Old School – Analyzing the MLB Trade Deadline (American League)

Old School – Analyzing the MLB Trade Deadline (American League)

With the MLB trade deadline fast approaching (July 31, 4 p.m. EST), I thought it would be a good time to take a look at every team in baseball and see if they should be buyers or sellers and figure out what each team should do. Yesterday, we took a look at the National League. Today, it’s the American League’s turn.

Records/Stats shown were current as of Thursday afternoon.

Baltimore Orioles (51-47) 3rd AL East, 2.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Call to Arms

What should they do?

The Orioles have had a surprising season, leading the AL East the first couple of months, but since then, they have come back down to earth. If they could add an arm to the starting rotation, maybe Matt Garza from the Cubs, they might find themselves competing in September for their first appearance in the playoffs since Cal Ripken Jr.

Boston Red Sox (49-50) 4th AL East, 5.0 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Youth Movement

What should they do?

Trade some of the old guard who can bring in some prospects. The Sox are still in reasonable distance to get a Wild Card spot, but once they decided to trade Youkilis in favor of playing youngster Will Middlebrooks, they signaled that their youth movement was underway. Trading Josh Beckett would be a good idea, and they shouldn’t rule out trading Carl Crawford either. I don’t think we will see Big Papi go anywhere though. That would suck the life out of Red Sox fans.

Chicago White Sox (53-45) 1st AL Central (tie)

Mode: Buyers

What should they do?

The Sox have already traded for reliever Brett Meyers and third baseman Kevin Youkilis, so I’m not sure if they will make any more moves. Though since they have already made one deal with the other Sox (Red), they might as well see what the asking price is for some of their older talent, especially Josh Beckett.

Cleveland Indians (49-49) 3rd NL Central, 4.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Flip a Coin

What should they do?

The Indians are right at .500 and within decent distance of a Wild Card spot. But, the pitching staff has been pretty poor outside of closer Chris Perez. And it’s hard to tell whether or not the Indians are a real contender this year. Derek Lowe may bring back some decent prospects from a team desperate for starting pitching. They should be open to many kinds of deals in the next week.

Detroit Tigers (53-45) 1st AL Central (tie)

Mode: Find Another Ace

What should they do?

The Tigers have talent on offense, in the bullpen, and in one starting pitcher, Justin Verlander. If they can trade for another top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher to go along with him, the Tigers will be deadly. I’m sure Tigers fans would love to see Zack Greinke in a Tigers uniform.

Kansas City Royals (41-56) 4th AL Central, 12.0 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Remember the All-Star Game

What should they do?

Royals fans will always have the highlight of hosting the All-Star game and booing Robinson Cano. This team is young and has a lot of potential, but it won’t be realized this season. If they can get some decent prospects for older guys like Jeff Francoeur of Bruce Chen, they should take the deal.

Los Angeles Angels (54-45) 3rd NL West, 2nd AL Wild Card

Mode: Keep Fishin’

What should they do?

A Trout named Mike sparked their season turnaround as they are playing as well as they looked on paper in the preseason. If they could add a big arm to the bullpen, maybe take a chance that Heath Bell will pitch better being back in California, Angel fans can expect a playoff appearance.

Minnesota Twins (40-58) 4th NL East, 13.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Move In The Fences

What should they do?

Joe Mauer has only hit 7 home runs at Target Field since it opened in 2010. Seriously, it’s time to move the fences in for the face of the franchise. It helped David Wright when the Mets moved their fences in, and it certainly could help Mr. Head and Shoulders.

New York Yankees (59-39) 1st AL East

Mode: Collect Every Superstar That’s Ever Played Baseball

What should they do?

They just got Ichiro! The Yankees have A-Rod, Jeter, CC, Pettitte, Mariano, Tex, Cano, Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Curtis Granderson and now Ichiro! I’m just waiting on them to sign up Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, the corpse of Babe Ruth and every other legendary baseball figure to be on their roster. The Yankees can make all of the moves they want for big superstar players, but it’s only brought one World Series title since 2000. So we’ll see if Ichiro was actually the missing piece.

Oakland Athletics (53-44) 2nd AL West, 1st AL Wild Card

Mode: Ride the Wave

What should they do?

The A’s have only lost two games the entire month of July. They are probably hoping this month never ends. You would think their momentum will fade at some point, but I think they will definitely have a good run at a Wild Card spot. This is a franchise that once won 20 games in a row. You can’t put anything past them. I think they should boost their offense by trading for some guys who were once too expensive to re-sign in the early 2000’s; Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi. The Giambino can provide some pop of the bench, and Damon could provide some speed, defense, and an interesting personality to the clubhouse. And while we’re at it, let’s get Miguel Tejada back on the A’s too.

Seattle Mariners (43-57) Last NL West, 11.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Shop King Felix

What should they do?

Felix Hernandez is about the only reason to go see the Mariners play at Safeco field now that Ichiro is gone, but if there is a team that will tempt them will enough prospects that can make them a more complete ball club in the future, they should take it.

Tampa Bay Rays (51-47) 3rd AL East, 2.5 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Grow Sideburns

What should they do?

They should all grow sideburns like Luke Scott. It can be the rallying point they need to make the playoffs. The Charlotte Hornets once all donned headbands to upset the Miami Heat in the 2000 NBA playoffs. Maybe sideburns are the key to the Rays season. They also just traded for “Tat-Man” Ryan Roberts, so maybe tattoos and sideburns…

Texas Rangers (58-39) 1st AL West

Mode: Focus

What should they do?

The Rangers are having another phenomenal regular season, with the second best record in the American League. Josh Hamilton will likely test free agency at the end of the year, so if reporters start asking questions about after the baseball season, the guys in the clubhouse can’t let it be a distraction. The Rangers have been to the World Series the past two seasons and lost. They can’t let any little thing turn them into the Buffalo Bills of baseball.

Toronto Blue Jays (48-49) Last AL East, 5.0 games back of a Wild Card spot

Mode: Swap divisions with someone

What should they do?

Every year the Blue Jays are competitive enough to hover around .500, but never make a strong run at the AL East division or even a Wild Card spot. At this point, they should negotiate a deal with Bud Selig to get them in another division. The Braves were once in the National League West. Maybe Toronto could go out there?