Stock Watch — Will your team make a trade deadline splash? Where all 30 MLB squads stand now

Stock Watch — Will your team make a trade deadline splash? Where all 30 MLB squads stand now post thumbnail image

Two months into the 2022 MLB season, we have surprises and disappointments, leaders and laggards, heroes and goats. Yet there are more games left to play than have been played so far, and we know the shape of things will change.

As we take a snapshot of the season halfway through June, speculation about the Aug. 2 trade deadline is just starting to ramp up. It’s customary this time of year to start wondering about the general behavior of teams, based on what we’ve seen and what still might be to come.

One new twist is that 2022 is the first year of the expanded playoff format which, love it or hate it, at least accomplishes the feat of making it really hard to play yourself totally out of contention this early. Through Sunday, only five of the 30 teams were 10 or more games out of a playoff slot. Everyone else was 8½ games or closer to a spot, a gap which could be closed with one blazing stretch of play.

What this means in terms of the trade deadline is that it’s harder than ever to slot teams into easy categories this early. Who will add? Who will subtract? How might that picture change over the weeks to come?

As ever, we include each team’s current power rating, based on my formula which considers record, run differential, roster strength, schedule, etc. The ratings serve as the basis for 10,000 simulations of the remaining schedule, which gives us projected win totals and postseason probabilities.

Teams are grouped by likely deadline approach, but be warned: At this point, few teams fit easy classification.

Jump to …

Definite adders | Likely adders | Possible adders
Could go either way | Subtractors

Definite adders

Power rating: 103.1 (1st in MLB)
Avg. simulation wins: 107.8
Playoff %: 100 | Title %: 29.5

Why they will definitely add at the deadline: The Yankees are having one of those seasons that constantly send you looking for historical context. They have outperformed forecasts, but any team playing like this is going to do that. On one hand, such a team doesn’t need to add much. But they always do, if only because a passive approach sends the wrong message to the clubhouse. Expect New York to be in on top available bats or arms, whether it’s for the bullpen or the rotation. One thing the Yankees have learned from their injury-riddled recent seasons is that no amount of depth is too much.


Power rating: 99.9 (2nd)
Avg. simulation wins: 99.9
Playoff %: 98.4 | Title %: 19.7

Why they will definitely add at the deadline: The Dodgers’ first half has been uneven, by their standards. L.A. is on pace for around 100 wins and owns a run differential that profiles that of a 110-win team. Yet the Dodgers have cooled considerably since Memorial Day and have been lackluster overall for about a month. With an inability to keep its projected rotation healthy at the same time, a long summer of battling the Padres, Mets and Braves for NL playoff positioning looms. As with Max Scherzer last season, expect Los Angeles to be looking for a top starter who can help them most in October.


Power rating: 91.2 (3rd)
Avg. simulation wins: 95.9
Playoff %: 93.8 | Title %: 8.9

Why they will definitely add at the deadline: Let’s face it, the Mets probably weren’t going to be passive at the deadline no matter what. It’s just not the way things have been done since Steve Cohen bought the team. But recent surges by Atlanta and Philadelphia have reminded everyone that it was way too early to hand the NL East over to the Mets, who have been the NL’s best team over the course of the season. A good rotation should get even better with improved health. But at the very least, the Mets, like everyone else, will be on the lookout for more bullpen depth.


Power rating: 90.7 (4th)
Avg. simulation wins: 92.6
Playoff %: 89.2 | Title %: 4.5

Why they will definitely add at the deadline: In a division that might feature four playoff teams, passivity is not an option, especially when the four-seed might have to navigate through two strong AL East opponents just to reach the ALCS. Toronto’s hyped offense has underachieved and it’ll be up to team president and CEO Mark Shapiro to determine how much of that is likely to self-correct. On paper, you would have thought second base would be a major hole, given Cavan Biggio‘s inability to find his stride, but Santiago Espinal has emerged with a breakout season. Still, the middle infield is a spot to watch as is, of course, the bullpen.

