With the MLB trade deadline looming, many struggling teams look to dump salary. Part three
Will Adam Dunn be with a contending team by the end of July?
With now less than one week remaining until the MLB trade deadline, a number of teams will be looking to supplement their rosters for the late season pennant drive, and a number of teams will be actively involved in trading players who are not involved in their future plans.
In the first two parts of our series, we looked at some of the teams who would be classified as “sellers”, teams who will be looking to move players off their roster, clearing the way to call up Minor League players to continue their development, or to clear larger salaries off their payrolls.
On the other side of the coin, there are definitely teams who will be “buyers”. Teams who are still in contention for a playoff spot who are clearly looking to bolster their rosters for the stretch run, and put themselves into a position to enter the playoffs in early October with a head of steam.
In part three of our series, we look at those teams who will clearly be in a “buying” mode.
New York Yankees: For the better part of the last fifteen years, you could clearly classify the Yankees as buyers, and this year is no exception. Having already made a play to go after Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, and losing out to the Texas Rangers, the Yankees have already shown they are ready to upgrade their roster, in spite of having the best record in Major League Baseball.
The player most often linked to the Yankees in trade talks the last few days has been Arizona Diamondbacks SP Dan Haren. Haren, who has been remarkably consistent over the past 3 seasons, has struggled this season with the woeful Diamondbacks, sporting a 7-8 record and a 4.60 ERA. A change of venue, especially to a contending team, would probably do wonders for the young right-hander.
Atlanta Braves: At the beginning of this season, there weren’t many experts who would have guessed that the Braves would be buyers at the trade deadline. However, the Braves are 5 1/2 games in front of the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East division, and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
They have already taken steps to improve their offense, acquiring SS Alex Gonzalez in an exchange of shortstops with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Jays receiving Yunel Escobar. Gonzales, who has more home runs, doubles and total bases than any other shortstop in MLB, has fit in well thus far with the Braves, hitting safely in six of his first seven games there.
the Boston Herald has reported that the Braves have had scouts watching Florida Marlins OF Cody Ross, and are prepared to deal for him. Ross would certainly provide added punch to the middle of the Braves’ lineup.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals, currently in a statistical dead heat with the Cincinnati Reds atop the National League Central division, are poised for a dogfight that could go to the last days of the season with the Reds. To that end, they are clearly shopping for the services of several players.
Houston Astros SP Roy Oswalt is one of those players. Oswalt, who is attempting to break the Astros all-time wins record held by Joe Niekro, would possibly join a Cardinals’ pitching rotation that is already one of the best in the majors (Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia). The fact that Oswalt is 23-2 lifetime against the division rival Reds certainly doesn’t hurt.
Chicago White Sox: The Sox have not only played themselves into contention, they are leading the American League Central division by 2 games over the Detroit Tigers. The white hot Sox are a baseball best 29-10 since June 8, and are clearly looking to add some offense.
The Sox have inquired into the services of Washington Nationals 1B/OF Adam Dunn, and discussions have been ongoing for several weeks. In the past few days, Milwaukee Brewers 1BPrince Fielder, whose contract expires at the end of this season, has also been rumored to be headed to Chicago. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the price for either player would be expensive, as the Nationals and Brewers would be looking for Sox 2B Gordon Beckham in return, and possibly a starting pitcher as well.
In the final part of our series, Part Four, we will examine several more teams that will be looking to purchase key additions to their respective ball clubs that will help bolster their chances of making the playoffs.
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