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MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Fall in Final Week of 2013

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2013

MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 Teams Fall in Final Week of 2013

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    Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

    With the calendars set to turn over to 2014 next week, the MLB offseason has now been in full swing for two full months. And while a number of top players have found new homes, there is still a lot to be done between now and Opening Day 2014.

    Shin-Soo Choo was the latest marquee name to sign, agreeing to a seven-year, $130 million deal with the Texas Rangers on Saturday. The market for bats has dried up considerably, though guys like Kendrys Morales, Stephen Drew and Nelson Cruz remain available.

    On the pitching side of things, there are still plenty of arms for the taking, led by the trio of Ervin Santana, Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez, with veterans Bronson Arroyo and A.J. Burnett looking for suitors as well.

    So while a lot will still change over the next month, the MLB landscape for 2014 has already started to take shape. Here is an updated look at where all 30 teams stand in the final week of the current calendar year.

30. Houston Astros (Previous: 30)

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    CF Dexter Fowler
    CF Dexter FowlerDale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Scott Feldman (FA, three years, $30 million)
    CF Dexter Fowler (trade, COL)
    RP Chad Qualls (FA, two years, $6 million)
    RP Matt Albers (FA, one year, $2.45 million)
    1B/OF Jesus Guzman (trade, SD)
    RP Anthony Bass (trade, SD)

     

    Team Outlook

    Though it likely won't be enough to avoid another last-place finish in the AL West, the Astros have been much more aggressive in adding players this offseason, with the big move being their trade to acquire center fielder Dexter Fowler.

    The above additions, along with their core of young players gaining another year of experience and the impending arrival of top prospects like George Springer and Jonathan Singleton, could be enough for them to avoid a fourth straight 100-loss season.

29. Miami Marlins (Previous: 29)

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    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    C Jarrod SaltalamacchiaDavid Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (FA, three years, $21 million)
    1B/OF Garrett Jones (FA, two years, $7.75 million)
    2B/SS Rafael Furcal (FA, one year, $3.5 million)
    3B Casey McGehee (FA, one year, $1.1 million)
    RP Carter Capps (trade, SEA)

     

    Team Outlook

    With a talented, young starting rotation anchored by Jose Fernandez and a decent crop of young outfielders with plenty of upside, the Marlins have focused on their infield this offseason with a handful of veteran signings.

    The biggest of the bunch was a three-year agreement with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, as he'll be counted on to aid in the continued development of their young arms. Buy-low signings like Rafael Furcal and Casey McGehee aren't going to blow anyone away with their production, but they're solid additions for a team still in the process of rebuilding.

28. Chicago Cubs (Previous: 27)

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    RP Jose Veras
    RP Jose VerasGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Key Offseason Additions

    RP Jose Veras (FA, one year, $3.85 million)
    OF Justin Ruggiano (trade, MIA)
    C George Kottaras (trade, KC)
    RP Wesley Wright (FA, one year, $1.425 million)
    IF Ryan Roberts (FA, minor-league deal)

     

    Team Outlook

    The biggest focus on the North Side this offseason has been trying to figure out what to do with right-hander Jeff Samardzija, as the two sides have been unable to come to terms on an extension, and no one has been willing to meet the Cubs' high asking price on the trade market.

    As for additions for the coming season, the team has been relatively quiet this winter. The signings of Jose Veras and Wesley Wright should make for an improved bullpen, but not much else of note has been brought aboard here in Year 3 of Theo Epstein's time with the team.

    If and when Masahiro Tanaka is finally posted, they are expected to make a run at signing him, according to a tweet from Bruce Levine of MLB.com.

27. Chicago White Sox (Previous: 28)

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    3B Matt Davidson
    3B Matt DavidsonChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Key Offseason Additions

    1B Jose Abreu (FA, six years, $68 million)
    CF Adam Eaton (trade, ARI)
    3B Matt Davidson (trade, ARI)
    RP Scott Downs (FA, one year, $3.75 million)
    RP Ronald Belisario (FA, one year, $3 million)
    SP Felipe Paulino (FA, one year, $1.75 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The White Sox have done a nice job adding some high-end young talent to their roster this offseason, starting with the signing of Cuban defector Jose Abreu to take over for Paul Konerko at first base and provide some run production in the middle of the order.

