Demise of the NL East

What looked like MLB's strongest division is now the weakest

Updated: May 27, 2013, 10:10 AM ET
By Paul Swydan | ESPN Insider

Flash back to the start of 2012. The Philadelphia Phillies were coming off the best regular season in team history, the Atlanta Braves had finished one game away from a wild-card spot, the Washington Nationals were on the verge and the Miami Marlins had a roster infused with big-ticket free agents. In short, the National League East was a division with which to be reckoned.

Fast forward to today, and the NL East has more of a claim to the worst division in baseball than the best. Only the Braves find themselves in the top 15 of the ESPN Power Rankings this week, a sharp contrast to the beginning of 2012.