By Joe Lemire
February 07, 2013

The Senior Circuit has become the Power Circuit.

With less than a week before pitchers and catchers report to spring training and nearly every major free agent having settled into his new environs -- except for centerfielder Michael Bourn and starter Kyle Lohse -- we have an improving picture of who the best teams in baseball are, and most of them reside in the National League.

While the defending World Series champion Giants have remained mostly idle, only splurging to retain their own players, the Nationals and Braves both made big splashes via free agency and the trade market to enter the 2013 season as the top two teams in's offseason Power Rankings.

These are rankings during the offseason and not rankings of the offseason so a team like the Giants, who haven't been active this winter but return a strong core, appears very high while the Blue Jays aren't No. 1 despite having made the best moves this winter.

Note: Transactions include major league contracts. An asterisk (*) denotes a free agent who has not yet signed elsewhere and thus could return. Two asterisks (**) denote a top minor league prospect who, though not on the 40-man roster, should contribute in 2013.

MLB Power Rankings
1 Washington Nationals
Last Week:
Additions: CF Denard Span, RP Rafael Soriano, SP Dan Haren, RP Bill Bray
Subtractions: SP Edwin Jackson, 1B/OF Michael Morse, RP Sean Burnett, SP John Lannan, RP Tom Gorzelanny, Util. Mark DeRosa, RP Mike Gonzalez

Last year's major league leader in wins, with 98, ought to be even better a year later. The addition of Span gives Washington the true centerfielder and leadoff hitter it has craved, while Haren reasonably can be expected to pick up where Jackson left off and Soriano deepens an already strong bullpen. The core players are mostly young with the potential for growth (especially Bryce Harper) and remember that three of that number -- ace Stephen Strasburg, reliever Drew Storen and catcher Wilson Ramos -- missed time last year either with injuries or the fear thereof.
2 Atlanta Braves
Last Week:
Additions: OF Justin Upton, OF B.J. Upton, RP Jordan Walden, 3B Chris Johnson, C Gerald Laird
Subtractions:3B/OF Martin Prado, SP Tommy Hanson, SP Randall Delgado, C David Ross, OF Eric Hinske, OF Michael Bourn*, 3B Chipper Jones*

Atlanta's production from its righthanded hitters (49 HRs and a .671 OPS) was the worst in the NL. That's a huge reason the Braves gave B.J. Upton the largest free-agent contract in team history (five years, $75.25 million) and traded five players for his brother, Justin. Jones retired but manager Fredi Gonzalez believes Justin Upton can be the same middle-of-the-order presence for this young team on the rise. Atlanta did, after all, win the same number of regular-season games as the champion Giants (94) and did so with a slightly better staff ERA (3.42 for Atlanta, 3.68 for SF).
3 San Francisco Giants
Last Week:
Additions: OF Andres Torres, RP Sandy Rosario
Subtractions:OF Melky Cabrera, 2B Freddy Sanchez, 2B Ryan Theriot, RP Brian Wilson*, RP Guillermo Mota*, 1B Aubrey Huff*

The Giants turned over nearly their entire batting order in between their World Series championships in 2010 and '12, but this time will be holding onto more of their position players, because of their youth (Buster Posey, et al.) or because they lavished long extensions on Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan. Though the latter two's skills are likely to be diminished by the end of their multi-year deals, they still should be good in 2013, as will the dominant pitching staff, which has Tim Lincecum under contract for one more year. Key question: which Lincecum will he be, the two-time Cy Young winner of years past or the man who got rocked for a 5.18 ERA in 2012?
4 Cincinnati <a href=Reds" title="Cincinnati Reds">
Last Week:
Additions: OF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jack Hannahan, IF Jason Donald
Subtractions:SS Didi Gregorious, RP Ryan Madson, OF Drew Stubbs, RP Bill Bray, C Dioner Navarro, 3B Scott Rolen*

