July is a key month for many teams, and it also means trades, lots and lots of trades. Teams are making moves toward the postseason while others seem ready to pack it up until next year.
Records are as of the games played on July 31st.
SLR = team’s record Since Last Rankings | Prev = Previous Ranking (April/May/June)
1) New York Yankees (66-37 | 19-7 SLR | Prev: 3/3/1)
The Yankees are sailing pretty smoothly even with Tampa Bay right behind them. Adding Berkman will help solidify their DH position for now but he won’t make that much of a difference.
2) Tampa Bay Rays (64-39 | 19-7 SLR | Prev: 1/1/7)
Congrats to the franchise’s first no-hitter, which Matt Garza threw on the 23rd. The Rays have overcome their June stumble and are back on track even if they didn’t do much on the trade deadline aside from picking up one reliever.
3) San Diego Padres (60-42 | 14-10 SLR | Prev: 6/4/4)
It is safe to say they are in it for the long haul. Miguel Tejada, even in his current state, should help San Diego’s lack of offense, having scored the fewest runs of any .500+ team.
4) Texas Rangers (61-43 | 14-13 SLR | Prev: 10/15/2)
The Rangers surprised many by being the team that acquired Cliff Lee from division rival Seattle. With him working a ton of innings to help that bullpen and Texas’ explosive offense, the Rangers are primed to win the division.
5) San Francisco Giants (60-45 | 20-8 SLR | Prev: 7/14/17)
The Giants were the hottest team in July. Cain, Zito and Lincecum are one of the most dominant pitching trios in the league.
6) Chicago White Sox (58-45 | 18-8 SLR | Prev: 27/22/15)
Chicago wasn’t quite as hot but hot enough to overtake the AL Central. Losing Jake Peavy for the year is tough, and newly added Edwin Jackson isn’t going to help that much given Jackson’s 2nd half struggles the past couple of years in Tampa and Detroit.
7) Atlanta Braves (59-44 | 13-11 SLR | Prev: 19/6/5)
The Braves are trying to hang on to the NL East lead, and they’re gonna try Kyle Farnsworth again, having just acquired him from Kansas City. Also, congrats to Brian McCann for winning the All-Star game MVP with his clutch hit late in that game.
8) Minnesota Twins (58-46 | 15-11 SLR | Prev: 4/2/12)
The Twins are sticking around despite the loss of Justin Morneau, someone they might not get back for another week or so. They’ve been criticized for giving up their prized catching prospect for a closer in Matt Capps who’ll likely be gone when Joe Nathan returns next year.
9) St. Louis Cardinals (58-46 | 15-11 SLR | Prev: 2/10/10)
Matt Holliday has been hitting well as of late. The Cardinals acquired Jake Westbrook from Cleveland, and while the AL-to-NL swap may help Westbrook, who hasn’t pitched that well coming back from injury if there’s any team that can fix him, its the Cardinals.
10) Cincinnati Reds (58-47 | 14-12 SLR | Prev: 18/7/8)
Joey Votto continues piling up MVP-like numbers, but the Reds didn’t make a move at the trade deadline. Though, for a continually growing team like the Reds, perhaps its for the best.
11) Boston Red Sox (59-45 | 12-13 SLR | Prev: 23/9/3)
The Red Sox, annihilated by injury, are trying their best to hang with the Yankees and Rays but David Ortiz can’t keep carrying the team like he has been for much longer. Getting Josh Beckett is the start to their recovery, and perhaps not quite too late either.
12) Philadelphia Phillies (56-48 | 15-13 SLR | Prev: 5/12/14)
The Phillies acquired the prized pitcher of this trade deadline by trading for Roy Oswalt, but he wasn’t so hot in his first start with the team. Still, like Boston, Philly needs to get healthy first even though they had a pretty decent hot streak recently.
13) Toronto Blue Jays (54-50 | 14-11 SLR | Prev: 12/5/18)
Jose Bautista continues to hit home runs. Seems to be the only noteworthy thing coming out of Toronto even though they are managing to stay above .500 as well.
14) Colorado Rockies (54-50 | 13-13 SLR | Prev: 15/13/16)
Ubaldo Jimenez has come back down to earth rather hard as his ERA has skyrocketed. Carlos Gonzalez is on his way to becoming one of the top players in the National League.
