From now until the end of the MLB Season, I will be giving out my MLB Power Rankings for theBRKDWN Sports every two weeks.
This week we take a look at the buyers and sellers of the league as the trade deadline is 2 days away!
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1) New York Yankees (Stay)
The Yankees have a nice 8-game lead over the Red Sox and Rays in the East. With two months left in the season and divisional games ahead, that lead can quickly grow or disappear. Losing 3 of 4 to the Sox this weekend wasn’t a worst-case scenario, but they need pitching help desperately. Sabathia just went on the IL and lacks reliability, and James Paxton has hit a funk lately. If they do not make a move for a pitcher, perhaps Severino is closer to returning then we all think.
Team Needs:Starting Pitching
2) Los Angeles Dodgers (Stay)
Beside the Astros, the Dodgers are the best and most complete team in the MLB, but at this point they lack competition and that might not be good. Kershaw has proven he is Kershaw again, after a bad start to the season. The only thing keeping them from moving back to #1 is playing meaningful baseball and not playing .500 baseball.
Team Needs: Bullpen Depth
3) Houston Astros (Stay)
This team has it all and can sustain it for years with the talent they have in the minors. They have no glaring holes on the team as basically every position has an all-star. If they move one of their top prospects it would be for a need like a Starting pitcher or bullpen arm, but they have a guy by the name of Forrest Whitley that they don’t even need to make a trade for.
Team Needs: None
4) Atlanta Braves (Stay)
The Braves stand head and shoulders above the NL East. They have built this team perfectly, letting the home grown kids play and making key free agent moves like signing Donaldson and waiting to sign Keuchel. If they can play .500 ball the rest of the season the East is their’s to lose.
Team Needs: Pitching Depth
5) Boston Red Sox (Stay)
After taking 3 of 4 from the Yankees this past weekend, the Sox still are 8 games back of the Yankees, and 1 game out of the Wild Card. Nothing more needs to be done to this team as they have the depth to continue to compete. If they want to contend and not just compete, 1) Sale needs to be better. 2) they need a back end starting pitcher and bullpen help.
Team Needs: Starting Pitcher or Bullpen Help
6) Minnesota Twins (Buy)
Here we are at the deadline and the Twins blew the 10+ game lead they had over a month ago. It is now down to two games with the Indians on their heels. They can hit, there is no question about that, but the pitching has always been my concern. Odorizzi and Pinada have over-performed and one of them will be due to a let down of a second half. While everyone else is fine, pitching will hold the Twins back.
Team Needs: Starting Pitching
7) Cleveland Indians (Stay)
Sometimes the best moves are the ones your don’t make, or in this case don’t need to make. The Indians have battled back to only be 2 games back of the Twins. They did this all without ace pitcher Corey Kluber, who is starting to throw and could be back sooner rather than later. Getting their ace back will be a huge momentum boost for the Tribe and they will get back one of the top pitchers without needing to make a trade.
Team Needs: Bullpen Depth or Outfielder
8) Washington Nationals (Buy)
All the nationals need to do is keep winning games and avoid the injury bug. Everyone is healthy and they have shown they are just as good or better without Harper than with him.
Team Needs: Starting Pitching or Relief Pitching
9) Oakland A’s (Buy)
Oakland started setting the market by buying low on Royals pitcher Homer Bailey, who was having a career year and they hope for him to continue to have success with Oakland. Some issues in the outfield concern me for Oakland but they can mash like anyone else in the A.L. so putting up runs won’t be an issue to get them to October, but they need pitching to back them up.
Team Needs: Starting Pitcher or Outfield Depth
10) Philadelphia Phillies (Buy)
The resurgence of the Phillies is making them buyers at the deadline going 13-4 since the break and sit 6.5 out on the division, and 1 game out of the Wild Card. Pitching is the key for the Phill’s if they want to contend with the Braves and Nationals.
Team Needs: Starting Pitching Depth or Bullpen Arms
11) Tampa Bay Rays (Buy)
The Rays are fading quickly getting off to a 8-8 start after the break. Charlie Morton is there only “starter” with the likes of Beeks, Yarbrought and Faria pitching as “openers”. The “opener” option is fading for the Rays as Stanek is on the IL still so if the Rays intend on contending they need starters that can go 5 innings.
Team Needs: Starting Pitching or Center Fielder
12) Chicago Cubs (Buy)
Every year around this time, the Cubs are in search of bullpen help. That is still the case but not as much with Strop, Cishek and Kimbrel holding down the 7th, 8th and 9th respectfully. The need is still pitching but they could use a pitcher or two to give themselves some depth come October.
Team Needs: Pitching Depth, Infield Depth
13) St. Louis Cardinals (Buy)
In what appears to be a two team race in the central, the Cardinals are slowly and quietly moving up the standings as they are now tied with the Cubs for the division and overtaken the Brewers. They made an interesting move a few weeks back putting Wacha back in the pen and that will strengthen the pen without making a trade and does not hurt the back end of the rotation in the process.
Team Needs: Lefty Specialist For Pen
14) Milwaukee Brewers (Sell)
In a division that hardly separates themselves from the Cubs or Cardinals, the Brewers are the third best team of the group and honestly could be fourth if you consider the Reds. They are best suited to trade some expiring contracts to a contender and stock up on some pitching for a push next season.
