Baseball’s July 31st trade deadline has passed and a number of teams made quality additions (the Rangers, Phillies, Braves and Giants, for example), while others let the deadline slip by without making a major move (the Yankees and Angels). Clearly, each move – or lack thereof – will help shape the season’s stretch run.
With yet another week in the books, the Boston Red Sox continue to lead KP’s latest MLB Power Rankings poll. The Yankees – sparked by a late week dismantling of the Orioles – leapfrogged the Phillies and into second place.
This week’s biggest movers are the Milwaukee Brewers (up six spots), New York Mets (up five spots) and San Francisco Giants (down five spots).
KP’s MLB Power Rankings: August 1, 2011
Note: Records and point totals as of Monday morning and do not include night games
1. Boston Red Sox – 66-40 (176 points) – Last Week: #1
Dealing with a number of injury problems, it was puzzling to see the Red Sox go after Erik Bedard (who they acquired) and Rich Harden – both starters with injury-riddled careers.
2. New York Yankees – 64-42 (170 points) – Last Week: #3
Once again, it’s puzzling, but the Yankees pass another deadline without making any major moves. The starting rotation clearly could have used another arm, too.
3. Philadelphia Phillies – 68-39 (158 points) – Last Week: #2
In my opinion, the Phillies made the best deadline move on offense, when they added all-star Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros.
4. Texas Rangers – 61-48 (110 points) – Last Week: #4
The Rangers really gave its pitching staff a boost when they added both Mike Adams and Koji Uehara to bolster the back end of the bullpen.
5. Atlanta Braves – 63-46 (91 points) – Last Week: #5
The presence of a speedy leadoff hitter should not be understated, and the addition of Michael Bourn to Atlanta’s offense is a significant one.
6. St. Louis Cardinals – 57-51 (84 points) – Last Week: #7
The Cardinals addressed their needs by acquiring Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel and Rafael Furcal, but the return on Colby Rasmus doesn’t feel significant enough.
7. Los Angeles Angels – 59-50 (71 points) – Last Week: #8
SP Jered Weaver was ejected from Sunday’s showdown with Verlander and the Tigers. As a result, he’s expected to face a potential six-game suspension.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks – 59-49 (60 points) – Last Week: #10
Still in a tight race with the Giants, the D’Backs needed to help boost its pitching staff, and did so by acquiring SP Jason Marquis from Washington and Brad Ziegler from Oakland.
9. New York Mets – 55-53 (58 points) – Last Week: #14
Even after dealing away Carlos Beltran, the Mets are not ready to give up the playoff chase, and a four-game sweep at Cincinnati last week is further proof of that.
10. Tampa Bay Rays – 56-51 (54 points) – Last Week: #9
Mentioned by many to be shopping both James Shields and B.J. Upton, the Rays wound up dealing neither at the deadline. But each could be available during the offseason.
11. San Francisco Giants – 61-47 (53 points) – Last Week: #6
The Giants needed offense at the deadline, and San Francisco answered that need by acquiring Orlando Cabrera to play shortstop and Carlos Beltran to bulk up the lineup.
12. Milwaukee Brewers – 60-49 (44 points) – Last Week: #18
Winners of six straight, the Brewers are back on top of the division. But it should be noted that the team’s latest two sweeps were over cellar dwellers Chicago and Houston.
13. Cincinnati Reds – 53-55 (44 points) – Last Week: #13
Thought to be heading towards sell mode at the deadline, the Reds bounced back by sweeping the Giants over the weekend – including a 16-2 stretch over the last two games.
14. Toronto Blue Jays – 55-53 (42 points) – Last Week: #15
The Jays had one of the best acquisitions of the trade deadline, managing to reel in the talented young star Colby Rasmus, who reportedly clashed with Tony LaRussa in St. Louis.
15. Detroit Tigers – 57-51 (37 points) – Last Week: #12
The Tigers needed to bolster its pitching staff for the stretch run, and did so by acquiring Doug Fister and David Pauley from the Seattle Mariners.
16. Chicago White Sox – 52-54 (28 points) – Last Week: #16
Don’t look now, but as bad as the White Sox have been this season, Chicago is still just four games back of the AL Central division lead.
17. Pittsburgh Pirates – 54-52 (26 points) – Last Week: #11
The Pirates are clearly not used to being in buy mode. The additions of Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick didn’t cost much, but add experience and some pop to the offense.
18. Florida Marlins – 53-55 (12 points) – Last Week: #19
The Marlins are hovering around the .500 mark, but Florida’s lack of team deals at the trade deadline should be considered a major disappointment.
19. Cleveland Indians – 53-52 (3 points) – Last Week: #17
The Indians gave away a number of its farm system talents for Ubaldo Jimenez, and clearly the Tribe feels that by boosting its rotation, Cleveland can take the AL Central.
20. Colorado Rockies – 51-57 (-1 point) – Last Week: #20
When dealing away Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies got quite the haul from the Cleveland Indians. But why on Earth did they start him knowing the deal was nearly done?
21. Oakland Athletics – 49-59 (-5 points) – Last Week: #24
Trevor Cahill has had a down year compared to last season, but still the numbers (9-9, 3.58 ERA) aren’t that bad compared to others in the league.
22. Los Angeles Dodgers – 48-59 (-15 points) – Last Week: #23
The Dodgers have to be the worst team in baseball that possesses both a potential Cy Young candidate (Clayton Kershaw) and an MVP candidate (Matt Kemp).
23. Washington Nationals – 51-56 (-18 points) – Last Week: #21
At this point in the season, it’s a shock to see that 1B Michael Morse leads the team in all major offensive categories (.314 average, 17 HR, 59 RBI’s, .365 OBP and 105 hits).
24. San Diego Padres – 47-62 (-18 points) – Last Week: #22
This marks the second trade deadline that the Padres dangled closer Heath Bell, but did not deal him away to any contending team.
25. Kansas City Royals – 46-62 (-32 points) – Last Week: #26
Many don’t realize it, but Kansas City’s offense – featuring a number of young bats – is currently fourth in the majors in batting average.
26. Minnesota Twins – 50-58 (-53 points) – Last Week: #25
The Twins were not sellers at the deadline, and even with a low ranking and poor record, Minnesota is still just seven games back from first place.
27. Seattle Mariners – 45-62 (-63 points) – Last Week: #27
The Mariners dealt away Erik Bedard to Boston, but due to his injury history, the return to Seattle wasn’t anything to write home to Mom about.
28. Chicago Cubs – 43-65 (-90 points) – Last Week: #28
The Cubs should be considered one of the bigger disappointments at the trade deadline, unable to unload any of its large contracts.
29. Baltimore Orioles – 42-63 (-108 points) – Last Week: #29
The Orioles got a nice return for reliever Koji Uehara, bringing back two 25-year-olds, both with major league experience – Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter.
30. Houston Astros – 35-73 (-130 points) – Last Week: #30
The Astros – already buried in baseball’s basement – completed a borderline roster overhaul at the deadline, demoting its corner infielders, as well as trading Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn.
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.