15) Florida Marlins (53-51 | 16-10 SLR | Prev: 11/18/20)
Chris Coghlan is the newest member to the “injure yourself while celebrating” club. Pies to the face will never be the same again.
16) Los Angeles Dodgers (54-50 | 11-15 SLR | Prev: 20/8/9)
Ted Lilly probably won’t be the difference between making the playoffs and not for the Dodgers but they need all the help they can get at this point.
17) Oakland Athletics (52-51 | 14-10 SLR | Prev: 16/11/19)
The Ben Sheets experiment has ended. Not only is he done for the rest of this season with a torn flexor in his right elbow, he may miss chunks for next season too, if he can even come back at all.
18) New York Mets (53-51 | 9-17 SLR | Prev: 9/17/6)
Not a good month for the Mets who saw the return of Carlos Beltran and the loss of Jason Bay to the DL. Rookie Jonathan Niese has been a strong addition to the Mets lineup, however.
19) Detroit Tigers (52-51 | 11-15 SLR | Prev: 8/16/13)
The Tigers lost Ordonez and Inge for signifcant time, and Guillen for a couple of weeks as well. They’ve traded for Cleveland’s Jhonny Peralta to give the offense some kind of dimension outside of the slowing Miguel Cabrera but they have been absolutely terrible since the All-Star break, including getting no-hit by the Rays.
20) Los Angeles Angels (53-53 | 9-17 SLR | Prev: 17/20/11)
Its pretty much acknowledged that the Dan Haren deal was not meant to improve the team for 2010 but moreso for 2011. Its not quite common for a team to deal for the future by adding instead of subtracting.
21) Milwaukee Brewers (48-57 | 13-14 SLR | Prev: 24/23/21)
Some people were expecting Corey Hart and Prince Fielder to be traded. Neither were, and Fielder in particular may leave the team in the offseason with the Brewers now getting nothing in return.
22) Chicago Cubs (46-58 | 12-14 SLR | Prev: 14/21/22)
Lou Pinella has announced his retirement which will occur at season’s end. Probably not the most glamourous way to go out but he’s leaving the Cubs in better shape then when he arrived. Barely.
23) Washington Nationals (46-58 | 12-13 SLR | Prev: 13/19/24)
OH NO STEPHEN STRAUSBERG IS ON THE DISABLED LIST, CALL THE PRESSES! The Nats also acquired Twins catching prosect Wilson Ramos, which allows them to move Bryce Harper to the outfield. 2011, or maybe 2012, is looking like a fun year for the Nationals.
24) Houston Astros (44-59 | 13-11 SLR | Prev: 30/29/26)
The Astros, who have been pretty decent the past few months, traded away their best pitcher and their most prestigious active batter. They are in full rebuild mode now.
25) Cleveland Indians (43-61 | 13-14 SLR | Prev: 25/28/28)
I didn’t think the Indians had any pieces left to unload, but sure enough they’ve traded away Peralta (Tigers), Westbrook (Cardinals) and Kerry Wood (Yankees) this past week. Only a handful of players remain from the 2007 team that was one win away from the World Series.
26) Kansas City Royals (44-60 | 10-15 SLR | Prev: 26/24/23)
The Royals haven’t really been known to be sellers in the past but they were definately dealing away players this offseason.
27) Arizona Diamondbacks (38-66 | 7-18 SLR | Prev: 22/27/27)
Haren and Jackson are gone, as is reliever Chad Qualls to Tampa Bay. Arizona is already last in the league with 590 runs allowed, how many more will they give up now?
28) Seattle Mariners (39-66 | 6-22 SLR | Prev: 21/26/25)
With Cliff Lee gone, the Mariners have completely tanked, having the league’s worst record in July. At least ol’ Milton is behaving for now.
29) Pittsburgh Pirates (36-67 | 9-16 SLR | Prev: 29/25/29)
The Pirates have a couple of guys on fire right now, such as Jose Tabata, but does it really mean anything? Well, if Tabata stays hot, he might end up in one of those waiver trades that are quite popular in August, but otherwise not really.
30) Baltimore Orioles (32-72 | 6-19 SLR | Prev: 28/30/30)
The Orioles are officially going to hire Buck Showalter, who is slated to start managing the team on August 2nd. …and that’s your Orioles news for the month.