MLB Power Rankings: Going down to the trade deadline wire in the American League Sport News


MLB Power Rankings: Going down to the trade deadline wire in the American League Sport News

The clump of teams in contention in the AL hasn’t really moved too much. Aside from the
Chicago White Sox
and probably the
Oakland Athletics
, everyone else could probably squint their way into thinking they are contenders. 

OK, so the
Detroit Tigers
being seven out and having to leapfrog so many teams probably makes us three non-contenders, but seven isn’t that huge a gap, you know?

In the middle there are still a group of teams that could sell veteran pieces in front of the trade deadline, but also might have to wait until the last minute. Hell, some might even morph from assumed sellers into buyers. Let’s take a look: 

Toronto Blue Jays
OK, so they are eight games under .500 and seemingly a broken team. But they’ve had a ton of injuries to the rotation and actually have a winning record since the pathetic 6-17 start. Plus, they are 6 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot. I realize that’s not a small margin and there are lots of teams to jump, but remember this same nucleus has gone on ridiculous runs in the past. The Jays have six games before July 31. What if they win them all? It’s possible. If that happens, they are 52-54 and probably only, say, three or four games out. They can’t sell then, right? So they have to wait, right? RIGHT? 

Baltimore Orioles
The other AL wild card team from last year has played much better baseball since getting drubbed by the
Chicago Cubs
right out of the break. The pitching has actually started to look much better and a healthy
Zach Britton
brings lots of certainty to the bullpen. They are 4 1/2 games out of the second wild card with four games until July 31. Again, what if they win all of those? Now the Orioles are 52-52 and probably only two or so out. They can’t justify selling then, right? RIGHT? 

(OK, I’ll stop doing the “RIGHT” schtick now before it gets annoying — and, yes, I know that I’m already too late for that). 

Los Angeles Angels
Three games under .500 and with a majorly flawed roster, but the Angels are just four games out. They have five games until July 31. Once again, let’s envision them winning all five. Then, look at their post-deadline schedule. They have a nine-game homestand against the hapless
Philadelphia Phillies
, A’s and fellow wild-card hopeful (and possibly depleted after a quick sell-off) Orioles. It’s feasible to say the Angels are in great shape heading into Seattle for a four-game series starting Aug. 10. Like everyone else here, they can’t sell until they see how the next several games unfold. 

Texas Rangers
They lost five straight through last Thursday and the
Yu Darvish
trade rumors really started to pick up. They’ve won four of five since, though, and sit only 3 1/2 back of the second wild card. They have four games before July 31. Taking all four of those means they are red hot and two games over .500. Depending upon how everything else goes, they might only be a game out or even have a hold of the playoff position. The flip side is, of course, losing all of those and then being something like six or seven out with four or five teams in between. I know lots of people think the Rangers should sell, but right now they have to wait. 


Should the Rangers actually trade Darvish now or just wait out the next few days?

Seattle Mariners
The Mariners are saddled with the longest playoff drought in MLB and a veteran-laden team. They aren’t selling. It’s just that they aren’t 100 percent obvious contenders, either. They have zero shot at the AL West and sit 2 1/2 games back from the second wild card. They have four games before trade deadline day and a lot of games against wild-card hopefuls afterward. We also know general manager Jerry Dipoto is unbelievably aggressive in making trades. These guys will be fun. Ignore them at your peril. 

Then you have the
Minnesota Twins
(three back of K.C. and 4 1/2 out in the AL Central) and
Tampa Bay Rays
(one back of K.C. and three back in AL East) trailing the
New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals
for the two wild-card spots. Due to the divisional implications, these are obviously not sellers. At least not right now. Maybe the next four days changes everything? That’s what makes this so fun. 

Quite simply, the next four to five days are going to be among the most fascinating of the season. They’ll have great implications on the Official Power Rankings, too, which is really the only thing that actually matters. 

If you wanna yell at me, hit me up via email ( or Twitter (@MattSnyderCBS). Just remember that if we disagree, one of us is either stupid or biased — probably both, actually — and it’s not gonna be me. 

MLB Power Rankings: Going down to the trade deadline wire in the American League Sport News

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MLB Power Rankings: Going down to the trade deadline wire in the American League Sport News




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