MLB Power Rankings Week 18
1. Cincinnati Reds (Up two)The Padres ended the Reds’ 10-game win streak, but then Cincinnati went out and shored up its bullpen by acquiring Jonathan Broxton from the Royals to set up for Aroldis Chapman.
2. Washington Nationals (Up two)Washington remained quiet at the deadline. That’s easy to do when a team has won eight of nine and has a decent hold on a division lead.
3. New York Yankees (Down two)After losing out on Ryan Dempster, the Yankees added veteran cornerman Casey McGehee and are expected to activate Joba Chamberlain in the coming days. Will they help? Eh, probably not. Do the Yankees need the help? Nope.
4. Los Angeles Angels (Up two)Everything is about to go this team’s way. It just feels like the Angels’ year. Even Ervin Santana decided to pitch like a big boy again in his make-or-break start on Monday, going five innings and allowing just four hits.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates (Up two)It’ll be interesting to see what Wandy Rodriguez will bring to the Pirates, the first winning team that he’s been a part of. It’ll be equally interesting to see what Kevin Correia does after demanding a trade following his demotion to the bullpen -- and not getting it.
6. Texas Rangers (Down four)Ryan Dempster in, Roy Oswalt to the bullpen, and Neftali Feliz out for the season. Deadline Day was busy for Texas, who need Dempster to contribute ASAP if it wants to hold onto its AL West lead.
7. Atlanta Braves (Up five)Missing out on Dempster might hurt this team in the long run, but in the meantime the Braves have won six straight and have hold of a Wild Card spot.
8. Oakland Athletics (Up two)The A’s are playing with house money at this point. The lack of moves at the deadline was smart. No need to budget the team’s future to try to squeak in the playoffs this year, especially if the team can build off this recent success for next year.
9. Los Angeles Dodgers (Same)The Dodgers are hoping the 31-year-old Shane Victorino can push them over the top in the NL West. The Flyin’ Hawaiian and Hanley Ramirez were nice additions, but Los Angeles could have used an arm in the rotation.
10. Chicago White Sox (Up three)Francisco Liriano could be rejuvenated by the new scenery. Or he could be, well, Francisco Liriano. Either way, the Sox are maintaining their AL Central lead.
11. San Francisco Giants (Down six)Hunter Pence will shore up a Giants offense that is 25th in the league in runs, but the team has still lost five in a row heading into Tuesday night.
12. Detroit Tigers (Down four)The Tigers needed to get a veteran right-handed bat, or at least a glimmer of hope that Victor Martinez would come back this season. Neither happened on Tuesday.
13. St. Louis Cardinals (Up one)Edward Mujica may or may not help this team for its stretch run. The same was said about the Cardinals’ acquisition of Octavio Dotel at least season’s deadline. That seemed to work out just fine.
14. Tampa Bay Rays (Up two)Tampa Bay maintained its position and did not ship off James Shields, as was widely rumored. There’s still some life in this team.
15. Baltimore Orioles (Down four)The Orioles really, really wanted to snag Joe Blanton from the Phillies. They really, really swung and missed.
16. Arizona Diamondbacks (Up two)This team apparently thinks it still has a shot, as evidenced by its acquisitions of Chris Johnson, Scott Podsednik, and Matt Albers. I suppose we can humor them for a bit.
17. Toronto Blue Jays (Down two)Brad Lincoln was a solid transaction, at the expense of disappointing prospect Travis Snider. Unfortunately, there’s no room for the Jays to make a move in the standings this year and the 24-year-old Snider still has potential.
18. Boston Red Sox (Up one)Craig Breslow? Really? Talk about a lateral move. Had they not been on a three-game winning streak, they’d totally be getting the shaft in these rankings.
19. Cleveland Indians (Down two)There isn’t much else to look forward to the rest of the season for the Indians except the imminent return of The Artist Formerly Known as Fausto Carmona.
20. Seattle Mariners (Up five)Out of nowhere, the Mariners have won five straight and eight of 10. Who knew the AL West would be this interesting?
21. New York Mets (Down one)Scott Hairston remained a Met after the deadline and said he was “kind of glad” to still be here. Ladies and gentlemen, your New York Mets!
22. Miami Marlins (Down one)This team is going absolutely nowhere. And they’re headed there at lightning-quick speed. Who’s to blame?
23. Minnesota Twins (Up five)If the Twins continue winning and finish ahead of the Indians, will this season be considered a success?
24. Chicago Cubs (Up two)Now with that pesky Dempster guy out of the way, the Cubs can shift their focus back to losing again. No more of this three-game win streak nonsense.
25. Milwaukee Brewers (Down two)The Brewers’ big move of the deadline? Trading away backup catcher George Kottaras.
26. Philadelphia Phillies (Down four)With half of the city of Philly shipped out of town, the Phillies will look to rebuild. Wait, this team won 102 games last season with the players they just got rid of. What?
27. San Diego Padres (Down three)They aren’t winning now, but expect to hear from this team in the next two-to-three years. They’re definitely building toward something.
28. Kansas City Royals (Down one)The Broxton trade was great for the team, which has club options on the injured Joakim Soria through 2014. Might as well get something for Broxton before he was going to walk in two months, anyway.
29. Colorado Rockies (Same)It’s shocking that no teams were interested in trading for any pieces of the Rockies rotation. (Sarcasm.)
30. Houston Astros (Same)Losers of nine of 10, every aspect of this team is miserable and they don’t even seem to have any plan or direction. It’s like management uses a Magic 8-Ball to make its decisions. Will this team contend in the next decade? “My sources say no.”