Baseball’s trade deadline is steadily approaching and a number of the game’s elite teams – including the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies – have been mentioned in rumors for some of the game’s biggest names, from Carlos Beltran to Ubaldo Jimenez, and then some.
With another week in the books, the Boston Red Sox continue to lead KP’s latest MLB Power Rankings poll. The Phillies sit in second place, with the Yankees, Rangers and Braves rounding out the top five.
Meshed into this week’s power rankings are numerous trade deadline rumors from some of the top media members in baseball.
KP’s MLB Power Rankings: July 25, 2011
Note: Records and point totals as of Monday morning and do not include night games
1. Boston Red Sox – 62-37 (169 points) – Last Week: #1
I’ve spoken to numerous local Boston fans who are very happy with Josh Reddick and would rather see him get more playing time than to see Boston trade for Carlos Beltran.
2. Philadelphia Phillies – 64-36 (150 points) – Last Week: #3
It’s clear that Philadelphia’s biggest need is on offense, with many names being mentioned, from Carlos Beltran to Jason Giambi and more.
3. New York Yankees – 59-40 (149 points) – Last Week: #2
It’s equally as clear that New York’s biggest need would be rotation depth, but pitchers like Ubaldo Jimenez are coming with a steep asking price.
4. Texas Rangers – 58-44 (115 points) – Last Week: #4
Via his Twitter account, Ken Rosenthal cites a source stating that the Rangers are one of the “three hottest teams” on Hiroki Kuroda.
5. Atlanta Braves – 59-43 (84 points) – Last Week: #5
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the other day that the Braves are very interested in adding another bat to the lineup.
6. San Francisco Giants – 59-43 (78 points) – Last Week: #8
Per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Giants would be very interested in Michael Cuddyer, if the Twins were to head into selling mode.
7. St. Louis Cardinals – 53-48 (71 points) – Last Week: #7
It’s been clear since the season began that the Cards were behind the 8-ball in regards to its pitching. Adding reliable arms at the deadline could be what wins the division for St. Louis.
8. Los Angeles Angels – 55-47 (68 points) – Last Week: #9
Kevin Baxter of the LA Times discusses the Angels’ trade deadline interests, and points out that it’s no secret that the team is interested in Heath Bell and Mike Adams, among others.
9. Tampa Bay Rays – 53-47 (58 points) – Last Week: #6
James Shields has popped up in some trade rumors, but while he may never have trade value this high, the Rays would be crazy to deal him away.
10. Arizona Diamondbacks – 55-47 (52 points) – Last Week: #12
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, citing sources, states via Twitter that the D’Backs have had talks with the Astros regarding SP Wandy Rodriguez.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates – 52-47 (50 points) – Last Week: #10
When was the last time the Pirates were in buying mode at the trade deadline? I believe that day actually pre-dates reality television.
12. Detroit Tigers – 54-47 (44 points) – Last Week: #17
Via his Twitter account, Ken Rosenthal cites a source stating that the Tigers are one of the “three hottest teams” on Hiroki Kuroda.
13. Cincinnati Reds – 50-51 (40 points) – Last Week: #13
Citing a source, Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter) states that the Reds are fielding interest from a number of teams on SP Edinson Volquez.
14. New York Mets – 50-51 (40 points) – Last Week: #11
Carlos Beltran appears to be the most popular bat on the market, but I think teams would be better off if they could manage to acquire B.J. Upton from Tampa Bay instead.
15. Toronto Blue Jays – 51-51 (39 points) – Last Week: #14
Per SI’s Jon Heyman, the Jays were one of the teams that saw Ubaldo Jimenez pitch recently. This is surprising considering Toronto’s current AL East standing.
16. Chicago White Sox – 49-51 (35 points) – Last Week: #16
No team may have more questions than the White Sox right now, from “Will they buy?” to “Will they sell?” to “How many expletives will Ozzie drop in the process?”
17. Cleveland Indians – 51-48 (20 points) – Last Week: #15
Via his Twitter account, Ken Rosenthal cites a source stating that the Indians are one of the “three hottest teams” on Hiroki Kuroda.
18. Milwaukee Brewers – 54-49 (15 points) – Last Week: #18
Over the last year, the Brewers struck two surprising deals when they acquired both K-Rod and Greinke. Don’t be shocked if Milwaukee pulls the trigger again in the upcoming days.
19. Florida Marlins – 49-53 (0 points) – Last Week: #20
Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel reports that the Marlins are not interested in acquiring 3B Brandon Inge.
20. Colorado Rockies – 48-54 (-2 points) – Last Week: #19
Ubaldo Jimenez is arguably the hottest starting pitcher on the market, but it appears to be unlikely that a team will be able to strike a deal with Colorado.
21. Washington Nationals – 49-52 (-4 points) – Last Week: #21
Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to make his Nationals debut on Friday, but will he be able to regain his form from a few years ago, when he was with the Yankees?
22. San Diego Padres – 44-58 (-12 points) – Last Week: #25
ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Padres believe that Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick and Aaron Harang all could be moved.
23. Los Angeles Dodgers – 45-56 (-19 points) – Last Week: #23
Trade options and financial problems aside, it’s still quite clear to me that division standings aside, Matt Kemp deserves to be the current NL MVP frontrunner.
24. Oakland Athletics – 44-57 (-23 points) – Last Week: #22
ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets that the most likely relievers to get dealt in Oakland are Craig Breslow and Michael Wuertz.
25. Minnesota Twins – 47-54 (-40 points) – Last Week: #26
The Twins are in a similar position as the White Sox, clearly up in the air whether they should be in buy or sell mode. But with the state of the AL Central, Minnesota is still in this race.
26. Kansas City Royals – 42-59 (-41 points) – Last Week: #27
Some reports list the Royals as having interest in B.J. Upton, which is silly. Kansas City has plenty of young bats, but should instead focus on acquiring quality arms instead.
27. Seattle Mariners – 43-58 (-56 points) – Last Week: #24
15 games ago, the Mariners were a .500 team. Today, Seattle now has a 15-game losing streak, which is a painful new franchise record.
28. Chicago Cubs – 42-60 (-63 points) – Last Week: #28
The Cubs have plenty of veterans that could be moved, but each possesses a large contract that makes him less attractive to contending teams.
29. Baltimore Orioles – 40-58 (-87 points) – Last Week: #29
A depleted Baltimore pitching staff would sorely miss either Koji Uehara or Jeremy Guthrie, but the ability to move either for future pieces may be too hard to ignore.
30. Houston Astros – 33-68 (-113 points) – Last Week: #30
According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the Astros are reportedly telling teams that they are not looking to trade Hunter Pence.
Note: RED = Falling 3+ spots from last week, GREEN = Rising 3+ spots from last week
The Wife Hates Sports’ MLB Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record. It mixes a secret formula of six completely different categories, meshed into a points system. The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed recently, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and pitching staff, too.