MLB Offseason Power Rankings: 1/9/21

The MLB market has finally began to chug along again as teams have begun to make season altering moves once again. And even though the top free agents still remain on the table, and many trades seem to be lurking in the shadows, we want to give our top 5 teams winning this offseason so far. Starting with…

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1. San Diego Padres

  • Payroll Total: $170.2 Mil ($39.8 Mil Luxury Cap Space)
  • MLB Additions:
    • Blake Snell
    • Yu Darvish
    • Ha-Seong Kim
    • Brian O’Grady
    • Victor Caratini
  • Current Lineup
    • C, Austin Nola
    • 1B, Eric Hosmer
    • 2B, Ha-seong Kim
    • 3B, Manny Machado
    • SS, Fernando Tatis Jr.
    • LF, Jake Cronenworth / Tommy Pham
    • CF, Trent Grisham
    • RF, Wil Myers
    • P, Yu Darvish
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As a mostly Dodger page, it pains us to say it, but as of right now, the Padres have won the offseason. They still have almost $40 million in cap space as well, but it sounds as if Tatis is expected to sign for 10+ more years at around $30 million a year. Half of their payroll will be dedicated to their top 5 contracts.

Snell and Darvish are probably 2 of the 3 highest caliber players moved this offseason so far and both were grabbed by the Padres. Kim is also the biggest international prize to sign thus far. Most likely moving ROY finalist, Cronenworth, into left field for the Padres. Caratini comes as Darvish’s personal catcher and a very capable backup catcher and even O’Grady gives them a true lefty on the bench.

Their rotation is one of the scariest in baseball and they haven’t even shown their ace in the hole, MacKenzie Gore. Their pen is already very capable as is. A lot of their young talent should take a step forward in development.

Still, all of this leaves the Padres with around $10 million to play with in this bargain market if they so choose. Our prediction is that the money will go toward the pen if they spend any more.

The pen is mostly filled with righties, granted the lefties of the Padres pen tend to have more solidified roles. They could be in on just about anyone in this market except for the probably too pricy Liam Hendricks. Still they may choose to sign someone of closer caliber, like Brad Hand, or they may choose to add a few lower cost pieces to build depth.

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2. New York Mets

Payroll Total: $185.75 Mil ($24.25 Mil Luxury Cap Space)

  • MLB Additions
    • Francisco Lindor
    • Carlos Carrasco
    • James McCann
    • Trevor May
    • Marcus Stroman
  • Current Lineup
    • C, James McCaan
    • 1B, Pete Alonso
    • 2B, Jeff McNeil
    • 3B, JD Davis
    • SS, Francisco Lindor
    • LF, Dominic Smith
    • CF, Brandon Nimmo
    • RF, Michael Conforto
    • P, Jacob deGrom
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Lindor may be the biggest move of the offseason. The move is being compared to the Betts acquisition last year that is arguably the reason the Dodgers finally walked away World Series Champions. Except, Carlos Carrasco is likely going to help the Mets this upcoming season.

If he performs at the level he left off at last year, he could turn the Mets into a playoff monster of a rotation. Any team would have to face deGrom, Syndergaard, Carrasco, and Stroman. The order almost doesn’t even matter unless they somehow find themselves in the wild card. DeGrom is still the obvious number 1 of this staff and Syndergaard still needs to prove himself again post-injury, but they could easily be the best rotation in the postseason if healthy.

Seth Lugo will likely go back to dominating out of a bullpen that now has a big four with him, Trevor May, Edwin Diaz, and Dellin Betances. Mix them with a hopeful rebound from Familia, other big arms like Miguel Castro and Gsellman, and the Mets may wind up with one of the best pens in baseball with plenty of arms still on the market.

