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My 2016 MLB Power Rankings Week 16

Updated on July 25, 2016

MLB Power Ranks

This is it. Don’t get scared now. It’s the final week before the MLB trade deadline. The rumors will be swirling and at least one big name has already switched clubs today. Expect more of the same as August 1st draws nearer. This is where the general managers make their bones. Is the club a contender? Are they a pretender? Is it time to buy? Sell? What to do, what to do? If a team has a legit shot at winning it all this year is it worth mortgaging the future to acquire that piece or two that might put them over the top? It’s why they get paid the big bucks folks.

*Note ~ All stats and records are through Sunday’s games. Since I didn’t do a rankings last week I will still include the last ranking of each team but it will be from two weeks ago.

1. Chicago Cubs (59-38) ~ The best record in baseball is back in Chicago and the Cubbies just shored up one of their biggest weaknesses in a trade with the New York Yankees. I’m sure you’ve already heard who they acquired but if not, scroll a bit lower and you’ll find out. (Last Ranking 2)

2. Washington Nationals (58-41) ~ Stephen Strasburg’s perfect season may have come to an end but he is finally coming into his own. It seems like the pressure was removed as soon as Max Scherzer came aboard. Strasburg has settled into the number two role quite nicely and those two will be hard to get by in a five-game series. (LR 2)

3. San Francisco Giants (58-40) ~ Seven losses in eight games after the All-Star break isn’t good for anyone. It cost the Giants their top spot in my rankings and allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers to gain ground in the NL West. Couple that with Hunter Pence not yet being ready to come back from the disabled list and it hasn’t been the best of times by the bay. (LR 1)

4. Baltimore Orioles (57-40) ~ Mark Trumbo is now up to 30 home runs and 73 RBI. His career highs are 34 and 100 which he set in 2013. He should blow past the home run total shortly and odds are the RBI mark will fall as well. Just an unbelievable year for Trumbo. (LR 5)

5. Boston Red Sox (55-41) ~ Rick Porcello improved to 10-0 at home this season and joined an interesting list in the process. He is just the sixth pitcher in the last 50 years to win 10 of their first 11 home starts. Dock Ellis, Steve Carlton, Frank Viola, Roy Oswalt, Ryan Dempster and Adam Wainwright are the others. It doesn’t necessarily mean much but it’s still kind of fun. (LR 6)

6. Texas Rangers (57-42) ~ Is there any team that has been ravaged by injuries like the Rangers? Prince Fielder, Shin Soo-Choo (again and again), Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis are just some of the names to miss time this year for the Rangers and yet they still lead the American League West. Look for general manager Jon Daniels to pick up a player or two before the deadline and cross your fingers they can stay healthy. (LR 4)

7. Toronto Blue Jays (55-44) ~ Drew Storen has been designated for assignment. Storen has shown tons of potential when he was a closer in Washington but for some reason he has struggled mightily when he is used in other roles. His 6.21 ERA as a set-up man north of the border can attest to that. Due to his high salary odds are Storen will not be picked up on waivers. He is a free agent at the end of the season. (LR 7)

8. Cleveland Indians (56-41) ~ The Indians are certainly a contender this year and while they may add a piece or two before the trade deadline they should also be getting help from within. Michael Brantley, who has missed most of the season, is nearing a return to the Tribe. The former All-Star drove in a combined 181 runs during 2014 and 2015. (LR 8)

9. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-44) ~ Clayton Kershaw’s back is an issue as there is no timetable for when possibly the best pitcher in baseball can return. Without him atop the rotation it will be that much harder for the Dodgers to catch the Giants out west. (LR 9)

10. Miami Marlins (53-45) ~ Ichiro is now just four hits away from 3,000 for his MLB career. It’s astonishing to think that he can reach such a lofty milestone considering he didn’t come over to the United States until he was 27 years old. All he did in his debut year was make the All-Star team, win a gold glove, a sliver slugger, Rookie of the Year honors and the AL MVP. Yeah, Ichiro was good. (LR 11)

11. Houston Astros (54-44) ~ Infielder Alex Bregman, the team’s top prospect, has been called up from AAA. He doesn’t have a position at the moment due to the dynamic duo of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, but he can play some third and a little bit of left field. He can also fill in when one of those guys gets a day off. Bregman is the 18th best prospect in the game according to MLB Pipeline. (LR 12)

12. New York Mets (52-45) ~ The author of perhaps the most famous home run in Mets’ history is now, officially, a Hall of Famer. Mike Piazza was inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday in Cooperstown and his home run in the first game back in New York after the terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001 is noted on his plaque. Hats off to one of the best catchers in baseball history. (LR 10)

13. St. Louis Cardinals (52-46) ~ Since being removed from the closer’s role in late June, Trevor Rosenthal has shown some improvement. Over his last 11 appearances he has posted a 3.86 ERA which has dropped his season total by half a run. I don’t foresee him getting his job back but if he can be return to his once dominant form he can help shorten the games in St. Louis. (LR 13)

14. Pittsburgh Pirates (51-47) ~ For all of Andrew McCutchen’s struggles this season he still leads the team in home runs with 14. Whether that is good or bad is up to you. Optimistic? Pessimistic? Either way applies here. I’m not even sure though I’m leaning more towards the negative. (LR 14)