    Turning Hector Santiago and Addison Reed into Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson should help expedite the rebuilding process. Eaton profiles as a plus table-setter atop the lineup, and Davidson has legitimate 30-homer potential and should be able to step right into the starting third-base role.

    It may not be enough for them to make a legitimate run in the AL Central, but they look much better off for the long term than they did at the start of 2013.

26. Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 25)

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    RP Will Smith
    RP Will SmithPeter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    RP Will Smith (trade, KC)

     

    Team Outlook

    For a second straight offseason, the Brewers have been incredibly quiet, though their big move last winter was the signing of Kyle Lohse, and that didn't happen until the tail end of spring training. A big hole remains at first base, but beyond that, the team does not have any clear-cut needs.

    The return of Ryan Braun and a healthy season from Aramis Ramirez would immediately make the offense better, while continued development from guys like Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg at the back of the rotation would make their pitching at least passable.

    There's talent here, but in a deep NL Central, they could be playing for fourth place once again.

25. Minnesota Twins (Previous: 26)

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    SP Ricky Nolasco
    SP Ricky NolascoJayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Ricky Nolasco (FA, four years, $49 million)
    SP Phil Hughes (FA, three years, $24 million)
    SP Mike Pelfrey (re-signed, two years, $11 million)
    C Kurt Suzuki (FA, one year, $2.75 million)
    DH Jason Kubel (FA, minor-league contract)

     

    Team Outlook

    After posting the worst starting-pitcher ERA in baseball last season (5.26), the Twins have been aggressive in their pursuit of improvement in that area this offseason, signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to the two richest free-agent deals in team history and bringing back Mike Pelfrey on a two-year deal.

    Adding Kurt Suzuki and Jason Kubel cost next to nothing, and both guys figure to be everyday options to start the season, so there should be some good value there. The biggest additions to the team may come from within, though, as what is arguably the league's best farm system should make them a force to be reckoned with a couple of years down the line.

24. Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 22)

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    RF Marlon Byrd
    RF Marlon ByrdCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    RF Marlon Byrd (FA, two years, $16 million)
    C Carlos Ruiz (re-signed, three years, $26 million)
    SP Roberto Hernandez (FA, one year, $4.5 million)
    RP Brad Lincoln (trade, TOR)
    RP Kevin Munson (Rule 5 draft)
    C Wil Nieves (FA, one year, $1.125 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Phillies remain a tough one to peg as far as their long-term plans.

    They have an expensive core of aging players and little in the way of impact talent at the minor-league level, but they still have yet to commit to rebuilding and have instead added a handful of mid-level veteran pieces this offseason.

    The team has been rumored to be shopping the likes of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins and Jonathan Papelbon this offseason, making its free-agent signings even more puzzling. If the roster stays as it is now, a run at a winning season and a third-place finish in the NL East seem like the best-case scenario in Philly.

23. San Diego Padres (Previous: 24)

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    RP Joaquin Benoit
    RP Joaquin BenoitKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    RP Joaquin Benoit (FA, two years, $15.5 million)
    SP Josh Johnson (FA, one year, $8 million)
    OF Seth Smith (trade, OAK)
    RP Patrick Schuster (Rule 5 draft)

     

    Team Outlook

    For a team that generally does not look to spend much money on the free-agent market, the addition of Joaquin Benoit on a two-year, $15.5 million deal to serve as setup man to Huston Street was somewhat surprising. But after Luke Gregerson was traded to the A's for Seth Smith, it did fill a need.

    The Padres have their work cut out for them in the NL West, but with a decent core of young hitters and a starting rotation that already looks better than it did at the start of last seasonthanks to the emergence of Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, as well as the additions of Ian Kennedy and Josh Johnsonthey could be in a position to surprise this coming season.

