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MLB Power Rankings: 2016 season outlook

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MLB Power Rankings: 2016 season outlook

SEE THE ENTIRE POWER RANKINGS HERE

By Cam Ellis

With spring training winding down and Opening Day only a little more than a week away, it's almost time for real baseball. Will Bryce Harper win back-to-back MVPs? Will the Diamondbacks' Go-For-It approach actually work? Will the Phillies be absolutely terrible or just kind of terrible? All these questions will start to be answered soon enough. Without further ado, here are this week's MLB Power Rankings:

30. Philadelphia Phillies (LW 29) 

Another year of tanking ahead for the Phils. The idea of watching Maikel Franco and J.P. Crawford at some point softens the blow of another 100-loss season, right? Right?! 

29. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 30) 

They were 30 last week, 29 this week. Is there any difference? Not really. The Bengals report to camp in July sometime. 

28. Colorado Rockies (LW: 28) 

Denver just got like 20 inches of snow this week, so Denver residents should go hit the slopes one last time. The Rockies will still be here, losing, when you get back. 

27. Atlanta Braves (LW: 26)

The Braves will not be good or fun to watch this year, but thanks in part to an overzealous Diamondbacks team that apparently REALLY wanted Shelby Miller, Atlanta won't be in the cellar for too long. 

26. Milwaukee Brewers (LW:27)

Jonathan Lucroy was recently quoted saying he was "surprised" he hasn't been traded yet, so that's something. With a stacked farm system already, the Brewers aren't far from relevancy. 

SEE THE ENTIRE POWER RANKINGS HERE

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Ex-Oriole Manny Machado homers off ex-National Gio Gonzalez in NLCS Game 1

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USA Today Sports

Ex-Oriole Manny Machado homers off ex-National Gio Gonzalez in NLCS Game 1

Sure, the Nationals and Orioles didn't make the playoffs, but that didn't stop a "Battle of the Beltways" moment from breaking out during NLCS Game 1.

Ex-National Gio Gonzalez started the game for the Brewers. In the second inning, ex-Oriole Manny Machado stepped to the plate for the Dodgers.

Here's what happened next:

If you squint, you can imagine the ball flying into the Nationals Park bullpen or the Camden Yards bleachers. 

And in case you're wondering, we have indeed entered the Twilight Zone. 

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Nationals get offseason started by acquiring righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Marlins

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USA Today Sports

Nationals get offseason started by acquiring righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Marlins

The Washington Nationals picked up righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Miami in their first offseason move to rebuild the bullpen.

The Nationals said Wednesday that they gave the Marlins international slot value in the deal.

The hard-throwing Barraclough went 1-6 with 4.20 ERA and 10 saves in 17 chances, with 61 appearances this year. He allowed one hit in 36 at-bats in June, when he was chosen NL reliever of the month, but struggled with his command the rest of the season.

Barraclough's ERA ballooned to 10.24 over his final 24 games and he lost the Marlins closer's job.

He has a career ERA of 3.21 with 279 strikeouts and 134 walks in 218 2/3 innings over four seasons, all with Miami.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo is in need of relievers after jettisoning Shawn Kelley and Brandon Kintzler late this season.

The deal helps the Marlins in their pursuit of top international free-agent Victor Victor Mesa, a Cuban outfielder who tried out for major league scouts at Marlins Park last week.

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