MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Stand Heading into 2020
With the calendar flipping from 2019 to 2020, now is as good a time as any for an update to our MLB power rankings.
These rankings were last updated on Dec. 16 on the heels of a memorable winter meetings. Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg all signed massive free-agent contracts, and Madison Bumgarner joined the Arizona Diamondbacks shortly after the meetings wrapped.
Since that last update, several other significant dominoes have fallen, including NL Cy Young runner-up Hyun-Jin Ryu and top reliever Will Harris.
So how have the latest moves impacted the MLB landscape?
B/R's MLB Power Rankings
1. New York Yankees
2. Washington Nationals
3. Houston Astros
4. Atlanta Braves
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Tampa Bay Rays
7. Oakland Athletics
8. Philadelphia Phillies
9. Minnesota Twins
10. St. Louis Cardinals
11. Milwaukee Brewers
12. Texas Rangers
13. New York Mets
14. Chicago Cubs
15. Boston Red Sox
16. Arizona Diamondbacks
17. Cleveland Indians
18. Los Angeles Angels
19. Chicago White Sox
20. Cincinnati Reds
21. San Diego Padres
22. Toronto Blue Jays
23. San Francisco Giants
24. Seattle Mariners
25. Pittsburgh Pirates
26. Kansas City Royals
27. Colorado Rockies
28. Miami Marlins
29. Detroit Tigers
30. Baltimore Orioles
Let's take a closer look at some of the notable movers since our last update.
Trending Up: Chicago White Sox
It had already been a busy offseason for the Chicago White Sox the last time these rankings were updated.
First baseman Jose Abreu was retained on a three-year, $50 million contract after initially accepting a qualifying offer, catcher Yasmani Grandal was signed to a four-year, $73 million deal, and outfielder Nomar Mazara was acquired from the Texas Rangers in exchange for prospect Steele Walker.
Turns out that was just the tip of the offseason iceberg.
Veteran starters Dallas Keuchel (3/$55.5M) and Gio Gonzalez (1/$5M) were added in free agency to join the young trio of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease in the projected starting rotation, according to Roster Resource. A healthy Michael Kopech could also be a factor.
"We view this as the next logical step in our process, one that was a high priority for us entering this offseason," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters following the Keuchel signing. "And that being adding someone who not only helps stabilize the rotation but someone who is going to be a key contributor inside the clubhouse, as well."
That was followed by the addition of slugger Edwin Encarnacion on a one-year, $12 million contract.
The cherry on top came last week when top prospect Luis Robert inked a six-year, $50 million extension that should pave the way for him to break camp with a spot on the MLB roster, eliminating the need for any service time manipulation.
After a 72-win season in 2019, the South Siders appear poised to take another step forward, and a winning record and wild-card contention seems doable.
Trending Down: Colorado Rockies
On February 26, 2019, the Colorado Rockies signed third baseman Nolan Arenado to an eight-year, $260 million extension ahead of his final year of team control.
Less than a year later, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on Jan. 2 that he has "roughly a 50/50 chance of being traded" this offseason.
It's the definition of a team without direction.
After back-to-back trips to the postseason, the Rockies crashed back to earth with a 71-91 record last year, and they have made no attempt to improve the roster this winter.
Right-hander Jose Mujica has been the only Colorado player signed to an MLB deal this offseason. He has yet to make his MLB debut and spent the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The only other addition to the 40-man roster has been reliever Tyler Kinley, who was claimed off waivers from the Miami Marlins. The 28-year-old posted a 3.65 ERA in 52 appearances last season, but backed it with a 4.92 FIP, 1.60 WHIP and 6.6 BB/9.
Catcher Drew Butera, infielders Chris Owings and Eric Stamets, outfielders Mike Gerber, Michael Choice and Zach Borenstein, and reliever Wes Parsons were also brought aboard on minor league deals.
If the Rockies are not going to make a legitimate push to improve the roster, they never should have signed Arenado and fellow All-Star Charlie Blackmon to long-term deals in the first place.
After posting a 5.56 ERA as a team last year and with no significant additions made to the pitching staff, it's hard to envision this team finishing anywhere but the NL West cellar.
Other Notable Moves
The Toronto Blue Jays have an impressive young core of position players in place that should help usher in the next wave of contention in the years to come. There was a lot of work to do bridging the gap to a trio of AL East contenders heading into the offseason, though, specifically on the pitching side of things.
