MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stack Up 2 Weeks from Spring Training

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2019

Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto (19) celebrates with teammate Jose Peraza (9) and Eugenio Suarez (7) after hitting a two-run home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

We're now just two weeks from the start of spring training, and top free agents Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still available in free agency.

Where those four standouts wind up will obviously have an impact on the MLB landscape. For now, it's time for another updated version of our MLB power rankings. For reference, the rankings were last shuffled Jan. 14.

As with any offseason power rankings, these took into account how complete a roster is and the current direction the franchise is headed:

 Updated Rankings
1img Boston Red Sox
2img New York Yankees
3img Los Angeles Dodgers
4img Houston Astros
5img Chicago Cubs
6img St. Louis Cardinals
7img Atlanta Braves
8img Washington Nationals
9img Cleveland Indians
10img New York Mets
11img Milwaukee Brewers
12img Tampa Bay Rays
13img Philadelphia Phillies
14img Colorado Rockies
15img Cincinnati Reds
16img Oakland Athletics
17img Minnesota Twins
18img Los Angeles Angels
19img Pittsburgh Pirates
20img Arizona Diamondbacks
21img Seattle Mariners
22img Chicago White Sox
23img San Diego Padres
24img San Francisco Giants
25img Texas Rangers
26img Toronto Blue Jays
27img Kansas City Royals
28img Detroit Tigers
29img Miami Marlins
30img Baltimore Orioles

           

Biggest Offseason Risers

Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz
Robinson Cano and Edwin DiazRichard Drew/Associated Press

The Cincinnati Reds might be the most improved team of the offseason.

After finishing 25th in the majors with a 5.02 starters' ERA, rebuilding the starting rotation was the No. 1 priority. They've done that with the additions of Sonny Gray, Alex Wood and Tanner Roark.

That bolstered starting staff, coupled with the additions of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp—as well as the impending arrival of top prospect Nick Senzel—should make for a vastly improved on-field product.

FanGraphs projects a 14-win improvement and a third-place finish in the NL Central.

The New York Mets are also entering the contention mix in the National League.

The blockbuster deal to acquire Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Mariners was a clear sign they intended to contend in 2019.

Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Rule 5 pick Kyle Dowdy and non-roster invitee Luis Avilan join Diaz as notable additions to a relief corps that finished 28th in the majors with a 4.96 ERA last season. Upgrading that area alone should mean a handful of additional wins.

Wilson Ramos was also added to bolster the catcher position, while J.D. Davis and Keon Broxton have lengthened the bench.

FanGraphs projects an eight-win improvement, a runner-up finish in the NL East and the No. 2 wild-card spot.

It might seem silly to call the Washington Nationals a team on the rise when they stand to lose superstar Bryce Harper, but the roster as a whole looks improved.

Replacing Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark with Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez will make a starting rotation that was already one of the best in baseball that much better. In fact, it earned the No. 2 spot in our recent rankings.

That said, the biggest improvement comes at catcher.

An underperforming and injured Matt Wieters combined with the light-hitting duo of Pedro Severino and Spencer Kieboom to post a 64 wRC+ (27th in MLB). The additions of Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki should take it from an area of weakness to a strength.

Throw in the signing of bounce-back candidate Brian Dozier to man second base and the arrival of top prospect Victor Robles, and a return to the top of the NL East heap seems possible.

FanGraphs projects a 10-win improvement to 92 wins and a division title.

The St. Louis Cardinals might not be projected for a bump in their win total, but they've undoubtedly improved this winter.

The addition of slugger Paul Goldschmidt gives the team its first true middle-of-the-order run-producer since Albert Pujols left town. Signing Andrew Miller also has a chance to change the complexion of the relief corps, though he comes with risk after an injury-riddled season.

The return of Alex Reyes and the continued development of Jack Flaherty may wind up being the X-factor in the hunt for an NL Central title.

While the American League has been much less fluid, the Minnesota Twins look like a team to watch.

After offensive production dipped from 5.03 to 4.56 runs per game last season, the additions of Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron could transform the lineup. So too would bounce-back seasons from Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton.

The bullpen could still use another arm or two, and relying on Martin Perez to fill the No. 5 starter spot might be wishful thinking. That said, there's enough young talent in the upper levels of the minors that they might be able to address those issues in-house as the season progresses.

      

Biggest Offseason Fallers

Mike Fiers
Mike FiersJason O. Watson/Getty Images

After shipping out Robinson Cano, James Paxton, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura, Mike Zunino and Alex Colome in trades and waving goodbye to Nelson Cruz in free agency, there's no denying the Seattle Mariners have taken a step back.

In the process, they've bolstered a farm system that was among the worst in baseball.

It will likely come at the cost of halting a playoff drought that already stretches back to 2001, but it was the right move for an organization that had been spinning its tires for years.

The Arizona Diamondbacks also seemed to be signaling a changing of the guard when they traded Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. They haven't sold off any other significant pieces, but it could only be a matter of time.

Starters Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray could both help a contender, while outfielder David Peralta is coming off a career year.

From a sustainability standpoint, it's reasonable to ask whether the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers are capable of duplicating the success they enjoyed last season.

The A's won 97 games last season with a patchwork starting rotation. Bringing back summer pickup Mike Fiers for a full season and signing Marco Estrada to a one-year deal isn't quite enough, and they'll be without Sean Manaea for the bulk of the season.

FanGraphs has Oakland projected for an 81-81 record, behind the Yankees, Rays, Angels and Twins in the wild-card hunt.

Meanwhile, the Brewers won the NL Central title with a 96-win season but seem to be tempting fate by once again relying on a bullpen-heavy approach and hoping a number of players can replicate career years.

The addition of Yasmani Grandal has a chance to be big, and a healthy Jimmy Nelson could be a huge addition to the rotation. The NL Central as a whole has gotten stronger, though, and the Brewers' cautious approach leaves them at risk of being passed by.

FanGraphs has Milwaukee projected for a 79-83 record and a last-place finish in the NL Central.

Teams like the San Francisco GiantsTexas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays are entering a rebuilding phase, and that's reflected in the rankings.

All seven of these teams entered last season with hopes of contending and enjoyed varying levels of success. All seven could be absent from the playoff picture in 2019.

       

Top Remaining Free Agents

As a preview of what's still to come, let's take a quick look at the top remaining free agents at each position:

  • C: Martin Maldonado, Devin Mesoraco, Nick Hundley, Matt Wieters
  • 1B: Logan Morrison, Adrian Gonzalez
  • 2B: Josh Harrison, Logan Forsythe
  • 3B: Mike Moustakas, Yangervis Solarte
  • SS: Manny Machado, Jose Iglesias, Adeiny Hechavarria, Alcides Escobar
  • OF: Bryce Harper, Adam Jones, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Denard Span, Carlos Gomez
  • UT: Marwin Gonzalez, Derek Dietrich
  • DH: Evan Gattis, Matt Davidson, Hanley Ramirez
  • SP: Dallas Keuchel, Wade Miley, Gio Gonzalez, Clay Buchholz, Jeremy Hellickson, Edwin Jackson
  • RHRPCraig Kimbrel, Bud Norris, Sergio Romo, Ryan Madson, Adam Warren, John Axford
  • LHRPJorge De La Rosa, Jake Diekman, Jerry Blevins, Tony Sipp, Dan Jennings

      

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.

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