MLB Power Rankings: Orioles On Top, Giants At Bottom

PHILADELPHIA : Ruben Amaro, general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies watches batting practice before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

This week's power rankings are based on conversations that each team's general manager had leading into the trade deadline. These are actual transcriptions. And though there's not really a good way to rank them, that can't stop me from slapping a few numbers in front of the teams and pretending it's a power ranking!

If your favorite team is last, it's because they did something horribly wrong at the trade deadline, and they aren't likely to contend for several decades.

1. Baltimore Orioles/Pittsburgh Pirates

Neal Huntington: There it is, then. Derrek Lee for Aaron Baker. Thanks for all this.

Andy MacPhail: Yeah, good luck. You know, with contending.

Neal Huntington: Thanks. Thanks. I appreciate that.

Andy MacPhail: Yeah, I'm not going to lie. We're a bit jealous over here.

Neal Huntington: Ah, don't sweat it. It'll happen for you someday.

Andy MacPhail Oh, well, I mean, we've totally contended before. We played in a league up in Canada one summer, and we won it and everything. So, it's happened to us. It was so awesome.

3. Tampa Bay Rays/Milwaukee Brewers

Doug Melvin: We'd like to inquire about the availability of Felipe Lopez.

Andrew Friedman
: Okay. How about cash considerations?

Doug Melvin: Done. How does $50,000 sound?

Andrew Friedman: Perfect.

Doug Melvin: Great, thanks!. We'll get the money to you guys through the league office.

Andrew Friedman: Wait, you'll get the money to us? I mean, of course. Of course you will. Pleasure doing business with you.

5. Philadelphia Phillies

Rubén Amaro, Jr.: Gentlemen. Thank you for meeting me here.

Scott Proefrock: Uh, it's our morning meeting. We have these every day.

Rubén Amaro, Jr.: You might be wondering why I've called you here.

Chuck LaMar: Not really.

Rubén Amaro, Jr.: The trade deadline is fast approaching. I've been kicking around a lot of ideas, but I've worked out a deal to send Vance Worley, Domonic Brown, Jonathan Singleton, and Jerred Cosart to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez.

Benny Looper: Good god, why?

Rubén Amaro, Jr.: Because **** the rest of the National League. That's why.

Scott Proefrock: Oh, man. He's having one of those waking dreams again.

Rubén Amaro, Jr.: All I have to do is pick up this phone and tell the Rockies that it's official, and ... it's official. Ha. Ha ha ha. HAHAHAHA.

Benny Looper: Grab his arms!

6. Detroit Tigers/Seattle Mariners

Dave Dombrowski: Okay, so the main guys are in place, pretty much. For the minor-league filler, we have some good organizational guys we can talk about. There's a pitcher, Kenny Faulk, we'd be willing to give up.

Jack Zduriencik: Yeah, our scouts gave me a report on him. It's a start.

Dave Dombrowski: Now, I know you're the one selling here, but we've had an awful time keeping our middle infielders healthy down in the low minors. We had to put a guy who was a college first baseman at short ... total nightmare. Could you throw in a non-prospect for us? A second baseman, maybe?

Jack Zdurienck: Yeah, I know just the guy. Shaver Hansen. He's 23 and in A-ball, so he's not a top prospect, but he knows what he's doing.

Dave Dombrowski: Great. So we'll start with Fister/Faulk, Shaver/Furbush and move on from there.

Mrs. Zdurienck: Jack, can I see you for a second?

Jack Zdurienck: Yeah, honey. I didn't know you picked up the line. I'll be right there.

8. Colorado Rockies/New York Yankees

Dan O'Dowd: We'd like Montero, obviously. And Betances and Nova would have to be in the deal. But really, we'd need an answer by noon tomorrow. We have a ton of action on Jimenez.

Brian Cashman: Dan? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even taking on any of his remaining salary, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.

Dan O'Dowd: click

Brian Cashman: Yello? Yellllo?

10. San Diego Padres/Texas Rangers

Jon Daniels: We want Heath Bell, but we're not giving up too much for a rental.

Jed Hoyer: We want two pitchers. They need to strike out bunch of dudes, but they can't walk anyone.

Jon Daniels: Fair enough.

Jed Hoyer: How about Joseph Weiland and Robert Erlin? They walked 21 batters this year and struck out 255 batters in 251 innings. We want two pitchers. They need to strike out bunch of dudes, but they can't walk anyone.

Jon Daniels: Jeez, that's a lot. We can't do that for a rental.

Jed Hoyer: We want two pitchers. They need to strike out bunch of dudes, but they can't walk anyone.

Jon Daniels: Okay, we'll do that for Mike Adams ... but you'll also need to give up your organizational secrets. How do you find so many good relievers? Is it the park?

Jed Hoyer: Get a pile of pitchers. They need to strike out bunch of dudes, but they can't walk anyone.