After adding Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark earlier this offseason, they found a staff ace when they inked Hyun-Jin Ryu to a four-year, $80 million deal. The NL Cy Young runner-up has had some trouble staying healthy over the course of his career, but when he's healthy, he's capable of frontline production.
They also rolled the dice on bounce-back candidate Travis Shaw (1/$4M) to bolster the infield mix and signed Japanese League standout Shun Yamaguchi (2/$6.35M) after he posted a 2.78 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 194 strikeouts in 181 innings in 2019.
The defending World Series champion Washington Nationals addressed the loss of Anthony Rendon by signing veteran Starlin Castro (2/$12M) and re-signing Asdrubal Cabrera (1/$2.5M) to bolster their infield depth. Cabrera posted a 143 OPS+ and 1.5 WAR in 38 games with the Nationals down the stretch last year.
They also signed arguably the top reliever on the market in Will Harris (3/$24M). The 35-year-old posted a 1.50 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 9.3 K/9 with 26 holds in 68 appearances last season and helps solidify a bullpen that has been in flux for the past several seasons. David Hernandez could also prove to be a useful pickup on a minor league deal.
The Minnesota Twins have also addressed their pitching staff, signing veterans Homer Bailey (1/$7M) and Rich Hill (1/$3M) to add some depth to the starting rotation. They also re-signed Sergio Romo (1/$5M) and added two-time All-Star Tyler Clippard (1/$2.75M) after he posted a 2.90 ERA and 9.3 K/9 in 53 appearances last year.
After focusing largely on pitching at the start of the offseason, the Milwaukee Brewers added some useful pieces on the offensive side of things, signing Avisail Garcia (2/$20M), Justin Smoak (1/$5M), Eric Sogard (1/$4.5M) and Ryon Healy (1/$1M) to low-risk deals.
Sticking in the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds added Wade Miley (2/$15M) to the starting rotation, while the St. Louis Cardinals rolled the dice on lefty Kwang Hyun Kim (2/$8M) who logged a 2.51 ERA in 190.1 innings in the hitter-friendly KBO last year.
After whiffing on Gerrit Cole and several of the market's other top arms, the Los Angeles Angels settled for signing Julio Teheran (1/$9M). They also addressed a glaring need at the catcher position by adding Jason Castro (1/$6.85M).
The Cleveland Indians signed Cesar Hernandez (1/$6.26M) to replace Jason Kipnis, the Arizona Diamondbacks added Kole Calhoun (2/$16M) to fill a void in right field, and the New York Mets took a chance on Dellin Betances (1/$10.5M) staying healthy.
While contending teams get the bulk of the attention, the Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins also made some quality additions. The Tigers signed Twins cast-offs C.J. Cron (1/$6.1M) and Jonathan Schoop (1/$6.1M) as well as bounce-back candidate Zack Godley (1/$1.5M). The Marlins made a minor splash by signing Corey Dickerson (2/$17.5M) and also added a solid veteran presence in catcher Francisco Cervelli (1/$2M).
Top Remaining Free Agents
While most of this year's marquee free agents have signed this offseason, there is some potentially impactful talent still available. Here is a position-by-position look at what remains of the free-agent market:
- C: Robinson Chirinos, Russell Martin
- 1B: Eric Thames, Mitch Moreland, Neil Walker, Ryan Zimmerman
- 2B: Brian Dozier, Wilmer Flores, Ben Zobrist, Yolmer Sanchez, Jason Kipnis
- SS: Jose Iglesias, Jordy Mercer, Adeiny Hechavarria
- 3B: Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier
- OF: Nicholas Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna, Yasiel Puig, Cameron Maybin, Matt Joyce, Jarrod Dyson, Alex Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Curtis Granderson
- UT: Brock Holt, Tim Beckham, Sean Rodriguez
- DH: Hunter Pence, Mark Trumbo
- SP: Alex Wood, Ivan Nova, Drew Smyly, Taijuan Walker, Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, Jhoulys Chacin,
- RHRP: Daniel Hudson, Brandon Kintzler, Steve Cishek, Collin McHugh, Josh Tomlin, Pedro Strop, Arodys Vizcaino, Nate Jones, Juan Nicasio, Tommy Hunter
- LHRP: Francisco Liriano, Robbie Erlin, Tony Sipp, Luis Avilan
Who will be the next free-agent domino to fall?