Jul 31, 2015, 10:06 AM EDT
Here is a look at Major League Baseball with analysis from Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman and Nationals writer Chase Hughes:
30. Phillies – Zuckerman: (LW: 30) Kudos to them for finally doing what had to be done and trading Hamels and Papelbon.
29. Rockies – Zuckerman: (LW: 27) If you’re going to trade away the face of your franchise, better get sure things for him. Did they?
28. Marlins – Zuckerman: (LW: 29) They can’t even pull off their bi-annual salary dumps without looking like a train wreck.
27. Brewers – Zuckerman: (LW: 28) The state of Carlos Gomez’s hip over the next two months will be a fascinating thing to watch.
26. Red Sox – Hughes: (LW: 26) Boston has been relatively quiet, despite many speculating they would trade off some of their players. It will be an interesting offseason for the Sox.
25. Athletics – Hughes: (LW: 25) The A’s have already traded Tyler Clippard and Scott Kazmir, but they have plenty of trade chips to deal throughout August.
24. Braves – Zuckerman: (LW: 19) Really positioning themselves for something in 2017. Maybe even 2016.
23. Mariners – Hughes: (LW: 24) Seattle traded former No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley this week, he was picked second after Stephen Strasburg in 2009.
22. Indians – Hughes: (LW: 17) It has been a tough summer for Cleveland sports fans and now the Browns are just getting started.
21. Reds – Zuckerman: (LW: 23) Pretty good haul for Cincinnati in the Johnny Cueto deal. Had to be done.
20. Padres – Zuckerman: (LW: 22) Hey, remember when San Diego was declared champion of the offseason? That was fun.
19. Tigers – Hughes: (LW: 15) The Tigers have let go of Max Scherzer, David Price and Doug Fister in recent years, but they still have Justin Verlander (4.61 ERA last two seasons).
18. Rangers – Hughes: (LW: 18) Pairing Cole Hamels with Yu Darvish could give them the best 1-2 punch in baseball if Greinke leaves L.A.
17. Diamondbacks – Zuckerman: (LW: 20) Better than you realize, but not good enough to make a run this season.
16. Rays – Hughes: (LW: 14) Tampa may be left behind with other teams in the AL East adding pieces at the deadline. Next year, though, they could be a force.
15. White Sox – Hughes: (LW: 21) As bad as things have seemed for Chicago, if they finish over .500 it should be seen as a step in the right direction after they won only 73 games in 2014.
14. Orioles – Hughes: (LW: 16) Wouldn’t be surprised if the Orioles add several pieces after the non-waiver trade deadline in August.
13. Mets – Zuckerman: (LW: 13) Couldn’t close down a trade Wednesday night. Couldn’t close down a win Thursday afternoon.
12. Blue Jays – Hughes: (LW: 12) They just added two of the best players in baseball in Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, but their pitching staff still looks weak overall.
11. Twins – Hughes: (LW: 11) It’s interesting that the Twins are not as active as others in trade rumors. They could use another starter.
10. Cubs – Zuckerman: (LW: 8) Jon Lester: 1.66 ERA in July. Starting to pitch like the the guy Cubs thought he’d be.
9. Angels – Hughes: (LW: 5) Good to see Mike Trout return to the Angels lineup. Looks to have avoided a scare with his wrist injury.
8. Nationals – Zuckerman: (LW: 7) If everybody plays nice, Janssen-Storen-Papelbon could make for a dominant bullpen trio.
7. Giants – Zuckerman: (LW: 10) Just quietly lurking around, positioning themselves to sneak into October again and hope for magic.
6. Astros – Hughes: (LW: 9) I really like the move to go and get Scott Kazmir. The fact he’s from Houston makes for a cool story.
5. Yankees – Hughes: (LW: 6) The Yankees probably don’t need to add anything, as they are in first place and look like the class of the AL East.
4. Dodgers – Zuckerman: (LW: 4) They didn’t land another ace, but they already have two. And Latos and Wood will help plenty.
3. Pirates – Zuckerman: (LW: 3) A.J. Burnett: 10.13 ERA since All-Star break. Just a blip, or is he turning back into a pumpkin?
2. Royals – Hughes: (LW: 2) Have to love their trades to bring in Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. Kansas City is all-in and they should be.
1. Cardinals – Zuckerman: (LW: 1) Brandon Moss is a nice pickup, but he’s no Matt Holliday. That’s a big loss for St. Louis.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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THU: 2:30 p.m.
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SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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