MLB Power Rankings: Where each team stands after trade deadline

MLB Power Rankings: Where each team stands after trade deadline

Welcome to the fifth edition of theScore’s MLB Power Rankings for the 2023 season. The last edition ran July 14, while the next edition will be published Aug. 14.

1. Atlanta Braves

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

69-37
6-4
+159
1 (-)

The Braves will ride out the final two months of the season with the guys who carried them this far after a quiet deadline. And why not? They’re the best team in baseball and, frankly, in a tier of their own. They did make a handful of under-the-radar acquisitions, though, adding bullpen depth in lefty Brad Hand as well as righty Pierce Johnson. In 2021, Atlanta rode an incredible trade deadline (picking up role players Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, and others) to a World Series championship. Will the low-key relief pieces as well as utility infielder Nicky Lopez help propel them to a title again?

2. Baltimore Orioles

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

66-42
6-4
+57
3 (+1)

Baltimore’s bright young Orioles are perched atop the AL East after romping through July, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. But while the offense is rolling and Felix Bautista has things locked down in the ninth, starting pitching remains their one glaring hole. Last-minute deadline acquisition Jack Flaherty will help because he’s an additional starter, but he’s not the high-end impact arm many were hoping the team would get at the deadline.

3. Texas Rangers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

62-46
4-6
+157
4 (+1)

The Rangers have to be considered one of the deadline’s winners, landing Max Scherzer, Jordan Montgomery, Chris Stratton, and even addressing the sudden loss of catcher Jonah Heim to injury by adding Austin Hedges. Texas is losing ground on the division and the injury to Nathan Eovaldi – who has stepped into the ace role in Jacob deGrom’s absence without missing a beat – is a somewhat ominous one. But the pitching only needs to be good enough to keep the offense, which leads the AL with a 121 wRC+, in the game.

4. Tampa Bay Rays

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

66-45
5-5
+137
2 (-2)

The Rays’ rotation enjoyed a boost with the addition of Aaron Civale after early-season injuries to Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen tested the club’s depth. Those good vibes didn’t last long however, as ace Shane McClanahan could potentially be sidelined for significant time with an injury. Civale, the former Guardians right-hander, will now likely need to be relied on more heavily. He owns a 2.34 ERA and 1.03 WHIP amid a career season.

5. Houston Astros

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

62-47
7-3
+62
7 (+2)

The Astros seem to be finding themselves and nothing is more emblematic of that than the fact that they brought back their erstwhile ace in Justin Verlander and celebrated the acquisition immediately with a Framber Valdez no-hitter. This very clearly isn’t the juggernaut Houston club we’ve been used to seeing in recent years, but Kyle Tucker has really turned it on of late. Since the All-Star break, he and Chas McCormick have been among the best hitters in baseball, combining for 12 homers and eight stolen bases. It’s the jolt the Astros need in hunting down their in-state rival for the AL West lead.

6. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

61-45
5-5
+101
5 (-1)

The Dodgers added Amed Rosario, Enrique Hernandez, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, and Ryan Yarbrough. Not the star power fans in Los Angeles are accustomed to at the deadline but the group provides solid depth for the bench, rotation, and bullpen. Lynn, who finished as an AL Cy Young finalist in 2021, has the potential to help the most. The veteran right-hander has struggled with the long ball but still misses bats thanks to a 10.8 K/9.

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

7. Toronto Blue Jays

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

60-49
6-4
+44
10 (+3)

It felt like the Jays really had to react at the deadline, acquiring Jordan Hicks in the wake of an injury to closer Jordan Romano and then going back to the Cardinals’ garage sale to pick shortstop Paul DeJong once Bo Bichette was injured. The fact is, though, these are players the team probably should’ve been after anyways. Toronto’s bullpen has been among the best in baseball throughout the year but has lacked a flamethrower like Hicks. Meanwhile, while no one can fill in for Bichette, the bench is oversaturated with guys who don’t offer the defensive or offensive ability of the All-Star. In DeJong, the Jays at least added defense with some pop.

8. Philadelphia Phillies

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

58-50
6-4
+11
9 (+1)

Starter Michael Lorenzen was a nice add by Dave Dombrowski, and he’ll fit nicely into the Phillies’ rotation. Beyond Lorenzen and a depth piece in Rodolfo Castro, the Phillies chose to run with what the solidly unspectacular team they’ve had for much of the year. Maybe that’s a good thing, since the reigning NL champions are sitting pretty in a playoff spot, but they’ll have to work hard to stay afloat in the hyper-competitive wild-card race.