22. New York Mets (Previous: 23)

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    CF Curtis Granderson
    CF Curtis GrandersonDavid Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    LF Curtis Granderson (FA, four years, $60 million)
    SP Bartolo Colon (FA, two years, $20 million)
    RF Chris Young (FA, one year, $7.25 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Mets' biggest area of need heading into the offseason was clearly adding some offensive firepower in the outfield, and they landed their top target when Curtis Granderson agreed to a four-year deal before the start of the Winter Meetings.

    Bartolo Colon was a decent bargain, even with a risky second year tacked onto his deal, and he should help ease the loss of Matt Harvey, who will miss 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

    Holes remain at shortstop and in the bullpen, and the team is still likely to move Ike Davis before the start of the season, so it's far from a finished product at this point.

21. Baltimore Orioles (Previous: 20)

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    OF David Lough
    OF David LoughUSA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    RP Ryan Webb (FA, two years, $4.5 million)
    OF David Lough (trade, KC)
    2B Jemile Weeks (trade, OAK)
    OF Francisco Peguero (FA, one year, $550,000)
    RP Brad Brach (trade, SD)

     

    Team Outlook

    For an Orioles team looking to keep pace in the competitive AL East, little has been done this offseason to improve the roster. And with the losses of Jim Johnson, Jason Hammel, Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts, an argument can be made that they've actually gotten worse.

    They're putting a lot of stock in Jemile Weeks and David Lough to step into everyday spots in the lineup at this point, while nothing has been done to shore up their biggest weakness the past two seasons: the starting rotation.

    There's still a ton of talent on this roster, and their offense should be solid once again, but they look to have fallen in back of the pack at this point due to their unwillingness to spend.

20. Cleveland Indians (Previous: 19)

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    OF David Murphy
    OF David MurphyTim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    LF David Murphy (FA, two years, $12 million)
    RP John Axford (FA, one year, $4.5 million)
    RP Josh Outman (trade, COL)
    1B David Cooper (FA, one year, minimum)
    3B David Adams (FA, one year, minimum)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Indians surprised many by making the playoffs in 2013, and it was due in large part to a surprisingly effective starting rotation. Now, two key arms from that staff in Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir are gone, and the team has yet to address those holes so far this offseason.

    John Axford and Josh Outman were added to the bullpen, but this area still remains a question mark, and relying on Axford to close may be a risky proposition. The Indians have some talent, and they proved the doubters wrong last year, but at this point, it's hard to see them returning to the playoffs without adding at least one impact starter and another proven bullpen arm.

19. Colorado Rockies (Previous: 21)

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    1B Justin Morneau
    1B Justin MorneauCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Brett Anderson (trade, OAK)
    1B Justin Morneau (FA, two years, $12.5 million)
    RP LaTroy Hawkins (FA, one year, $2.5 million)
    RP Boone Logan (FA, three-year, $16.5 million)
    RP Franklin Morales (trade, BOS)
    OF Drew Stubbs (trade, CLE)
    SP Jordan Lyles (trade, HOU)
    OF Brandon Barnes (trade, HOU)

     

    Team Outlook

    It's been a relatively busy offseason for the Rockies, and they've made some nice additions, especially on the pitching side of things.

    Brett Anderson was one of the more intriguing bounce-back candidates on the market, and provided he stays healthy alongside Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa and Tyler Chatwood in the rotation, the team's staff should be solid.

    The bullpen looks vastly improved as well, thanks to the additions of LaTroy Hawkins, Boone Logan and Franklin Morales. Also, the team should get similar, if not slightly better, production out of Justin Morneau than it did last season from the recently retired Todd Helton.

    Climbing the standings in the NL West won't be easy, but they've had a nice offseason nonetheless.

18. Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 18)

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    C Dioner Navarro
    C Dioner NavarroCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

    Key Offseason Additions

    C Dioner Navarro (FA, two years, $8 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Blue Jays are still on the hunt for a frontline starting pitcher to join R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle atop their rotation. And while they appear to have upgraded at the catcher position after non-tendering J.P. Arencibia and signing Dioner Navarro, for the most part, they'll rely on essentially the same core of players to turn things around in 2014.

    With the offensive weapons behind him capable of piling up runs, keeping Jose Reyes healthy and productive atop the lineup would be a big help to the team's pursuit of a postseason spot. The biggest question remains the pitching staff, and while they have a number of in-house options to fill out the rotation, it remains to be seen who the three starters will be behind Dickey and Buehrle.

