The 2020 MLB offseason will go down as the most memorable in years. Between star free agents finding new teams and a scandal that rocked baseball, it’s been an eventful few months of changes across the league. As the 2020 season arrives, there’s plenty of shakeup in the first MLB power rankings of 2020.
The biggest splash of the winter came when the New York Yankees signed Gerrit Cole. In a market where perennial contenders like the Chicago Cubs hibernate this offseason, teams on the cusp took advantage with season-changing moves.
The Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks are on the rise after being aggressive this winter. Just as everyone started to think the offseason was coming to a close and the big moves would end, the Los Angeles Dodgers solved all of their needs in one blockbuster trade.
Now with spring training underway and many star player in hew homes, let’s take a look at our latest MLB power rankings.
The Dodgers deserved all of the criticism for their quiet offseason with just a few weeks left in the offseason before spring training. Finally, Andrew Friedman went out and made the biggest move in MLB this year. The addition of Betts gives Los Angeles two MVP-caliber bats in the outfield and both are also Gold Glove Award winners. They’ll be joined by Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Will Smith and Gavin Lux in a lineup that is as deep as it is talented.
Landing Price is a significant addition, too. He posted a 3.24 ERA before the All-Star Break, then was limited by injuries. The Dodgers have more than enough pitching depth to keep him fresh through October. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Price is a thrilling rotation trio and Los Angeles boasts the best pitching depth in baseball. Friedman’s move to land Brusdar Graterol, a flamethrower who could become a top reliever quickly, solved this team’s greatest weakness in the bullpen. Right now, this is the best team in baseball.
The Evil Empire is back. New York needed to add a front-line starter this offseason and they signed the best pitcher in the world. Cole achieved historic dominance during the 2019 season and will form an incredible trio with Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. James Paxton’s absence will hit this rotation hard early in the season and while it can be overcome, it raises further concerns regarding his durability.
New York does boast three potential MVP candidates with Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu. Behind them, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez are capable of All-Star production. The Yankees are a 100-plus win team in 2020 and the team to beat in the AL.
Atlanta didn’t land a big fish this offseason, but it hauled in more than enough to come away happy. The Braves prioritized improving the bullpen early and will now head into the season with a core of relievers that can shut teams down the moment the phone rings.
The Braves also replaced Josh Donaldson’s bat with Marcell Ozuna, who has a history of coming up clutch in October. The addition of Cole Hamels won’t pay off immediately due to shoulder discomfort, but Atlanta’s rotation depth can cover for him until he is healthy. Oh, fans will get to enjoy a potential MVP season from Ronald Acuña Jr. too. Yeah, this is going to be a fun team to watch in 2020.
The Rays keep operating with one of the league’s lowest payrolls and they keep winning. Despite ownership being tight with their wallets, the front office has built a perennial contender that can compete for a World Series title once again.
The trio of Charlie Morton, Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow will be outstanding during the season and lethal in October. Meanwhile, southpaw Brendan McKay will be a Rookie of the Year candidate. Tampa Bay’s lineup might change daily, but it will lead to another fantastic season for the Rays.
After setting MLB’s single-season record for home runs in 2019, Minnesota added another All-Star slugger at third base. This lineup is going to be scary good in 2020 and it could even set more records if Byron Buxton and Luis Arráez make significant strides.
Minnesota’s two additions to the rotation came with red flags, so landing Kenta Maeda was a great addition. The trio of Berrios, Odorizzi and Maeda should give this team stability and there is a wealth of options to mix in as back-end starters. Minnesota could have been even higher with a co-ace alongside Berrios, but this is still one of MLB’s top teams.
The reigning World Series champions will be looking to prove themselves once again. While one might assume the defending champions have the target on their back, the Nationals seem to have fallen off the national radar.
Losing Anthony Rendon is a significant blow for this lineup. However, the organization is very confident in top prospect Carter Kieboom at third base. If that doesn’t work out, perhaps the Nationals can explore a trade for Nolan Arenado. Of course, Washington’s dominant pitching staff will be the workhorse for this team. Our concern, will a heavy workload in October for Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin have consequences late in 2020?
Oakland didn’t make a notable addition this winter. Instead, the A’s are relying on their young core to make significant strides. A full season from Sean Manaea, Jesús Luzardo, A.J. Puk and Sean Murphy in 2020 – that might be even better than a big trade.
Marcus Semien is coming off an MVP-caliber season and is joined by a core of Ramon Laureano, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson. The Athletics have the rotation and lineup to compete for the AL West crown. If the bullpen can rebound this season or Oakland finds reinforcements, this is a darkhorse World Series contender.
The target on the Astros’ back in 2020 will be massive. Even if they brought back the same team that fell one game shy of another World Series title, this team would be in trouble. Given the fact they lost Gerrit Cole and didn’t address any needs this offseason, it’s even more concerning.
Houston’s rotations has too many questions outside of Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. Lance McCullers Jr. is talented but recovering from Tommy John surgery and Jose Urquidy must prove he’s more than a one-year wonder. It’s enough to question whether this team will win 90-plus games, even with Dusty Baker as the skipper.
