MLB Power Rankings: Astros jump inactive Yankees, Brewers drop in post-trade deadline reshuffle

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What a weird trade deadline.

There was a lot of smoke but not as much fire, probably as a direct result of the sole trade deadline this year. It's a simple equation: One trade deadline plus two wild cards equals more teams staying in it.

There were many arms reportedly available — Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Boyd, Mike Minor, Madison Bumgarner chief among them — but the one that did move, no one expected to be moved.

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We had a three-team trade. We had a buzzer-beater deal. The other trade that the Astros made has already paid dividends.

Now, without further delay, the latest MLB Power Rankings with a trade deadline recap twist, brought to you by the good folks at Sporting News. As always, do not @ me.

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1. Dodgers

Previous: 1 

The Dodgers somewhat disappointingly standing pat at the deadline despite having some needs — namely bullpen — is confusing. Still, they're the best team in baseball and not by much, especially now that the Astros acquired a former Dodger to reinforce their rotation.

Max Muncy notched his first career walk-off hit on Sunday. Despite being 14-10 in July, the Dodgers still have the best record in baseball — tied with the No. 3 team on this list by winning percentage.

MORE: Ranking the 5 most frustrated fan bases after trade deadline

2. Astros

Previous: 3

The Astros pulling off the shocker of the deadline, because what else is new?

This is a team that got Justin Verlander at the waiver deadline in 2017, got Gerrit Cole before the 2018 season and got Zack Greinke, a third ace for a third straight season. Not to mention, they also traded for Aaron Sanchez, who responded by pitching six no-hit innings for Houston in their combined no-hitter vs. Seattle on Saturday.

I don't know about you guys, but there's something exceptionally frightening about the Astros trading for Greinke and Sanchez, knowing their track record for improving pitching over the last four years or so.

3. Yankees

Previous: 2

The Yankees stood pat at the deadline, which they are totally within their right to do. But all the reports leading up to the deadline — ones like these — were proven to be entirely false.

They're still a deep team with a lot of good players seemingly, maybe, potentially one day returning from the IL — Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Jordan Montgomery (maybe?) — so it's not surprising to see them not make a move. But, at one point, the Yankees have to make a move, right? Passing on Dallas Keuchel, Patrick Corbin and others this offseason is more telling than passing on guys at the deadline.

With more pitching available this offseason — headlined by Gerrit Cole — what the Yankees do in October will directly influence what they do this December.

RIVERA: A pressing post-deadline question: Are the Yankees trying to win?

4. Braves

Previous: 5

The Braves did well to not sit on their hands and make some moves for bullpen help, something they really needed. None of the three guys they traded for are slouches, either — Shane Greene is in the middle of a career year (early results with Atlanta notwithstanding), Mark Melancon is a proven bullpen arm and Chris Martin is a 10 K/9 guy. 

Atlanta could have used some more veteran pitching help, but shoring up the bullpen was priority 1A, and it was a job well done.

5. Twins

Previous: 4

The Twins really needed to be in the market for another starting pitcher especially given the recent struggles of Jake Odorizzi. They did well to add some arms to a bullpen that sorely needed them, acquiring Sergio Romo and Sam Dyson prior to Wednesday's deadline.

Minnesota can still bop, but their recent average-ness is concerning. In their last 30 games they're just 16-14 and 12-9 since the All-Star break. 

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6. Cubs

Previous: 6

The Cubs picked up arguably the best available bat on the market in Nicholas Castellanos, who should fit seamlessly into the Cubs lineup. The Albert Almora era is (seemingly) over in Chicago.

Chicago North can't seem to win on the road: they dominate at home (39-18 record at Wrigley) but are 12 games under .500 on the road (21-33). 

7. Athletics

Previous: 8

The A's continue their second-half surge and get reinforcements by way of Tanner Roark. While Roark's numbers won't blow anyone away, there's something to be said about Athletics sorcery and witchcraft that will someone turn Roark into a 2.30 ERA, 0.900 WHIP, 12 K/9 pitcher.

With Sean Manaea suffering another potentially minor setback in his rehab, the deal for Roark was probably an insurance measure. In any case, they'll need Manaea back at some point to help with their wild-card push.

8. Indians

Previous: 7

The end of the Trevor Bauer Era in Cleveland isn't as detrimental as some might believe. In fact, the Indians made out like bandits in that deal, securing oft-traded Logan Allen, young slugger Franmil Reyes and more, all moves that help now and in the future.

It's always a bit irresponsible to rely on injured players to come back and be effective, but even with Corey Kluber's early season struggles, his track record is safe to lean on a bit. With Justi- uh, Shane Bieber pitching as well as he has, Cleveland has making Beliebers out of some.

MORE: It's on Trevor Bauer to become attraction — not a distraction

9. Nationals

Previous: 10

The Nats brought in Roenis Elias, Hunter Strickland and Daniel Hudson to reinforce their bullpen. Elias is already on the IL with a hamstring injury, Hunter Strickland has only appeared in a handful of games in 2019 and Daniel Hudson was having an OK year with Toronto. Someone check the water in the Nats bullpen.

