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MLB Power Rankings: Padres get a facelift, Cubs buried in dirt

MLB Power Rankings

The Chicago Cubs fall down in this week’s MLB Power Rankings after a questionable trade deadline strategy. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)

Almost a week after the trade deadline, some of the best teams in the MLB Power Rankings are looking stronger than ever.

There were huge changes in the MLB Power Rankings after last week’s trade deadline. The San Diego Padres took a jump while some others fell a little further behind. It was a largely speculative reaction. Juan Soto hadn’t even played a game yet for the Padres and many were declaring them big winners of the day.

With some games under the belts of those new players, we now have a few days to actually assess where clubs may have hit or missed. There are still nearly two months of regular season baseball left to play. So if you find your team sinking in the MLB Power Rankings, there is time to turn things around.

At the start of the first week after baseball’s white elephant gift exchange called the MLB trade deadline, this is where the 30 teams rank.

30) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals

It happened. The Washington Nationals traded Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the San Diego Padres for a haul of young players. Will it eventually lead to a championship for D.C.? Maybe. Right now, it weakens the Nationals.

MLB teams will be thankful to see Washington appear on their schedule for the remainder of the year. They are now the league’s best jobber. As veterans fight for a job in the future, younger players battle for some larger roles next season, and Patrick Corbin just tries to finish respectably, expect Nationals losses to pile up.

29) MLB Power Rankings: Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs could finish with more wins than anticipated. For who, for what? They didn’t trade Willson Contreras or Ian Happ at the deadline. While it’s debatable for each and more so for Happ who is under team control for next season, it does feel like more of a loss for Chicago than a victory.

The Cubs have been one of the league’s least productive clubs all year. Their potential trade deadline misses only drag them further down the MLB Power Rankings this week.

28) MLB Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers

It was a rather inconsequential trade deadline for the Detroit Tigers. They made a few moves. Maybe they landed some productive players. They’re just trying to finish out what might be Miguel Cabrera’s final year.

The Tigers now were able to pick up the offense this season. At some point, it must have become as much of a mental issue as it was skill. Baseball was supposed to return to Detroit in 2022. Instead, they got another rough 162 games.

27) MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics could have fallen behind a lot of other teams this year. The players were set up to fail as there was far more subtracted from the talent pool than added. In these final weeks, they aren’t quite at the bottom of the MLB Power Rankings. There is room to move up or down and as likely of a chance for each.

The Athletics did unload Frankie Montas in a deal with the New York Yankees. They even added Lou Trivino to sweeten the deal. Many of the best trade candidates they could have had were already sent packing in the offseason. The last week hasn’t had all that many trade distractions for them. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why they’ve been able to steadily maintain the spot they’re at, above the bottom but nowhere near the top.

26) MLB Power Rankings: Kansas City Royals

There might not be a more boring team in baseball than the Kansas City Royals. Maybe if Bobby Witt was having a more exciting year or Zack Greinke had a farewell tour going on there would be more positive vibes. Instead, this is another one of those hollow years for Kansas City.

The Royals never stood a chance. A career year from every player on their Opening Day roster might not have even been good enough to push them over .500. Now that trade speculation about where Andrew Benintendi will finish the year is over, there aren’t all that many stories for non-Royals fans to pay attention to. We’ll have to hope the kids start playing better or else there is a long drought ahead.

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