Power Rankings: Where every team stands after the trade deadline

MLB

Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline was highlighted by the deal that sent Nationals megastar Juan Soto to the Padres. And San Diego didn’t stop there, nabbing multiple other key players to help boost its chances at making the postseason.

However, the Padres weren’t the only team to add elements ahead of the deadline that will impact not only their long-term future but their playoff chances this season, too.

Where does every team stand post-deadline as they head into August?

Our expert panel has combined to rank every team in baseball based on a combination of what we’ve seen so far and what we already knew going into the 162-game marathon that is a full baseball season. We also asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Jesse Rogers, Joon Lee and Alden Gonzalez to weigh in with an observation for all 30 teams.

Week 16 | Second-half preview | Preseason rankings

Record: 70-33

Previous ranking: 1

The Dodgers made a failed run at Soto, took a flier on Joey Gallo, made a modest upgrade to their bullpen in Chris Martin and didn’t add a starting pitcher, which outsiders identified as their greatest area of need. It was a much more conservative deadline approach than Dodgers fans have come to expect — and that’s largely because of the players who are on their way back. Dustin May, nearly 15 months removed from Tommy John surgery, has looked good in his rehab outings and could be a difference-maker for a rotation that already leads the majors in ERA. Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Danny Duffy could soon return to help fortify the bullpen. And down the road there’s Walker Buehler, who stands as a major wild card. In short: The Dodgers believe they have enough in house to win it all. — Gonzalez


Record: 70-36

Previous ranking: 2

The Yankees made several moves to improve their roster at the deadline, adding one of the top pitchers in Frankie Montas and shoring up the outfield with Andrew Benintendi and Harrison Bader. In the process, the team dealt Gallo to the Dodgers, Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals and will no longer need to rely on Aaron Hicks for as much offensive production. New York could use the extra help after struggling throughout July, going 13-13. — Lee


Record: 68-38

Previous ranking: 3

Justin Verlander‘s historic comeback from Tommy John surgery will surely turn his surgeon, Dr. Keith Meister, into an industry celebrity. Of course, Verlander himself has had plenty to do with his recovery, which has seen him return all the way back to his previous level at age 39. Going into his start on Thursday, Verlander is 14-3 with a 1.81 ERA, with his win and ERA totals both atop the American League. At this point, Verlander appears to be in a three-pitcher race for AL Cy Young honors, joining Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan and Chicago’s Dylan Cease. The amazing Shohei Ohtani is probably in that conversation as well. If Verlander wins it, that will be the ultimate statement that he’s completely back. He won the Cy Young in 2019, the year before he was injured, then appeared in just one game over 2020 and 2021. It’s remarkable. — Doolittle


Record: 65-38

Previous ranking: 4

The Mets added only around the edges — upsetting more than a few of their fans — with a platoon DH in Darin Ruf (.886 OPS against lefties) and reliever Mychal Givens (2.66 ERA with the Cubs). Earlier, though, they had acquired outfielder Tyler Naquin and DH Dan Vogelbach. It’s under the radar, but a Vogelbach/Ruf platoon should give the Mets one of the best DH options in the National League, after getting little production there most of the season. We’ll see if they regret not adding a lefty reliever. Oh, and they had one more addition: Jacob deGrom returned Tuesday, hit 102 mph and allowed one run over five innings with six K’s against an admittedly Triple-A-level Nationals lineup. — Schoenfield


Record: 60-46

Previous ranking: 7

Not sure if you heard, but the Padres did pretty well for themselves at the trade deadline. It took a massive haul of promising young talent — most notably C.J. Abrams, MacKenzie Gore and Robert Hassell III — but the Padres secured arguably the greatest pure hitter since Ted Williams in the middle of his age-23 season. They had put themselves in contention on the strength of a deep, strong pitching staff, and now they have added Soto — and Josh Bell and Brandon Drury — to a lineup that will soon be bolstered by the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. The Dodgers might have a big cushion in the NL West, but they’re in for a fight. — Gonzalez


Record: 63-42

Previous ranking: 5

The Braves made another flurry of trades at the deadline, acquiring starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi from the Astros (for reliever Will Smith), reliever Raisel Iglesias from the Angels (for pitchers Tucker Davidson and Jesse Chavez), outfielder Robbie Grossman from the Tigers and infielder Ehire Adrianza from the Nationals. The biggest news, however, was that somehow in the middle of all that, the Braves signed Austin Riley to a 10-year, $212 million contract extension.