Cincinnati's leadoff hitters last year had the worst OPS (.581) and, by far, the worst on-base percentage (.254) of any club in the majors. In an effort to solve that problem, the Reds traded for Choo and will install him in centerfield, despite the fact that the natural rightfielder has barely played that position. Whatever defensive lapses he may suffer will probably pale compared to the excess run production of batting Choo in front of Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto, the game's best active practitioner of the art of hitting.
5 Toronto Blue Jays
Last Week:
Additions: SP R.A. Dickey, SP Josh Johnson, SP Mark Buehrle, SS Jose Reyes, 2B Emilio Bonifacio, OF Melky Cabrera, RP Jeremy Jeffress, IF Maicer Izturis, C Josh Thole, Util. Mark DeRosa, C Henry Blanco
Subtractions:SP Henderson Alvarez, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RP Brandon Lyon, RP Jason Frasor, SS Omar Vizquel, C Jeff Mathis, SP Carlos Villanueva, 2B Kelly Johnson, RP Jason Frasor*

Having re-made their middle infield and three-fifths of their rotation, the Blue Jays are all in. Sure, they'd probably like another high-end bullpen arm or more confidence in the production they'll get at the classic power positions of leftfield (Cabrera) and DH (Adam Lind), but there's no denying Toronto has, in one winter, turned itself from a 73-win also-ran into the AL East favorite.
6 Tampa Bay <a href=Rays" title="Tampa Bay Rays">
Last Week:
Additions: SS Yunel Escobar, SP Roberto Hernandez, 1B James Loney, 2B Kelly Johnson, OF Wil Myers**
Subtractions:SP James Shields, OF B.J. Upton, SP Wade Davis, 3B Jeff Keppinger, RP J.P. Howell, RP Burke Badenhop, 1B Carlos Peña, OF Ben Francisco*

The Rays allowed the fewest runs in the majors last season with 577, which was a long shot better than anyone else in the AL East, but they failed to score 700 runs for the first time since 2006, back when they were still the Devil Rays. Even without Shields, Tampa Bay has an embarrassment of pitching riches -- look for Matt Moore to follow David Price's career track with a huge sophomore season -- to go along with their first-rate defenders and forward-thinking coaches. With Escobar and especially Myers, the minor league player of the year, in the fold, the Rays ought to be able to offset the losses of Upton and Keppinger but may again be a few runs shy of a division title.
7 St. Louis <a href=Cardinals" title="St. Louis Cardinals">
Last Week:
Additions: RP Randy Choate, Util Ty Wigginton
Subtractions: 1B Lance Berkman, 2B Skip Schumaker, SP Kyle Lohse*

The Cardinals nearly repeated as NL pennant winners and stood to be better in 2013 than they were in '12 -- at least until the news that Chris Carpenter likely won't pitch all year. Look for an improved Adam Wainwright, a year further removed from his Tommy John surgery, to help cover for some of Carpenter's absence. The offense, meanwhile, scored three more runs last season without Albert Pujols than it did a year prior with him. And St. Louis, which had the league's second best run differential at +117, has three blue chip prospects, pitchers Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal and outfielder Oscar Tavares, who will make an impact this season.
8 Detroit <a href=Tigers" title="Detroit Tigers">
Last Week:
Additions: OF Torii Hunter, C Ramon Cabrera
Subtractions: C Gerald Laird, SP Andy Oliver, OF Delmon Young, RP Jose Valverde*

The AL pennant winners played just well enough in the regular season to reach the postseason, where they surged to the World Series. Once there, it became apparent they could use one more corner outfielder (cue Hunter) and an improved bullpen (vacancy, inquire within). That bullpen issue could haunt them, but Detroit improved in other areas. Re-signing Anibal Sanchez, a midseason acquisition, bolsters their rotation and the return of DH Victor Martinez from knee surgery gives them another impact bat.
9 Los Angeles <a href=Dodgers" title="Los Angeles Dodgers">
Last Week:
Additions: SP Zack Greinke, SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, RP J.P. Howell, IF Skip Schumaker
Subtractions:SP Joe Blanton, OF Shane Victorino, RP Randy Choate, SP John Ely, 2B Adam Kennedy, OF Bobby Abreu

Will there be enough RBIs for the ROI? The new owners have spent billions to acquire the club and top-notch talent, and now they enter their first full season in control, hoping for a proper return on that investment. The Dodgers have 10 players who'll make at least $11 million next year and four with AAVs of at least $20 million. The rotation, led by Clayton Kershaw and Greinke, should be fine, but the real onus is on a lineup that ranked 13th in the NL in runs scored last year. L.A.'s lefthanded hitters had a .661 OPS last year, the second-worst of all major league clubs, so Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford will be expected to pick up the slack.
10 Texas <a href=Rangers" title="Texas Rangers">
Last Week:
Additions: C A.J. Pierzynski, 1B Lance Berkman, RP Joakim Soria, RP Jason Frasor, RP Josh Lindblom
Subtractions:OF Josh Hamilton, C/1B Mike Napoli, 3B Michael Young, RP Mike Adams, C Yorvit Torrealba, SP Scott Feldman