Likely adders

Power rating: 90.6 (5th)
Avg. simulation wins: 95.5
Playoff %: 95.8 | Title %: 9.6

Why they will likely add at the deadline: The Astros just completed a 2-4 homestand and, beginning with a key series at improving Texas, enter a challenging part of the schedule. Included in that stretch are nine straight games against the New York teams, including six in the Big Apple. While it might be a good sight-seeing opportunity, Houston could emerge in position to think about maintaining health and shaping the roster for October. Or, if anyone else in the AL West can catch fire, maybe we’ll still get a race in that division. If the Astros add, it would likely target depth as opposed to available frontliners.


Power rating: 90.4 (6th)
Avg. simulation wins: 89.5
Playoff %: 69.9 | Title %: 4.1

Why they will likely add at the deadline: Injuries and Marcell Ozuna‘s suspension spurred the Braves’ deadline spree a year ago, the one that played a major role in Atlanta’s championship. After battling an October hangover the first few weeks this season, Atlanta has gotten hot against a soft section of its schedule. Still, a win is a win and the Braves can focus on moving up the NL’s seeding ladder. Though outfield production has sometimes lagged, if rookie Michael Harris II keeps playing like a catalyst and Eddie Rosario returns sharp from his eye trouble, Atlanta might not need to get as splashy at this year’s deadline.


Power rating: 90.1 (7th)
Avg. simulation wins: 93.3
Playoff %: 87.5 | Title %: 5.1

Why they will likely add at the deadline: The Padres are in a great spot, right behind the Dodgers and closing fast. Their rotation, when healthy, is almost overstuffed, if such a thing is possible. The offense has holes — through Sunday, San Diego had one homer all season from right fielders — but no offense will get a bigger in-season boost than the Padres when Fernando Tatis Jr. returns. Still, the Pads need an outfielder, preferably a lefty hitter who improves the team’s profile against righty pitching. (Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi has been a rumored target.) They also need to upgrade the bullpen behind closer Taylor Rogers.


Power rating: 88.2 (9th)
Avg. simulation wins: 85.6
Playoff %: 43.1 | Title %: 1.7

Why they will likely add at the deadline: It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the beleaguered Phillies, who are back in the playoff picture thanks to a nine-game winning streak. Still, this is a club with some major holes to fill (shortstop, third base, center field, bullpen, defense). That means there are also lots of opportunities leading up to the deadline to make a meaningful upgrade or two. Finding early trade partners might be tough given the number of teams hanging around the fringes of contention. Still, the faster Philly moves, the better, as it looks like making the NL bracket will require at least 88 to 90 wins.


Power rating: 84.3 (16th)
Avg. simulation wins: 86.7
Playoff %: 53.6 | Title %: 1.4

Why they will likely add at the deadline: Under David Stearns, the Brewers have typically added impact pieces around the deadline when they are in contention, which has been an annual occurrence in recent seasons. Expect that trend to continue with the NL Central shaping up as a two-team race between Milwaukee and St. Louis. Since Milwaukee swept a Memorial Day doubleheader against the Cubs, the Brewers have turned frigid, with even their vaunted rotation going through a rough stretch. Getting Brandon Woodruff healthy is the top priority, but assuming the Brewers don’t fall apart, adding a bat would be big, perhaps Andrew Benintendi if they think he can play center.


Power rating: 76.4 (20th)
Avg. simulation wins: 78.7
Playoff %: 15.2 | Title %: 0.2

Why they will likely add at the deadline: Really, what else could the White Sox do? They have a 77-year-old manager, an 86-year-old owner and play in a division unlikely to feature a runaway winner. Disappointing as the White Sox have been, their time is now. Chicago can point to last year’s Braves as a reason to cling to its preseason expectations, though the shape of Atlanta’s run was more the exception than a model to emulate. Chicago needs a stretch of relative health and hope that a roster full of underperformers will regress in time to offer clarity on what the club will target around the deadline.

