The First MLB Power Rankings of 2010
This is my first POWER RANKINGS of the year. The order of teams and comments about them are purely my opinions only.
I had to factor in the teams' records from last season and factor in the moves they've made this offseason in order to improve. This ranking is meant to start arguments, not end them.
1. New York Yankees
If you thought winning the World Series was good enough for the Yankees, you'd be wrong.
After easily overthrowing the Phillies as Champions of baseball, the Yankees have already added Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson, and re-signed Andy Pettite, making them once again the favorites of 2010.
2. Philadelphia Phillies
After back-to-back NL pennants, there is no doubting the Phillies are still the class of the National League. The lineup is stacked with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez.
Roy Halladay provides a small upgrade over Cliff Lee, although having either ace for an entire season should make them even better than '08 and '09.
3. Boston Red Sox
The Sox were once again a powerhouse in the AL before fizzling out against the Angels in the ALDS.
Despite losing Jason Bay to free agency, they have added John Lackey to bolster the rotation and Adrian Beltre and Mike Cameron fill out the lineup and provide outstanding defense.
Beltre should have a renaissance season playing at Fenway, and Lackey adds to an already impressive rotation including Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and phenom Clay Buchholz.
4. Tampa Bay Rays
This might seem generous, but even though the Rays had a down year in 2009, the upside from 2008 cannot be forgotten.
A full season of David Price in the rotation to go along with James Shields, Matt Garza, and Andy Sonnanstine should make for a solid rotation.
Their lineup is no joke either with Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, and Carlos Pena.
Look for the Rays to rebound into a 90-win team in 2010.
5. New York Mets
Okay, this one might take a little convincing. Prior to the injury-plagued 2009 season, the Mets averaged 90 wins a season from '06-'08.
The addition of Jason Bay gives the Mets one of the most formidable outfields in the game that also includes Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur.
If the injured All-Stars from last season rebound to their pre-2009 forms, the lineup should be potent, even at Citi Field.
The rotation remains somewhat of a question mark, but expect the Mets to sign one decent free agent starter to follow Johan Santana in the rotation.
The upside the Mets COULD have makes them the No. 5 team on my list.
6. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals did the right thing by re-signing Matt Holliday, but they definitely outbid themselves and paid too much.
That being said, their rotation consists of two Cy Young candidates in Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.
Holliday and Albert Pujols make up the middle of the order, and any team managed by Tony La Russa and coached by Dave Duncan is good enough to win in my book.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been in the NLCS each of the past two seasons. They have fallen short mainly because they lack the front of the rotation starter to match up with other teams' aces. The Dodgers are hoping Chad Billingsley can step up and handle that role.
The lack of offseason moves this year can be blamed on the ugly divorce between owners Frank and Jamie McCourt. Despite the divorce, the Dodgers are still a powerful team in the National League.
8. Chicago White Sox
The Sox have put together a string of very intriguing moves. This offseason alone they have brought in veterans Juan Pierre, Mark Teahen, Andruw Jones, and Omar Vizquel. Last year at the deadline they traded for Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.
The rotation appears stacked with Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, and a full season of a healthy Peavy. Look for Chicago to be a more powerful team in 2010.
9. Chicago Cubs
Despite an underachieving 2009, the Cubs are still a powerhouse in the NL Central. The top of the rotation is set with Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly. and Ryan Dempster.
Even though Rich Harden left via free agency, the addition by subtraction of Harden and Milton Bradley should make the 2010 Cubs better than the 2009 club. They are still a dominant club when healthy.
10. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Despite losing John Lackey, Chone Figgins, and most likely Vladimir Guerrero to free agency, the Angels under Mike Scioscia should still be the best team in their division come April.
They re-signed Bobby Abreu and will compete with a rotation that still includes Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver, and Scott Kazmir. Look for the Angels to be competitive the same way they've been for over a decade.
