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MLB Power Rankings: Deadline shakeup

Aug 1, 2014, 2:08 PM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney:


1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 1) – Zuckerman: How many other GM’s of first-place teams would be willing to trade their cleanup hitter for a 2-month rental ace? Billy Beane doesn’t think like other GM’s, though. Good for him.

2. Los Angeles Angels (LW: 2) – Zuckerman: Quiet on deadline day, but they made some wise moves earlier in the month to shore up their bullpen.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (LW: 9) – Zuckerman: Among the most shocking developments Thursday: L.A., with no financial restrictions, didn’t make a move.

4. Baltimore Orioles (LW: 7) – Hughes: Andrew Miller is a nice addition, but the O’s could really use another starting pitcher. The Yanks, Sox and Rays are having down years, what are they waiting for?

5. Detroit Tigers (LW: 3) – Roney: A rotation now fronted by Scherzer, Price, and Verlander gives Detroit the AL’s three previous Cy Young winners. Interesting to see whether they choose to pay Price, or Scherzer.

6. Washington Nationals (LW: 5) – Hughes: How the backend of the Nationals bullpen fares over the next two months could be a huge storyline.

7. Milwaukee Brewers (LW: 6) – Roney: Gerardo Parra is a solid addition to an already good team, and gives Milwaukee impressive outfield defense.

8. Toronto Blue Jays (LW: 13) – Hughes: The Jays have won nine of 10 and just saw the Orioles balk at adding a starting pitcher. It has been a good few weeks up in Toronto.

9. San Francisco Giants (LW: 4) – Zuckerman: The Dan Uggla Era in San Francisco: 0-for-11, 6 K’s, 3 errors. Yikes.

10. Atlanta Braves (LW: 8) – Hughes: Just saw a very interesting stat: the Braves are 41-44 since beginning the season 17-7. Was it smart to not add anything significant at the deadline?

11. Pittsburgh Pirates (LW: 11) – Roney: They stood pat after buying a year ago – will that be the difference between making the playoffs and not?

12. St. Louis Cardinals (LW: 10) – Roney: Did they sell low on Allen Craig on Joe Kelly, or did a smart organization move declining players? I know one thing for sure: They inherited a looking headache with John Lackey’s 2015 contract situation.

13. Seattle Mariners (LW: 12)– Zuckerman: Looked like they were going to make it a 3-team race in the AL West, but now they’re looking at the second wild card only.

14. New York Yankees (LW: 14) – Hughes: Between Jeter, Headley, Drew and Prado, the Yankees have plenty of infield talent. Where everyone will play is the question.

15. Kansas City Royals (LW: 17) – Roney: They shored up the bullpen, but with the moves made by Detroit and out west, they’ll have to settle for a nice, but post-season-less, year. Still progress in KC.

16. Tampa Bay Rays (LW: 18) – Hughes: David Price finally got dealt and the return was kind of underwhelming. Perhaps they should have waited until the offseason.

17. Miami Marlins (LW: 20) – Hughes: Not sure what to think of the Marlins trading their 2013 first round pick for Cosart. Cosart has not been good this season, but we’ll see.

18. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 15)– Roney: Heard they were dangling Mat Latos – better to hold on and try to retake ground next season.

19. Cleveland Indians (LW: 16) – Roney: James Ramsey and Zach Walters are decent pickups, but Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera were cornerstones not too long ago. Disappointing turn of events.

20. Chicago White Sox (LW: 22) – Roney: Quiet on deadline day, they didn’t really have much to gain or offer. Just work on an extension for Sale, Southsiders.

21. New York Mets (LW: 19) – Hughes: It was surprising to see the Mets do nothing before the deadline. They got some good news this week, however, with Matt Harvey getting cleared to throw from a mound.

22. Minnesota Twins (LW: 23) – Roney: Deadline Day brought old friend Tommy Milone to Minnesota – a great get, considering the miniscule price (Sam Fuld).

23. Boston Red Sox (LW: 21) – Hughes: Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig should help the Sox be competitive once again next season. Pitching is a glaring need now, though.

24. San Diego Padres (LW: 24) – Zuckerman: They have one regular with an OPS+ over 100: Seth Smith. That’s quite pathetic.

25. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW: 25) – Zuckerman: Didn’t realize just how much they invested in Aaron Hill and Martin Prado until this week.

26. Philadelphia Phillies (LW: 26) – Hughes: The Phillies probably should have blown it all up a year ago, yet they still keep trotting out the same, old lineup. Just amazing.

27. Chicago Cubs (LW: 28) – Roney: Theo Epstein continues to collect old Red Sox pieces – can they get anything out of Felix Doubront?

28. Colorado Rockies (LW: 29) – Zuckerman: Troy Tulowitzki is hurt now, so they’ll have to make a decision on his future this winter.

29. Houston Astros (LW: 27) – Zuckerman: The supposed 2017 World Series champs might want to put the champagne on ice for awhile.

30. Texas Rangers (LW: 30) – Zuckerman: What a disastrous season this turned out to be, completely unexpected.


  1. rayvil01 - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Boston played it very smartly yesterday. It was the polar opposite of Philly. Armano is making the bottom of the curve deeper and longer than it has to be.

    I bet he had a chance to offload Lee. Even if it was a box of bats it would have been addition by sutraction of salary. Now he’s stuck with it. Etc. Etc. Doesn’t bother me one bit. But it’s hard to find to find a more glaring dichdichotomy than those two teams yesterday.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Yes, Boston did what Philly should have been doing.

      The first step to having a problem is admitting you have a problem. Amaro hasn’t done that. You are a last place team sliding backwards. You don’t cut the brakes, you start losing excess weight so you can move forward again. Boston realized that in probably the best deadline dumping I have seen.

      I think my buddy Beane made a mistake. He traded a heart and soul player in Cespedes and replaced him with a great teammate in Jonny Gomes but JG isn’t nearly the player Cespedes is. Kazmir and Gray and Samardzijia are good and add in Lester but who’s scoring off of Scherzer, Price, Sanchez, etc when they face the Tigers in the ALCS?

      Balance is a key. Clubhouse is a key.

      • rayvil01 - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Amaro. I’m sorry I keep butchering that name. Unintentional.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        LOL. He’s changed his name to Absent.

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    “@AlexPavlovic: It’s official: Matt Duffy, Jarrett Parker called up from Double-A Richmond. Uggla, Colvin designated for assignment.”

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    How much longer do the Barves stick with BJ Upton. They have Bonifacio now. Does Bonifacio leadoff in the coming weeks. I guess Boni replaces Jordan Schaefer.

    I was thinking yesterday before Atlanta snagged him that the Nats could block that deal.

    I hope Atlanta just fades away but they get a reprieve and an easy 3 game weekend set with San Diego who resembles a AAAA team with Tyson Ross.

    • rayvil01 - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      They already ate one contract in Uggla. Tough to swallow two.

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:08 PM


      I wouldn’t go so far as to say “an easy 3 game weekend set….”

      According to Baseball Reference, since 2012 the Padres are 9-8 against the Barves, 5-1 in San Diego. And while I realize that the Padres are a horrible hitting team this year, in that spacious park, with ATL’s frequent K’s anything can happen. And for good measure, the Barves are only 11-15 against the NL west this season.

      Just trying to be optimistic here when looking at the Padres chances this weekend.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        They are a shell of a team with their injuries and trades.

      • bowdenball - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Tell that to the Cardinals, who just lost two of three to the Padres including a 12-1 shellacking.

        The Padres are above .500 since the all-star break. They’re not gonna roll over at home for a mediocre Braves team.

      • ArVAFan - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Oh, and the Pads home record of 28-27 and the Braves road record (27-27) are virtually identical. Last 10 games: Pads 5-5, Braves 4-6. With the home field advantage, minor though it is, the Pads might just take two of three (we should be so lucky).

        But, we shouldn’t have to worry about that if we take care of our own business . . .


  4. chaz11963 - Aug 1, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Dodgers move up 6 spots in a week? Really?

  5. David Proctor - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Barrett sent down, Treinan remains

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    “@AdamKilgoreWP: Aaron Barrett optioned to make room for Cabrera. Treinen stays.”

    Ans there you go NatsLady.

    • micksback1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      hats off again to you Ghost, you called that correctly

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        Lucky 😉 Barrett will return better. They needed this move sooner.

  7. Eric - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    And…whither Blevins? Not the mound, I hope.





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