The Rangers have made a recent habit out of big offseason additions, acquiring Adrian Beltre two winters ago and Yu Darvish last year, but they weren't able to land free agent Zack Greinke or trade target Justin Upton. They still could land Michael Bourn or Kyle Lohse, and Texas does seem to be an impact player away from chasing a third AL pennant in four years. The cupboard isn't bare by any stretch, however, and a big year from rookie infielder Jurickson Profar, arguably the game's No. 1 prospect, would help.
11 Los Angeles <a href=Angels" title="Los Angeles Angels">
Last Week:
Additions: OF Josh Hamilton, SP Tommy Hanson, SP Jason Vargas, SP Joe Blanton, RP Ryan Madson, RP Sean Burnett
Subtractions:SP Zack Greinke, OF Torii Hunter, SP Dan Haren, SP Ervin Santana, RP Jordan Walden, 1B Kendrys Morales

The Angels have added the best available hitter in two straight offseasons (Albert Pujols and now Hamilton), not to mention the best hitter promoted in-season (Mike Trout), but is that enough firepower to slug their way into their first postseason since 2009? Los Angeles will slot in three new starters in the rotation behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson in Hanson, Vargas and Blanton who may not be an appreciable upgrade on their predecessors, and the bullpen, which ranked 12th in the AL last year, is better but no sure thing.
12 Oakland <a href=Athletics" title="Oakland Athletics">
Last Week:
Additions: OF Chris Young, SS Hiroyuki Nakajima, IF Jed Lowrie, C John Jaso, SP Andrew Werner, RP Fernando Rodriguez
Subtractions:SP Brandon McCarthy, SS Stephen Drew, OF Jonny Gomes, 1B/OF Chris Carter, OF Collin Cowgill, IF Cliff Pennington, SP Tyson Ross, RP Jim Miller, 3B Brandon Inge*

Last year's surprise AL West winners won't have to rely on an all-rookie rotation as they did down the stretch. Those pitchers are now second-year players and, more importantly, will have help from the full-time availability of their ace, Brett Anderson, and veteran Bartolo Colon, who returns from a PED suspension. They'll still be platoon-heavy and the home runs, strikeouts and good defense they had in abundance last year will be augmented by the addition of Young.
13 New York <a href=Yankees" title="New York Yankees">
Last Week:
Additions: 3B Kevin Youkilis, DH Travis Hafner, RP David Herndon, RP Jim Miller
Subtractions:OF Nick Swisher, C Russell Martin, OF Raul Ibañez, OF Andruw Jones, 3B Eric Chavez, RP Rafael Soriano, RP Derek Lowe,* RP Freddy Garcia*

If it's possible to be miserly with a $200 million payroll, the Yankees have accomplished it. New York handed out only one multi-year contract (a two-year deal to re-sign 39-year-old Ichiro Suzuki) and doesn't have much depth, which is a problem for a team whose starting left-side infielders, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, are recovering from major surgeries and whose lineup was already three years older, on average, than any other AL team. Leftfielder Brett Gardner and closer Mariano Rivera return from injuries, at least.
14 Baltimore <a href=Orioles" title="Baltimore Orioles">
Last Week:
Additions: SP Jair Jurrjens, IF Alexi Casilla, 3B Danny Valencia, OF Trayvon Robinson, IF Yamaico Navarro
Subtractions:1B Mark Reynolds, IF Robert Andino, SP Joe Saunders*, OF Endy Chavez*, SP Randy Wolf*

The Orioles, who shocked baseball with 93 wins and an AL wild card, averaged about one transaction with the big league roster for every day of the regular season last year but are barely logging one move every month this offseason. They re-signed Nate McLouth for the outfield and seem to primarily be counting on internal improvements, such as a full year of Manny Machado at third base and consistent production from a hopefully healthier Nolan Reimold in left. The pitching staff returns intact, with Jurrjens added to the mix.
15 San Diego <a href=Padres" title="San Diego Padres">
Last Week:
Additions: RP Tyson Ross
Subtractions:SP Andrew Werner, IF Andy Parrino