11. Detroit Tigers
It was another puzzling year for Detroit, but you can't overlook their potent lineup and a young rotation that consists of Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Armando Galarraga, and Jeremy Bonderman. Look for them to compete in 2010.
12. Minnesota Twins
The Twins made it to the playoffs yet again, and hey, ya gotta love Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
13. San Francisco Giants
Great rotation, weak lineup. The Giants are sure to lose their cleanup hitter in Bengie Molina and haven't signed another big bat yet. Despite the offense, the rotation is so good they can still compete.
14. Seatle Mariners
The Mariners have added Cliff Lee to a rotation that already includes phenom Felix Hernandez. But does that really make them contenders overnight?
They have a great top of the order but no bashers 3-6 to drive them in. They lost their two biggest power bats in Adrian Beltre and Russell Branyan and will be counting on Ken Griffey Jr. to drive in runs, I guess.
15. Colorado Rockies
16. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have a great young core group of players, but they need more pitching outside of Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf. They're still a scary team and will compete for the NL Central or NL Wild Card.
17. Atlanta Braves
The Braves traded their best pitcher to the Yankees. In my eyes, they're still not good enough to seriously contend.
18. Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson is a true ace, but with the Marlins' ownership still pinching pennies, they don't have a chance to compete in the NL East.
19. Arizona Diamondbacks
I may have given the D-Backs the shaft with No. 19. I love the staff if a healthy Brandon Webb teams up with Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson. Nasty rotation and lots of young energy.
20. Texas Rangers
The Rangers are rebuilding, and you have to be impressed with what Nolan Ryan and upper management have done with the pitching staff. Ryan's "keep throwing" mentality translated into the team with the fewest pitching injuries in all of baseball.
Josh Hamilton will look to have a bounce-back year.
21. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are a team on the rise thanks to young pitchers like Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto.
22. Houston Astros
23. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays traded their franchise for a few prospects. We'll talk about them in a few years. Right now, it's not worth it.
24. Cleveland Indians
The Indians have traded two Cy Young Award winners in two years. Way to go, Cleveland—you could have been the best team in baseball if you were committed to winning.
25. San Diego Padres
Jake Peavy, is gone and Adrian Gonzalez will soon follow. The Padres are a mess and will need years to rebuild.
26. Washington Nationals
The Nationals had the worst record in baseball in 2010 but have a bright future ahead of them. They've bolstered the pitching by adding Jason Marquis, Matt Capps, and Brian Bruney, not to mention a certain young phenom named Stephen Strasburg.
Nyjer Morgan, Jesus Flores, Jordan Zimmermann, and Ryan Zimmerman are also a solid core of bright young stars.
The Nationals will once again have the top pick in the draft and look to be competitive in 2011.
27. Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles have some good pieces. Matt Wieters and Adam Jones are future superstars, but it's not enough. Kevin Millwood was a nice addition, but that's still not enough.
They're coming off a 65-win season and play in the toughest division in baseball. With no real chance of finishing better than third in the division, there is no chance for them to make the postseason.
28. Kansas City Royals
The Royals have one bright spot: Zack Greinke. PERIOD. They traded one bright spot, Mark Teahen, to the White Sox and then went on to sign players like Jason Kendall and Scott Podsednik.
The Royals only won 65 games last year and don't look to be much better in 2010.
29. Oakland Athletics
The A's have once again proved how cheap they really are. Billy Beane's philosophies are getting old, and the A's are not winning. They did manage to sign Jack Cust to a one-year contract!!!!!
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates enter 2010 with a streak of 17 straight losing seasons. This offseason the Pirates have been working hard to make that number 18.
The problems with this club start with ownership and upper management and trickle all the way down to the talent (or lack thereof) on the field. The Nyjer Morgan for Lastings Milledge trade was an absolute disgrace.
This franchise has a few bright young prospects (my favorite is Dan McCutchen, RHP), but not enough to transform the worst franchise in baseball into a winner.