Possible adders

Power rating: 88.7 (8th)
Avg. simulation wins: 85.9
Playoff %: 56.2 | Title %: 1.9

Why they might add at the deadline: It took the Red Sox a month to go from nine games under .500 to three over, which is where they were after finishing a scorching 8-2 road trip in Seattle. The season is alive but now comes a month-long stretch in which the Red Sox’s schedule might be the toughest in the majors. Boston has moved into the sixth slot in the playoff pecking order, which might be preferable to Nos. 4 or 5 in this year’s AL. Will Boston add even if it continues to tread water? It’s hard to say given Chaim Bloom’s measured approach to things.


Power rating: 87.4 (10th)
Avg. simulation wins: 89.1
Playoff %: 64.7 | Title %: 2.4

Why they might add at the deadline: The Giants have looked more like a solid wild-card contender than a team poised to defend its NL West crown. They have chance to change that outlook over the last half of June, when Frisco will see a few of MLB’s lesser lights sandwiched around a four-game showdown in Atlanta. A potential splash for the Giants could echo the one they made last year, when they acquired former Cub Kris Bryant. This time, looming free-agent Chicago catcher Willson Contreras might be a fit for a Giants’ lineup that otherwise can look to health and positive regression for rest-of-season improvement.

Power rating: 86.9 (11th)
Avg. simulation wins: 87.5
Playoff %: 65.4 | Title %: 1.9

Why they might add at the deadline: When you consider the standings and the Rays’ roster, Tampa Bay looks like a team that will add. But it’s the Rays, and they have their own way of doing things. Last year, Tampa Bay made a classic deadline deal for DH Nelson Cruz, which didn’t have a huge payoff and cost them a fine pitcher in Joe Ryan. The Rays just played the first of six games in nine days against the Yankees and, coming up, have eight straight road games against the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Let’s wait and see what things look like three weeks from now.


Power rating: 86.8 (12th)
Avg. simulation wins: 89.3
Playoff %: 73.6 | Title %: 3

Why they might add at the deadline: The Cardinals’ roster management and player usage has been a bit confounding at times this season. (Why did it take so long to recall Nolan Gorman? Why has Albert Pujols started as many games against righties as lefties?) Still, the big-ticket item here is the bullpen, which at times has been a mess and even in good stretches has been top heavy. More depth and more high-leverage options are needed. The team’s trademark deadline passivity is not needed, especially a season featuring the career finales of Pujols and Yadier Molina. Also: Is it too late to get Matt Carpenter back?


Power rating: 85.3 (13th)
Avg. simulation wins: 88
Playoff %: 71.1 | Title %: 2.8

Why they might add at the deadline: Injuries likely cost the Twins a chance to build a big lead in the AL Central. Those maladies continue to haunt Minnesota as Cleveland closes in fast behind them. Meanwhile, the Twins close June with eight games in 10 days against the Guardians and have a fairly tough schedule between now and the deadline. While the Twins still are probably a mild favorite in the division, it’s not out of question that they collapse due to the injuries. Or, more likely, they get healthier and set themselves up to plug a few holes, beginning with another reliable high-leverage reliever or two.


Power rating: 84.1 (17th)
Avg. simulation wins: 80.1
Playoff %: 13.1 | Title %: 0.4

Why they might add at the deadline: The Marlins have gradually fallen back in the pack of the NL wild-card race. Miami’s positive run differential, their rotation and breakout star Jazz Chisholm all are reasons to believe they can still crawl back into it. What’s frustrating is that the disparity between the differential and Miami’s record is a woeful 8-15 mark in one-run games through Sunday, largely a product of shoddy high-leverage relief. Even if Miami falls out of the chase by the deadline, an argument can be made that this budding contender should look for chances to add impact players who aren’t in walk years.


Power rating: 78.9 (18th)
Avg. simulation wins: 78.1
Playoff %: 11.6 | Title %: 0.1

Why they might add at the deadline: Add, subtract — you know Jerry DiPoto will do something to shake up his roster over the next few weeks. The scale of those moves will be determined by the play of the Mariners during that span but perhaps also that of the Red Sox. Given Houston’s stranglehold on the AL West and the strength of the AL’s top two wild-cards, the sixth slot might be the only one in play by the time we’re at the deadline. That is, unless Boston has pulled away. It’s going to come down to whether Seattle can pitch better than it has thus far.

