The dust has settled. Now, let’s see how the teams look on the field!
Since our initial power rankings of the 2022 MLB season, free agency and trades have gone off the rails. Matt Olson to Atlanta, Freddie Freeman to the Dodgers, Trevor Story to Boston and Carlos Correa to Minnesota!
Most of the big names have jobs now, so let’s update our MLB Power Rankings as big leaguers get acclimated in their new homes and real Spring Training games begin. How do the big trades and signings change our outlook for the new year?
30. Cincinnati Reds
They’ve traded away Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker for packages of prospects/younger players. And they aren’t likely done selling. Tough times ahead in Cincy.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates
Congrats to the Pirates for moving out of the cellar by default. We do love the future of the left side of their infield with Oniel Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes, however.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks
They’re going to be young this year, and that will bring lots of mistakes and growing pains. The division around them is fascinating and good, unfortunately. Hard to rebuild when the top of your division is so strong.
27. Oakland A’s
Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Chris Bassitt are gone. And a few others will likely join them soon. The tear down is in progress in Oakland.
26. Chicago Cubs
They added Andrelton Simmons — not Carlos Correa — at short and didn’t bring back any of the stars from their 2016 World Series roster (though they were reported to have tried with at least Anthony Rizzo). They’re an interesting team in an interesting division but they don’t have the lineup to compete.
25. Colorado Rockies
Welcome to Denver… outfielder Kris Bryant. Why throw that money at Bryant with the other issues they have? They’re banking on his experience helping their younger players learn how to win. It’s going to be hard to do that with the Dodgers in their division.
24. Cleveland Guardians
Cleveland still has pitching for days and Jose Ramirez is an MVP caliber player. But the rest of their lineup is mediocre. And with Kansas City and Minnesota actively making moves, it looks like the Guardians are going to be a tough team to support with their new name/brand.
23. Washington Nationals
Their division is strong around them and the sad reality is Juan Soto and, now, Nelson Cruz aren’t going to carry them to many wins.
22. Kansas City Royals
Bringing back Zack Greinke is a nice story, and he’s the right guy for their ridiculous depth of young pitching to learn from as they develop in the big leagues. Bobby Witt Jr. might be the best bet for AL Rookie of the Year in 2022.
21. San Francisco Giants
Carlos Rodon is a nice addition, but they’re asking a lot for him to replace what Kevin Gausman meant last year. They have some good pieces but not enough for us to buy last year’s success as sustainable.
20. Baltimore Orioles
Adley Rutschman is going to miss a couple weeks, which delays him being able to help them at the big league level. They have good prospects coming and we love Cedric Mullins but the rest of their lineup is a work in progress.
19. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Look… if Trout, Ohtani and Rendon are what we expect them to be if healthy all year, their lineup is going to be as potent as any in that division. But their pitching staff still leaves so much to be desired. Noah Syndergaard isn’t winning them the division.
18. Texas Rangers
Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray aren’t going to completely change the complexion of their division chances. And trading Isiah Kiner-Falefa for Mitch Garver was a bit of a head-scratcher.
17. Miami Marlins
We love the signing of World Series MVP Jorge Soler to a three-year deal, but they really need their young pitching to carry the mail this season if they’re going to compete in a really deep division.
16. Minnesota Twins
They’ve replaced Josh Donaldson, Mitch Garver and Andrelton Simmons with Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela and Carlos Correa. Okay. But they still need Byron Buxton to be healthy (good luck) and their pitching staff to overachieve to compete.
15. Detroit Tigers
We actually like the Tigers to potentially climb to second in the AL Central this year. The additions of Javier Baez and Eduardo Rodriguez in free agency were smart. The promotions of Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene will improve their offense immediately. AJ Hinch has a fun, young team to work with this year.
14. Milwaukee Brewers
Their biggest addition this offseason has been DH Andrew McCutcheon. That isn’t enough in a division with the Cardinals, even with Chicago and Cincinnati taking big steps back and the Pirates continuing to be awful.
13. Houston Astros
They get Justin Verlander back this year, but the departures of Greinke and Correa are huge losses. With Seattle and Texas getting better and the Angels being a lot of potential based on the health of their stars, this was a tough offseason for the Astros.
12. Seattle Mariners
Could the Mariners be a legit sleeper to win the division? The addition of Robbie Ray is huge. The acquisitions of Suarez and Winker via trade makes their lineup deeper and with more pop. And Julio Rodriguez is coming. Look out for the Mariners.
11. Tampa Bay Rays
No Tyler Glasnow. Nelson Cruz is gone. And yet they’re still going to somehow hang around and make life hell for the top of the division with Wander Franco getting a full season to wow us.
10. Boston Red Sox
The Trevor Story addition will help them defensively at short and make the lineup a bit better; he’s effectively replacing Kyle Schwarber’s bat from the second half of last year. We’re interested to see how Chris Sale performs in a full season coming off injury.
9. New York Yankees
The Yankees additions of IKF and Donaldson don’t help them enough. Their rotation is depending on Luis Severino to come all the way back and kids to take a step forward. We think Tampa, Boston and the Yankees are going to have a fight on their hands for second place in the division.
8. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are the best defensive team in the game, but the significance of the injury concerns around ace Jack Flaherty cannot be stated strongly enough. He’s their best starter, and he’s a huge question mark right now.
7. Philadelphia Phillies
A week ago they were talking about Bryce Harper recruiting his childhood friend, Kris Bryant. Instead, they added both Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. That’s a huge offensive boost, even if the defense is going to make you scratch your head at times.
6. San Diego Padres
The loss of Fernando Tatis Jr. already hurts for a couple months into the regular season. Luke Voit will get them some pop as a DH and their pitching should be strong but the Dodgers are just so good — again.
5. Chicago White Sox
We still love their lineup and their bullpen is amazing — on paper. A lot will rest on the development of starters Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease into strikeout machines who can control the game. Luis Robert might be a great bet for AL MVP this year.
4. Toronto Blue Jays
The trade for Matt Chapman gives them an elite defensive third baseman and another strong bat in what might be the best lineup in baseball. While they lost Ray to free agency, their rotation should be really good as well.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
They were able to bring back Clayton Kershaw and added Freddie Freeman to the mix. But we’re still not thrilled about the clubhouse dynamics with Trevor Bauer and the loss of Kenley Jansen at the end of the bullpen. This is a scary good team in a vulnerable division.
2. New York Mets
The top of their rotation is going to be amazin’ this year with the additions of Max Scherzer and Bassitt. And their lineup is going to be deeper as well.
1. Atlanta Braves
They swapped Freddie Freeman for Matt Olson at first base and were able to re-sign Eddie Rosario to play left. While some might wonder about how they’ll replace World Series MVP Jorge Soler, remember they’re getting Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell Ozuna back healthy (and from suspension). They also added Kenley Jansen to their bullpen.