Jon Daniels: I'll bet it's the park. They're just so confident with the big outfield.

12. Toronto Blue Jays

Alex Anthopoulos: Thanks. We'll get the paperwork over right away.

John Mozeliak: Uh, Alex? I hate to make it seem like we're dealing in bad faith here, but there are probably a couple of things you should know about Colby Rasmus.

Alex Anthopoulos: Okay.

John Mozeliak: First: you probably don't want to get him wet. Keep him away from the showers, Gatorade jugs, things like that.

Alex Anthopoulos: Uh, wait a sec ...

John Mozeliak: Second: do not, under any circumstances, feed him after midnight ...

13. Los Angeles Angels/Kansas City Royals

Tony Reagins: Look, I gotta be honest with you, the Vernon Wells trade didn't work out like we had hoped. Now Bourjos is hurt ... it's a mess. What are you looking to get in return for Francoeur and Melky?

Dayton Moore: Not for sale!

Tony Reagins: Oh, come on. Just one of them. We have prospects. There's this 20-year-old kid who was just up. Fast as the wind. Name is Mike Tr ...

Dayton Moore: Not for sale! Nosiree! Can't do it! They're really, really good!

Tony Reagins: I wasn't saying our prospects for both of those guys. What about just one of them, you pick which one?

Dayton Moore: Not for sale! Can't do it!

Tony Reagins: Look, anything you want! Look over the rosters! Anything!

Dayton Moore: Not for sale! Well, unless you have a catcher to trade. Jeff Mathis? What about Jeff Mathis?

Tony Reagins: Now you're just mocking me. Forget it. I thought we could work something out, and you're being an ass.

Dayton Moore: Next time don't call up and ask for my best players, and I won't ask for yours!

15. St. Louis Cardinals/Chicago White Sox

Kenny Williams: Alrightie, Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen to you guys. Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart to us.

Alex Anthopoulos: Yep. Done. Thanks for this, I think it will work out for everyone involved.

Kenny Williams: I know we're only three games back, but this team isn't going anywhere, you know?

Williams hangs up the phone. Drums his fingers on the desk for a couple of minutes. Stares out the window. Checks the internet, sees that Jackson was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. He picks up the phone again.

John Mozeliak: Hello?

Kenny Williams: John, Kenny from the White Sox. Listen, I understand you picked up Edwin Jackson. What would it take to move him again?

John Mozeliak: Uh ...

Kenny Williams: We're only three games back, and he'd fit our rotation perfectly. We can give you Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart. We need this guy, John. Help us out.

17. Minnesota Twins/Florida Marlins

Bill Smith: I think there's "Lyman" and "post-Lyman." When Lyman was around, Jon had another foil. When he was gone, there was only one who could deliver a punchline was Garfield, and it got stale.

Larry Beinfest: That's ridiculous. When Lyman left, everything focused on the house -- the trinity. Odie, Jon, Garfield. Occasionally you'd get a Doc Boy subplot, or a Liz strip, but when Garfield became almost able to ... to communicate with Jon, the humor was more organic. It was like by it becoming more unrealistic, it became more realistic, you know?

Bill Smith: If you're saying that the golden age was in the '90s rather than the '80s, that's just ... wait, what time is it?

Larry Beinfest: About 4:15.


Larry Beinfest: DAMMIT.

Bill Smith: I'm so dead, I'm so dead, I'm so dead ...

Larry Beinfest: Alright, okay, dammit, alright, we were in a car accident.

Bill Smith: We're in different parts of the country!

Larry Beinfest: Fine, I was in a car accident. You had gall stones.

Bill Smith: I'm so dead, I'm so dead, I'm so dead ...

19. Arizona Diamondbacks/Oakland Athletics

Brad Pitt: I would like your finest un-athletic first baseman with superficially good numbers in the minor leagues.

Billy Beane: Good, good. But I don't think I'd put the emphasis on finest. I'd say it more flat. You're not begging, you're asking.

Brad Pitt: I would like your finest un-athletic first baseman, provided he has superficially good numbers in the minor leagues.

Billy Beane: Better! Now ask him what he wants for the first baseman.

Kevin Towers: Look, I just want a reliever. Can you just tell me if Brad Ziegler is available?

Brad Pitt: Ah! Ah! For him, I would like a first baseman with superficially good numbers in the minors, but only if he's not a well-rounded player.

Billy Beane: Nailed it!

21. Los Angeles Dodgers/Boston Red Sox

Theo Epstein: C'mon, Ned. Do it.

Ned Colletti: Geez, I don't know. I really don't need to even be trading right now.

Theo Epstein: C'mmmmmon. Neddie. Ned Ned Ned. C'mon.

Ned Colletti: Oh, boy. Oh, man. I'm not trading away guys, I'm not trading for guys. I should just sit this one out. I don't need to get in the middle of this.

