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

Joel ReuterDecember 8, 2022

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

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    Aaron Judge
    Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    To anyone complaining about the slow-moving nature of the MLB offseason prior to this week, how was that for a winter meetings frenzy?

    Several of the biggest free-agency dominoes fell as Aaron Judge re-upped with the New York Yankees, while Trea Turner (Philadelphia Phillies), Jacob deGrom (Texas Rangers) and Justin Verlander (New York Mets) all found new homes.

    In total, 14 of the 25 players from our Dec. 2 free-agency big board are now signed. With all of that shuffling comes a new-look MLB landscape to assess.

    Our first MLB power rankings of the offseason published shortly after the World Series concluded. It's now time for another rundown of how all 30 teams stack up.

    While in-season rankings are based on recent performance, offseason rankings focus on how complete a team's roster is right now, how active the club is expected to be in the coming months and the overall direction the franchise is headed.

    Let the debate begin!

Nos. 30-26

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    Carlos Santana
    Steph Chambers/Getty Images

    30. Washington Nationals

    The Nationals made a nice buy-low move by signing non-tendered third baseman Jeimer Candelario to a one-year, $5 million deal. The 29-year-old is just one year removed from a 3.8-WAR season, and he is the type of player whom the Nationals should be targeting at the ground floor of a multiyear rebuild.

    29. Oakland Athletics

    Aside from signing versatile veterans Jace Peterson and Aledmys Díaz to two-year deals, the biggest story out of Oakland this offseason has been the team's plans to stretch AJ Puk out as a starter this spring. Given his past injury history and effectiveness out of the bullpen, this could be a mistake, but it's also an obvious way to potentially build value with an in-house player.

    28. Detroit Tigers

    By this time last year, the Tigers had already spent $217 million on left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez and shortstop Javier Báez. But with a new front office in place, they are taking a less aggressive approach following last year's push to contend. They did bring back left-hander Matthew Boyd on a one-year, $10 million deal, and he could be a valuable trade chip in July.

    27. Cincinnati Reds

    Aside from trading incumbent shortstop Kyle Farmer to the Minnesota Twins and then acquiring Kevin Newman from Pittsburgh to replace him—essentially the baseball equivalent of the Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man meme—it's been a quiet offseason for the Reds. That probably isn't going to change much in the next few months.

    26. Pittsburgh Pirates

    They may not be poised to contend in 2023, but props to the Pirates for making several under-the-radar moves. They added first baseman Ji-Man Choi in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays and then signed Carlos Santana, Vince Velasquez and Jarlín García to one-year deals in free agency. With a pull rate hovering around 50 percent and a .209 BABIP in 2022, Santana stands to benefit as much as anyone from the shift being banned.

Nos. 25-21

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    Brady Singer
    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    25. Colorado Rockies

    The Rockies lost 94 games in 2022, but they finished 41-40 at Coors Field, so they clearly have some talent on the roster. It bears watching whether they pursue an outside addition at shortstop or if they'll turn things over to top prospect Ezequiel Tovar after he received a cup of coffee in September.

    24. Kansas City Royals

    The Royals have yet to add to their exciting young core of Bobby Witt Jr., Brady Singer, Vinnie Pasquantino and MJ Melendez, though waiting out the market and hunting for bargains after the new year could prove to be a solid approach. This club looks like a potential dark horse to contend for a wild-card spot with a few more veteran pieces.

    23. Miami Marlins

    With Sandy Alcántara, Pablo López, Edward Cabrera, Jesús Luzardo, Trevor Rogers, Braxton Garrett and top prospects Eury Perez and Max Meyer, the Marlins have an impressive collection of young starting pitching talent. The problem is the rest of the roster. While other NL East teams have been busy this offseason, Miami has yet to make a significant addition.

    22. Boston Red Sox

    The Red Sox have signed Kenley Jansen (2/$32M), Chris Martin (2/$17.5M) and Joely Rodriguez (1/$2M) to bolster a bullpen that ranked 26th in the majors with a 4.59 ERA in 2022, but they still have a ton of work to do. If they have their sights set on contention, adding a catcher, middle infielder and at least one more established starting pitcher is still on the to-do list, though they did cross corner outfielder off on Wednesday by signing Japanese League standout Masataka Yoshida.

