusz in the bullpen along with closer Zach Britton, one would think that adding some starting-pitching depth or upgrading at second base would have been more pressing areas of need.

    What's more, Miller is nothing more than a rental player set to hit free agency at the end of the year, and the team gave up a very good prospect in Eduardo Rodriguez to get him.

    Rodriguez, 21, is already pitching at the Double-A level this year. He's considered to be a notch below the trio of Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey but is still a lot to give up for a middle reliever, no matter how good he is.

    The rest of the AL East didn't do anything crazy, with the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays actually taking a step (or two) back and the Toronto Blue Jays standing pat, so the Orioles still look like the team to beat in the division.

    It's hard to see a rotation of Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, Wei-Yin Chen and Kevin Gausman/Miguel Gonzalez stacking up with Price/Scherzer/Verlander/Sanchez or Lester/Gray/Kazmir/Samardzija come October, though.

5. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 8)

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Deadline Deals

    • 7/26: C A.J. Pierzynski signed as a free agent
    • 7/30: SP Justin Masterson acquired from Cleveland Indians for OF James Ramsey
    • 7/31: SP John Lackey acquired from Boston Red Sox for RF Allen Craig, SP Joe Kelly

    Deadline Overview

    A lack of offense has been perhaps the biggest problem for the Cardinals this season, but with offense not readily available at the deadline, the team instead opted to upgrade its starting rotation.

    With Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez shaky at best, and questions about whether Michael Wacha will in fact return in September, the team added Justin Masterson and John Lackey to join Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn in the prospective postseason rotation.

    Masterson came fairly cheap, and the team is banking on him turning things around over the final two months, but the Lackey deal wound up being a blockbuster.

    The team shipped out 2013 All-Star Allen Craig and starter Joe Kelly to land the 35-year-old, who is 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA (3.56 FIP) on the year and 6-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 19 career postseason games (16 starts).

    Despite his impressive performance the past two seasons, Craig was essentially expendable with Matt Adams establishing himself as the everyday first baseman and top prospect Oscar Taveras vying for more playing time. It was a good buy-low move by the Red Sox, but a good time to sell for the Cardinals too.

    With a relatively quiet deadline from the Milwaukee Brewers, this could be enough to push the Cards over the top in the NL Central and make them a dangerous team come October.

4. Washington Nationals (Previous: 4)

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Deadline Deals

    • 7/31: SS/2B Asdrubal Cabrera acquired from Washington Nationals for IF Zach Walters

    Deadline Overview

    The Nationals' biggest need a few weeks ago looked to be another left-handed reliever, but when Ryan Zimmerman went down with a significant hamstring injury, their attention turned to finding an upgrade over Danny Espinosa at second base.

    They found their man in free-agent-to-be Asdrubal Cabrera, who is hitting .246/.305/.386 with 22 doubles, nine home runs and 40 RBI on the season.

    Cabrera has primarily played shortstop for the past six seasons, where he was a two-time All-Star, but he originally broke into the league as a second baseman when Jhonny Peralta was still manning shortstop in Cleveland.

    He's likely just a rental piece for the Nationals, but he fills a glaring need, and he should provide average defense and above-average offensive production as the Nats look to lock up the NL East.

    The need for a left-handed reliever remains and is something that could be addressed in August, with Oliver Perez and Antonio Bastardo both prime candidates to be moved through waivers.

3. Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 3)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Deadline Deals

    • 7/5: RP Joe Thatcher, OF Tony Campana acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks for OF Zach Borenstein, RP Joey Krehbiel
    • 7/19: RP Huston Street, RP Trevor Gott acquired from San Diego Padres for 2B Taylor Lindsey, SS Jose Rondon, RP R.J. Alvarez, SP Elliot Morris

    Deadline Overview

    The Angels moved quickly to shore up their shaky bullpen this month, picking up left-hander Joe Thatcher from the Arizona Diamondbacks and closer Huston Street from the San Diego Padres.

    That being said, another starting pitcher would have been nice, especially considering what the Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers did Thursday.

    The Angels are still contenders, but they fell a few steps behind the top two AL teams Thursday, and their offense will need to be firing on all cylinders come October if they are going to have a chance against the loaded pitching staffs of the aforementioned A's and Tigers.

    A big stretch run from Tyler Skaggs and more of the same from Garrett Richards would go a long way in making this team a third legitimate title contender in the American League. 

2. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 7)

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Deadline Deals

    • 7/23: RP Joakim Soria acquired from Texas Rangers for SP Jake Thompson, RP Corey Knebel
    • 7/31: SP David Price acquired from Tampa Bay Rays in three-team deal for SP Drew Smyly, CF Austin Jackson, SS Willy Adames

    Deadline Overview

    That's certainly one way to counter the Oakland Athletics' additions of Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester here in July, as the Tigers went out and landed an ace of their own in David Price.

    "Wow, what a day," Price said on Twitter. "Rays fans, THANK YOU!! Great Chapter of my life just ended...ready to start a new one with the Tigers!!"

    With a rotation of Price, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello, the Tigers should have no problem running away with the AL Central and making it back to the ALCS, where a matchup with the A's seems inevitable.

    They gave up a good young arm in Smyly and a key bat in Jackson, but that's what it takes to land a player of Price's caliber, and there is no question that the Tigers came away as winners in this deal.

    Looking to the future, this also gives them a backup plan of sorts if/when Max Scherzer walks in free agency at the end of the season.

    The closer's role was filled with the addition of Joakim Soria earlier this month, and while Detroit could still use another bullpen arm, it's hard to find fault with how the Tigers went about their business at the deadline.

1. Oakland Athletics (Previous: 1)

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Deadline Deals

    • 7/5: SP Jeff Samardzija, SP Jason Hammel acquired from Chicago Cubs for SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney, SP Dan Straily
    • 7/31: SP Jon Lester, OF Jonny Gomes, cash acquired from Boston Red Sox for OF Yoenis Cespedes, comp-balance pick
    • 7/31: OF Sam Fuld acquired from Minnesota Twins for SP Tommy Milone

    Deadline Overview

    My goodness, talk about the rich getting richer.

    Billy Beane pulled the trigger on a good-old-fashioned baseball trade when he shipped All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for ace Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes.

    Lester joins a rotation that also includes Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez.

    The Tigers countered by picking up an ace of their own, but the A's rotation still looks like it will be awfully tough come October, and they have the league's best offense backing it.

    Losing the production Cespedes brought in the middle of the lineup will hurt. A platoon of Gomes and the speedy Sam Fuld, who was also acquired on Thursday, should be able to hold down the fort, though, and that duo just screams Oakland A's baseball.

    If there were any doubt that the A's were all-in on 2014 following the Samardzija/Hammel trade, there is no question now. They still look like the team to beat.

    All prospect rankings courtesy of Prospect Watch and included in parenthesis alongside each prospect's name when applicable. All stats via Baseball-Reference, current through Wednesday, July 30.

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