Peter Christian, Soxman and Paul M. Banks break down what each MLB contender needs to make the play-offs
Trade Rumors begin to heat up as the MLB trade deadline approaches.Â The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 31. Until then teams may trade players freely without having to go through the waiver process.
The first week out of the All-Star break will be key to the Deviâ€¦ ahem I mean, Rays willingness to make a move at the deadline. Less than two weeks ago the Rays had the best record in baseball and a 5 game lead over the Red Sox, showing they have the ability to get hot and put it together for a good run, but 7 straight losses into the break display the streakiness of their youth. There is little doubt that they can get hot again but what do they have to do to ensure they donâ€™t get too cold and fall apart? A veteran not named Cliff Floyd could help the clubhouse with bench power as well as be a guiding force for the youngsters that are currently carrying this team. There is also a little concern as to whether the Rays bullpen can hold up for the entire season. The good news is they have the most talent-filled farm system of all major league clubs (7 of Baseball America â€™s Top 100 Prospects are property of the Rays) and they have plenty of pitching depth within the system. They could roll the dice and give one up for a veteran presence either on the bench or in the bullpen and make a solid run or they could simply play out the season and reload for next season with another year under the young teamâ€™s belt. Do not be surprised if Edwin Jackson gets mentioned as being on the block or one of their pitching prospects not named David Price (Jake McGee, Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann).
They need a big bat in their line-up and have the prospects and payroll to pull it off.Â Their bullpen could also use bolstering with Troy Percival often injured.Â You could see them go after Adam Dunn or address both of their needs by trading for Brian Fuentes and Matt Holliday.Â They are in the middle of the pack in most offensive categories.
What a difference a name change makes. Last year they wear the Devil Rays, suffering through another season of ineptitude that matched every other year of their short pathetic history. Then they changed to the â€œRaysâ€ and quicker than a ray of light they became the sunshine of my life for the people of Floridaâ€™s Gulf Coast. With their stocked farm system, the future indeed looks like luminescent. Especially if a couple of the other highly regarded prospects fast track their way to the show just like Evan Longoria did. The #3 overall draft pick in 2006 became an American League All-Star this season. That said, if there is one club I would predict to certainly stand pat at the deadline, itâ€™s this squad. They have too much future potential to ruin things by mortgaging it off, and they are also too small-market (lacking in fiscal resources) to be excessively aggressive in buying any rent-a-players.
–Paul M. Banks
Last Thursday- Red Sox
Last Friday- Yankees
Sun- White Sox
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