    21. Arizona Diamondbacks

    The D-backs have a wealth of young talent on the rise, with Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy, Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Ryne Nelson and Drey Jameson all showing impact potential in 2022. They have been linked to Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy and free-agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts, so there could still be a big move or two coming, and their outfield depth makes them an intriguing player on the trade market.

Nos. 20-16

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    Jameson Taillon
    Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    20. Minnesota Twins

    Even super agent Scott Boras has taken notice of the Twins' newfound willingness to spend after last year's Carlos Correa signing, so they can't be ruled out to make a splash before the offseason is over. With that said, full seasons of Tyler Mahle and Jorge López, as well as the return of Kenta Maeda, already goes a long way toward improving their outlook.

    19. Chicago Cubs

    With Cody Bellinger and Jameson Taillon both added to the mix on Tuesday, the Cubs have already upgraded their roster, and they might not be finished. They continue to circle the top-tier shortstop market while also showing interest in catcher Christian Vazquez. It wouldn't be surprising to see them add another arm either in the middle of the starting rotation or at the back of the bullpen.

    18. San Francisco Giants

    The Giants went hard after Aaron Judge, but they wound up settling for Mitch Haniger on a three-year, $43.5 million deal that could be a steal if he returns to his 2021 form or a disaster if he continues to battle the injury bug. Until they do something to address the free agency of Carlos Rodón and add another bat or two to the lineup, it's tough to rank them any higher.

    17. Baltimore Orioles

    A surprising 83-79 finish doesn't mean the Orioles are suddenly going to scrap their long-term plans to go all-in on the 2023 season. With that said, they'll need to do more to address the pitching staff than signing veteran Kyle Gibson to a one-year, $10 million deal, and that portion of the market is quickly running dry.

    16. Chicago White Sox

    Letting José Abreu walk was the right move for the White Sox, as it will allow Andrew Vaughn to return to his natural position. That should mean a vastly improved defensive outfield. Signing Mike Clevinger to a one-year, $12 million deal also looks like a potential steal, and the rotation has a chance to be one of the best in baseball. Now they need to plug glaring holes at second base and in right field.

Nos. 15-11

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    Zach Eflin
    John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    15. Milwaukee Brewers

    Flipping Kolten Wong to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro looks like one of the rare win-win deals that makes sense for both sides. The Brewers buy low on Winker, who was an All-Star in 2021, get a cheap, controllable piece in Toro, and can now pursue a bigger bat at second base or third base with Luis Urías occupying the other spot. Will they actually spend the money to get that bat?

    14. Texas Rangers

    A year after spending $556 million on Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray, the Rangers have once again been among the most aggressive teams in free agency, this time shoring up the starting rotation. Adding Jacob deGrom on a five-year, $185 million deal was the headline-grabbing move, but they also signed Andrew Heaney and acquired Jake Odorizzi in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. This roster is still far from a finished product, but there's no reason to think they'll stop spending at this point.

    13. Los Angeles Angels

    After signing 2022 All-Star Tyler Anderson to join a sneaky-good starting rotation and Carlos Estévez to anchor the bullpen, along with swinging trades to acquire Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela, the Angels once again look like a team poised to contend. Then again, we've been fooled before. The Rangers have vastly improved and the Astros and Mariners aren't going anywhere, so the AL West is going to be a battle.

    12. Tampa Bay Rays

    The Rays have proved time and again they know how to squeeze the most out of one of the smallest payrolls in baseball, so judging them based on their on-paper talent is an exercise in futility. They saw enough in right-hander Zach Eflin to sign him to a three-year, $40 million deal, the largest free-agent contract in team history, so don't bet against him having a career year in 2023.

    11. San Diego Padres

    Getting rebuffed by Trea Turner and Aaron Judge despite offering more money than anyone else was a tough look for the Padres, but they managed to salvage their trip to the winter meetings by agreeing to an 11-year, $280 million deal with Xander Bogaerts late Wednesday night. They still have holes to plug in the starting rotation and could use at least one more impact bat, but it's a start.