“It’s definitely a goal for me to be here my whole career,” Riley said. “The guys who have come before me, like Hank Aaron and Chipper Jones, it’s pretty special to know you could potentially have that opportunity.” — Schoenfield


Record: 58-46

Previous ranking: 6

As the Blue Jays have climbed to second in the American League East standings, one of the keys for this team moving forward will be Jose Berrios, who has a 4.96 ERA this season. There is cause for optimism with Berrios, however, after the righty posted a 3.00 ERA in 36 innings over the course of July, striking out 42 batters — his highest total of any month so far this season. — Lee


Record: 57-46

Previous ranking: 8

You have to admire the Brewers. They’re willing to do whatever they think is right to win now and keep their contention window open for as long as possible. The trade of Josh Hader was meant for exactly that. Being one step ahead is a fine line to walk while trying to win at the same time, but once the dust settles, Milwaukee might not have lost all that much in the pen. There were some cracks in Hader’s armor recently, and the Brewers were banking on being able to replace him now. They probably would have in the near future anyway, as his salary was only going up. — Rogers


Record: 55-48

Previous ranking: 9

Sure, the Cards didn’t pick up Montas- or Luis Castillo-caliber starters at the deadline, but, like last year, they made moves on the edges that could vault them into first place eventually. Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana fill back-end needs, while Chris Stratton does so in the middle of the pen. But is it enough? J.A. Happ and Jon Lester helped the Cards to the postseason after being acquired in July last year, but St. Louis wasn’t able to go deep into October. The same could be true of the roster this season. — Rogers


Record: 57-49

Previous ranking: 12

The Mariners surprised everyone in getting Castillo from the Reds, but it cost them three of their top five prospects, including shortstops Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo. However, Castillo is under team control for another season, giving them a top-of-the-rotation starter to help perhaps limit the innings of George Kirby and Logan Gilbert down the stretch, which means the Mariners will head into 2023 with six good starting pitcher options. They didn’t add anything of note to the offense, however, a lineup that is without Julio Rodriguez for another week after he got hit on the wrist. They’ll get Mitch Haniger back soon, but he’s going to have to make a huge impact. — Schoenfield


Record: 56-48

Previous ranking: 13

The Phillies made three significant deals on deadline day, picking up starter Noah Syndergaard, reliever David Robertson and center fielder Brandon Marsh, while also acquiring shortstop Edmundo Sosa a couple of days before. The Marsh trade, for catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe, might be the most intriguing. Marsh gives the Phillies their best defensive center fielder in years, although he has struggled at the plate in his first full season in the majors, hitting .226/.284/.353 for the Angels. O’Hoppe, who played in the Futures Game, was hitting .275/.392/.496 with 15 home runs at Double-A. The Phillies gave up a good prospect, but they needed a legitimate center fielder and will hope Marsh’s bat comes around as they push for a wild-card spot. — Schoenfield


Record: 55-49

Previous ranking: 11

Depth, depth, depth is the key to the rest of the Rays’ season. The team has 15 players on the injured list — and quite a few of those are members of the pitching staff. Tampa Bay misses Wander Franco, who still ranks second on the team in WAR among position players. The offense has relied on Yandy Diaz, who’s hitting .286/.395/.398 with five homers across 93 games played so far this season. — Lee


Record: 55-49

Previous ranking: 10

The Twins continue to cling to a narrow division lead while stumbling on the field. Minnesota has dropped 12 of 19 games dating back to July 6. During that span, the Twins have given up 5.8 runs per game, the second most in the majors, and only two teams have given up more homers. Of course, the Twins hope their deadline pickups will bolster the staff, but the guys on hand need to get going as well. Since the beginning of July, the Twins’ rotation has posted an aggregate 6.09 ERA, with Joe Ryan faring the best at 4.55. Every other starter with more than one outing has put an ERA of 5.92 or worse since July 1. — Doolittle


Record: 54-50

Previous ranking: 15

The Guardians didn’t do anything at the trade deadline for us to talk about (almost literally), and on the field, Cleveland continues to cling to the break-even line along with the other contenders in its division. To keep things upbeat, let’s focus on the continued dominance of closer Emmanuel Clase. Clase hasn’t given up a run since July 6. Over nine straight outings beginning July 11, Clase threw one inning each time while facing the minimum of three batters. He allowed a sole baserunner against the Rays on July 29, then promptly induced a double play. With 23 saves in 25 chances and a miniscule 1.22 season ERA, Clase has become something close to a sure thing at the back of the Cleveland bullpen. — Doolittle


