Every year when the trade deadline is approaching, all 30 teams in the Majors are contemplating the rewards and consequences of making a specific trade at the the deadline. For most buyers, they ponder the decision to add to an already good team and possibly ruin the team chemistry or stand pat and ride the season out with their current roster. As for sellers, they determine whether or not trading a player would hinder the team’s chances in the following season. The time around the trade deadline is arguably when General Managers earn their money and reputation. It is where they have the fate of their team in their hands and have decide what to do with it. Some find immediate success, and other wish that they have never pull trigger. With that being said, lets look at three teams that have to make a move at this year’s deadline.
Chicago White Sox: Heading into the all-star break the Chicago White Sox were on an incredible streak winning 25 of their last 30 games. Which boosted them from being 9 games under .500, to being in first place in the AL central by 1 game. However, the are looking like their early season selves again as they have lost 2 out of 3 in Minnesota so far with the fourth game of that series being today. In one of the losses, the Chicago White Sox committed five errors.
The Chicago White Sox also have to deal with the loss of pitcher Jake Peavy, who was a big reason why the White Sox were able to bounce back into contention. For the time being they have called up top pitching prospect Daniel Hudson, who went 4 innings while giving 5 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. The White Sox are expected to let Hudson make at least one more start before they decide if they want to go after a starting pitcher. The White Sox reportedly had strong interest in Cliff Lee before he was traded to Texas, but they balked on a deal after Seattle requested second baseman Gordon Beckham.
Another area where the White Sox may look to get help is by finding a left handed power hitter. The White Sox who are lead offensively by Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, and Carlos Quentin have no true designated hitter in their lineup. The main reason is that manager Ozzie Guillen loves to play small ball and rotates the spot between Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, and Juan Pierre. But that is strategy that General Manager really would not like to use. As, if it were up to him Jim Thome would still be playing for the White Sox this year and not the Twins. As much as Ozzie may not like to admit it, in October, a team usually needs a potent power hitter in order to hit clutch home runs.
Among pitchers the Chicago White Sox are looking at include Arizona’s Dan Haren, Houston’s Roy Oswalt, and the Cub’s Ted Lilly. The Chicago White Sox are only looking at two hitters but they are instant impact players. One is Adam Dunn of the Washington Nationals, and the other is Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers. In my opinion, the Chicago White Sox are going to need another Starter for their rotation. Chicago Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly may be the most attractive given his track record in the American League, and he would not cost as much as Oswalt or Haren. The only reason the White Sox may shy away from Lilly is that Lilly would be a fly ball pitcher in the hitter friendly U.S. Cellular Field.
Minnesota Twins: In order for the Twins to stay in contention and beat out the Tigers and White Sox in their Division, they are going to need to add a starting pitcher.The Twins were always heavily favored to land Cliff Lee, but obviously they were upstaged by the Texas Rangers. The Twins have two quality pitchers in Carlos Pavano and Francisco Liriano. Pavano on the year is 11-6 with an ERA of 3.48. Meanwhile Liriano is 7-7 on the year with a 3.76 ERA. However, the bottom third of the Twins rotation is not getting it done. As Scott Baker has an ERA of 4.87, Kevin Slowey‘s ERA is 4.95, and Nick Blackburn‘s has en ERA above 6. To me you are always as good as your fifth starter, White Sox fifth starter has an ERA of 4.36 and a record of 9-3, and Detroit has struggled with a permanent fifth starter for most of the season.
The Minnesota Twins bottom portion of their rotation is not going to be capable of getting it done in the playoffs. A team’s success in the playoffs is predicated on the success of their starting pitchers. Looking back at the past two seasons at some of the notable pitching moves that were made. Two years ago the Brewers acquired C.C. Sabathia at the trade deadline which boosted them into the playoffs. Last year, the Phillies acquisition of Cliff Lee sent them into the World Series against the New York Yankees. Those are two prime examples of what adding pitching can do to your teams postseason success.
Among the top pitchers that are available in Lilly, Oswalt, and Haren the Twins have been linked to Ted Lilly over the past week. After missing out on Cliff Lee, the Twins had scouts on hand at the Cubs game yesterday watching Lilly go 7 innings while giving 3 runs and striking out 10 batters. The Twins have a very good catching prospect in Wilson Ramos to dangle to the Cubs. However, the Cubs do not have much of a need for catching, and Ramos could be overpaying for Lilly, even though Ramos is not going to be able to ever contribute in Minnesota.
Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have shocked the baseball world this season, and are on top in the National League central division. One reason why the Reds need to make a move, is just on the sole fact to convince the baseball world that they are serious contenders for the playoffs. A lot of times people complain that a team should not make a move just to make a move, but in the Reds Case I think that they have to.
The Reds starting rotation in my eyes does not need any changes to it. While Aaron Harang does have an ERA of 5.02, he will likely be replaced in the rotation by Edison Volquez when he gets healthy. Also, the Red have rookie Travis Wood, who has pitcher extremely well for them. Reds fans need to give it time, and their rotation should pan out.
Offensively the reds are lead by Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, and Brandon Phillips. But I do feel that the Reds can upgrade defensively as well as offensively in Center Field. Currently, the Reds are manned in center field by Drew Stubs. On the year Stubs is hitting .236/.310/.402 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI’s. I think the Reds should go after Brewers right fielder Corey Hart, who was named to the All-Star team this year. Hart is hitting .296/.354/.576 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI’s. Hart has played center since 2007, but he is capable of doing so. Or, the Reds could move Jay Bruce into center. While the Brewers have a high demand for Hart, they also may not be willing to trade him to a team inside their division. If they are, the Reds would be a perfect hit for Hart.
Tags: Aaron Harang Adam Dunn Alex Rios Arizona Diamondbacks C.C. Sabathia Carlos Pavano Carlos Quentin Chicago Cubs Chicago White Sox Cincinnati Reds Cliff Lee Corey Hart Dan Haren Detroit Tigers Edison Volquez Francisco Liriano Freddy Garcia Gordon Beckham Houston Astros Jake Peavy Kevin Slowey Milwaukee Brewers Minnesota Twins New York Yankees Nick Blackburn Paul Konerko Philadelphia Phillies Prince Fielder Roy Oswalt Scott Baker Seattle Mariners Ted Lilly Texas Rangers Washington Nationals Wilson Ramos