Tuesday, July 05, 2005The Semi-Hot Corner (#3)
So we'll start with the AL East.
1) Boston -- Well the Red Sox acquire a top 10 pitcher in Curt Schilling already. Otherwise I would expect them to make a trade for some extra bullpen help and possibly some speed on the bench. Otherwise there are few weaknesses on the team outside of Keith Foulke.
2) Baltimore -- The Orioles need a legit starter and they will get Javy Lopez back. Can a starter stop the slide? There won't be a "stopper" available, but what about a middle rotation guy like Joe Kennedy? At best the Orioles can find a younger starter or two to build for a run in 2006. Steve Kline will probably get dealt to an NL team.
3) N.Y. Yankees -- They can't do much outside of the trade they made with the Padres. They don't have parts anyone wants (well there's A-Rod and Sheffield) and no one is lining up to take the 15-19 million dollar contracts of Kevin Brown and Mike Mussina.
4) Toronto -- The Blue Jays are in a better position than the Yankees because they've got some semblance of a farm system. They will be pushing for a starter to supplement Roy Halladay. Being only 5.5 games out, they are contenders.
5) Tampa Bay -- Teams will look to the Rays for Aubrey Huff, who is a powerful bat, and probably Danys Baez along with anyone else. The Rays will trade anyone except for Carl Crawford, Scott Kazmir, Rocco Baldelli and Jorge Cantu.
1) Chicago White Sox -- When you are 30 games over .500 and nine games up on the Twins, you don't make many drastic moves. Expect the White Sox to make safe moves not to disrupt the roster and team chemistry. They will look for infield and outfield bench help.
2) Minnesota -- With such a delicate payroll the Twins will look for guys in the final years of their contracts. Another team that will search for bullpen help.
3) Cleveland -- The Indians are challenging for the wild card. Can they get a big-time slugger for the outfield? They will be looking at Huff and they've got the system to make an attractive deal.
4) Detroit -- The Tigers already traded for Placido Polanco to solidify the infield. If someone wants Jason Johnson, they can have him as the Tigers are loaded with good pitching in the farms. There will be some offers for Dmitri Young, but it'll be tough for the Tigers to part with their clubhouse leader and one of the few guys who kept the organization afloat through their darkest times.
5) Kansas City -- Mike Sweeney is going to be shipped more than likely. Probably to an NL wanna-be contender, maybe the Cubs, maybe the Mets. Otherwise Matt Stairs, Terrance Long, Angel Barroa, Jose Lima, Matt McDougal, etc. etc. will find new addresses. Sad thing for a town with such great sports fans eager to support a winner or at least a team with a chance to win.
1) Los Angeles -- Yeah, I'm calling them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, don't like it? Stop me. :) Far as I'm concerned once they stopped being the California Angels it doesn't matter. With Orlando Cabrera, Tim Salmon and Steve Finley on the DL, I would expect them to get a bat-for-hire. Whatever they need, ownership will get.
2) Texas -- Good news is they are only a starting pitcher or two from a consistent playoff team, the bad news is there's no starting pitching out there. But rest assured they will be looking and will probably be looking for a pitching for the next few years given the unsure status of Kenny Rogers.
3) Oakland -- Well Barry Zito is the name. From Cy Young to trade bait. He's available but it won't be cheap. So Oakland will only deal with teams that can give them everyday players in return. So the entire NL East, St. Louis, Los Angeles Dodgers and others will be in the fight. I doubt they will trade Zito to an AL team.
4) Seattle -- The kids are all right! So what about the adults. Want bullpen help? Well Eddie Guardado and Jeff Nelson can be had. How about a starter? Maybe Jamie Moyer, definitely Aaron Sele. Anything is possible. Want to save the Mariners from a headache? Adrian Beltre could probably be had too. :). Seattle will be getting a LOT of phone calls in the next few weeks.
Tomorrow I'll hit the NL.