Seattle Mariners

John McGrath’s Major League Baseball rankings for July 20, 2014

1. Oakland A’s (1): Their 59 wins before the break were most in franchise history, but A’s are facing a second-half dogfight.

2. Los Angeles Angels (2): Angels filled their wish list by trading for closer Huston Street.

3. Detroit Tigers (3): Victor Martinez is back, but is his back back?

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (4): Comparisons of Clayton Kershaw to Sandy Koufax aren’t hyperbole.

5. Washington Nationals (7): Former Mariners reliever Rafael Soriano anchoring stellar bullpen.

6. San Francisco Giants (10): GM Brian Sabean never has been shy about engineering trade-deadline deals.

7. Atlanta Braves (8): No surprise Dan Uggla got suspended (and then DFA’d) for showing up late last week. The surprise was, somebody noticed Uggla’s absence.

8. Baltimore Orioles (6): Challenging post-break road trip against A’s, Angels and Mariners will test O’s mettle.

9. Milwaukee Brewers (5): Shades of “Harvey’s Wallbangers,” circa 1982: Five hitters had more than 40 RBIs at the break.

10: St. Louis Cardinals (9): Adam Wainwright’s admission that he grooved All-Star Game pitch to Derek Jeter proof that honesty is the best policy, except when it isn’t.

11. Seattle Mariners (11): Time to clean up: Beginning Monday, M’s looking at 31-game stretch outside “Group of Death” AL West.

12. Cincinnati Reds (12): How cool is All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier? He uses Sinatra for his walk-up music, that’s how cool.

13. Kansas City Royals (13): Eight-year vet Billy Butler on pace to finish with career worsts in every offensive category.

14. Pittsburgh Pirates (14): Utility man extraordinaire Josh Harrison has played left field, right field, third base, second base and shortstop — and he can pitch in a pinch.

15. Toronto Blue Jays (15): Jays’ all-or-nothing-at-all reliance on long ball makes them prone to streaks, both hot and cold.

16. New York Yankees (16): Everybody’s sick of the Jeter retirement story, but that Nike tip-of-the-cap commercial is terrific.

17. Cleveland Indians (17): Double-A shortstop Francisco Lindor looking like long-term replacement for presumptive free agent Asdrubal Cabrera.

18. New York Mets (21): Third baseman David Wright made his MLB debut with the Mets 10 years ago Monday.

19. Minnesota Twins (20): Starter Ricky Nolasco, who signed the largest free-agent deal in team history, leads the league in one category: most runs allowed.

20: Chicago White Sox (19): Jose Abreu has a decent chance to break Mark McGwire’s rookie homer record of 49.

21. Miami Marlins (18): Giancarlo Stanton lost the Home Run Derby at Target Field, but his 510-foot blast won the crowd.

22. Philadelphia Phillies (22): Hard to believe Phils began season with franchise-record $180 million payroll.

23. San Diego Padres (23): And even harder to believe Fox’s All-Star telecast failed to mention the late Tony Gwynn.

24. Boston Red Sox (25): Only drama looming for Sox in second half will be figuring how to hang onto impending free agent starter Jon Lester.

25. Tampa Bay Rays (24): A national holiday might be in order if Rays finally decide whether to keep or trade ace David Price.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks (26): Their five-man rotation on opening day is down to lefty Wade Miley.

27. Houston Astros (28): Negotiations to sign high school pitcher Brady Aiken, the No. 1 overall draft pick, turned ugly early.

28. Colorado Rockies (30): Memo to owner Dick Monfort: Sometimes it’s best to get a good night’s sleep before clicking “send.”

29: Chicago Cubs (27): Because of trade with A’s, Cubs began weekend with only three starting pitchers on their roster.

30: Texas Rangers (29): With season in dump, attention turning to Double-A thumper Joey Gallo, slugging star of Futures Game.

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