MLB Power Rankings: Padres, Blue Jays load up

Welcome to the fourth edition of RunSportBet’s MLB Power Rankings for the 2020 campaign. Here, our editors rank each team after Monday’s busy trade deadline.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
26-10 8-2 +90 1 (-)

The Dodgers are the best team in baseball, and the front office is so convinced of it that it decided not to add at the deadline. In fact, Los Angeles actually traded away a big-league starter, Ross Stripling, to Toronto. The Dodgers own the best ERA in the majors and sit second in runs scored behind the Padres.

2. Tampa Bay Rays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
25-11 8-2 +41 5 (+3)

The Rays opted not to address their injury-plagued pitching staff, which currently has 10 pitchers on the injured list. Instead, they traded slugger Jose Martinez – who’s struck out 20 times and hit just two homers in 67 at-bats – to the Cubs in order to create a roster spot for Randy Arozarena. Charlie Morton is expected to return this week, which will give the rotation a boost. Even with all the injuries, Tampa Bay just keeps rolling.

3. Oakland Athletics

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
22-12 6-4 +36 2 (-1)

Oakland had its season interrupted following a positive COVID-19 test but still managed to bring in a couple of complementary pieces in second baseman Tommy La Stella and left-handed starter Mike Minor. La Stella’s .832 OPS should help boost a position that ranks 26th in the league in OPS. Minor finished eighth in Cy Young voting last year and could fill in nicely at the back of the rotation if he’s able to overcome some of his early-season struggles.

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4. San Diego Padres

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
22-15 7-3 +43 6 (+2)

Wow. Where to start? Despite owning the NL’s third-best record, the Padres went out and overhauled a considerable chunk of the roster. General manager A.J. Preller sent out 15 players and acquired nine across six trades in an effort to try and help the club reach its first postseason since 2006. Mike Clevinger highlights San Diego’s haul, as he owns a 2.92 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 57 starts over the last three seasons.

5. Chicago White Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
22-13 8-2 +45 7 (+2)

The White Sox have taken a major step forward this season but weren’t willing to deplete their prospect surplus for a short-term move. GM Rick Hahn said he was not parting with top pitching prospect Michael Kopech, who’s expected to be in the 2021 rotation. The club did add speedster Jarrod Dyson and his 254 career steals. Those wheels could play a major role come playoff time.

6. Cleveland Indians

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
21-14 5-5 +39 8 (+2)

Cleveland continues to play by its own rules. The Indians dealt a key piece of their rotation despite being a legitimate contender and might be in better shape for it. Not only does Zach Plesac slide back into the rotation following the departure of Mike Clevinger, but the club also received some much-needed outfield power with Josh Naylor, an intriguing pitcher in Cal Quantrill, and three top 20 prospects.

7. New York Yankees

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
19-14 3-7 +23 3 (-4)

Brian Cashman opted to stand pat despite Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton, and James Paxton all residing on the injured list, citing the high acquisition cost of making a deal. The replacements have filled in admirably, notably Clint Frazier, who posted a 1.054 OPS in August, but this team doesn’t quite have the same magic as 2019. While reinforcements are expected to come in September, questions might arise if the Yankees fall short in the postseason once again.

8. Minnesota Twins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
20-16 3-7 +24 4 (-4)

Minnesota dropped five straight games to divisional opponents heading into the deadline, but that didn’t lead to the front office making any moves. The belief is that help will come internally, with Michael Pineda set to join the rotation following his PED suspension and Josh Donaldson nearing a return from a calf injury. Those two players combined for 7.9 WAR a season ago.

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9. Atlanta Braves

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
20-14 6-4 +26 9 (-)

It’s always a surprise when Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t swing a major deal. The Braves GM avoided the temptation of making a major deadline splash, opting only to acquire Tommy Milone, who allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings during his Atlanta debut Sunday. The Braves could have used an impact starter after the rotation posted a 5.40 ERA in August, the sixth-worst mark in the majors.

10. Houston Astros

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
19-14 6-4 +23 11 (+1)

GM James Click said the majority of trade talks focused around pitching, which is understandable considering the injury-ravaged roster. Those injuries have created opportunities and there’s been a lot of encouraging performances from younger players, with none more impressive than Kyle Tucker. The former top prospect is hitting .272/.333/.588 with a team-leading six home runs and 29 RBIs this season.

