Tag: Rankings/List

MLB Power Rankings: How All 30 Teams Stack Up 1 Month from Spring Training

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, baseball fans.

Pitchers and catchers are set to begin reporting to spring training in less than a month as we come down the homestretch of another long and eventful MLB offseason.

With that said, it’s time for an updated look at how all 30 teams stack up around the league.

This will be the second time we’ve updated our power rankings since the conclusion of the regular season, with the first coming on Dec. 8 just after the winter meetings wrapped up, so here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Offseason rankings are not necessarily meant to be a prediction for the year ahead. Instead, they are a look at how teams would stack up with the rosters they have if the season started today.
  • These rankings will be updated several more times between now and the start of the 2017 campaign, so if your favorite club is lower than you’d like, there’s still time.
  • A team dropping in the rankings is not necessarily an indication that they’ve gotten worse since the last rankings, but often a case of a team below them simply pulling ahead.

Included for each team is an updated look at each club’s offseason activity and a preliminary 25-man roster.


Note: Players listed in bold on projected rosters indicate newcomers. An (R) next to a player indicates that his rookie status is intact.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Top Potential Landing Spots for Players Still on the Block

At some point, Brian Dozier’s time with the Minnesota Twins figures to come to an end. The subject of trade rumors for much of the offseason, MLB‘s premier slugger at second base is one of the biggest names left twisting in the purgatory that is the trade block.

It’s not so much that a player’s current team doesn’t want them any longer (though there are certainly times where that’s the case), but rather said player, like Dozier, is more valuable to the team as a trade chip than a fixture on the 25-man roster.

It’s a rough place for a player to spend any significant time.

For those, like Dozier, who find themselves on the block, there are only two rules they have to check off to be included on this list: 

  • They must have been the subject of a legitimate rumor or speculation from a known source
  • They must be a logical fit on a team other than their current one

That last rule, coupled with recent free-agent signings, eliminated some players who were on our original list.

Who made the cut? Let’s take a look.

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Power Ranking MLB’s Best Pitching Staffs for 2017 Ahead of Spring Training

Offense puts fans in the seats, but pitching wins championships.

As we’ve seen in recent years, that statement is all too true.

And it’s not specific to starting pitching, either, as the San Francisco Giants can attest.

The Cleveland Indians rode ace Corey Kluber and the bullpen trio of Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen to the World Series last year, while the Chicago Cubs trio of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks was backed by deadline-addition Aroldis Chapman on their way to the title.

So who has the best stable of arms looking ahead to the 2017 season?

We’ve set out to answer just that, ranking all 30 teams’ pitching staffs.

A good starting rotation carried a bit more weight than a good bullpen, but you won’t see any team in the top 10 with a weakness in either area.

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Ranking MLB’s Top 25 Overall Future Trade Assets

Let’s pretend for a second that every player in Major League Baseball was placed on the trade block.

Ignoring things like team need and franchise direction, who would be the most valuable trade chips in this hypothetical situation?

That’s what we’ve set out to determine in the following article.

Ahead, you’ll find the top 25 future trade assets based on that hypothetical situation, but before we dive into that list, a few ground rules:

  • No Prospects: Any player who still has rookie eligibility remaining was not considered for this list, as the focus was on current MLB talent. That meant no Dansby Swanson or Andrew Benintendi either, since their rookie standings are still intact.
  • Three Years of Control or More: To further trim the field and because remaining team control is such a huge factor in determining trade value, a player needed to have at least three remaining years of control to be considered for this list. That excluded the vaunted 2018-19 free-agent class, headlined by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
  • Team Control Wasn’t Everything: While one of the biggest factors in putting together this list was undoubtedly team control, it wasn’t everything. Are five years of Chris Archer worth more than three years of Madison Bumgarner? These were the kinds of questions that had to be answered.
  • Position Players vs. Pitchers: The following list contains 16 position players and nine pitchers. Why the lopsided numbers? Because position players are more valuable given their day in and day out contributions, and they’re also safer long-term investments.
  • Big Contracts Were a Detriment: Players such as Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Freddie Freeman, Cole Hamels, Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, David Price, Kyle Seager, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Votto don’t necessarily have bad contracts, but their steep price tags undoubtedly cut into their values.

Hopefully, that paints a clear picture of what went into the following rankings. Now let’s kick things off with some honorable mentions.

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MLB Spring Training 2017: The Top 10 2nd Basemen to Watch

The second base position has quickly become one of the deepest in baseball thanks to the emergence of a handful of new young stars and the sustained success of some veteran staples.

The following is not meant to be a rundown of the current state of the position or a look back at the 2016 season, though.

Instead, it will serve as a look ahead to 10 second basemen who, for a variety of reasons, will be worth keeping an eye on this spring.

Whether it’s a player returning from a significant injury, an up-and-coming youngster ready to step into a more significant role, an impending position battle or something else altogether, the following guys enter spring training with compelling storylines.


Previous entries in our “Spring Training 10 to Watch” series: CatchersFirst Basemen

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MLB Spring Training 2017: The 10 First Basemen to Watch

Some of the league’s most dynamic offensive players call first base home.

Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto and Freddie Freeman are all elite sluggers and true superstars.

You won’t find any of those players on the following list, though.

Ahead, we’ll take a look at the 10 first basemen who, for a variety of reasons, will be worth keeping an eye on this spring.