15. Seattle Mariners (50-48) ~ Piazza wasn’t the only new inductee over the weekend. Ken Griffey Jr., whose name is synonymous with Seatttle baseball, was enshrined as well. With one of the prettiest swings you’ll ever see it officially makes me feel old to see The Kid in the Hall. Too bad he couldn’t have a backwards hat on his plaque. (LR 15)

16. Detroit Tigers (51-48) ~ Miguel Cabrera, one of the greatest hitters in today’s game, notched his 1,500th RBI over the weekend which helped him join an elite club. He became the eighth player to reach 400 career home runs and 1,500 RBI in his first 14 MLB seasons. Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Jeff Bagwell and Hank Aaron are the others. You may have heard of a few of them before. (LR 16)

17. New York Yankees (50-48) ~ Looks like the Yankees have made their decision on whether to buy or sell. Closer Aroldis Chapman was dealt to the Chicago Cubs today but he brought back quite a haul. New York receives four players including Chicago’s top prospect 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres. Not bad considering Chapman can become a free agent at the end of the season. (LR 19)

18. Kansas City Royals (48-49) ~ A week away from the deadline and the champs are a game under .500. Will they be buyers? Will they be sellers? They are quite a fun team to watch and I’d hate to see them break it up, but as a small market team their window closes faster than others. (LR 17)

19. Colorado Rockies (47-51) ~ In his last three games, Trevor Story has hit four home runs and driven in nine. He leads the National League with 27 home runs and is now just three away from tying Nomar Garciaparra’s record for home runs by a rookie shortstop. If I were a betting man (spoiler alert: I am) I’d say he gets that record. (LR 20)

20. Chicago White Sox (48-50) ~ Ace Chris Sale was suspended for five games by the team “for violating team rules, for insubordination, and for destroying team equipment.” Sale apparently did not want to wear the throwback uniforms in his last start and cut them up with scissors. I wonder if Drake LaRoche would approve? (LWR 18)

21. Oakland A’s (45-54) ~ Rich Hill has pitched just 12 innings since the calendar flipped to June yet he leads Oakland’s starters in wins (nine) and strikeouts (90). If he can prove he is recovered from a blister injury on his pitching hand he is a prime candidate to move to a contender in search of rotation help. At this point it is a big if. (LR 24)

22. Los Angeles Angels (43-55) ~ Nick Tropeano became the third Angels pitcher this year to tear a UCL which, as we all know by now, means Tommy John surgery is imminent. Expect this to signal the raising of the white flag that is the Angels’ season. (LR 25)

23. Philadelphia Phillies (45-55) ~ Rumor on the street is that teams are interested in Philly’s Vince Velasquez. Considering the Phillies are performing better than most expected during their rebuild, it would be wise of them to hold onto the rookie. He figures to be a key cog to their rotation for years to come. It wouldn’t make sense to flip him now. (LR 23)

24. Milwaukee Brewers (41-55) ~ If you live in the Milwaukee area this might be a good time to go to a ballgame. The Brewers are at home for the next week which means it could be the last time to see former All-Stars Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy in a Milwaukee uniform. Have a brat and a beer for me while you’re there will ya? (LR 21)

25. Arizona Diamondbacks (41-57) ~ Manager Chip Hale’s seat is hot and not just because his club plays in the desert. Arizona had high expectations coming into this season and currently have the third worst record in the National League. GM Dave Stewart has essentially given the second-year manager a vote of confidence which we all know is, in actuality, a kiss of death. (LR 22)

26. San Diego Padres (43-56) ~ They’ve already dealt 40% of their starting rotation away and odds are Andrew Cashner will be the next out the door. Catcher Derek Norris is also on the block in what seems to be a yearly sell-off in San Diego. (LR 26)

27. Tampa Bay Rays (38-60) ~ Starting pitching here! Get your starting pitching here! For the first time in a long time Tampa figures to be sellers at the deadline and with Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi, Chris Archer and Drew Smyly on the roster, Tampa has plenty to offer to contenders looking to shore up their rotation. Expect at least one of them to be on the move this week. (LR 27)

28. Minnesota Twins (37-61) ~ Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Terry Ryan is out as Minnesota’s general manager. Ryan and the club parted ways last week for the second time and ownership has gone on record saying they are looking for someone who can be loved to be the next GM. Maybe they should try to find someone who can build a successful baseball team? That’s just me. (LR 28)

29. Cincinnati Reds (38-60) ~ Billy Hamilton has stolen 10 bases in his last nine games, including two games with three steals apiece. It’s about time they unleashed the speed demon. The Reds aren’t going anywhere so they may as well let him run wild. I know fantasy teams across the country will rejoice. (LR 29)

30.

Atlanta Braves (33-66) ~ There are just 63 more games to go. If the Braves keep doing what they are doing they will secure the number one overall pick. The last time they had such an honor they drafted someone by the name of Chipper Jones. I’d say that worked out rather well. (LR 30)

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave feedback. I will try and respond as quickly as possible. Want to be like Jose Bautista and follow me on Twitter? @therichwhiteguy

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