17. Seattle Mariners (Previous: 17)

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    2B Robinson Cano
    2B Robinson CanoJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    2B Robinson Cano (FA, 10 years, $240 million)
    1B/OF Corey Hart (FA, one year, $6 million)
    1B/OF Logan Morrison (trade, MIA)
    UTIL Willie Bloomquist (FA, two years, $5.8 million)
    OF Franklin Gutierrez (re-signed, one year, $1 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Mariners have been aggressive this offseason, if nothing else, with the addition of superstar Robinson Cano on a massive 10-year contract, ranking as perhaps the biggest splash of the offseason thus far. But is what they've done enough to make them legitimate contenders in the AL West?

    A lot will depend on the continued development of key young players like Mike Zunino, Brad Miller, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, all of whom will be counted on to fill key roles this coming season.

    They could use another starting pitcher to slot behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, as well as some late-inning relief help. So, at this point, they're still a notch below the rest of the pack in the AL West, outside of the Astros, in my opinion.

16. Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 15)

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    1B James Loney
    1B James LoneyDebby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    1B James Loney (re-signed, three years, $21 million)
    CF David DeJesus (re-signed, two years, $10.5 million)
    C Ryan Hanigan (trade, CIN)
    RP Heath Bell (trade, ARI)
    RP Juan Oviedo (FA, one year, $1.5 million)
    C Jose Molina (re-signed, two years, $4.5 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Rays have made some nice under-the-radar pickups once again this offseason, as they'll turn catching duties over to veteran Ryan Hanigan and also appear ready to give Heath Bell a chance at closing games. They also spent money to bring back the likes of James Loney and David DeJesus, though their offense remains average.

    The biggest question is if and when David Price will be traded, as that is a franchise-changing move and will certainly have a major impact on the team's outlook. Players of his caliber don't hit the trade market very often, and the Rays should be able to net a fantastic return, especially considering what they were able to acquire for James Shields last offseason.

15. San Francisco Giants (Previous: 14)

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    SP Tim Hudson
    SP Tim HudsonAnthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Tim Lincecum (re-signed, two years, $40.5 million)
    SP Tim Hudson (FA, two years, $23 million)
    LF Michael Morse (FA, one year, $6 million)
    RP Javier Lopez (re-signed, three years, $13 million)
    SP Ryan Vogelsong (re-signed, one year, $5 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Giants were one of the biggest disappointments of 2013, as they returned essentially the same team that won it all in 2012 but wound up having to battle just to avoid a last-place finish in the NL West. Their offensive attack was below average once again, but the biggest culprit for their struggles was a less-than-impressive showing from their once-dominant starting rotation.

    Four of their five starters from last season will be back, with Tim Hudson being signed this offseason to replace Barry Zito in what looks to be a significant upgrade. A healthy season from Ryan Vogelsong could also be a major help, though he struggled before getting injured last season.

    The team is taking a shot on Michael Morse as its everyday left fielder, and if he can land somewhere between his 2011 and 2013 form, his power will be a nice addition to the lineup.

14. Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 13)

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    SP Hector Santiago
    SP Hector SantiagoUSA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Hector Santiago (trade, CWS)
    SP Tyler Skaggs (trade, ARI)
    3B David Freese (trade, STL)
    RP Joe Smith (FA, three years, $15.75 million)
    DH Raul Ibanez (FA, one year, $2.75 million)
    RP Brian Moran (Rule 5 draft)

     

    Team Outlook

    Trading Mark Trumbo was a tough call for the Angels, but the fact that they were able to turn him into a pair of solid left-handed starters in Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs makes the deal much easier to swallow. It also makes the Angels, as a whole, look better positioned to make a run at the playoffs in 2014.

    Raul Ibanez replaces Trumbo in the lineup, though he's a huge question mark after hitting .267/.314/.578 with 24 home runs in the first half last season and then just .203/.295/.345 with five home runs in the second half.

    Still, pitching will be the X-factor for this team, and whether Skaggs is ready to fill a rotation spot looks to be its biggest question mark heading into spring training.

