The trading deadline is nearing and while the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers are set to unload (both have already made moves) the other teams in the Central may be looking to add. With three of the best teams in baseball in the division here is a look at the Central power rankings after 16 weeks.
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5. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds finished the week a three and four record, but the team’s biggest news of the week was the trading of ace Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals. While the trade looks like it will hurt them in the short term, adding three lefty arms with upside will be big for the future in Cincinnati. With plenty of moveable pieces still on the roster, this move should not be their last.
This upcoming week the Reds will have a very tough stretch as they go to St. Louis for three before taking on the Pirates at home for four to close out the week.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
Just like the Reds the Brewers made a big move looking towards a rebuild, as they sent Aramis Ramirez back to the Pittsburgh Pirates. While they were not able to add big pieces like the Reds were, they still got a nice return for a player with an expiring contract. Though they went just two and four on the week, their exciting young arms of Jimmy Nelson and Taylor Jungmann have continued to find success. With Wily Peralta set to return to the rotation and plenty of interest in players like Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gomez, expect a new look to the roster heading into August.
The Brewers continue their west coast trip with three games against the Giants before heading home for a four game series with the Cubs this upcoming weekend.
3. Chicago Cubs
The schedule was favorable for the Cubs this past week, but they went just two and five including being swept in a three game series by the lowly Phillies this past weekend. With a young roster and a team that has been rumored in many trade talks, it will be interesting to see which direction they go as the deadline nears.
The Cubs will look to get back on the right track this week as they have the Rockies at home for three before traveling to Milwaukee for a four game weekend series.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (lost two of three to the Royals and then won three of four against the Nationals)
The week started out with a tough series loss to the Kansas City Royals, but then the Pirates were able to finishe the week off by winning three out of four against the Washington Nationals. They upgraded at third by adding Aramis Ramirez and with days left before the deadline the team could get even better.
The Pirates hit the road this week for three game series’ against both the Twins and Reds.
1. St. Louis Cardinals (Reds for three Rockies for four at home)
This week the Cardinals continued to show that they are one of baseball’s best by winning five of six. With Matt Adams out and Mark Reynolds at first, an upgrade at the position for a bat like Adam Lind could be a possibility to make the team even stronger.
This week the Cardinals travel to Cincinnati for three games and then have the Rockies at home for a four game match-up to close out the week.