MLB Power Rankings: Spring training edition
Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Welcome to the third edition of theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2020 campaign. Here, our editors rank each team's roster heading into the first spring training games. The last edition was filed in early January at the midway point of the offseason. Records below are from Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projections.

1. New York Yankees

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
99-63 1 (-)

The Yankees are arguably the deepest and most talented team in the majors, but the injury bug from last year has already returned. With James Paxton out until May at the earliest, the club's biggest question entering spring training is figuring out the back of the rotation. The early candidates are Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, and Luis Cessa.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
103-59 2 (-)

The Dodgers are easily the class of the National League once again after adding 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and veteran southpaw David Price. They're so good that they don't even need Jimmy Nelson - a veritable lottery ticket - to pay dividends, but if he does, the incredibly rich depth chart will be even richer.

3. Minnesota Twins

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
93-69 8 (+5)

The Twins hit homers at a record-setting pace in 2019 and then added former AL MVP Josh Donaldson this offseason. While the pitching remains the biggest question mark (Rich Hill and Michael Pineda will be unavailable to start the season), don't be surprised if Minnesota wins 100 games and a second straight division title.

4. Houston Astros

Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty
PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
98-64 3 (-1)

This has been a tumultuous offseason in Houston, to say the least, as the team's sign-stealing scandal continues to dominate the baseball world. Amid all the noise, it might be easy to forget that the Astros are still a pretty darn good team, even after losing Gerrit Cole and Will Harris. This season will be full of distractions for the defending AL champions, but they have the talent to get past it and return to the playoffs - not to mention the perfect manager for their situation in Dusty Baker.

5. Tampa Bay Rays

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
87-75 5 (-)

The Rays won't catch anyone off guard this season. Coming off a 96-win campaign, the front office made the offense even deeper by adding Hunter Renfroe, Yoshi Tsutsugo, Manuel Margot, and Jose Martinez. Tampa should also be a strong defensive club and will be a nightmare to match up against given all the versatile players and platoon options.

6. Atlanta Braves

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
83-79 4 (-2)

The two-time defending NL East champs revamped their bullpen this offseason, which included the addition of All-Star reliever Will Smith. Replacing Donaldson with Marcell Ozuna is a downgrade, but the latter is still an impact bat. Atlanta missed out on adding a front-end starter in free agency, so one of the team's young hurlers will need to step up if Cole Hamels' health becomes an issue.

7. Washington Nationals

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
87-75 7 (-)

The defending World Series champs will have to deal with the catastrophic loss of Anthony Rendon, but the club bolstered its bullpen by retaining Daniel Hudson and poaching Harris from Houston. This is a veteran team that still features one of the best starting pitching trios in MLB with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin all returning.

8. Philadelphia Phillies

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
77-85 6 (-2)

We're higher on the Phillies than PECOTA is. After Jake Arrieta's durability became a concern, the front office went out and spent money to bolster the rotation in the form of right-hander Zack Wheeler. While Wheeler and Didi Gregorius represent more modest additions than Bryce Harper did a year ago, the Phillies have improved on paper for the second straight offseason. New skipper Joe Girardi is also in place. Now it's time to translate all the moves into success on the field.

9. New York Mets

Newsday LLC / Newsday / Getty
PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
88-74 9 (-)

The Mets will go as far as health takes them. Their lineup is capable of scoring plenty of runs, especially if Jed Lowie and Yoenis Cespedes contribute anything. The rotation could also be one of the best in the NL, but Jacob deGrom can't do it all on his own. Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, and Rick Porcello are all capable of bounce-back campaigns. If all goes well, the Mets will be a playoff team. If it doesn't, they could be major sellers come July due to a number of expiring contracts.

10. Oakland Athletics

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
85-77 10 (-)

The acquisition of Tony Kemp was the biggest move in a quiet offseason. And with a number of veteran departures from the rotation, the club will rely on young pitchers Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk to carry the load without innings restrictions. The A's won 97 games last season and should continue to prove that it's best not to bet against them.