Could go either way

Power rating: 84.6 (14th)
Avg. simulation wins: 82.0
Playoff %: 28.1 | Title %: 0.8

Why they will add or subtract at the deadline: Let’s see the Angels string together a few wins before we start speculating on their deadline approach. Historically, teams that have suffered through an epic-length losing streak of 14 or more games have not recovered. Usually that’s because they aren’t very good. But even as L.A. remains one of MLB’s coldest teams and has not really played well consistently since early May, they still have outscored their opponents on the season. For it to come back together, interim manager Phil Nevin is going to have to find some answers for the bullpen, and someone in the middle infield needs to start hitting.


Power rating: 84.5 (15th)
Avg. simulation wins: 85.7
Playoff %: 55.4 | Title %: 1.8

Why they will add or subtract at the deadline: Cleveland’s season has started to build some momentum, though its recent string of series wins has come at the expense of a gaggle of sub-.500 teams. Still, Cleveland features an MVP candidate in Jose Ramirez, elite team defense and a rotation that has been so-so but as a group is ripe for positive regression. As ever, Cleveland could make an upgrade by adding a power outfield bat, even if it comes at the cost of a little defense. Through Sunday, the Guardians had zero homers from left fielders or center fielders thus far. Cleveland is overdue for a splashy deadline.


Power rating: 77.8 (19th)
Avg. simulation wins: 78.3
Playoff %: 11.3 | Title %: 0.1

Why they will add or subtract at the deadline: The Rangers are an improved club, and their deadline approach will be fashioned during the weeks to come, when Texas faces one of the softer slates in the AL. If the Rangers can take advantage of the schedule and get some positive regression from their expensive middle infield of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, perhaps Texas might be willing to make a push for a wild-card slot, with left field and third base being clear areas to upgrade. If the Rangers fall back in the standings, they will get plenty of callers for resurgent free-agent-to-be starter Martin Perez.


Power rating: 73.9 (21st)
Avg. simulation wins: 69.8
Playoff %: 0.6 | Title %: 0

Why they will add or subtract at the deadline: If Chicago can’t sign Willson Contreras to an extension, they almost have to trade him, and their position in this year’s playoff race isn’t likely to be a big factor in that decision. However, the Cubs will want to get some return for their pending free agents but also are trying to move beyond a rebuilding phase. Thus, they can look to add players with commitments that extend beyond this season. The deadline can be about getting a jump on 2023.


Power rating: 71.7 (22nd)
Avg. simulation wins: 72.7
Playoff %: 1.3 | Title %: 0

Why they will add or subtract at the deadline: Arizona has lost 12 of 15 against the Padres and Dodgers. If not for that, we might be looking at Arizona as a fringe wild-card contender but of course, it’s a problem when you can’t beat the two best teams in your own division. With the pitching looking much better this season under the tutelage of famed coach Brent Strom, Arizona can start to look for chances to add for 2023. They have several pitchers — Zach Davies, Mark Melancon and Ian Kennedy — who have the paradoxical virtues of being fairly replaceable yet solid enough to attract interest at the deadline.


Power rating: 71.4 (23rd)
Avg. simulation wins: 66
Playoff %: 0.2 | Title %: 0

Why they will add or subtract at the deadline: In starters Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, the Reds’ deadline decisions might have an outsized effect on pennant races that they are not a part of. Nevertheless, the Reds are another team that can try to turn their coveted pitchers into players who can help down the line, beginning with next season. Near-big-league-ready performers aren’t easy to get, but Cincinnati is better positioned to target such players than perhaps any other team. As sour as things were entering 2022 in Cincinnati, there is a chance to turn some frowns upside down by the start of the 2023 season.

Subtractors

Power rating: 70.3 (24th)
Avg. simulation wins: 68.4
Playoff %: 0.2 | Title %: 0

Why they will subtract at the deadline: Colorado’s promising start went by the wayside, but chances are, the Rockies aren’t going to be clearing house. Still, Colorado has too many marketable veterans on expiring deals to sit tight at the deadline. Shortstop Jose Iglesias is one to watch, as are pitchers Daniel Bard (feel-good story as he may be), Alex Colome and Chad Kuhl. Also, well-traveled slugger C.J. Cron‘s value is at an apex and he is under contract through next season. It’s fair to wonder what the long-term plan is in Denver, but for now, getting something for their veterans in a non-competing season seems right.


