MLB Power Rankings: Top 5 Teams Following the Mookie Betts Trade

John Healy
February 04, 2020 - 10:49 pm

Spring training is right around the corner, but not before another blockbuster MLB deal to cap what has been an eventful offseason this winter in baseball.

The Boston Red Sox sent 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, along with left-hander David Price, to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way trade for 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo, per multiple reports. Minnesota Twins right-hander Brusdar Graterol is also heading to the Red Sox, and they will receive starting pitcher Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers.

The Dodgers, who were coming off a 106-win season but ousted in the NLDS, are now undoubtedly the team to beat in the National League, and arguably all of baseball.

With the latest deal in place, here’s how the top five teams in MLB are shaping up heading into the season:

1. New York Yankees

The Yankees had one major flaw and they addressed that by signing Gerrit Cole, who is one of the best pitchers in baseball in the prime of his career. His addition alone is what makes the Yankees a complete team and favorites to win the World Series, but the Yankees’ greatest strength may be their depth. They showcased last year that they can win 103 games and come within two games of the World Series despite the unprecedented amount of injuries the team sustained. A healthy Yankees lineup plus a bonafide ace in a rotation that can hand off to one of the best bullpens in the game makes the Yankees the most dangerous team.

Gerrit Cole poses at Yankee Stadium.
Photo credit Getty Images

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

It is nearly impossible to decide if the Yankees or Dodgers get the top spot. With Betts on the team, the Dodgers now have MVPs from the last two seasons patrolling the outfield, but much like the Yankees trading for Giancarlo Stanton two years ago, it does not significantly change much aside from making an already dangerous lineup even better. Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler may be the best 1-2 punch in baseball and the addition of Blake Treinen shores up a bullpen that was a point of contention in recent years. The Dodgers did lose Hyun-Jin Ryu and replaced him with David Price, which is a bit of a downgrade, despite the advantages Price brings as a veteran southpaw.

Mookie Betts is all smiles as he crosses the plate.
Photo credit Getty Images

3. Atlanta Braves

While the Washington Nationals won the World Series last year, the Atlanta Braves were the best team in the NL East. After being blown out in Game 5 of the NLDS, the Braves went out and added veteran southpaw Cole Hamels to their rotation and signed Marcell Ozuna, who crushed Atlanta pitching in the NLDS last year as he hit .429/.478/.857 with two home runs and five RBI in the five-game series.

Marcell Ozuna rips a line drive against the Braves.
Photo credit Getty Images

4. Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals may not have made as much noise as some of the other top teams this offseason, but after winning the World Series they prioritized retaining key players such as World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and Howie Kendrick. They did sign catcher Yan Gomes to give them an upgrade with the bat at that position, and remember Juan Soto is just 21 years old and after his breakout postseason campaign, he could very well be ready to have an MVP season in 2020.

Juan Soto licks his chops before stepping into the batter's box.
Photo credit Getty Images

5. Houston Astros

The Astros had an offseason to forget — losing Cole to the Yankees and manager A.J. Hinch to the sign-stealing scandal — but they are still among the best in baseball. They have a lineup that consists of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Yordan Alvarez and a rotation that still has reigning AL Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander as well as Zach Greinke, albeit both are entering the later years of their career. Dusty Baker still has a solid reputation and can guide the team to the playoffs where they will still be a dangerous out.

Justin Verlander hurls a pitch against the Rays in the playoffs.
Photo credit Getty Images

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