11. Cincinnati Reds

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
86-76 13 (+2)

While their NL Central rivals largely stood pat this winter, the Reds shook things up by signing marquee bats Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos. The result is a team that should be vastly improved on all fronts in 2020, and one that will likely challenge for a playoff spot. A return to form from Joey Votto would certainly provide a big boost.

12. Chicago White Sox

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
83-79 14 (+2)

The South Siders have a real shot at being the most improved club in the majors. Adding the likes of Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion, and Dallas Keuchel to a young core oozing with talent could be the recipe that takes the White Sox to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

13. Boston Red Sox

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty
PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
85-77 11 (-2)

Other than the Astros, no team endured a more difficult offseason than Boston's. But it's time to turn the page, and there's reason to think this roster can make the playoffs. Chris Sale's and Nathan Eovaldi's health will both be major factors, and at least one other starter needs to be added to a thin rotation. The offense should still score enough runs, even with Alex Verdugo likely sidelined to start the year and with Betts in Hollywood.

14. St. Louis Cardinals

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
80-82 12 (-2)

Scoring proved to be a challenge last season, and the Cardinals have done nothing to mitigate Ozuna's departure. Despite rumors that St. Louis would acquire Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado, the club's biggest late-winter addition was left-handed pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore. If the Cardinals don't make any upgrades before Opening Day, they'll likely struggle to generate offense this season.

15. Chicago Cubs

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
85-77 15 (-)

The Cubs mostly stood pat this offseason, as they focused on adding inexpensive depth pieces - Steven Souza, Jason Kipnis, and Jeremy Jeffress - over big-ticket items. The biggest storyline was star third baseman Kris Bryant's service-time grievance, which led to some trade speculation. It's a tumultuous time in Chicago even though the team is in a spot to remain competitive.

16. Los Angeles Angels

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
87-75 17 (+1)

When it comes to the Angels, we'll believe it when we see it. The addition of Rendon and Shohei Ohtani's return to the mound have created intrigue, but L.A. still features an imperfect roster that's desperately in need of pitching. Team owner Arte Moreno got in his own way by vetoing a trade that would have landed slugger Joc Pederson and right-hander Ross Stripling because he became impatient. Will Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran be enough?

17. Arizona Diamondbacks

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
79-83 20 (+3)

A solid winter following a surprising 85-win campaign has the Diamondbacks feeling good about 2020. The club added front-end starter Madison Bumgarner, former All-Star Starling Marte, and fellow outfielder Kole Calhoun. A lot will ride on Ketel Marte proving that 2019's MVP-type campaign wasn't a fluke.

18. Cleveland Indians

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
86-76 16 (-2)

Similar to last year - when the Indians began the regular season without Francisco Lindor - the team won't have a key piece on Opening Day. Mike Clevinger is expected to miss the first couple of weeks due to a knee injury, which doesn't bode well for a pitching staff that already lost Corey Kluber to an offseason trade.

19. San Diego Padres

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
79-83 19 (-)

San Diego didn't make any major moves this winter, but the front office did add a couple of smaller pieces to augment a solid core. Trading for Tommy Pham could prove to be a stealthy move, while the bullpen additions of Drew Pomeranz, Pierce Johnson, and Emilio Pagan created even more depth behind relief ace Kirby Yates. Maybe they won't catch the Dodgers, but the Padres have built a foundation to support an entertaining, competitive club.

20. Milwaukee Brewers

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
79-83 18 (-2)

The Brewers had some options this winter, and they opted to spread out their money to make a ton of depth moves. The roster now features a singular star in Christian Yelich and interchangeable, complementary pieces in Brock Holt, Eric Sogard, Omar Narvaez, Avisail Garcia, Justin Smoak, Jedd Gyorko, Ryon Healy, Josh Lindblom, and David Phelps. This could either be a really scrappy wild-card team or one that finishes well out of the race.