If the Nationals are gonna go anywhere, it's going to be on the strength of their top three starters, Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg. All three have been very good to excellent this year, with little disparity between them. While they're 3-7 in their last 10, Washington's production should be more good — like they were for a month — than bad, like we've seen recently.

10. Rays

Previous: 11

The Rays have turned it back on again. It's going to be very difficult for them to navigate their way to a wild-card spot without the likes of Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow (both injured), with uncertainty surrounding Glasnow's return this season.

Bringing in Jesús Aguilar is a very, very Rays move. Let's not forget Aguilar was an All-Star last year and one of the key cogs to the Brewers offense, and he's already making his presence known with Tampa Bay.

A little surprising to see the Rays not make the effort to find a quick, cheap rotation fix to ease the bullpen burden. But with reinforcements still in line via farm system, maybe it's not yet time to hit the panic button.

Middle of the pack

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11. Cardinals

Previous: 13

The biggest trade St. Louis made actually came before the season. Since July 2, Paul Goldschmidt is slashing .301/.354/.680. The Cardinals are 17-11 in those games and have turned around their season.

12. Phillies

Previous: 14

Jason Vargas was the big Phillies trade acquisition. The Mets must have known something to send Vargas to a team in front of them in the standings, right?

13. Giants

Previous: 16

Are the Giants legit? They certainly think so, keeping Madison Bumgarner around and shipping off some smaller pieces (Drew Pomeranz and Sym Dyson) before the deadline.

14. Red Sox

Previous: 12

The Red Sox stood pat at the deadline. You get real 1997-into-1998 Marlins vibes from a team that just won the World Series last year.

15. Brewers

Previous: 9

Another year, another deadline passes with the Brewers doing seemingly nothing — except getting lefty starter/bullpen guy Drew Pomeranz. Uh … woohoo?

MORE: Five World Series champions who had quiet deadline days

16. Rangers

Previous: 15

Trading Chris Martin was fine, so was not trading Mike Minor. The Rangers are opening a new stadium in 2020, so they'd likely want to compete, and Minor will be a part of that.

17. Mets

Previous: 21

In: Marcus Stroman. Out: Jason Vargas. I'd say that's an upgrade. The Mets are hot and with an improved rotation and a performing bullpen, watch out NL wild card.

18. Diamondbacks

Previous: 17

The D-Backs pulled off the stunner of the deadline, shipping Zack Greinke to the Astros. They also pulled off another surprise deal, acquiring Zac Gallen from the Marlins.

19. Padres

Previous: 18

The Padres getting MLB Pipeline No. 30 overall prospect Taylor Trammell from the Reds in the three-team trade for Trevor Bauer is surely exciting for San Diego — they must see superstar potential with Trammell.

20. Angels

Previous: 19

Unsurprising to see the Angels make no trade deadline moves, even with the Jonathan Lucroy trade rumors (he's on the open market now). They did trade for Max Stassi from the Astros, so, that's a thing.

MORE: Examining post-trade deadline MLB divisional and World Series odds

Bottom third

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21. Rockies

Previous: 20

The Charlie Blackmon trade rumors resulted in nothing, as Colorado gets to gaze upon Chuck Nazty's beard for at least another two seasons.

22. Reds

Previous: 22

Trevor Bauer being traded isn't all that surprising. Bauer being traded to Cincinnati is. Bauer helps round out a rotation that features Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, both having great seasons.

23. Pirates

Previous: 23

Holding onto Felipe Vazquez is the right move despite Pittsburgh's tailspin, and not budging off their price is admirable business, too. That said, recent trade history isn't exactly glowing for the Pirates' front office.

24. Blue Jays

Previous: 27

The return for Marcus Stroman was light, and giving up Aaron Sanchez and two others for Derek Fisher means the Blue Jays had a really questionable trade deadline.

25. White Sox

Previous: 24

Closer Alex Colomé stays put — somewhat surprisingly — despite Chicago being reportedly wooed by Philadelphia for his services.

26. Marlins

Previous: 26

Trading Zac Gallen was the most intriguing deal of the deadline. Maybe Gallen turns out not to be as good as his early success indicates, but trading a young, controllable middle-of-the-rotation type guy for a Double-A lottery ticket, is strange — not bad — even for a rebuilding Marlins squad.

27. Mariners

Previous: 28

The Mariners traded Mike Leake, Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland. Jerry Dipoto must have been doing backflips.

28. Royals

Previous: 25

The Royals did good not to ship off Whit Merrifield — KC need something to look forward to, after all.

29. Orioles

Previous: 29

It's surprising that the Orioles didn't make any moves at the deadline, but it's hard to sell to a fanbase that you're waving the white flag on a season where many white flags have already been waved.

30. Tigers

Previous: 30

The Tigers asking the moon for Matthew Boyd is … something else, especially when you consider how average he's been of a starter his entire career.

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