MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Ahead of Winter Meetings
No team is a finished product entering December, so there's still plenty of time for teams to rise and fall. However, we can already do some adjusting based on early offseason activity.
As with any offseason power rankings, these took into account both how complete the roster is and how active the team is expected to be going forward, as well as the overall direction the franchise is headed.
With that in mind, here's an updated look at where all 30 teams stand:
B/R's MLB Power Rankings
1. Washington Nationals
2. Houston Astros
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. New York Yankees
5. Atlanta Braves
6. Tampa Bay Rays
7. Oakland Athletics
8. St. Louis Cardinals
9. Milwaukee Brewers
10. Philadelphia Phillies
11. Minnesota Twins
12. Chicago Cubs
13. Cleveland Indians
14. New York Mets
15. Boston Red Sox
16. Texas Rangers
17. Arizona Diamondbacks
18. Chicago White Sox
19. San Diego Padres
20. Cincinnati Reds
21. Los Angeles Angels
22. San Francisco Giants
23. Seattle Mariners
24. Colorado Rockies
25. Toronto Blue Jays
26. Kansas City Royals
27. Pittsburgh Pirates
28. Miami Marlins
29. Baltimore Orioles
30. Detroit Tigers
Let's take a closer look at some of the notable movers since our last update.
AL Team on the Rise: Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox made a statement when they signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
"He's such a quality guy," White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams told ESPN's Jeff Passan. "And for him to understand our messaging, our goals, our path and to say, 'I want to be a part of that and I'm going to commit to it early,' so we can move on to the next thing heading into the Winter Meetings, just shows what kind of character we're talking about."
The 31-year-old hit .246/.380/.468 for a 119 OPS+ with a career-high 28 home runs and 109 walks this past season. He showed off his durability by catching an impressive 137 games en route to a 2.5 WAR season.
His presence will be felt not only in the lineup but also in the development of a young pitching staff.
The White Sox must now focus on upgrading their starting rotation. They have some intriguing young arms behind breakout ace Lucas Giolito, and a healthy Michael Kopech could quickly fill a role at the front of the staff, but they could use a veteran innings-eater or two to help shoulder some of the load.
Regardless, it seems like the White Sox are ready to turn a corner, so expect a busy offseason from the South Siders.
NL Team on the Rise: Atlanta Braves
On the National League side, the Atlanta Braves have also been busy in the early stages of the offseason.
They signed San Francisco Giants closer Will Smith to a three-year, $40 million deal that will also cost draft pick compensation after he received a qualifying offer, and they brought back right-handers Chris Martin (2 years/$14M) and Darren O'Day (1 year/$2.25M).
- Smith: 63 G, 34/38 SV, 2.76 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 13.2 K/9
- Martin: 58 G, 18 HLD, 3.40 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 10.5 K/9
- O'Day: 8 G, 1.69 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 10.1 K/9
Add to that full seasons of deadline additions Mark Melancon and Shane Greene, and a bullpen that struggled to find stability at times last year suddenly looks like a legitimate strength in Atlanta.
The Braves also plugged one of two spots in the starting rotation behind the trio of Mike Soroka, Mike Foltynewicz and Max Fried by signing veteran left-hander Cole Hamels to a one-year, $18 million deal on Wednesday.
He'll effectively fill the void left by the departure of Dallas Keuchel. The 35-year-old Hamels posted a 3.81 ERA with 143 strikeouts in 141.2 innings, and he brings a wealth of postseason experience to a young staff with a 3.41 ERA in 100.1 career playoff innings.
Catcher Travis d'Arnaud was also signed to a two-year, $16 million contract to address the retirement of Brian McCann.
It's been a successful start to the offseason for the reigning NL East champions, but there is still work to be done.
Addressing the potential departure of Josh Donaldson at third base and plugging that final spot in the rotation now sit atop the to-do list.
Other Notable Moves
The Texas Rangers took a nice step toward addressing their starting rotation behind the veteran tandem of Lance Lynn and Mike Minor with the addition of Kyle Gibson on a three-year, $30 million deal.
Gibson, 32, had a down season in 2019, but he's only one year removed from posting a career-best 3.62 ERA over a career-high 196.2 innings during a 3.8 WAR season in 2018. The Rangers took a similar chance on Lynn last offseason, signing him to an identical three-year, $30 million deal, and he wound up finishing fifth in AL Cy Young voting.
The Los Angeles Angels also did well to move on their need for pitching help by acquiring Dylan Bundy from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for what Alden Gonzalez of ESPN described as "four of their lower-tier pitching prospects."
It's a good sign for the state of free agency in general that Zack Wheeler inked a five-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies and Mike Moustakas finally found a multiyear pact in the form of a four-year, $64 million deal from the Cincinnati Reds. From a rankings standpoint, Wheeler is exactly the kind of player the Phillies needed to land this offseason, and adding him earned them a few spots.
It's already been a busy offseason on the trade market for the San Diego Padres. Outfielder Trent Grisham and right-hander Zach Davies were acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infielder Luis Urias and left-hander Eric Lauer in an interesting swap of comparable parts. That was followed by a deal to acquire Jurickson Profar from the Oakland Athletics in a trade that sent catching prospect Austin Allen the other way. It was a nice pickup for Oakland, considering Profar was a likely non-tender.
As far as steals on the trade market, the Miami Marlins took full advantage of the Orioles' decision to waive Jonathan Villar rather than pay him in his final year of arbitration. That gives the team a perfect replacement for Starlin Castro and a potentially valuable trade chip come July.
The Seattle Mariners have yet to make a splash, but they have made some intriguing under-the-radar moves, signing Kendall Graveman to compete for a spot in the starting rotation while also adding reliever Carl Edwards Jr. and corner infielder Patrick Wisdom on one-year deals. It's always worth keeping at least one eye on general manager Jerry Dipoto.
Top Remaining Free Agents
With a flurry of activity expected at the annual winter meetings, let's take a quick look at the top remaining free agents at each position.
- C: Robinson Chirinos, Jason Castro, Alex Avila, Martin Maldonado, Austin Romine
- 1B: Justin Smoak, Eric Thames, Mitch Moreland, Neil Walker, Ryon Healy
- 2B: Jonathan Schoop, Starlin Castro, Brian Dozier, Wilmer Flores, Ben Zobrist, Jason Kipnis
- SS: Didi Gregorius, Jose Iglesias, Jordy Mercer, Adeiny Hechavarria
- 3B: Anthony Rendon, Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier
- OF: Nicholas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna, Brett Gardner, Corey Dickerson, Kole Calhoun, Yasiel Puig, Cameron Maybin, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, Avisail Garcia, Matt Joyce, Jarrod Dyson, Alex Gordon
- UT: Howie Kendrick, Brock Holt, Eric Sogard, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brad Miller
- DH: Edwin Encarnacion, Hunter Pence, Mark Trumbo
- SP: Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Michael Pineda, Dallas Keuchel, Tanner Roark, Julio Teheran, Wade Miley, Alex Wood, Jordan Lyles, Ivan Nova, Gio Gonzalez, Michael Wacha, Homer Bailey, Brett Anderson
- RHRP: Will Harris, Dellin Betances, Daniel Hudson, Sergio Romo, Brandon Kintzler, Tyler Clippard, Steve Cishek, Joe Smith, Brad Brach, Craig Stammen, Collin McHugh, Josh Tomlin, Pedro Strop, Arodys Vizcaino
- LHRP: Francisco Liriano, Robbie Erlin, Tony Sipp
Who will be the next domino to fall on the free-agent market?
Stay tuned for what promises to be another exciting winter meetings.