21. Texas Rangers

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
73-89 21 (-)

The Rangers entered the winter with their sights set on landing one of Rendon or Donaldson to man third base. They wound up with Todd Frazier. While a reunion with Robinson Chirinos should add some extra pop to the lineup, the team's strength will be a rotation that consists of Kluber, Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Jordan Lyles.

22. Toronto Blue Jays

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
77-85 22 (-)

After three straight losing seasons, there are reasons for optimism in Toronto, even if this doesn't look like a playoff team just yet. The young core pieces have mostly arrived, and the front office addressed an awful pitching staff by adding veteran arms Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chase Anderson, Tanner Roark, and Shun Yamaguchi. This team has much more depth than in years past, and if the youngsters continue to develop as projected, the Blue Jays could be playing with house money in 2020.

23. Colorado Rockies

RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Denver Post / Getty
PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
77-85 24 (+1)

To say the Rockies' offseason was a disappointment would be an understatement. The front office didn't add any noteworthy players to a 71-win club while starting a feud with Arenado, whose future with the team looks uncertain. Still, this club possesses some intriguing pieces and could make some noise if the pitching staff stays out of its own way.

24. San Francisco Giants

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
68-94 23 (-1)

The Giants threw fans a bone by bringing back former World Series hero and fan favorite Hunter Pence, but their other offseason additions were underwhelming. If Kevin Gausman and/or Drew Smyly fail to rebound and turn into trade bait, a long season in San Francisco has the potential to feel even longer.

25. Miami Marlins

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
71-91 26 (+1)

The Marlins won't be significantly better in 2020, but they deserve credit for a number of interesting offseason acquisitions. The NL East is stacked this year, so Miami will focus on player development while featuring veterans like Corey Dickerson, Jonathan Villar, and Jesus Aguilar until the kids graduate to the big leagues.

26. Seattle Mariners

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
66-96 28 (+2)

A 19th straight season without the playoffs is almost set in stone. But even with Mitch Haniger sidelined for the foreseeable future, there are some reasons to get excited about this team. Youngsters Shed Long, Kyle Lewis and Evan White are expected to be everyday players, while Justus Sheffield will join the rotation on a full-time basis. Even old friend Taijuan Walker is back and could pitch his way into being a valuable trade chip.

27. Detroit Tigers

Mark Cunningham / Getty Images Sport / Getty
PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
69-93 29 (+2)

The Tigers addressed multiple areas of need over the winter and were cost-effective in doing so. But despite the additions of C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Cameron Maybin, Austin Romine, and Ivan Nova, Detroit looks like a fourth-place team - at best - in a much more competitive AL Central. The most exciting part of this season might be Miguel Cabrera's quest to reach 500 homers, as he's just 23 back of the milestone.

28. Kansas City Royals

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
68-94 27 (-1)

Jorge Soler will hit more bombs and All-Star Whit Merrifield is back, but new manager Mike Matheny won't be able to paper over the problems facing the rebuilding Royals. With the exception of a potential bounce-back candidate in Maikel Franco, this team made no impact offseason additions and also failed to advance its rebuild by trading any valuable assets.

29. Pittsburgh Pirates

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
70-92 25 (-4)

The Pirates hoisted the white flag when they shipped out Marte, and it's safe to say this team will be bad. At least there's plenty of payroll room to play with for new general manager Ben Cherington, as the club only projects to have roughly $51 million in salary committed for 2020. That's $2 million less than former Pirates stars Cole and Andrew McCutchen will make this year combined.

30. Baltimore Orioles

PECOTA Projected record Previous ranking (change)
63-99 30 (-)

The Orioles will be hard-pressed to avoid losing 100-plus games once again after dealing away Bundy and their best player, Villar. At least the long-term future is starting to look less bleak, as Baltimore has four prospects in MLB Pipeline's top 100, including No. 4-ranked Adley Rutschman.

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MLB Power Rankings: Spring training edition
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