13. Kansas City Royals (Previous: 16)

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    2B Omar Infante
    2B Omar InfanteRob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    2B Omar Infante (FA, four years, $30.25 million)
    SP Jason Vargas (FA, four years, $32 million)
    RF Norichika Aoki (trade, MIL)
    IF/OF Danny Valencia (trade, BAL)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Royals had three clear areas of need when the offseason started. They have made notable additions to all three spots already this offseason and look essentially set to start the 2014 season as a result.

    Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante are significant upgrades in right field and at second base, respectively, and they figure to hit 1-2 in the lineup this coming season. The other big addition was left-hander Jason Vargas, who takes over for the departed Ervin Santana in the rotation. Top prospects Kyle Zimmer and Yordano Ventura could both make an impact in the rotation this coming season as well.

    After an impressive second half to the 2013 season, they have an outside shot at ending their playoff drought in 2014.

12. New York Yankees (Previous: 12)

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    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    CF Jacoby EllsburyNoah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury (FA, seven years, $153 million)
    C Brian McCann (FA, five years, $85 million)
    RF Carlos Beltran (FA, three years, $45 million)
    SP Hiroki Kuroda (re-signed, one year, $16 million)
    2B Kelly Johnson (FA, one year, $3 million)
    RP Matt Thornton (FA, two years, $7 million)
    2B Brian Roberts (FA, one year, $2 million)
    SS Brendan Ryan (FA, two years, $5 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    For the time being, the Yankees stick in the No. 12 spot in the rankings, and if they are going to climb any higher, it will be with the addition of a starting pitcher to join CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova and presumably Michael Pineda in the rotation.

    Signing Matt Thornton to replace Boone Logan was a solid move, and the one-year, $2 million deal they signed Brian Roberts to could wind up being a steal if he can stay healthy enough to play 100 or so games.

    No team has added more impact talent this offseason than the Yankees, but until they shore up the rotation, they still look like a fringe playoff team at best at this point.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 11)

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    LF Mark Trumbo
    LF Mark TrumboGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    LF Mark Trumbo (trade, LAA)
    RP Addison Reed (trade, ARI)
    3B Eric Chavez (FA, one year, $3.5 million)
    OF Matt Tuiasosopo (waivers, DET)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Diamondbacks shipped out some good young talent this offseason, turning Adam Eaton, Tyler Skaggs and Matt Davidson into slugging outfielder Mark Trumbo and closer Addison Reed. That may have been a lot to give up, but all three of those players were expendable, to some degree, and Trumbo and Reed fill perhaps the team's two biggest voids entering the offseason.

    This is a team with the pieces to win now, especially if it winds up signing one of the market's top starting pitchers before the offseason comes to a close. Even if it doesn't, it would not be at all surprising to see top prospect Archie Bradley win a rotation spot and emerge as the team's best starter by the end of the season.

    If anyone is going to make a run at the Dodgers in 2014, it looks like Arizona has the best chance.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 10)

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    SP Edinson Volquez
    SP Edinson VolquezGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Edinson Volquez (FA, one year, $5 million)
    SS Clint Barmes (FA, one year, $2 million)
    C Chris Stewart (trade, NYY)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Pirates have yet to make a decision whether to bring back A.J. Burnett. But with full seasons from Wandy Rodriguez and Charlie Morton, along with the signing of Edinson Volquez, their rotation should be in decent shape even if he does not return. They will be even better if Gerrit Cole takes another step forward in what will be his first full season in the league.

    Finding a starting first baseman, or at least a left-handed-hitting platoon partner for Gaby Sanchez, is the team's biggest need at this point. If no one is signed, 25-year-old Andrew Lambo could get a crack at being that guy, as the team continues to rely upon homegrown talent as much as anyone in the league.

9. Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 8)

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    UT Skip Schumaker
    UT Skip SchumakerGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    IF/OF Skip Schumaker (FA, two years, $5 million)
    C Brayan Pena (FA, two years, $2.275 million)
    RP Manny Parra (re-signed, two years, $5.5 million)
    SP David Holmberg (trade, ARI)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Reds lost key veterans Bronson Arroyo and Shin-Soo Choo this offseason via free agency, but they have a pair of in-house replacements in Tony Cingrani and Billy Hamilton ready to step into their spots, leaving them without a glaring area of need this offseason.