The Padres were among the NL's five best teams in the second half, finishing the year on a 48-36 run. They had the league's top defense and boast a first-rate farm system. Not satisfied with trade offers for Carlos Quentin and Huston Street, San Diego gave them contract extensions instead. Now if only those two can stay healthy -- Quentin to support burgeoning star Chase Headley in the lineup; Street to solidify the bullpen -- the Padres could be darkhorse contenders in the wild card race.
16 Philadelphia <a href=Phillies" title="Philadelphia Phillies">
Last Week:
Additions: 3B Michael Young, RP Mike Adams, OF Ben Revere, SP John Lannan, OF Delmon Young
Subtractions:SP Vance Worley, 3B Placido Polanco, RP David Herndon, Util Ty Wigginton, RP Josh Lindblom

The rotation is still headlined by Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay and that's an encouraging start to any team, but Philadelphia's offensive production (both total runs scored and league rank) has dipped three straight seasons. On Opening Day the Phillies' four infielders and catcher will all be 33 or older, and the only player in that group who hasn't shown signs of decline -- catcher Carlos Ruiz -- is suspended the first 25 games of the season for a failed PED test. Adams and Jonathan Papelbon form a dominant back end of the bullpen, which had been missing in Philadelphia.
17 Kansas City <a href=Royals" title="Kansas City Royals">
Last Week:
Additions: SP James Shields, SP Wade Davis, SP Ervin Santana, SP Guillermo Moscoso
Subtractions:RP Joakim Soria, RP Jeremy Jeffress, C Humberto Quintero, IF Yuniesky Betancourt, SP Vin Mazzaro

Under GM Dayton Moore, Kansas City spent years adhering to "the process" and patiently building the game's best farm system, but that has now been displaced by "the trade," as the Wil Myers-led package for Shields and Davis will probably come to be called. It's a defining moment for the franchise -- and something drastic was necessary after the Royals suffered through a 5.01 ERA from its rotation last year. Just as important as how the ex-Rays' starters fare is how first baseman Eric Hosmer will rebound from his sophomore slump.
18 Boston <a href=Red Sox" title="Boston Red Sox">
Last Week:
Additions: C/1B Mike Napoli, SP Ryan Dempster, RP Joel Hanrahan, OF Shane Victorino, SS Stephen Drew, C David Ross, OF Jonny Gomes, RP Koji Uehara
Subtractions:OF Cody Ross, IF Mike Aviles, RP Vicente Padilla, 1B James Loney, OF Ryan Sweeney*

At least they should all get along. The Red Sox' target list this offseason was very specific: free agents who were willing to accept contracts of three years or fewer, who wouldn't cost them a compensatory draft pick and who are regarded as good clubhouse guys. Boston hopes this new mix, under the guidance of new manager Jon Farrell, can reach its potential the way the past two years' worth of Sox teams did not. They might, but that potential ceiling isn't as high as the Fenway faithful are used to seeing.
19 Arizona <a href=Diamondbacks" title="Arizona Diamondbacks">
Last Week:
Additions: 3B/OF Martin Prado, OF Cody Ross, SP Brandon McCarthy, RP Tony Sipp, SS Didi Gregorious, SP Randall Delgado, RP Heath Bell, 3B Eric Chavez, SS Cliff Pennington, OF Eric Hinske, RP Matt Reynolds
Subtractions:OF Justin Upton, SP Trevor Bauer, OF Chris Young, 3B Chris Johnson, 3B Ryan Wheeler, C Henry Blanco, RP Matt Lindstrom, RP Bryan Shaw, RP Matt Albers

The Diamondbacks were as active as anyone in the Senior Circuit this offseason, but it's not clear if it'll be enough to keep pace with the Giants and Dodgers in the fierce NL West. McCarthy will help the rotation, and Gregorious is a light-hitting defensive whiz at shortstop. But most of the other moves were for role players or, in the case of Ross, a curiosity. Despite Upton's inconsistencies, it's hard to imagine that Arizona is better without him.
20 Pittsburgh <a href=Pirates" title="Pittsburgh Pirates">
Last Week:
Additions: C Russell Martin, RP Mark Melancon, OF Jerry Sands, 1B Clint Robinson, SP Jeanmar Gomez, SP Zach Stewart, SP Vin Mazzaro
Subtractions:RP Joel Hanrahan, SP Kevin Correia, IF Yamaico Navarro, C Ramon Cabrera