10. Toronto Blue Jays

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    José Berríos
    Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Toronto Blue Jays have a strong offensive core in place even after trading Teoscar Hernández to the Seattle Mariners, and they also have the potential for a top-tier starting rotation if José Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi can bounce back from down years.

    However, it's been crickets so far this offseason.

    They can't open the year relying on Mitch White to hold down a rotation spot, and after non-tendering Raimel Tapia and Bradley Zimmer, the only established left-handed hitter on the roster is Cavan Biggio.

    Expect something to be done with their trio of catchers—Alejandro Kirk, Danny Jansen and Gabriel Moreno—to shore up another spot on the roster.

9. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Willson Contreras
    Matt Dirksen/Getty Images

    The St. Louis Cardinals addressed their most glaring roster need on Wednesday, signing longtime rival Willson Contreras to a five-year, $87.5 million deal to replace Yadier Molina behind the plate.

    Signing a free agent rather than swinging a deal for someone like Sean Murphy on the trade market means they still have pieces like Nolan Gorman and Alec Burleson who do not have a clear path to playing time but could be the centerpiece of a major trade before the offseason is over.

    Healthy seasons from Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz, along with a full year of deadline pickup Jordan Montgomery, could mean an improved starting rotation without any outside additions. Is that starting staff good enough for them to legitimately contend for a title, though?

    That's the question that will need to be answered before the offseason is over, and it's one that could be addressed on the trade market.

8. Seattle Mariners

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    Teoscar Hernández
    Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

    There might not be a splashy signing (Robbie Ray) or a blockbuster trade (Jesse Winker/Eugenio Suárez) on tap for the Seattle Mariners this offseason, but they have already improved a roster that finally got over the postseason hump in 2022.

    Slugger Teoscar Hernández was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays, and the hole at second base was addressed by trading for Kolten Wong ahead of the final season of his current contract.

    Also, don't sleep on the addition of Cooper Hummel in an under-the-radar trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 28-year-old can catch and play the outfield, and he's hit .310/.429/.540 with 29 doubles, 18 home runs and 71 RBI in 522 plate appearances at Triple-A the last two years.

    Even if they're done adding pieces, this already looks like a playoff team.

7. Cleveland Guardians

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    Josh Bell
    Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Cleveland Guardians took the New York Yankees to five games in the ALDS last season, despite being the youngest team in baseball and carrying a payroll that ranked 27th in the majors at $66.7 million.

    A glass-half-empty fan would point to potential regression from guys like Andrés Giménez, Steven Kwan, Oscar González and Cal Quantrill based on their underlying metrics as reason to be worried about a potential step backward.

    However, this team has proved time and again it knows how to develop young talent, especially on the pitching side of things, and there's more on the way in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

    Signing slugger Josh Bell to a two-year, $33 million deal was a good sign the front office is committed to winning with this current core of talent, so don't rule out another outside addition or two before the offseason ends.

6. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Clayton Kershaw
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    It's a safe bet that the current version of the Los Angeles Dodgers is far from a finished product as far as roster construction is concerned, but until they make the moves everyone is expecting them to make, it's impossible to rank them any higher.

    Unless they plan on turning key roles over to Michael Busch (2B), Miguel Vargas (3B), James Outman (OF), Trayce Thompson (OF) and Ryan Pepiot (No. 5 SP), multiple additions are coming for a team that shed a ton of money from the payroll this winter.

    It's entirely possible that one of Busch or Vargas could be handed a starting job on the infield given their production in the upper levels of the minors, but not without a fallback plan in place, and the starting pitching depth is perhaps the most glaring need given the fact that Walker Buehler is recovering from Tommy John surgery and Clayton Kershaw is no longer a lock to make 30-plus starts.

    Even with those holes, this is still one of the most talented teams in baseball on paper, and there's little doubt they have the money to make several major additions. But again, until they do, they can't be ranked any higher than this.

5. New York Yankees

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    Aaron Judge
    Adam Hunger/Getty Images

    Despite a serious push from the San Francisco Giants, the New York Yankees managed to retain AL MVP Aaron Judge, agreeing to terms with the slugger on a nine-year, $360 million deal Wednesday morning.