    Adding the versatile Skip Schumaker to the bench gives them more depth, and re-signing Manny Parra to join fellow left-handers Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen was a good move.

    Still, it will be essentially the same group of guys looking to make a run at the NL Central title once again this coming season.

8. Oakland Athletics (Previous: 9)

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    SP Scott Kazmir
    SP Scott KazmirDavid Richard-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    RP Jim Johnson (trade, BAL)
    SP Scott Kazmir (FA, two years, $22 million)
    OF Craig Gentry (trade, TEX)
    SP/RP Drew Pomeranz (trade, COL)
    RP Luke Gregerson (trade, SD)
    SS Nick Punto (FA, one year, $3 million)
    RP Fernando Abad (trade, WSH)

     

    Team Outlook

    The A's have added a lot of little pieces this offseason. They also added two relatively big ones in closer Jim Johnson and left-hander Scott Kazmir, as those two veterans will take over for Grant Balfour and Bartolo Colon, respectively.

    They also acquired one of the top setup men in all of baseball in Luke Gregerson, and he joins Johnson, Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle to give the A's a back end of the bullpen as formidable as any in baseball.

    The Rangers, Angels and Mariners have all been busy this offseason, and with the additions the Rangers have made, they come in ahead of the A's in these rankings. However, after two straight division titles, there will be no underestimating the group in Oakland this coming season.

7. Atlanta Braves (Previous: 7)

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    C/OF Ryan Doumit
    C/OF Ryan DoumitRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    C/OF Ryan Doumit (trade, MIN)
    SP Gavin Floyd (FA, one year, $4 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Braves had yet to make an offseason move of any significance when the Winter Meetings came to a close, but they made a pair of additions this past week, signing injury reclamation project Gavin Floyd and trading for Ryan Doumit.

    Floyd could be back to help the rotation by midseason after undergoing surgery for a torn flexor muscle in his throwing arm, and Doumit should see a decent number of at-bats between catcher, first base and corner outfield while also giving the team some solid depth.

    Keeping Jason Heyward healthy and getting a bounce-back season from B.J. Upton would go a long way toward helping the Braves' chances of repeating as NL East champs this coming season.

6. Boston Red Sox (Previous: 5)

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    C A.J. Pierzynski
    C A.J. PierzynskiTim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    1B Mike Napoli (re-signed, two years, $32 million)
    C A.J. Pierzynski (FA, one year, $8.25 million)
    RP Edward Mujica (FA, two years, $9.5 million)
    RP Burke Badenhop (trade, MIL)
    IF Jonathan Herrera (trade, COL)

     

    Team Outlook

    The defending champions lost a few key pieces this offseason, highlighted by speedy center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. While they remain the team to beat in the AL East at this point, they will be counting on some unproven commodities at key spots this coming year in shortstop Xander Bogaerts and center fielder Jackie Bradley.

    Adding Edward Mujica and Burke Badenhop to the bullpen mix should help them protect leads, but they will need their rotation to stay healthy. And considering they're relying on the likes of Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster and John Lackey, that may be a tall order.

    Still, this is a talented team, and it's tough to bet against them repeating as AL East champs at this pointat least until the Yankees add a starting pitcher or two.

5. Texas Rangers (Previous: 6)

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    LF Shin-Soo Choo
    LF Shin-Soo ChooFrank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    1B Prince Fielder (trade, DET)
    RF Shin-Soo Choo (FA, seven years, $130 million)
    OF Michael Choice (trade, OAK)
    C J.P. Arencibia (FA, one year, $1.8 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    A year after losing a number of key offensive pieces in free agency, the Rangers may very well have the most dangerous offense in the league once again this coming season after trading for Alex Rios in August and then acquiring Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo this offseason.

    Jurickson Profar should improve with everyday at-bats and a position to call his own, and the catching platoon of Geovany Soto and J.P. Arencibia could actually wind up being a productive, low-cost option.