And considering their offense was a top 5 in all of baseball before Lindor and McCaan, the Mets should take another step forward this year. The Polar Bear will continue to cleanup, but now with McNeil, Lindor, and Conforto getting on base in front of him. The only question mark remaining anymore is what the Mets will do with Dom Smith. As amazing of a hitter he is, they still don’t view him as a left fielder. Other than that, his only option is as a left handed option for 1st base versus Alonso.

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3. Chicago White Sox

Payroll Total: $167 Mil ($43 Mil Luxury Cap Space)

  • MLB Additions
    • Adam Eaton
    • Lance Lynn
    • Liam Hendricks
  • Lineup
    • C, Yasmani Grandal
    • 1B, Jose Abreu
    • 2B, Nick Madrigal
    • 3B, Yoan Moncada
    • SS, Tim Anderson
    • LF, Eloy Jimenez
    • CF, Luis Robert
    • RF, Adam Eaton
    • P, Lucas Giolito
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The White Sox just signed possibly the final piece of their offseason puzzle with Liam Hendricks. Before that, they added veteran outfielder Adam Eaton, and traded for middle of the rotation workhorse, Lance Lynn. Now their lineup is solid bottom to top, and their rotation has the balance between Ace upside, and depth to eat a full season worth of innings.

This lineup competes with any of the greats across the league. Abreu allows the Sox to build around him in the 3 spot as the reigning MVP. Tim Anderson showed he’s no fluke. Grandal is a top 5 catcher in baseball. Moncada should be healthy again this year after showing his own MVP potential in 2019. Robert, Jimenez, and Madrigal should all take steps forward as young stars with 4 to 5 tools. Now Eaton gives them an underrated lefty bat that fits just about anywhere in a lineup.

Their rotation is now Giolito, Keuchel, Lynn, Cease, and Lopez. All pitchers with incredible ceilings, and decent floors. And they can pitch with confidence knowing that any lead they have after 5 innings is protected with Bummer, Crotchet, Marshall, and now Hendricks.

Meanwhile, top prospects Andrew Vaughn and Michael Kopech are ready to solidify themselves as starters. Vaughn is graded as both a 60 hitter, and a 60 power prospect. He can slide in as a DH/1B alongside Abreu all year long. Kopech can also help eat innings as a 6th man to the rotation as they bounce back from a weird 2020.

Still they have over $40 million to play with and will most likely spend more money on the bullpen or a top of the line DH like Ozuna.

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4. Washington Nationals

Payroll Total: $170.2 Mil ($39.8 Mil Luxury Cap Space)

  • MLB Additions
    • Josh Bell
    • Kyle Schwarber
    • Sam Clay
    • Rogelio Armenteros
    • Luis Avilan
  • Lineup
    • C, Yan Gomes
    • 1B, Josh Bell
    • 2B, Luis Garcia
    • 3B, Carter Kieboom
    • SS, Trea Turner
    • LF, Kyle Schwarber
    • CF, Victor Robles
    • RF, Juan Soto
    • P, Max Scherzer
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The Nationals have quietly positioned themselves to compete with even the New York Mets in 2021. Their first big move involved grabbing Josh Bell from the Pirates for almost nothing. They followed that up with signing the released Schwarber to fill in left field. Now their lineup is enough to compete, and a bat away from being a force in MLB.

They have possibly the future face of the MLB in Juan Soto. Trea Turner may be a top 3 SS in baseball. Now with Bell and Schwarber, the Nationals have massive power potential. They could use a catcher and another middle infielder, but this lineup is underrated.

Their top 3 starters are still enough to carry the rotation overall as the Bats basically have nobodies as of now in their 4 and 5 spots. They also have a bullpen positioned to hold onto wins next year, although they could use more depth there. They can look at the market or see which of their top 8 prospects (all pitchers) is ready to show their stuff off at the Show.

Now the Nationals have almost $40 million to play with, and the market has plenty of talent they can use. They can still surprise and sign one off Realmuto or LeMahieu. Or they can buy bargain pitchers and solidify their starting and bullpen staff. Either way, the Bats are just one step behind the Mets. Mark our words.

