MLB Power Rankings: New Year’s Edition

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Intro

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Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

January is not the most exciting month of baseball. The last of the stragglers left on the free agent market will start to sign and then low-risk veterans will start to sign as well. This is all en route into February when pitchers and catchers will finally report to camp.

For now, we are going to take a look at the first edition of the power rankings in baseball coming out of a chaotic December into a sleepy January. It is always interesting to see who the best teams are on paper when no team has taken the field for the 2013 season.

On this list you may seem some surprises like how I do not feel that the recent signings of free agents had anything to do to upset whom the No. 1 and No. 2 teams are in baseball. The big teams who signed the big free agents are not necessarily the best teams and we all have come to learn that over the past few seasons.

Go through the first power rankings of 2013 with an open mind. Do not be afraid to question what you see but also realize that it is the beginning of the year and that the baseball season has not even come close to starting just yet. There have been a lot of deals made this offseason and the season itself is only going to get more chaotic.

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30). Houston Astros

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros will start the season on ESPN in April but that does not mean they are even close to being a top team in any division. Their only major signing was Carlos Pena and he strikes out too much. No real help there.

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29). Chicago Cubs

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Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs almost signed Anibal Sanchez but he was lost at zero hour. It just adds to the disappointment the Cubs have brought to their fans in recent years.

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28). Minnesota Twins

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins traded Ben Revere this offseason but failed to acquire any superstar offense into their lineup. The Twins are very young and still have a lot of tools to acquire.

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27). San Diego Padres

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have a great rotation going for them. That's about it. Carlos Quentin is getting old and I do not think Chase Headley will have another season like he did in 2012.

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26). Colorado Rockies

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies have a strong lineup but a weak rotation. The lack of attacking their weakness puts them lower in these rankings.

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25). Seattle Mariners

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners were in on everybody, but do not have anyone to show for.

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24). Miami Marlins

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami traded basically deported their team. Not a good look if you want to win games or a World Series.

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23). New York Mets

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Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets traded away their Cy Young award winner and re-signed a cornerstone piece of the franchise. They are improving as the NL East gets tighter but not enough to be a contender.

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22). Arizona Diamondbacks

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Too many swirling trade rumors around Justin Upton has not helped the Diamondbacks at all and they will remain in the lower half of the power rankings.

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21). Pittsburgh Pirates

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates were a shocking team in the first half of last season but fell off in the second. That is why they are still ranked in the 20s coming into this season.

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20). Cleveland Indians

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians did a lot this offseason. They have a new manager, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds. A whole lot of new for Cleveland and I hope they prove me wrong but the Detroit Tigers will run away with this division.

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19). Kansas City Royals

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City traded away its top prospect for two great pitchers from Tampa Bay. With a loaded rotation, the Royals will seek to get out of the baseball dump that it has been in for so long.

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18). Boston Red Sox

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox dumped Bobby Valentine and that was the good part of its offseason along with signing Ryan Dempster to bolster the rotation. The Red Sox also re-signed David Ortiz and reassured their bullpen with Jack Hanrahan. Great moves give them hope in the East, but little hope.

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17). Chicago White Sox

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox came really close to winning the AL Central. However, losing A.J. Pierzynski and staying stagnant in the offseason did not improve their team.

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16). Philadelphia Phillies

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies still have a great rotation and acquired Michael Young and Ben Revere this offseason; two great moves. Losing Carlos Ruiz for 25 games does not help the team as they will have tough contention in the NL East this season.

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15). Oakland Athletics

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland shocked a lot of people last season with its run into the playoffs. However, it will have a tough time competing against the Angels this season, maybe.

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14). Milwaukee Brewers

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Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Braun almost won the MVP again in 2012. Another great season for him and the Brewers and they could make a run against the Reds in the Central.

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13). Texas Rangers

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers lost Josh Hamilton to the Angels but the distraction of Hamilton staying or going is gone. The Rangers can now move on and focus on a World Series championship.

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12). New York Yankees

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees did not make any crazy moves for the first time in a long time. They focused on re-signing the people that they lost. The team also signed Kevin Youkilis in place of Alex Rodriguez who will be out until June.

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11). Atlanta Braves

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves made a huge move by jumping on B.J. Upton. Atlanta is incredibly dangerous but also lost the NL East to Washington last season. They will certainly have their hands full this season.

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10). Baltimore Orioles

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore did not lose a whole lot this offseason and another great run for them is in the works.

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9). Los Angeles Angels

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels signed Josh Hamilton giving the team a 1-2 punch of Hamilton and Albert Pujols. What more can I say? They are again extremely dangerous in the American League.

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8). Toronto Blue Jays

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John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays acquired huge pieces to make them major contenders in the American League East. They will just have to somehow mesh together to make it work.

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7). Los Angeles Dodgers

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers are stacked especially now with Zack Greinke. The Dodgers also have a meat of a lineup. There is no one really stopping them from winning a World Series.

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6). St. Louis Cardinals

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals made it to the NLCS without Albert Pujols and will do it again this season. However, a tough battle with the Brewers and Reds will encompass the 2013 season.

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5). Washington Nationals

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

They added a fourth pitcher to an already overwhelming, young rotation. Washington is still young and still hungry to get past the first round of the playoffs. Bryce Harper and Mike Morse will lead the charge in 2013.

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4). Tampa Bay Rays

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay will call up Wil Myers in the middle of the season and he's not even the brunt of the team. The Rays will move on past B.J. Upton and now look toward the future. The Rays are extremely dangerous.

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3). Cincinnati Reds

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Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The most dangerous team in the National League are the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati is even more dangerous with the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo. This could be the team to overthrow the Giants in the NL.

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2). Detroit Tigers

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H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers still have a Triple Crown winner in its lineup and now will have more assurance with Victor Martinez. The Tigers could be in the World Series once again in 2013.

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1). San Francisco Giants

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants did not lose anybody major from their 2012 World Series championship team. They brought back both Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro. There is no reason for this team not to win a title in 2013.

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