Peter Christian, Soxman & 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.
I watched this team blow a late inning four run lead to White Sox from the U.S. Cellular Field press box on Wednesday, and I thought â€œwow this team never changes!â€ They always seem to pound the ball on offense and have laughable pitching. I saw closer C.J. Wilson blow a save as MVP candidate Carlos Quentin took him yard for a go-ahead three run blast. Wilsonâ€™s high 4s ERA is really ugly for a closer, so they should consider acquiring some bullpen help. This team is only a â€œcontenderâ€ because Oakland waved the white flag on the â€˜08 season a few weeks ago. However, if they are to make a serious run at the division or the Wild Card, they need to fill some big pitching gaps (Jason Jennings, Brandon McCarthy, Kason Gabbard all being on the DL doesnâ€™t help) Of course, I donâ€™t know how much hope there truly is for this group. The years that they are in contention, they always seem to wilt down the stretch in the Texas heat. If you want to know why high school football is so huge in Texas and the Dallas Cowboys are (as John Lennon would say) â€œbigger than Jesusâ€ in Texas, look at the pathetic history of this franchise. You can look at the Houston Astrosâ€™ history too, which is slightly better than the Rangersâ€¦because at least they usually tank in October instead of August. So hey donâ€™t the Dillon Panthers start their season soon?
–Paul M. BanksÂ Â
Pitching, pitching, pitching.Â Four All-Star position players combine for 61 home runs, 262 RBIs and a .315 batting average.Â A 5.10 team earned-run average and a 1.58 WHIP. If they decide to make a run, you could see them trade for consistent, lower-end starters like Randy Wolfe or Greg Maddux.Â A.J. Burnett is another possibility.
The fact that Ron Washington still has a job might be the most unbelievable story in the MLB that nobody has mentioned. The reason he still has a job is because the Rangers are actually playing .500 baseball. Their lineup can score runs (nearly 550 on the season, just shy of 5.5 runs/game) but they give up far too many runs (590, 5.9/game) to keep winning at their current pace. The Rangers biggest issue this season has been inconsistencies in the bottom half of the lineup and their pitching staff (which has been injury related). If they can stabilize one or both of those issues they could be a legitimate dark horse contender to make a run at the AL Wild Card. The Rangers easily have the biggest need for pitchers in all of baseball, but they really only have a few pieces to move. The Rangers need to make a decision between Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden as their catcher of the future. With the aging of many big name catchers the Rangers could turn their second choice into an arm or two to add to the bullpen/rotation. However, if the Rangers start to slip in the next week or so, Hank Blalock could be on the block to help attract some prospect depth in the farm system.
Â –Peter Christian
7/17- Red Sox
7/20- White Sox
7/25- Aâ€™s, Rangers
7/26- Phillies, Mets, Marlins
7/29- Dodgers, Diamondbacks