Power rating: 69.5 (25th)
Avg. simulation wins: 67.8
Playoff %: 0.3 | Title %: 0

Why they will subtract at the deadline: Things are finally moving in the right direction in Baltimore. The days of obsessively exchanging present value for future value — while keeping spending to a minimum — may be dwindling. Still, there are trade candidates on the roster. Starter Jordan Lyles seems likely to change teams in-season for the fourth time in his career. Then there is career Oriole Trey Mancini, who would likely bring back a solid return, but it would be one last gut-punch for Baltimore fans to see him leave. The Orioles have gone 233-433 in games that Mancini has appeared in during his time in Baltimore.


Power rating: 68.4 (26th)
Avg. simulation wins: 63.7
Playoff %: 0.0 | Title %: 0.0

Why they will subtract at the deadline: The Juan Soto buzz was muted by GM Mike Rizzo’s declaration that he won’t be traded. Still, there are many Nationals fans who will be holding their breath until Soto inks an extension. The Nationals are not a factor in this year’s playoff race, and the rest of the season is about taking strides for 2023. Soto aside, the Nationals have a chance to move a couple of alluring hitters in Josh Bell and Nelson Cruz. Bell is enticing for a team trying to balance a strikeout-heavy offense.


Power rating: 66.1 (27th)
Avg. simulation wins: 61.8
Playoff %: 0.0 | Title %: 0.0

Why they will subtract at the deadline: The Royals have been really bad this season. It’s not a long-term disaster, as long as the pre-arbitration players they’ve been collecting develop. That’s really got to be the focus — finishing off the development of their youngest major leaguers and those ready to soon join them from the minors. Meanwhile, get what you can for Andrew Benintendi and Zack Greinke, and also think real hard about what you might do with Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield. Find a taker for Carlos Santana, or let him go. It’s time to go as young as you can get. Things can hardly get worse.


Power rating: 65.3 (28th)
Avg. simulation wins: 66.5
Playoff %: 0.4 | Title %: 0

Why they will subtract at the deadline: It’s been a disheartening season for a Tigers team that thought this was their year for climbing back into contention. After a solid stretch starting in mid-May, the losses piled up again and the player news keeps getting worse. Detroit needs to get what it can for its pending free agents — Michael Fulmer, Tucker Barnhart, Robbie Grossman, Michael Pineda — and gear up to run it back next year. If Spencer Torkelson can get it going, Riley Greene can push up to the majors and Javier Baez has a positive finish, the Tigers can salvage that much out of this disappointment.


Power rating: 64.1 (29th)
Avg. simulation wins: 64.3
Playoff %: 0.1 | Title %: 0

Why they will subtract at the deadline: For a while there, the Pirates were outplaying their bottom-basement run differential, and in a soft division, well … no. It’s another long season in the works in Pittsburgh but one that has some positive vibes. Ke’Bryan Hayes looks like a budding All-Star and Pittsburgh is well into the process of getting younger and more talented overall. Oneil Cruz is on the way, likely soon. Pittsburgh can listen to offers for resurgent starter Jose Quintana, and they’ve developed a star closer in David Bednar, whom they don’t have to move. The same is true of Bryan Reynolds. Want him? Prove it.


Power rating: 64.0 (30th)
Avg. simulation wins: 59.6
Playoff %: 0 | Title %: 0

Why they will subtract at the deadline: After an early false spring, the A’s have been possibly the majors’ worst team. The A’s will move players at the deadline because they still have some decent veterans they didn’t get around to moving during their offseason purge. Teams like the Brewers and Phillies should be clamoring for outfielder Ramon Laureano. And every contender should be ringing Oakland’s proverbial phone off the hook in pursuit of starter Frankie Montas, who can start a Game 1 in an October series if you need him to. Then, after the deadline, things will be very quiet at RingCentral Coliseum. Very, very quiet.



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