    While it was a big win for the organization to retain their biggest star, it doesn't move the needle relative to the 2022 roster since they were just doing what needed to be done to retain their best in-house talent.

    In order to make a serious push at snapping a 13-year title drought, the Yankees need to add at least one more top-tier starting pitcher and a corner outfielder, and another bullpen arm and a left-handed bat wouldn't hurt either.

    Retaining Judge was the No. 1 priority this offseason, but it's far from all that needs to be done to shore up this roster for the 2023 season.

4. New York Mets

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    Justin Verlander
    Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

    Replacing Jacob deGrom with Justin Verlander should be a lateral move for the New York Mets in the short term, and only committing two years to Verlander rather than the five years that deGrom received from the Texas Rangers gives them far more flexibility going forward.

    Make no mistake, the Mets are trying to win it all right now with Verlander and Max Scherzer both under contract through 2024, but if that doesn't happen, they're not bogged down with a bloated payroll and they can make an aggressive push again in two years.

    That's not to say they won't keep spending now.

    Even after signing starter José Quintana and trading for reliever Brooks Raley on Wednesday, the team still needs at least a couple of more arms to round out the bullpen. There's also the matter of re-signing Brandon Nimmo or finding a viable replacement in center field, which now moves to No. 1 on the to-do list.

    If the season started today, I'd pick the Mets to finish third in the NL East.

3. Atlanta Braves

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    Vaughn Grissom
    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    The Atlanta Braves have not made a splashy move yet this offseason, but that speaks more to how complete their roster already is than to any sort of inactivity on the part of their front office.

    There is still the matter of sorting out who plays shortstop in 2023, and a reunion with Dansby Swanson remains very much on the table. If he signs elsewhere, Elvis Andrus has been identified as a potential stopgap while Vaughn Grissom continues to refine his game, and that could open the door for a bigger signing elsewhere.

    The obvious spot to add would be in left field, where Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario are both overpaid and underperforming, while designated hitter could also be an area to look at with William Contreras and Travis d'Arnaud poised to platoon behind the plate once again.

    Big picture, if the season started today and Swanson was playing elsewhere, this team is still loaded with one of the best starting rotations in baseball, a dynamic 1-5 offensively and a bullpen that won't miss a beat with Raisel Iglesias replacing Kenley Jansen in the closer's role.

2. Philadelphia Phillies

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    Trea Turner
    Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    With an 87-75 record, the Philadelphia Phillies were the last team to sneak into the postseason on the National League side, claiming the final wild-card spot by one game over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Their run to the World Series was a surprise, to say the least, but they're not going to surprise anyone this time around.

    While their offseason started on a sour note when it was revealed that Bryce Harper would miss a sizable chunk of the 2023 season following Tommy John surgery, it's been all uphill since then with a flurry of activity on the free-agent market.

    Shortstop Trea Turner was the blockbuster signing on an 11-year, $300 million deal, but adding Taijuan Walker to the starting rotation and Matt Strahm to the bullpen has a chance to make a significant impact as well.

    The bullpen looks stronger than it has in years, the starting rotation stacks up to any in baseball, center field is finally no longer a hole thanks to the deadline pickup of Brandon Marsh, and the lineup looks stacked even without Harper. Bring on 2023!

1. Houston Astros

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    José Abreu
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Not many teams could let the reigning AL Cy Young winner walk in free agency without batting an eye, but few teams in MLB history have the type of starting pitching depth the Houston Astros do right now.

    Even without Verlander, a rotation of Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., José Urquidy and Luis García is one of the best in baseball, and flame-throwing rookie Hunter Brown can fill a swingman role and provide depth to the starting staff.

    Offensively, swapping out Yuli Gurriel (584 PA, 84 OPS+, 48 XBH, 8 HR, 53 RBI) for José Abreu (679 PA, 133 OPS+, 55 XBH, 15 HR, 75 RBI) at first base is a clear upgrade.

    They would benefit from adding another corner outfield bat, and catching depth is also on the shopping list unless they think prospect Korey Lee is ready for a larger role. Plugging those holes could be as simple as reunions with Michael Brantley and Christian Vázquez.

    Even if they're done adding, this team looks ready right now to make a serious push at defending its title in 2023.

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.