After two straight second-half collapses, the Pirates need to sustain themselves all season. In particular, the offense hit only sporadically last year -- except for breakout superstar Andrew McCutchen -- and an influx of new faces since the trade deadline should help, led by free agent Martin, trade acquisitions Gaby Sanchez and Travis Snider and promoted prospect Starling Marte. The rotation after A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald is a question mark; Francisco Liriano, if his deal is ever completed, and minor league add Jonathan Sanchez are intriguing fits. In summary, Pittsburgh is an even bet to reach .500 for the first time in two decades but doesn't project as a playoff contender.
21 Chicago <a href=White Sox" title="Chicago White Sox">
Last Week:
Additions:Jeff Keppinger, OF Dewayne Wise, RP Matt Lindstrom
Subtractions:C A.J. Pierzynski, 3B Kevin Youkilis, SP Philip Humber, SP Brett Myers, SP Francisco Liriano*, IF Orlando Hudson*

With five players who hit at least 25 homers -- no other big league team had more than three -- the White Sox powered their way to a division lead for two-thirds of the season before an 11-17 September record sank them. The Sox signed Keppinger to replace Youkilis and re-signed Jake Peavy but otherwise remained idle, making it hard to foresee a way they catch the Tigers or keep pace with the improved Royals.
22 Milwaukee <a href=Brewers" title="Milwaukee Brewers">
Last Week:
Additions: RP Mike Gonzalez, RP Burke Badenhop, RP Tom Gorzelanny
Subtractions:SP Shaun Marcum, RP Francisco Rodriguez*, RP Kameron Loe*

The 2012 Brewers' pitching staff allowed the fourth-most runs in the NL last year despite falling two strikeouts shy of matching the alltime single-season record. Now Zack Greinke won't be back and Marcum, who has majors' best road ERA over last two seasons, may not return either. In brighter news, Milwaukee's offense led the league in runs scored and will have the benefit of a full season from shortstop Jean Segura this year.
23 Cleveland <a href=Indians" title="Cleveland Indians">
Last Week:
Additions: OF Nick Swisher, 1B Mark Reynolds, OF Drew Stubbs, IF Mike Aviles, SP Brett Myers, SP Trevor Bauer, RP Matt Albers, RP Bryan Shaw
Subtractions:OF Shin-Soo Choo, RP Tony Sipp, 1B Casey Kotchman, SP Roberto Hernandez, 3B Jack Hannahan, IF Jason Donald, DH Travis Hafner

Last year the Indians allowed the most runs in the AL and scored the second-fewest, so they stood to upgrade almost everywhere. Cleveland, which hit the fewest home runs by righthanded batters of any major league club, added Reynolds, Stubbs and the switch-hitting Swisher to the lineup. The rotation, which had the league's second-worst ERA (5.25), added innings-eater Myers and blue-chip prospect Bauer. The bullpen, also the AL's second-worst (3.97), exchanged Sipp for Albers and Shaw. All of these changes, plus the addition of manager Terry Francona, will help -- but not enough to get Cleveland back to the postseason in 2013 for the first time since '07.
24 Seattle <a href=Mariners" title="Seattle Mariners">
Last Week:
Additions: 1B Kendrys Morales, 1B/OF Michael Morse, OF Raul Ibañez, OF Jason Bay, IF Robert Andino, C Kelly Shoppach
Subtractions:SP Jason Vargas, C John Jaso, OF Trayvon Robinson, RP George Sherrill, 3B Chone Figgins*

The Mariners set their sights high this winter with reported interest in marquee bats such as Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher but instead cobbled together some hitters of lesser stature to help their ailing offense, by landing Morales, Morse and Andino in trades and Ibañez, Bay and Shoppach in free agency. They'll score more runs but Jesus Montero figures to catch more and it's still hardly enough offense to compete in the stacked AL West. Seattle's pitching, meanwhile, figures to improve even with the outfield fences coming in, as prospects such as Danny Hultzen and James Paxton are likely to make their big league debuts, and the signing of Felix Hernandez to a seven-year, $175 million contact will eliminate any debate about trading their ace.
25 Chicago <a href=Cubs" title="Chicago Cubs">
Last Week:
Additions: SP Edwin Jackson, SP Scott Feldman, SP Scott Baker, SP Carlos Villanueva, OF Scott Hairston, OF Nate Schierholtz, C Dioner Navarro
Subtractions:1B Bryan LaHair, SP Chris Volstad

