CineSport—Do the Yankees need to make a deal before the MLB trade deadline? CineSport's Noah Coslov and Sporting News' Stan McNeal discuss this, Ben Sheets' return to the majors and the struggling Mets.
Despite a few key injuries, the Yankees are sitting pretty with the best record in baseball as the trade deadline approaches. They have no glaring needs and look to be helped out more by players already on the team (who are currently on the DL), rather than getting outside assistance.
The Yankees’ bullpen has been a huge strength for the team so far this season and it will only improve when David Aardsma and Joba Chamberlain return. Rafael Soriano has been nearly perfect in save chances since Mariano Rivera went down with a torn ACL and the rest of the bullpen has followed suit.
One area that the Yankees are looking to improve is their outfield. They are optimistic that Brett Gardner will return this season, but another corner outfielder, especially one that would bring an element of speed to the team, would be quite beneficial. The Phillies’ Shane Victorino is someone who the Yankees have targeted.
The Braves sit atop the Wild Card standings but are right behind Washington for the lead in the NL East. Their offense has been solid all year, but their pitching could definitely use a boost. More quality starts from Ben Sheets, who reemerged out of nowhere, will help the club, but they could use even more starting pitching reinforcement as well.
The Minnesota Twins have been shopping lefty Francisco Liriano and many teams have shown interest, the Braves being one of those teams. Aces Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke have been the target of trade rumors as well.
The St. Louis Cardinals are in the thick of both the NL Central and Wild Card races and are looking for pitching help to get them to the next level. While they would jump at the opportunity to trade for Hamels and Greinke, they are more realistically interested in acquiring someone like James Shields. The Rays would ask for a lot for Shields, but the Cardinals do have some young position players that the Rays crave. The Cardinals are in need of a starter after Chris Carpenter went down for the season yet again.
After winning the NL West crown last year, the Diamondbacks are looking like sellers at the deadline this season and OF Justin Upton is the biggest trade chip that they have. They are looking to acquire a 3B or SS for the future and teams have been showing interest.
The surprising Pittsburgh Pirates have been strongly linked to Upton, which would make the team an immediate contender in the National League. The Pirates don’t have the 3B or SS prospects that the Diamondbacks want, but they do still have many attractive trade chips such as pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.
This is make-or-break time for the teams in MLB purgatory. Do they become sellers and hoard prospects or do they trade prospects for players that will put the team in playoff contention? GMs around the league will be asking themselves exactly that up until the July 31st trade deadline.