I will be providing monthly updates of the power rankings. Expect them on or near the 1st of each month going forward. Spring Training hasn't even started yet, so there isn't much movement from my original rankings, but there have been a few moves made, so it was time for an update, along with some commentary where a team moved significantly. (numbers in bracket are last month's ranking)
#1. Yankees (9) - Brian Cashman must have seen that I ranked them embarrassingly low, so he went out and starting signing all stars, and it helped get his team back atop the rankings. First the pitching - he inked 2 top
starters who combined to go 35-16 and another one who is a young budding star who went 18-6 just 2 years ago! On offense he got a centerfielder who slugged 51 home runs last season, and an all-star caliber 3rd basemen who knocked in over 100. And he wasn't done, he also signed..... Oh, wait. What's that you say? It's not 2005 anymore?? Well, then, that makes the signings of Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Mark Prior, Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard a lot less impressive then I thought. If anything, the moves other teams have made will move the Yankees even further down. The real #1 spot this month still belongs to the Red Sox (1)
#2 - Phillies (2)
#3 - Twins (5) - they won 94 last year. They have Joe Nathan back and a healthy Justin Morneau. They can only go up!
#4 - Oakland (4) - Yep, despite some criticism for picking them this high initially, I haven't moved them down
#5 - Rockies (6)
#6 - Giants (3) - Lack of offense and the fact that I can't see them winning their division knocked them down a few spots
#7 - Rays (8) - Original ranking was higher than most (take a look at MLB Blog Buzz for summary of several bloggers' picks), but I think they've only improved themselves by adding Manny and Damon.
#8 - Brewers (7)
#9 - Rangers (10)
#10 - Yankees (9) - With other teams in their division improving, they will have an even harder time making the playoffs.
#11 - Tigers (11)
#12 - Cardinals (12)
#13 - Blue Jays (20) - Improved themselves immediately by trading Vernon Wells for... well it didn't really matter for whom. They now have 86 million more ways to improve themselves. Maybe not right away, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them be a real force in 2012.
#14 - Cubs (16) - Did I mention that after Piniella left they played at a 105 win pace? It was only 37 games, and I don't expect them to duplicate that over a full season, but should break .500 and be in the hunt for a wildcard spot.
#15 - Braves (13)
#16 - Reds (14)
#17 - White Sox (15)
#18 - Padres (17)
#19 - Marlins (19)
#20 - Orioles (23) - Welcome Vlad, these birds are looking better by the day. It almost seems like one of these days the top 5 teams in the majors are all going to be in the AL East.
#21 - Dodgers (21)
#22 - Angels (18) - Traded for Vernon Wells (who the Jays would have happily given away for free, a la Alex Rios), and gave up Juan Rivera and a much-sought-after Mike Napoli. Really? What were you thinking?
#23 - Mets (22) - Even if they won less games then the 1962 version of themselves, Fred Wilpon still has bigger things to worry about.
#24 - Royals (24)
#25 - Nationals (25)
#26 - Mariners (26)
#27 - Diamondbacks (27)
#28 - Pirates (29)
#29 - Astros (28)
#30 - Indians (30)