    Pitching looks like it will be the deciding factor for the Rangers once again, however, as the rotation has a pair of studs in Yu Darvish and Derek Holland, but health questions after that. Replacing Joe Nathan at closer with Neftali Feliz is risky from a health standpoint, but there are other options to close as well, led by Joakim Soria, so they should be OK in the bullpen.

4. Washington Nationals (Previous: 3)

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    SP Doug Fister
    SP Doug FisterJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Doug Fister (trade, DET)
    OF Nate McLouth (FA, two years, $10.75 million)
    RP Jerry Blevins (trade, OAK)

     

    Team Outlook

    Picked by many to win the NL pennant in 2013, the Nationals were just a game over .500 at 48-47 when the All-Star break rolled around in July, as their offense was among the worst in baseball. A 38-29 second half made things interesting down the stretch, but they wound up missing the playoffs in the end.

    Despite that disappointing performance, they remain one of the most talented teams in baseball from top to bottom, and they should be even better with the addition of Doug Fister to an already stacked starting rotation.

    If Bryce Harper can stay healthy and the team can avoid another slow start at the plate, there is no reason it can't live up to last year's expectations in 2014.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 4)

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    SP Dan Haren
    SP Dan HarenBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    SP Dan Haren (FA, one year, $10 million)
    3B Juan Uribe (re-signed, two years, $15 million)
    2B Alex Guerrero (FA, four years, $28 million)
    RP Brian Wilson (re-signed, one year, $10 million)
    RP J.P. Howell (re-signed, two years, $11.25 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Dodgers jump a spot after officially re-signing Juan Uribe since the last time these rankings were released, as that shores up what was their one glaring hole. They also brought back J.P. Howell in the bullpen, and barring a run at Masahiro Tanaka or a trade of Matt Kemp, chances are the Dodgers won't do much else for the remainder of the offseason.

    Signing Dan Haren gives them a solid No. 4-starter option in the rotation, especially if Haren pitches like he did in the second half last year, when he was 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 13 starts. A full season from Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig could make the offense even better, and any rotation anchored by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke is going to be a formidable one.

2. Detroit Tigers (Previous: 2)

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    RP Joe Nathan
    RP Joe NathanKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    2B Ian Kinsler (trade, TEX)
    RP Joe Nathan (FA, two years, $20 million)
    OF Rajai Davis (FA, two years, $10 million)
    RP Joba Chamberlain (FA, one year, $2.5 million)
    RP Ian Krol (trade, WSH)
    UT Steve Lombardozzi (trade, WSH)

     

    Team Outlook

    Despite trading Prince Fielder and Doug Fister, the Tigers still look like the team to beat in the American League. Their offense still has plenty of pop, and their pitching staff still has three ace-caliber arms in Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez. They have by no means run away with their division the past two years, but they have won it both times and have plenty of playoff experience on their side.

    Drew Smyly will step into the rotation with Fister gone, Ian Kinsler makes the entire lineup better by moving to the leadoff spot, and Joe Nathan gives them one of the best closers in the game at the back of their bullpen.

1. St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: 1)

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    SS Jhonny Peralta
    SS Jhonny PeraltaRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Key Offseason Additions

    SS Jhonny Peralta (FA, four years, $53 million)
    CF Peter Bourjos (trade, LAA)
    2B Mark Ellis (FA, one year, $5.25 million)

     

    Team Outlook

    The Cardinals remain in the top spot of these rankings, and the addition of Mark Ellis since the conclusion of the Winter Meetings only further strengthens their case as the top team in baseball heading into the 2014 season. Ellis provides some insurance at second base, where the team is turning things over to prospect Kolten Wong, and bolsters what was a thin bench.

    Jhonny Peralta remains the big pickup, as he is a significant upgrade over Pete Kozma offensively. Peter Bourjos figures to platoon with Jon Jay in center field, at least until top prospect Oscar Taveras proves ready for the big leagues. Those offensive upgrades, backed by a supremely talented stable of young pitching and ace Adam Wainwright, make a return trip to the World Series a very real possibility for the Redbirds.

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