Whether it’s a player returning from a significant injury, an up-and-coming young player ready to step into a more significant role, an impending position battle or something else altogether, the following guys enter spring training with compelling storylines.

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Ranking the 2016-17 MLB Offseason’s 15 Largest Contracts from Worst to Best

OK, so the 2016-2017 MLB offseason hasn’t been the wild spending bonanza that last winter’s offseason was. But as evidence that it hasn’t been all bad, I submit 15 contracts worth at least $20 million.

How about we pass the time by ranking them?

Let’s go from the worst to the best. Or, put another way, from the biggest bust to the biggest steal. This is going to require weighing a multitude of factors, but they can be boiled down to a couple of basic questions:

  • How much did each player cost relative to his apparent value?
  • How does each player fit into his new team’s plans?

We’re not about to begrudge any players for accepting too much or too little. We’re looking at things from a team-building perspective. The ideal contract is a low cost for a good player who fills a need and propels the signing team toward contention. 

Fairly unscientific, but it’s an easy gist to get. So, let’s get to it.

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Bleacher Report’s Updated Farm System Rankings at the Start of 2017

We’re still over a month away from pitchers and catchers making their way to sunny Arizona or Florida, and the hot stove has cooled considerably, so now seems like the perfect time for an updated look at how all 30 MLB farm system stack up.

A handful of early offseason trades and a pair of winter meetings blockbusters have provided us with plenty of updating to be done since these rankings were last updated following the conclusion of the MiLB season.

We’ll likely update and tweak the rankings a few times before the start of the regular season, but the following will serve as a baseline for offseason prospect talks going forward.

The following factors helped determine the rankings of players and teams:

  • Potential (Player): Potential trumps production a lot of the time, especially in the lower levels of the minors and with recent draft picks. Skill set and overall tools are often a better indication of what kind of player a guy will be in the future.
  • Talent (Player): As for guys in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking through at the big league level, production and current talent level are the determining factors, as these players are viewed as more complete products.
  • Overall Depth (Team): Having one or two elite prospects is great, but having a deep farm system from top to bottom is the way to build a sustainable contender. The overall depth and level of talent was the biggest factor in ranking each team.
  • High-End Talent (Team): That being said, there is a difference between a prospect who has a chance of making an impact at the big league level and a prospect who could be a star. Elite prospects served as a tiebreaker of sorts when two teams were close in the rankings.

We’ve incorporated a tier system to help differentiate between the different levels of talent. Here’s a quick explanation: 

  • Tier 1: Prospects who have an elite skill set and legitimate All-Star potential. This is the cream of the crop.
  • Tier 2: Prospects who have a good chance of becoming at least a contributor at the MLB level. This is where most prospects on the following list will fall.
  • Tier 3: Prospects who profile as fringe MLB contributors or young prospects who are still too raw to project any higher. Having one of these players ranked among your top 10 prospects is a good indication of a thin system.

Along with an updated list of the top 10 prospects for each team, you’ll also find some general analysis on each team’s top prospects and the outlook of the farm system as a whole.

A player must not have passed the rookie-eligibility limits (130 AB, 50 IP, 45 days on roster) to be eligible for inclusion in these rankings.

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New York Mets’ Top Free-Agent, Trade Targets Post New Year

Nobody’s going to criticize the New York Mets for re-signing Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110 million deal. Despite already having a full complement of outfielders under contract, Cespedes is unquestionably the key piece of the team’s offense.

But with Cespedes back in the fold, this glut of outfielders has limited the Mets’ ability to improve elsewhere—namely in the bullpen.

“It’s like buying a new house without selling your old one,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson remarked in early December, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “Sometimes you get stuck in the transition, and it’s not a good place to be.”

No, it’s not. 

But there’s a market for some of those excess outfielders, namely Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson. In fact, the Mets could potentially unload one of them in exchange for one of the players we’re about to look at—a New Jersey native who would represent a major addition to their relief corps.

As for the rest of the targets on this list, the Mets’ odds of adding them likely depends on just how much payroll room they’re able to create.

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Chicago Cubs’ Top Free-Agent, Trade Targets Post New Year

Fresh off a long-awaited World Series title and with a young core that rivals any in baseball, the Chicago Cubs entered the offseason with a fairly short to-do list.

Wade Davis and Koji Uehara have been added to the back of the bullpen, and veteran outfielder Jon Jay was signed to pair with Albert Almora Jr. in replacing Dexter Fowler in center field.

With those moves made, there appear to be two major areas the team may still look to address before the starting of spring training:

  • Starting pitching depth: The departure of Jason Hammel will likely push Mike Montgomery into the starting rotation as the No. 5 starter behind the returning staff of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey. Also, losing Travis Wood and Trevor Cahill leaves the team without much in the way of depth, so at the very least a capable arm or two that can be stashed in Triple-A seems like a must.
  • Left-handed reliever: With Montgomery slated to start and Wood unlikely to be re-signed, the Cubs top lefty relief option is currently veteran Brian Duensing, who was signed to a one-year, $2 million deal. Rule 5 pick Blake Smith and waiver claims Jake Leathersich and David Rollins are also options, but the team would benefit from a better primary lefty option.

So who might the team be targeting to fill these areas of need?

Ahead is a look at five players who make sense as perhaps the finishing touch on what would be another successful offseason for the defending champions.

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