11. Chicago Cubs

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
20-14 4-6 +13 10 (-1)

The Cubs didn’t make any splashy additions Monday, but they did add some much-needed depth at a minimal cost. Left-handers Josh Osich and Andrew Chafin – who is injured but expected back this month – will aid the bullpen while also allowing Jose Quintana to return to the rotation. Jose Martinez – a slugger Cubs fans know well from his St. Louis days – and veteran Cameron Maybin will be important bench pieces. Not a bad couple days of work for Theo Epstein and Co.

Bryan M. Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

12. Toronto Blue Jays

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
18-15 6-4 +14 14 (+2)

The Blue Jays upgraded their club without sacrificing too much of their promising future. Three new starting pitchers – rentals Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, plus the surprising addition of Ross Stripling – highlighted the team’s haul and bolstered the rotation behind ace Hyun-Jin Ryu. Jonathan Villar was a crucial addition who will provide some much-needed versatility on the infield. And on top of all that, the Blue Jays – who came into the deadline red-hot and in playoff position – will eventually get Bo Bichette, Ken Giles, and Nate Pearson back from the injured list. This could be a September to remember in Toronto Buffalo.

13. St. Louis Cardinals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
13-13 5-5 +6 12 (-1)

It was all quiet on deadline day for the Cardinals, who are still working their way back from a COVID-19 outbreak. The likes of Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina coming off the IL will have to count as deadline acquisitions this year, and you could do a whole lot worse while pushing for a playoff spot. Hopefully, they can handle their grueling schedule.

14. Philadelphia Phillies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
15-15 6-4 +2 19 (+5)

The Phillies improved their porous relief corps by acquiring David Phelps on Monday to complement the pre-deadline additions of Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. The rest of this team is tremendously talented, but it was the bullpen that was holding the Phillies back. That puts a lot of pressure on all three new relievers to perform, and they could be the difference between a return to October and yet another disappointing season in Philly.

15. Colorado Rockies

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
17-18 4-6 -20 13 (-2)

Mychal Givens will make an impact in the NL pennant race as long as he doesn’t get bit by the Coors Field effect. Colorado has had terrible luck building a bullpen in recent years, making the veteran reliever a stealthy acquisition for the team. Kevin Pillar will also provide both good outfield defense and a much-needed right-handed bat at a minimal cost. The Rockies have a tall task ahead of them, but a playoff berth isn’t out of the question.

16. Cincinnati Reds

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
15-20 4-6 -15 15 (-1)

After all the talk about Trevor Bauer being traded, the Reds decided to go for it at the last minute by adding outfielder Brian Goodwin and reliever Archie Bradley. Goodwin could be a sneaky-good addition who will enjoy hitting at Great American Ball Park, while Bradley bolsters a bullpen that’s struggled at times. They may not be the team to beat in the NL, but the Reds now have the kind of roster that can cause opponents plenty of headaches if they’re able to squeeze into the playoffs.

17. Miami Marlins

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
15-15 5-5 -11 18 (+1)

Baseball’s biggest surprise made a huge move by trading for Starling Marte, who will make an impact for the young and hungry Marlins. It’s always good to see teams go for it, and the Marlins feel good enough about their position in a short season to take the chance. But they made an odd decision in trading Jonathan Villar to Toronto. Although Isan Diaz is rejoining the team after having opted out earlier in the year, trading Villar – a player who could have contributed to their playoff push – is an odd message to send at the same moment you’re buying Marte.

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18. New York Mets

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
15-20 4-6 -17 17 (-1)

Mets general manager “Brody” Van Wagenen has never been afraid to go for it, and he did it again Monday by swinging late trades for Robinson Chirinos, Miguel Castro, and old friend Todd Frazier. They’ll all help New York – Chirinos especially, given the team’s massive need for catching depth – but it’s unclear if this will be enough to push the Amazin’s into the playoffs. At least they’re trying.

19. San Francisco Giants

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
17-19 7-3 -19 20 (+1)

Outside of a small trade for Anthony Banda, the Giants chose to stand pat. It was an odd decision considering they’ve surprised just about everyone this year and are contending for one of the final NL playoff spots. Nobody was expecting president Farhan Zaidi to be a big-time buyer, but reinforcements beyond one marginal bullpen arm would have sent a strong message to the team.

20. Detroit Tigers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
16-16 7-3 -21 27 (+7)

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday that his young Tigers are trying to make the playoffs. General manager Al Avila responded by dealing outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Cubs for a prospect. That move reflects the reality for the Tigers, who are having a good season and exceeding expectations but still face long playoff odds.

