This week's MLB power rankings were pushed back two days from our usual Monday morning publish time to accommodate the July 31 trade deadline. Now that it's passed, it's time for an updated look at where all 30 teams stand.
Along with on-field performance, this week's rankings also took deadline activity into account. Teams on the fringe of contention, in particular, were impacted by the moves they made or didn't make, as a clear line was drawn between contenders and non-contenders.
Going forward, these rankings will remain fluid. Teams will rise and fall based on where they were ranked the previous week. If a team keeps winning, it will keep climbing—it's as simple as that.
Here are the rankings:
Busiest Teams at the Deadline
The Houston Astros entered deadline day in need of starting pitching and walked away with Zack Greinke and Aaron Sanchez to round out a starting rotation that already featured Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley.
They paid a steep price to acquire Greinke, but their window to win is unquestionably open right now, and he'll provide rotation insurance should Cole make his way elsewhere in free agency this winter.
The Astros also added swingman Joe Biagini and catcher Martin Maldonado to the mix and have to be considered one of the biggest winners at the deadline, as well as the favorite to win it all heading into August.
In a tight NL East race, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals both bolstered their beleaguered bullpens.
The Braves acquired All-Star closer Shane Greene from the Detroit Tigers and took on the bloated contract of Mark Melancon from the San Francisco Giants. With money to spend, they could afford to take on Melancon's deal in order to limit the prospect cost, and he'll give them an experienced high-leverage arm as insurance for the ninth inning.
Not to be outdone, the Nationals picked up Toronto Blue Jays setup man Daniel Hudson and Seattle Mariners relievers Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland in a five-player deal. With Sean Doolittle already locked into the closer's role, the focus for the Nats was finding reliable arms to bridge the gap from starter to closer, and they accomplished that.
The San Francisco Giants deserve credit for doing a nice mix of buying and selling amid their July surge up the wild-card standings.
Unloading Melancon's contract was a nice coup by team president Farhan Zaidi, as was flipping starter-turned-reliever Drew Pomeranz for a quality prospect in Mauricio Dubon. Pairing Dubon with fellow deadline-addition Scooter Gennett should upgrade an underperforming second base position. They also moved Sam Dyson in a trade with the Minnesota Twins, but they were dealing from a position of strength with so much relief pitching depth at the MLB level and in Triple-A.
Across the Bay, the Oakland Athletics quietly added Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark to their starting rotation, which feels like a slightly more stable version of last year's patchwork fixes of Edwin Jackson and Brett Anderson.
The Chicago Cubs added a power bat in Nicholas Castellanos, along with versatile utility man Tony Kemp and reliever David Phelps. Their NL Central rival, the Milwaukee Brewers, bolstered its pitching staff by picking up Pomeranz and swingman Jacob Faria in a trade that sent expendable slugger Jesus Aguilar to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Despite facing an uphill battle in the NL East, the Philadelphia Phillies were also active, adding starter Justin Vargas and outfielder Corey Dickerson in deals that cost next to nothing.
Further down the rankings, the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets staked their claims to two of the biggest arms on the market by acquiring Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman, respectively. Both pitchers are under club control through 2020, so those moves were made more with next season in mind. Still, they won't hurt either team's outlook the rest of the way.
A full recap of all notable deadline movement can be found at MLB.com's tracker.
It appears the New York Yankees are putting all their eggs in the basket that has Luis Severino and Dellin Betances getting healthy for the stretch run. That's a bold strategy for a team that has looked like the favorite on the AL side of things for much of the year but now takes a clear backseat to the Astros.
To New York's credit, the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox both had quiet trade deadlines, so there was no major push from within the division to make a big move.
On the NL side, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired left-handed reliever Adam Kolarek in a minor trade with the Rays and signed Tyler Thornburg to a minor league deal. Those were the team's only moves to address a bullpen that has been shaky at best this season.
It will be interesting to see if they entertain the idea of using top prospect Dustin May out of the bullpen down the stretch, similar to how they utilized Walker Buehler when he first reached the majors two years ago.
Over in the AL Central, it's tough to decide what to make of the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
The Twins sat on their hands and settled for bringing aboard Giants setup man Sam Dyson and Miami Marlins veteran Sergio Romo as the only additions to a relief corps in serious need of quality late-inning arms.
The Indians flipped Trevor Bauer in a trade that will bolster their outfield through the additions of Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig, but removing Bauer from a rotation that is already sans Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco might hurt their overall outlook.
The St. Louis Cardinals didn't make a significant addition, but they have always looked like a team that would bank on improved production from its own players to spark a postseason run. They're playing extremely well of late and have moved into first place in the NL Central standings, so it's hard to argue with that approach.
Fringe Teams That Waived the White Flag
The Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers all essentially waved the white flag at the trade deadline despite hovering around the .500 mark.
The Angels and Rangers failed to make any notable moves, while the Diamondbacks flipped ace Zack Greinke in a deal that will bolster a thin farm system. They also picked up controllable starter Zac Gallen from the Miami Marlins in exchange for prospect Jazz Chisholm—an interesting deal that could be fun to look back on 10 years from now if Chisholm hits on his significant upside.
That essentially leaves 15 teams in position to call themselves contenders, plus whatever you want to make of the Mets and Reds.
A clear line has been drawn, as is often the case following the trade deadline. Now we have two months to see how things shake out for those 15 clubs as they chase 10 postseason spots.