The Cardinals had a relatively quiet offseason, of course, we’ve learned how quickly that can change. St. Louis pulled off a stunner last offseason by acquiring Paul Goldschmidt and could do it again this year with Nolan Arenado. Until the Cardinals land the star third baseman, we’ll keep them right here.
This isn’t a team that is loaded with MLB talent. The lineup will likely finish in the middle of the pack and the pitching staff will carry the Cardinals once again. The division is winnable, which makes the path to the playoffs without Arenado easier. However, this isn’t a World Series contender without a deal for the star third baseman.
After falling short of everyone’s expectations in 2019, Philadelphia’s front office attacked the offseason with a vengeance. Joe Girardi is an outstanding manager and will get the most out of this team, but that wasn’t enough.
The Phillies added Zack Wheeler to the rotation and Didi Gregorius to the lineup. If the front office can land Kris Bryant, they might be a World Series contender. For now, the Phillies have a good shot at the NL East crown and will be the favorite for the top wild-card spot.
Cincinnati made excellent strides in 2019 to address its rotation, landing Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer. Entering the 2020 offseason, the Reds needed to provide their rotation with a deeper lineup that provided more run support.
Mission accomplished. The Reds signed three-time All-Star Mike Moustakas to give this lineup another slugger alongside Eugenio Suarez. Cincinnati also added a leadoff hitter with outfielder Shogo Akiyama. Now, paired with one of MLB’s best rotations, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Reds win the division this season.
The Diamondbacks entered the offseason with needs in the outfield and rotation. They quickly signed Madison Bumgarner to lead their rotation, then acquired All-Star outfielder Starling Marte before spring training.
Bumgarner is a reliable No. 1 starter and Robbie Ray has shown he can be a front-line starter at his peak form. Paired with Zac Gallen and Luke Weaver behind them, this rotation pairs well with a balanced lineup. Arizona will have an excellent team in 2020 and a return to the postseason is likely.
It’s hard not to think about what could have been if the Mets landed Mookie Betts or Francisco Lindor. This team’s ceiling could be a World Series run, but absolutely everything must go right in 2020. Given the history of this team, we’re not expecting it.
Just a few years from a World Series title, the end of an era is nearing for the Cubs. The young core that led this team to break the title drought will soon be separated. This team could have one more run in it, but ownership’s focus on cutting payroll isn’t helping that happen.
Credit to the White Sox front office for taking an aggressive approach this offseason. Chicago brought in a ton of talent and the lineup is loaded with All-Star bats. The White Sox might become the best team in the city.
Cleveland prioritized lowering its payroll this offseason, which led to the Corey Kluber trade. There are All-Star pieces in the lineup and fun talent in the rotation, but this isn’t a contender.
Brewers fans should be prepared for disappointment in 2020. A team that finished with a +3 run differential in 2019 is destined for regression, which likely means a .500-plus record.
This team might be a year away from contending for the division. For the time being, with a few holes remaining in San Diego’s rotation, it will stay in the wild-card race but fall short.
The Rangers would benefit tremendously by trading for Kris Bryant, but for now it’s pure speculation. Texas will be a competitive club in 2020, but it is one piece away from the playoffs.
Well, at least the Mookie Betts trade finally happened after days of bizarre uncertainty. The decision by the front office remains inexcusable and now, with ticket prices soaring, Red Sox fans will have to watch a team that was sabotaged by ownership.
The Angels certainly would have benefitted from adding Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling, but they pulled out of the deal. This is a much better team than this past season, but it’s still not remotely ready to contend for a playoff spot.
The Blue Jays are a young team on the rise with more exciting arms on the way to help support this lineup. They might be a year away from competing for a potential wild-card spot, but this can be a fun year in Toronto.
After winning 91 games in 2018, the Rockies collapsed this past season and the relationship with their biggest star is deteriorating. Oh, the rotation is also a question mark and ownership doesn’t want to spend money to address the outfield. All is not well in Colorado.
Just a few seasons removed from winning a World Series ring, the Royals should be prepared for another season of mediocrity. Kansas City’s rotation is a liability and it will ultimately drag down what could be a surprisingly productive lineup this season.
Farhan Zaidi is slowly piecing together one of the best farm systems in baseball, a project that took significant work and still faces challenges ahead. As for the Giants in 2020, let’s just say it won’t be pretty to watch.
We’ll give credit to Derek Jeter for showing a willingness to improve this team in the offseason. However, the rotation is still a disaster and we still lack faith in Jeter to make this team a contender within the next four seasons.
New Pirates’ general manager Ben Cherington did a nice job landing some intriguing talent in exchange for Starling Marte. It’s the first of many deals likely coming from Pittsburgh this year as the organization begins a desperately needed rebuild.
The Tigers have built a collection of exciting arms in their farm system with Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal likely to join the rotation by 2021. Oh, the Tigers also have the No. 1 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. It will get better Tigers fans, we promise.
Seattle can enjoy thinking about its future outfield with Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez, two of the best prospects in baseball, expected to make their MLB debuts in 2020. There are exciting pitching prospects too, but this will not be a good team this season.
There’s not much for the fans to look forward to this upcoming season for the Orioles. Fortunately, this team’s future is bright with No. 1 pick Adley Rutschman likely to become the team’s starting catcher by 2021 and the Orioles will have more top prospects, too.
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