9. San Francisco Giants

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

60-49
6-4
+26
13 (+4)

It was probably a pretty disappointing deadline for Giants fans, but at least the addition of AJ Pollock helps address a glaring platoon issue. Pollock has been horrendous, there’s no beating around the bush. But what made him so productive as a member of the historic-rival Dodgers was that they insulated him from facing right-handed pitching. Now, he’ll get to fill in for Michael Conforto or Joc Pederson regularly, thereby preventing those lefites from getting schooled by southpaws. Still, though, for the NL wild-card leader, it just might not be enough.

10. Cincinnati Reds

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

59-51
5-5
-17
8 (-2)

The Reds didn’t take the opportunity to bolster their rotation, which could hurt with the Brewers and Cubs right on the team’s heels for the NL Central lead. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo also are a ways away from returning. Cincinnati will need to lean on its young position players with majors questions surrounding the pitching after giving up 36 runs to Chicago over the last two games.

11. Seattle Mariners

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

56-52
6-4
+41
15 (+4)

General manager Jerry Dipoto appeared to accept reality for his club when he traded closer Paul Sewald to Arizona for prospects. But he also refused to concede entirely by holding onto Teoscar Hernandez and Ty France for the stretch run. Perhaps that was because there’s still a glimmer of hope here. July was the Mariners’ best month of the season, and even after selling Sewald they’re only 3.5 games out of the playoffs, although they’ll have to leapfrog two teams to get there.

12. Boston Red Sox

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

57-51
6-4
+43
12 (-)

The Red Sox opted to sit on their hands at the deadline despite being in striking distance of a playoff spot. Instead, they will hope that key players like Trevor Story, Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock, and Chris Sale will give them a boost when they return from injury. Boston’s front office always seemed like it believed this year was another transition year, but the club has exceeded expectations, and it would have been nice to reward those players with a couple external additions.

13. Arizona Diamondbacks

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

57-52
3-7
-3
6 (-7)

The D-Backs crashed back to earth in July, falling out of a playoff spot entirely after a woeful month, and enter August with their starting third baseman and catcher on the IL. But they’re still only one game out of a wild-card spot, and the front office believed in this team enough to swing a few big deals at the deadline. Paul Sewald is the impact bullpen arm they desperately needed, while Tommy Pham provides certainty at the DH spot.

14. Miami Marlins

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

58-51
5-5
-24
11 (-3)

Enter Jorge Lopez, David Robertson, Jake Burger, Josh Bell, and Ryan Weathers. Say goodbye to Jean Segura, Garrett Cooper, and Dylan Floro. The Marlins added some power as they chase down a wild-card berth. Burger is an all-or-nothing hitter with 25 homers and a .214 batting average, while Bell has 141 career dingers. Miami ranks 27th in home runs, so the additional power will be welcome.

Cole Burston / Getty Images Sport / Getty

15. Los Angeles Angels

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

56-53
6-4
+17
21 (+6)

The Angels are refusing to go down without a fight, both in the playoff race and the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. After worming their way back into the playoff picture, the Halos emptied the farm system for reinforcements to try and crash the playoff party. They also have the ultimate deadline acquisition in Mike Trout coming back at some point this month. They’ve got quite the hole to dig out of, but if everyone’s healthy – and that’s a big if – this might actually be a playoff team.

16. Chicago Cubs

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

55-53
8-2
+77
22 (+6)

The Cubs have had an identity crisis all year but thanks to a hot stretch out of the All-Star break they weren’t sellers. They weren’t necessarily buyers, either, with Jeimer Candelario being the only really notable addition. But, really, this team should be good enough to be leading the hapless NL Central anyways, with by far the best run differential in the division. And it certainly helps that Cody Bellinger has really turned it on of late, crushing seven homers since the All-Star break.

17. San Diego Padres

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

54-55
6-4
+75
17 (-)

The Padres are starting to get it together. They are now just four games out of the last wild-card spot thanks to the third-best run differential in the NL. Bringing in Garrett Cooper, Rich Hill, and Ji-man Choi will help but San Diego will only go as far as its superstars will take the club.

18. New York Yankees

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

56-52
5-5
+7
14 (-4)

Keynan Middleton and Spencer Howard isn’t good enough for the Yankees. The club will now have to hope veterans such as Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Luis Severino, and Carlos Rodon can perform like they can. If not, New York could wind up finishing last in the AL East for the first time since 1990.

19. Milwaukee Brewers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

58-51
3-7
-15
16 (-3)

After opening the season surrounded by conjecture about Corbin Burnes’ future with the team, not only did the Brewers retain their ace through the deadline, but they actually bought and made a pair of very interesting under-the-radar moves. First, outfielder Mark Canha is perennially underappreciated and while he’s in the midst of a down year, he’s still a tough out with great plate discipline. Then there’s lefty reliever Andrew Chafin who is also struggling this year but authored a 2.29 ERA over 135 appearances between 2021-22. And we all know how relievers perform in Milwaukee.