The rotation -- with incumbents Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood and newcomers Jackson, Feldman, Baker and Villanueva as candidates -- will keep the Cubs competitive in a lot of games next year. The bullpen and lineup lag behind, but Chicago does have some position player prospects in the pipeline to eventually help out Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs' win-loss record should show a marginal improvement from last year's 61-101 debacle, and now they're only two more years of Alfonso Soriano away from being rid of all the bad contracts the new front office inherited.
26 Colorado <a href=Rockies" title="Colorado Rockies">
Last Week:
Additions: P Wilton Lopez, 3B Ryan Wheeler
Subtractions:SP Alex White, RP Matt Reynolds, SP Guillermo Moscoso, RP Josh Roenicke, 1B Jason Giambi*

Last year's new-fangled starting pitching plans were creative but only lowered the rotation's ERA a little (from 6.28 to 5.44) and not nearly enough to prevent the Rockies from still allowing the most runs in the majors. So far they've only added Chris Volstad and Miguel Batista on minor league deals. On the bright side, Colorado scored the third-most runs in NL despite barely having Troy Tulowitzki, thanks in no small part to some promising young players: catcher Wilin Rosario, corner infielder Jordan Pachecho, middle infielder Josh Rutledge, third baseman Chris Nelson and the breakout of centerfielder Dexter Fowler.
27 New York <a href=Mets" title="New York Mets">
Last Week:
Additions: C John Buck, OF Collin Cowgill, RP Brandon Lyon, C Travis d'Arnaud**
Subtractions:SP R.A. Dickey, RP Jon Rauch, OF Andres Torres, OF Jason Bay, RP Ramon Ramirez, SP Mike Pelfrey, RP D.J. Carrasco, OF Scott Hairston, IF Ronny Cedeño*

Trading a Cy Young winner surely equates to a short-term step backward, though the prospects received in return -- d'Arnaud and pitcher Noah Syndergaard -- project to a long-term step forward. In addition to extending David Wright, New York ought to have a few more roster-filling moves later this winter, which should help their competitiveness somewhat, but there'll be at least one more lean year in Queens before the Mets' fortunes improve.
28 Minnesota <a href=Twins" title="Minnesota Twins">
Last Week:
Additions: SP Vance Worley, SP Kevin Correia, SP Mike Pelfrey, RP Josh Roenicke
Subtractions:OF Denard Span, OF Ben Revere, SP Scott Baker, IF Alexi Casilla, RP Matt Capps*, SP Carl Pavano*

The Twins traded two centerfielders and received three pitchers, the 25-year-old Worley and two blue chip prospects, neither of whom have yet reached Triple A: Alex Meyer and Trevor May. Those three should someday help the ailing Twins rotation -- which was dead last in the AL with a 5.40 ERA last year -- but 2013 portends to be another rebuilding year with Minnesota resigned to the divisional cellar.
29 Miami <a href=Marlins" title="Miami Marlins">
Last Week:
Additions: SP Henderson Alvarez, 3B Placido Polanco, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, OF Juan Pierre, C Jeff Mathis
Subtractions:SP Josh Johnson, SP Mark Buehrle, SS Jose Reyes, C John Buck, 2B Emilio Bonifacio, RP Heath Bell, RP Randy Choate, 1B Carlos Lee*

The new Marlins proved to be much like the old Marlins by swiftly disassembling a hastily built roster in exchange for prospects. The presence of Giancarlo Stanton alone gives Miami a slight edge over Houston, but the most meaningful games to be played in Marlins Park this year will be part of the World Baseball Classic in March.
30 Houston <a href=Astros" title="Houston Astros">
Last Week:
Additions: 1B Carlos Peña, SP Alex White, SP Philip Humber, RP Jose Veras, SP John Ely, 1B/OF Chris Carter
Subtractions:SS Jed Lowrie, C Chris Snyder, RP Wilton Lopez, RP Fernando Abad, RP Fernando Rodriguez

The register of major league transactions hardly reflects the thorough overhaul happening in Houston. The front office has been transformed and the farm system is being rebuilt, but GM Jeff Luhnow's efforts will take at least another season or two to show real impact at the big league level. Joining a fierce AL West will only make life harder.

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