Record: 51-53

Previous ranking: 14

The Giants mostly stood pat leading up to the deadline, making only minor moves that greatly paled in comparison to the Padres’ haul and put them no closer to the world-beating Dodgers. It was partly a sign of the Giants’ minor league system generally being underwhelming and partly a sign — if you’re an optimist — that the team still believes it can contend coming off a 107-win season. Despite their struggles, the Giants find themselves only 5½ games back of the final playoff spot. And they still have Carlos Rodon. — Gonzalez


Record: 52-51

Previous ranking: 17

For a team that has been mired in mediocrity all season, Chicago not only remains in the thick of the playoff race but has the front-line talent to do damage if it can get back to the postseason. At the same time, an already thin depth chart has been diluted by injuries, which makes the White Sox’s margin for error surprisingly small for a team with that kind of ceiling. That makes things like Tim Anderson‘s recent suspension for bumping an umpire that much more egregious. Anderson is passionate and a leader in the Chicago clubhouse, but more than anything, manager Tony La Russa just needs to be able to pencil his star shortstop into his lineup every day. — Doolittle


Record: 53-51

Previous ranking: 18

The Orioles have taken a major step forward in their club development, but the team also traded away first baseman Trey Mancini, who has been one of the faces of the franchise during their rebuild, and closer Jorge Lopez. Baltimore lost back-to-back series against the Rays and Yankees after pulling off a 10-game win streak. This might not be the team’s year to make the playoffs, but it’s hard not to be optimistic. — Lee


Record: 53-53

Previous ranking: 16

With Boston struggling heading into the trade deadline, executive Chaim Bloom took a multipronged approach to the team’s roster building, both adding and subtracting at the deadline. Frustrations seem to be building in the clubhouse as shortstop and team leader Xander Bogaerts expressed frustration over the team’s approach, saying he couldn’t see how the team got better by trading catcher Christian Vazquez. How the team performs for the rest of the season will play a role in how high the pressure will be on the front office heading into 2023. — Lee


Record: 46-57

Previous ranking: 20

Did the Rangers know there was a trade deadline this week? Why are Martin Perez and Matt Moore still on the team? With the season going nowhere and both pitchers having surprisingly good years, it would have made sense for Texas to capitalize on them. Of course, it takes two to tango. Here’s this thought from a rival exec: Teams who are out of the race this year, but think they could be in it for a wild-card spot next year, are holding on to players with that hope in mind. Texas fits that description. — Rogers


Record: 47-57

Previous ranking: 19

In the end, the Marlins made just one minor trade, sending relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop to the Blue Jays for minor league infielder Jordan Groshans. They ended up keeping Pablo Lopez. While it didn’t help his trade value that Lopez allowed 12 hits and six runs in 2⅔ innings against the Mets in his last start, the injuries to Max Meyer (Tommy John surgery, meaning he’ll be out all of 2023) and Trevor Rogers (back spasms) just reinforce how thin the Marlins’ rotation actually is. On the bright side, Jesus Luzardo returned and pitched five solid innings in his first start since May 10. — Schoenfield


Record: 46-58

Previous ranking: 21

Outside of sending David Peralta to the Rays and Luke Weaver to the Royals, the D-backs took a conservative approach to the deadline, choosing against dealing a large segment of their veteran players in what would have constituted a rebuild — as has been their custom. Christian Walker and Joe Mantiply, two of their most intriguing trade candidates, stayed. So did everyone else. The reason, it seems, is two-fold: 1. The D-backs want to avoid the misery of another 100-plus-loss season. And 2. They want to surround their young nucleus with veteran players in hopes that it will accelerate their development in the major leagues. — Gonzalez


Record: 44-59

Previous ranking: 23

The prospect of acquiring Ohtani evolved into a pipe dream for rival executives. The Angels were never seriously shopping him, but it does seem as though they attempted to get a feel for his market in the event that they trade him over the offseason. GM Perry Minasian told reporters Tuesday that he still sees a team that can contend, but that the Angels have to “find more depth.” There is no faster way to secure that than by trading Ohtani, but perhaps that’s also the quickest way to trigger the type of rebuild the Angels have long avoided. A fascinating offseason awaits. — Gonzalez


