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Five teams that need to make a deal

Jul 30, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

Everyone can get better at the deadline. But who needs it the most?

There are no teams that are 100% happy with where they stand right now and everyone can improve. And while some teams on the margins of the playoff race may need the most improvement, the following five teams are the ones who could and should do something to preserve their playoff hopes and dreams between now and the trading deadline tomorrow afternoon:

1. Atlanta Braves:  They just watched the Phillies add an ace pitcher and call up a young stud prospect. In a few weeks they’ll get their all-world second baseman back. Meanwhile, the Braves have been struggling and continue to run out an outfield consisting of Jason Heyward, a can of sliced pears and belly button lint.  If they want to stand pat, great, stand pat. Just don’t expect to win the NL East doing it.  Josh Willingham would be a great pickup for them, but it’s doubtful the Nats would deal in the division. Luke Scott? Jim Edmonds? Cody Ross?

2. St. Louis Cardinals: They may have a nice big three in Carpenter, Wainwright and Garcia, but you need a competent four or five to make the playoffs if you’re in a tight race.  Their interest in Oswalt was not just a ploy for postseason dominance: things fall off precipitously after those three.  They could use a starter. Jake Westbrook anyone?

3. Chicago White Sox: The stuff this morning about the Chisox wanting to trade Edwin Jackson and actually keep him makes no sense to me. They want — and need — a big bopper like Adam Dunn, and the White Sox should flip Jackson for him if the deal with Arizona goes down. I’m inclined to believe that’s their real plan anyway, and the talk of keeping Jackson is designed to make the Nationals feel like they have less leverage than they really do.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers: Like the Cardinals, the Dodgers have a couple of good starters at the front end of the rotation and a black hole at the back end. Can they take on any payroll at all?  Can they pry Ted Lilly away from the Cubs? They should certainly try.

5. New York Yankees: Surprising? Sure, because they’re the best team in baseball. But the Yankees’ have two big enemies, and I’m not talking about the Red Sox and the Rays: complacency and injuries. They could insure against both of those with a deal right now. The Bombers are talking big about wanting to use the DH slot to rest Old Men Posada, Rodriguez and Jeter down the stretch, but maybe they should get in on the Adam Dunn thing between now and tomorrow, no?  Also, while I think Joba Chamberlain will be fine over the long term, it may not be the worst plan in the world for them to pick up a reliever like Scott Downs (at least if his price comes down).

Will any of these teams make a move? I’d say only two probably will, with my guess being the White Sox and the Yankees.  But rust never sleeps, my friends, and any team that thinks the status quo is just dandy right now risks watching the playoffs from their rumpus room come October. 

  1. CJ - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    I’d be stunned if the Braves don’t do something to add an everyday outfielder that can actually hit on a semi-consistent basis.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Not surprised at all that you mention the Universe.Judging by past performance, particularly during the “complete control” mode that Brian Cashman has had for the last few years, I would be surprised if there wasn;t a swoop in tomorrow. And Adam Dunn it might be. Let’s try a little more offense particularly with (blasphemy coming) Jeter not having shall we call it a career year.
    FAT TOAD aside (and put him aside, please) Park is another on-and-off and we can’t wait forever for Aceves. Don’t think Downs is worth it, but what the heck we’ve just saved half a billion in inheritance taxes.Still plenty for Cliff Lee over the winter and we’re not talkin’ next year we need to go 40-21 now.
    After all…….we’re not the Metropolitans here.

  3. Old Gator - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Hard to imagine the Feesh unloading Cody Ross to the Bravos or to anyone within their division for a less than overwhelming offer as long as the Tamerlane of Tightwads persists in his delusion that this team can take it or reach the wild card as currently constituted. The prospective enamorata would almost certainly have to offer a top-rated pitching prospect who would shore up the Feesh’s postapocalyptic impact zone AKA the boolpen, a handful of frisky EYPs and a hefty dose of Scrooge McLoria’s favorite performance enhancing drug, cash.
    That said, it looks like the Bravos are returning to reality while the Feelies are doing whatever they need to do to seize the division lead. That Atlanta writer who asked rhetorically if it was time to panic when the Oswalt trade was (blessedly) consummated and said not yet will have to revise his answer to “yep” if the Feelies bus doesn’t go off a cliff and the Bravos don’t find themselves some impact outfield bats before tomorrow afternoon.

  4. Old Gator - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    I must say, we’ve come a long way since “Joba Rules,” haven’t we? Looking back on those days, one feels a bit like the scout for the Donner Party taking a last look back over the prairie before pressing on into the pass.
    Incidentally, my own pet fat toad, a local invasive plague species (Bufo marinus) that was released here by the sugar farmers to eat a beetle it wouldn’t eat, would have been in paradise out there on the mound in Cleveland and would merely have gotten fatter while at least ridding the field of those stupid bugs at the same time. All Joba did was soak up another per diem.

  5. Al - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Making a move can also ruin team chemistry. In the Yankees case they are 29 games over 500 and don’t need to do anything that will disrupt team chemistry!

  6. Old Gator - Jul 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Well, it’s not like the Borg is a saltwater aquarium like that monstrosity Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua are planning to install behind home plate at the rapidly metastasizing Macondo Banana Massacre Field. You know what a saltwater fishtank is like: let the PH wobble a bit either way – a quarter of a teaspoon full of sea salt too much or too little will do it – and it’s tits-up across the board and time to head back to the aquarium shop to blow another $300-spot on next month’s mass die-off. There are enough solid, sane vets on the Borg who can assimilate a little idiosyncrasy here and there, and they’re all being mind-controlled from the front office anyway. We’re not talking about Cashman being insane enough to trade for Milton Bradley or Carlos Zambrano.

  7. Professor Longnose - Jul 30, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    I’d like to see the Yankees get Mike Lowell.

  8. Ari Collins - Jul 30, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Every deadline I hope my Sox will make a deal with the Yankees. It would just be so neat! Hasn’t happened since the 80s I think.

  9. YankeesfanLen - Jul 30, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    The best team chemistry we could have would be to study the effects of a gatorade bucket containing sulfuric acid ov the FAT TOAD.

  10. Fernando - Jul 30, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Lowell? To what? A one-day contract so he can retire as a Yankee?

  11. Schneebly - Jul 30, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    That Jerry Hairston trade remains unheralded, yet here the Oppressors are needing a professional every-man again. Wafts of versatile douchitude curl betwixt the meaty temples of Ty Wigginton and the bar-code pinstripes of the Borg.
    Make it happen, universe, to the sounds of my renewed Booooooooooooo.

  12. Fernando - Jul 30, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    Schneebly – To that end, the Yankees have inquired on Willie Bloomquist. The price is a more reasonable.

  13. char in miami - Jul 30, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    the yankees don’t need mike lowell – now or ever. they have more than enough useless players now and don’t need one ready to retire from old age and injuries. what they need are PITCHERS. and a complete dispersal of the bullpen of their relievers. specifically joba chamberlain, marte, mitre, logan, and possibly even robertson.
    i’m not that impressed with curtis, pena, or thames either but at least they are a known evil with known limitations.

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