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5. Los Angeles Dodgers

Payroll Total: $209.3 Mil ($700,000 Luxury Cap Space)

  • MLB Additions
    • Blake Treinen
    • Corey Knebel
    • Tommy Kahnle
    • Garret Cleavinger
  • Lineup
    • C, Will Smith
    • 1B, Max Muncy
    • 2B, Gavin Lux
    • 3B, Edwin Rios/Chris Taylor
    • SS, Corey Seager
    • LF, AJ Pollock
    • CF, Cody Bellinger
    • RF, Mookie Betts
    • P, Walker Buehler

This is almost cheating as the Dodgers had very few questions heading into the offseason and have yet to sign the right handed bat that’s destined to come. Still, they’ve managed to improve the team. After losing so many bullpen arms, the Dodgers brought back Treinen and grabbed newcomers Knebel, Kahnle, and Cleavinger.

The Dodgers now have the best bullpen in baseball on paper with an ace in hole recovering from TJ. They have Jansen, Treinen, Graterol, Gonzales, Knebel, and Floro. Kahnle will try to recover in time for the postseason, but at the very least, adds closing depth in 2021. That doesn’t include the other guys in the pen who are all underrated, or the fact that the Dodgers have 2 extra MLB capable starters.

David Price looks ready to come back adding to the Dodgers already hefty starting expectations. The lineup could win a championship right now, and some kind of reinforcement is still coming even though the Dodgers are at their Luxury Cap Limit.

The combo of Mookie and Seager will probably be the best 1-2 punch in all of baseball. If Bellinger and Muncy regress to their higher mean, the top of this lineup will give pitchers nightmares.

No matter who they pick among the batters rumored, it’s pretty much a guarantee that the Dodgers look better than they did last year.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Texas Rangers
    • Payroll $95.1 Mil ($114.9 Mil Lux Cap Space)
    • Big Moves
      • David Dahl
      • Dane Dunning
      • Kohei Arihara
      • Nate Lowe
      • Jimmy Herget
  • They traded away some talent but also brought in young talent to build a future around. They aren’t looking like a competitor in 2021, but they’re beginning to trend upward.
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  • Kansas City Royals
    • Payroll: $103 Mil ($107 Mil Lux Cap Space)
    • Big Moves:
      • Carlos Santana
      • Mike Minor
      • Greg Holland
      • Michael A Taylor
  • The lineup the Royals have put together on this kind of budget is astounding. Adding solid bats and arms may sneak them into the wild card this year.
  • San Francisco Giants
    • Payroll: $149.3 Mil ($60.7 Mil Lux Cap Space)
    • Big Moves:
      • Matt Wisler
      • Kevin Gausman
      • Andrew DeSclafani
      • John Brebbia
      • Curt Casali
  • If it wasn’t for the Dodgers and the Padres, more people would be talking about what the Giants have been doing. There’s still a world where these Giants snag the second WC spot in 2021 if they can outperform themselves in the West.
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  • Tampa Bay Rays
    • Payroll: $77.25 Mil ($132.75 Mil Lux Cap Space)
    • Big Moves:
      • Luis Patino
      • Mike Zunino
      • Michael Wacha
      • Francisco Mejia
  • Fans have the right to be upset with the Rays, but they didn’t really get any worse. Patino is a younger, cheaper pitcher with a very high floor. Wacha will most likely still perform well. And Zunino and Mejia are a great pair of catchers.
  • Cleveland Baseball Team
    • Payroll: $55.2 Mil ($154.8 Mil Lux Cap Space)
    • Big Moves:
      • Andrew Gimenez
      • Amed Rosario
  • Cleveland basically gave up on the team they had. They cleared house outside of Jose Ramirez who is a very affordable $10 million a year for the next half decade. Gimenez and Rosario are 5 tool players and there has never been a better time for team financial flexibility than this market.
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