Record: 46-60

Previous ranking: 22

Stay weird, Rockies. They were the only team not to make a single deal prior to the trade deadline, a shocking approach given where they reside in the standings. Starting pitcher Chad Kuhl, shortstop Jose Iglesias and relievers Alex Colome and Carlos Estevez are all pending free agents who could have brought back young players to help bolster the team’s future, to varying degrees. But for some reason, the Rockies held on to them. Their closer, Daniel Bard, would have been one of the most coveted arms in the market, but instead, they extended him with a two-year, $19 million contract. The Rockies are nowhere near good enough to contend in a division headlined by the Dodgers, Padres and Giants, and yet it seems as if they’re content with the status quo. It boggles the mind. — Gonzalez


Record: 41-61

Previous ranking: 24

The Cubs added to their farm system this week but didn’t move bigger names in Willson Contreras or Ian Happ. It means their record in the second half might not be as bad as some predicted, but most of it will be used as further tryouts for younger players, anyway. Contreras will get a qualifying offer, which he’ll likely turn down after the season. At least the Cubs will get some compensation if he leaves as a free agent. — Rogers


Record: 42-61

Previous ranking: 27

The Reds’ dealings are complete after moving Castillo, Drury, Tyler Naquin, Tommy Pham and Tyler Mahle. By all accounts, they maximized their return on all that talent but are now years from contending. Still, the haul they got for Castillo alone provides a glimmer of hope. It’s the same plan the Cubs are following: Developing the talent they have, both from the draft and trade acquisitions, followed by flipping some of that talent when it proves to be redundant. But first, guys have to establish themselves. That starts for the Reds now and into next season. — Rogers


Record: 41-62

Previous ranking: 25

Pittsburgh falls under one of those teams that might think it has a shot next season at a wild-card spot. You can break up your team only so many years in a row before you go the other way. The Pirates are hoping to turn things around, as they debuted a ton of touted prospects. Winning with them, however, is a whole different ball game, so we’ll see if they supplement their roster during the winter. — Rogers


Record: 42-64

Previous ranking: 28

The heat on Tigers GM Al Avila is increasing. After an aggressive offseason, Detroit has face-planted, and the additions of high-profile free agents Javier Baez and Eduardo Rodriguez have not worked, at least so far. Prized rookie Spencer Torkelson struggled and had to be demoted. Then the name of young lefty Tarik Skubal leaked into the deadline rumor mill, though he ultimately wasn’t traded. Finally, with a slew of coveted relievers on the trade market, little actually happened. There will be some hard questions asked in Detroit after the season. — Doolittle


Record: 41-63

Previous ranking: 26

The Royals picked up veteran righty Weaver from Arizona at the trade deadline, a move that flew under the radar with so many other high-profile trades dominating the news. Weaver looked like a rising star a few years ago, when he was a key component in the trade that moved Paul Goldschmidt from Arizona to St. Louis. Then arm problems set in, and Weaver has never gotten back on track. He finished his Diamondbacks career with a 9-19 mark and 92 ERA+. Still just 28, Weaver has been hit harder than ever this season, even though his velocity has actually ticked up. Primarily still a two-pitch pitcher, the Royals will turn him over to pitching coach Cal Eldred in hopes of turning this low-level move into a deadline steal. — Doolittle


Record: 39-66

Previous ranking: 29

After trading away Montas to the Yankees, the foundation of this Athletics team lies with starter Paul Blackburn and outfielder Ramon Laureano. The team had a strong start to the month of July, but now the focus shifts to whether their future lies in Oakland or somewhere else. Casino magnate Phil Ruffin met with the Oakland brass to talk about a potential site for a new ballpark in Las Vegas this past week. — Lee


Record: 36-69

Previous ranking: 30

Soto’s final career stats with the Nationals: 565 games, 119 home runs, .291 average, .427 on-base percentage, one batting title, one World Series title, three World Series home runs and one mega-trade for all time, to cap it off. How did the Nationals make out in the deal with the Padres? Check back in a few years is the easy answer. Abrams and Gore have been two of the highest-rated prospects for a few years, but there are still questions about Abrams’ power potential, and Gore is currently sidelined by a sore elbow. Don’t be surprised if Hassell ends up being the best player of the group — with James Wood, who is built like Aaron Judge, a potential star if it all comes together. — Schoenfield

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