20. Minnesota Twins

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

55-54
4-6
+31
19 (-1)

The Twins perhaps had objectively the most dejecting deadline. This is a team with a tenuous grasp on an uncompetitive AL Central where, if they suddenly slip, they’re basically out of the wild-card race. It’s probably a good enough team to make it to the postseason, but this deadline was more about betting the rest of the division was worse than it was about investing in a deep October run. If the season ended today, Minnesota would host a best-of-three against the Blue Jays, who have five more wins.

21. Cleveland Guardians

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

53-56
4-6
-1
20 (-1)

Trading Aaron Civale and Josh Bell is a bizarre move for a club that’s just two games out of the division lead. The Guardians then proceeded to release Jean Segura, who they got in the deal with the Marlins. Kahlil Watson is a former first-round pick, and Kyle Manzardo is really intriguing, but Cleveland’s clubhouse must be disappointed by what transpired at the deadline.

Dylan Buell / Getty

22. New York Mets

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

50-57
4-6
-15
18 (-4)

The Mets finally conceded this is a lost season, trading Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer while using Steve Cohen’s financial muscle to essentially buy good prospects in return. Now, the franchise can move forward and build its next winner properly, perhaps faster than some may think. Even if they don’t make a miraculous run down the stretch, the Mets can play distraction-free baseball from here on out, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing for a franchise in flux.

23. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

48-59
6-4
-71
23 (-)

The Pirates ended up dealing away veterans Rich Hill, Ji-Man Choi, and Carlos Santana, which was always likely the plan despite having some early-season success. Getting prospects in return makes sense for Pittsburgh. This team was never supposed to compete in 2023. The club’s front office was also smart to resist the urge of trading David Bednar and Mitch Keller.

24. St. Louis Cardinals

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

48-61
4-6
-24
24 (-)

John Mozeliak wanted pitching prospects, and the Cardinals president of baseball operations got them during a deadline-week sell-off of expiring contracts. Now, a franchise that’s made a habit of playing in October is left to limp towards the finish line of a lost and disastrous season with little to be excited about until 2024. The futures of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado with the club will likely be decided in the winter.

25. Detroit Tigers

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

48-60
4-6
-95
26 (+1)

This deadline will always be remembered for Eduardo Rodriguez vetoing a trade to the Dodgers. The left-hander had a chance to compete for a championship but decided to stay with the team for family reasons. However, he could end up leaving in free agency since he has an opt-out clause after the 2023 campaign. So, the Tigers could end up with nothing in the end outside of the singular prospect they got for Lorenzen.

26. Washington Nationals

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

46-63
5-5
-93
27 (+1)

The Nats turned Jeimer Candelario’s solid season into a couple of decent prospects at the deadline, a move that was perhaps their biggest victory to date. Had they dealt closer Kyle Finnegan, they could have netted a few more pieces for the rebuild. The rest of this season will be about watching the youngsters grow.

27. Chicago White Sox

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

43-66
2-8
-95
25 (-2)

Did the White Sox just witness Rick Hahn’s swan song as general manager? They likely hope so. It wasn’t that long ago that this team went through a transformative fire sale, shipping out Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and others in an attempt to open a competitive window that would open right now. This past winter, the front office added Andrew Benintendi, pretty much nothing else, and now they’re capitulating again, shipping off Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Jake Burger, and others. The core is still in place, so the focus will turn to 2024. But is Hahn the right executive to trust with building a winner?

28. Colorado Rockies

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

42-66
3-7
-160
28 (-)

The best thing you can say about the Rockies at this juncture is that they’re not the Royals or Athletics, and that they actually made deadline moves. Will any of those trades actually be impactful? It’ll take years to find out with Jake Madden, Mason Albright, Victor Vodnik, Tanner Gordon, Connor Van Scoyoc, and Alec Barger all coming over in separate deals. But, hey, at least the Colorado front office picked a direction this deadline, and that’s a step somewhere at least.

29. Kansas City Royals

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

34-75
6-4
-164
30 (+1)

A difficult Royals season produced a couple of highlights in the last week in the form of fun walk-off wins. Bobby Witt Jr. crushed a walk-off grand slam against the Twins to start a season-high five-game win streak, and the Mets gifted Kansas City a win with a bizarre walk-off balk. This struggling young team needed a week like this desperately.

30. Oakland Athletics

Record
Last 10
RD
Previous rank (change)

30-79
3-7
-268
29 (-1)

The Athletics shipped out Shintaro Fujinami, Sam Moll, and Jace Peterson. None of these players will likely have a major impact with their new clubs. Oakland also didn’t receive any noteworthy prospects. Brent Rooker and Paul Blackburn could’ve fetched the club something more promising amid what looks to be a lengthy rebuild.

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