21. Milwaukee Brewers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
16-18 5-5 -28 22 (+1)

The Brewers had a chance to seriously spice up the deadline by trading Josh Hader, but a move of that magnitude might be better served for the winter. Instead, the front office traded David Phelps for a trio of future prospects. Milwaukee remains in playoff contention despite getting off to a poor start and could be a Christian Yelich (.197 AVG) hot streak away from jumping back into the postseason race.

22. Washington Nationals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
12-20 3-7 -7 16 (-6)

Mike Rizzo proved last year he won’t give up on a season despite how dire things look, and the Nationals GM extended that line of thinking into 2020. The defending champions didn’t sell, but they didn’t add either despite the rotation posting a 6.32 ERA in August without Stephen Strasburg. It’s unlikely the Nationals would have gotten much if they had chosen to sell, so taking a run at a playoff spot in a weak division isn’t the worst idea.

23. Baltimore Orioles

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
15-19 3-7 -18 23 (-)

The Orioles were sellers despite being within striking distance of a playoff spot; likely a smart move from a club that has come back to Earth following a surprise start. Baltimore netted three top 25 prospects for pitchers Tommy Milone, Miguel Castro, and Mychal Givens, which should hopefully boost the club’s fortunes in the future.

24. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
14-21 1-9 -30 21 (-3)

Arizona cemented its deadline position as sellers after dropping nine of 10 games and moving a number of bigger names. The Starling Marte experiment lasted just 33 games in the desert, but the front office did well to bring in two controllable starters in Caleb Smith and Humberto Mejia in return from Miami. However, Robbie Ray’s struggles with his control resulted in a disappointing end to his tenure and forced the front office to accept a minimal return.

25. Kansas City Royals

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
14-21 4-6 -18 25 (-)

Dayton Moore wanted to give the Royals a chance to compete for a playoff spot and they’ll do so with the exception of Trevor Rosenthal. Landing 24-year-old outfielder Edward Olivares for Rosenthal is a nice piece of business for Kansas City, especially considering the team signed the right-hander to a minor-league deal in the winter.

Michael Zagaris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

26. Los Angeles Angels

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
12-24 4-6 -22 24 (-2)

It’s looking like a sixth consecutive year without the postseason for Mike Trout as the Angels were once again sellers. Los Angeles held on to Andrelton Simmons and Dylan Bundy but found takers for Tommy La Stella, Jason Castro, and Brian Goodwin. Those could be the last moves GM Billy Eppler makes for the club as he will likely find himself on the chopping block when the season ends.

27. Boston Red Sox

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
12-23 5-5 -53 26 (-1)

The rumors of a mass exodus in Boston were a bit overblown as Chaim Bloom opted to hold on to J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Christian Vazquez. The Red Sox may be struggling this year, but there are a lot of solid pieces to build around. The club did well to upgrade a depleted minor-league system with the returns for Mitch Moreland, Brandon Workman, and Heath Hembree, netting three top 25 prospects to their system.

28. Seattle Mariners

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
15-22 7-3 -43 29 (+1)

It wouldn’t be a trade deadline if Jerry Dipoto wasn’t moving someone. The Mariners GM sold very high on utility man Austin Nola and landed top prospect Taylor Trammell. Seattle will miss the playoffs for a 19th straight season, but a future outfield of Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, and Trammell leaves plenty of reason for optimism.

29. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
10-22 5-5 -45 30 (+1)

The Pirates became one of the biggest deadline surprises by not trading anyone outside Jarrod Dyson. New GM Ben Cherington was expected to explore deals for everyone on the roster but was likely handcuffed by almost all of his players having down years. Josh Bell is hitting just .214/.266/.339, Bryan Reynolds has a .590 OPS, and Gregory Polanco has struck out in almost 50% of his at-bats. It’s pretty hard to try and find takers for that production.

30. Texas Rangers

Record Last 10 RD Previous Rank (Change)
12-21 2-8 -58 28 (-2)

The Rangers were the biggest seller of the deadline despite holding on to the club’s biggest trade chips in Lance Lynn and Joey Gallo. Rather than completely blow things up, GM Jon Daniels traded away Mike Minor, third baseman Todd Frazier, and catcher Robinson Chirinos for four players to be named later. Maybe the real sell-off will come this winter?