Theo Epstein: Dude, Ned. C'mon. Just do it. Give me the young outfielder, and you'll get a young catcher. He calls a good game or something.

Ned Colletti: Oh, boy. I'm not sure about this.

Theo Epstein: Ned. Ned. Do me a solid. For Theo. C'mon. Ned.

Ned Colletti: Okay. You got me. You got me!

23. Houston Astros/Atlanta Braves

Ed Wade: I would like Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, and Arodys Vizcaino for Michael Bourn.

Frank Wren: No.

Ed Wade: I would like Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, and Arodys Vizcaino for Michael Bourn.

Frank Wren: No.

Ed Wade: I would like Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino for Michael Bourn.

Frank Wren: No.

Ed Wade: I would like Randall Delgado for Michael Bourn.

Frank Wren: No.

Ed Wade: I would like Mark Teahen, Ryan Minor, Wilson Delgado, and Jose Vizcaino for Michael Bourn.

Frank Wren: Uh, wait, yeah, we can do that. I just ... I just need to make a few calls real quick.

Ed Wade: But we're keeping Berkman!

25. Washington Nationals/Cincinnati Reds

An intern comes into Mike Rizzo's office and drops off a stack of papers. He looks around cautiously, and sits down behind Rizzo's desk, propping his feet up. He leans forward and opens a desk drawer, and starts rifling through it. He picks up the phone.

Intern: I'm Mike Rizzo! I'm the GM of the Nationals! Blah blah blah!

He puts the phone back on the receiver and pauses. Then he picks it up and pushes a speed-dial button.

Walt Jocketty: Hello?

Intern: I would like to make a trade, sir! I am Mike Rizzo, general manager of the Nationals! I'm very important. I would like to trade for ... your left fielder!

Walt Jocketty: Jonny Gomes?

several hours later

Mike Rizzo: Now what in the absolute **** am I supposed to do with Jonny Gomes?

27. Cleveland Indians/Chicago Cubs

Jim Hendry: Hey, Brian? Are you looking for a catcher? Geovany Soto, maybe.

Brian Sabean: Well, uh, I hadn't thought about ...

Jim Hendry: Well, sorry! We're not dealing him.

Hangs up. Picks up the phone. Dials.

Neal Huntington: Hello?

Jim Hendry: Interested in Carlos Pena?

Neal Huntington: Yes, actually. I was ...

Jim Hendry: Oh, sorry! We're not trading him.

Hangs up. Picks up the phone. Dials.

Brian Cashman: Hello?

Jim Hendry: Brian, it's Jim from the Cubs. Say, would you have any interest in Jeff Baker?

Brian Cashman: Who in the hell is Jeff Baker?

Jim Hendry: Oh, sorry! He's off the market.

Hangs up. Picks up the phone. Dials.

Chris Antonetti: Antonetti here.

Jim Hendry: Say, Chris, would you want Kosuke Fukudome?

Chris Antonetti: No. Not unless you're willing to eat millions of dollars.

Jim Hendry: Okey dokey!

29. New York Mets/San Francisco Giants

Sandy Alderson: Beltran for Wheeler. Glad you came around on this.

Brian Sabean: I hate parting with a good young arm, but that's the price of business, I guess.

Sandy Alderson: Yep. And you got your guy. Proven veteran. Battle tested.

Brian Sabean: You know, I've always resented that stereotype. Yes, I've acquired veterans in my day, but are you willing to part with David Wright?

Sandy Alderson: No.

Brian Sabean: Of course not. He's young, he's the face of your franchise. He's not someone I can go out and get. By default, the players I can get are going to trend towards older players. That's just how it works. They're the ones other teams will give up. They're the ones close to free agency and ...

Thirty minutes later

Brian Sabean: ... sure, it's my cross to bear, I realize that. And you'd think my championship would be vindicating ... but it's like it never happened. It's like the formula worked in spite of me, not because of me. When a man's life, his work, his accomplishments are reduced to a caricature of a veteran-loving simpleton, I can't tell you ...

Thirty minutes later

Brian Sabean:'s like the Aeschylus quote: "It is an easy thing for one whose foot is on the outside of calamity to give advice and to rebuke the sufferer." That's always running through my head when I'm ...

Sandy Alderson: Look, I have to get going, Brian ... I have another call. Thanks for working with me, though.

Brian Sabean: I appreciate your ear. You're a true friend, Sandy.

Two days later

Chris Antonetti: Hey, Brian, how's it going?



Power Rankings of Yesteryear:

7/26 - Trade deadline strategies
7/19 - Ballpark names
7/5 - Mascots
6/27 - Promotional giveaways
6/21 - Health inspection reports
6/13 - Random ex-major leaguers in minor-league system
6/6 - Awesome names in draft history
5/31 - Team logos
5/24 - Annoying people
5/17 - Song titles
5/10 - Hair metal bands
5/3 - Sitcom locations
4/24 - Team names

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