Trade Chips: Mike Moustakas or Jesus Aguilar
15) Los Angeles Angels (Stay)
For a team that lists a not so household name in Griffin Canning as their ”Ace” the Halos need pitching help. A lot of the pieces are in place for Los Angeles they just need to make some more moves in the off season with sinings rather than trade and chase pitching.
Trade Chips: None
16) San Francisco Giants (Buy)
The Giants said they are going to sell despite going 13-4 and jumping to only 2.5 games out of the N.L. Wild Card. Some could say that’s a fluke but they did take series wins against the likes of the Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals. If they become sellers (I don’t think they should) Madison Bumgardner becomes the prize of the deadline and they should ask for a king’s ransom for him.
Team Needs: OF Depth, Back End Starter or Bullpen Depth
17) Arizona Diamondbacks (Sell)
After news broke that Luke Weaver was transferred to the 60 Day IL, I lost hope for the D-Backs for the season. Not all hope is lost though as he proved he can be a front end of the rotation guy. Moving Greinke would be the best thing for the team to load up considering they are close to breaking out next season.
Trade Chips: Zack Greinke or Jaarod Dyson
18) Texas Rangers (Sell)
The pitching has now shown its ugly head in Texas, combine that with losing Joey Gallo for another 4 weeks the Rangers have dropped out of contention. They need to trade some veterans for pitching help to contend next season.
Trade Chips: Shin-Soo Choo, Jose Leclerc, Mike Minor, Danny Santana or Nomar Mazara
19) New York Mets (Sell)
What the Mets should be doing is selling, but instead they traded for the third best pitcher that was on the market and acquired Marcus Stroman for two top pitching prospects. That means Syndergaaurd, Wheeler or Matz are on the move but knowing the Mets they will keep them all and think they have a real shot at the Wild Card.
Trade Chips: Robinson Cano, Noah Syndergaaurd or Any Bullpen Arm
20) Colorado Rockies (Sell)
The Rockies need to hit the reset button on this group. Currently, 7.5 out of the Wild Card they are more likely to sell than to buy at the deadline, and a recent stretch of 4 wins in their last 15 doesn’t help the cause. They have a lot of valuable pieces to upgrade a less than average rotation and bullpen.
Trade Chips: Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy or Wade Davis
21) San Diego Padres (Stay)
The Padres don’t need to do anything drastic at the deadline they just need to be patient. They weren’t expected to win the division, so the Wild Card is the next best thing for them, it’s just a matter of reaching it this year. Play out the year, allow the young pitchers to develop and next year challenge the Dodgers for the division.
Trade Needs: Catcher
22) Cincinnati Reds (Buy)
That’s right, the Reds need to buy at the deadline. Only seven games out of the Wild Card and Division that no one seems to want to win, the Reds are my dark horse to come and win the division late.
Team Needs: OF Depth or Starting Pitcher
23) Chicago White Sox (Stay)
The Sox do not need to make any drastic moves at the deadline as a majority of the future is in place. While a tweak here or there could help make a push for the Wild Card this season, with teams like Los Angeles, Oakland, Tampa and Boston they will fall short.
Trade Chips: Ivan Nova or Any Bullpen Arm
24) Pittsburgh Pirates (Sell)
The Pirates made themselves the first team to be eliminated from playoff talk of all the teams in the NL Central. Going 2-14 after the break they have become sellers in my opinion at this point as they are 10 games back of the Wild Card.
Trade Chips: Keone Kela, Felipe Vazquez or Jordan Lyles
25) Seattle Mariners(Sell)
Seen this many times as a Mariners fan this late in the year, but they do make some good moves to help the future. Like trading Tyler O’Neill for Marco Gonzalez as only one example. Jerry D knows what he is doing in the Front Office on Edgar Martinez Blvd. just a matter of when it will all come to place.
Trade Chips: Domingo Santana or Dee Gordon
26) Kansas City Royals (Sell)
Moving up so slightly are the Royals going 10-7 since the break but still unlikely to make any movement up in the standings. Not much is to be desired from this team in terms of needs around the league as they traded away Jake Diekman to the A’s last week, since he was the only real player of value.
Trade Chips: Ian Kennedy
27) Toronto Blue Jays (Sell)
Toronto finally did what we all knew was going to happen and it was trade long-time ace Marcus Stroman to the Mets. They will continue to sell as they try to build the farm. The second half of the season for the Jays is critical to assess who is ready to play at the major league level and we get to see Guerreo, Biggio and Bichette all on the field at the same time.
Trade Chips: Joe, Biagini, Freddy Galvis or Brandon Drury
28) Miami Marlins (Sell)
The Marlins have already declared themselves as sellers dealing Sergio Romo to the Twins. While the future is going to be good for Miami they need to continue to upgrade the farm with close to MLB ready talent as they could compete as early as next season in the National League.
Trade Chips: Curtus Granderson, Martin Prado or Caleb Smith
29) Baltimore Orioles (Sell)
While going 8-8 to start the second half of the season, Baltimore is still one of the worst teams in baseball. Currently 24 games out of the Wild Card and playing in a division that includes the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays means more losses to come in late August and September.
Trade Chips: Jonathan Villar or Trey Mancini
30) Detroit Tigers (Sell)
The Tigers currently and will likely finish the season as the worst team in baseball. Currently 27 Games out of the Wild Card and no signs of improving after going 2-14 after the All-Star game, the Tigers should trade all assets and maximize return for the future.
Trade Chips: Jordan Zimmerman, Sean Green or Miguel Cabrera