The deadline to make changes is three weeks away, and while many teams seem destined to be sellers in the next few days, more than two-thirds of major league teams are in contention for the postseason.
What moves would help these teams to strengthen themselves for the second half? Some of the clubs we’ll mention here will end up selling parts before the month is out, but as of Tuesday, each of these 21 teams was 7.5 games or fewer away from a playoff spot.
Some novenas need to fill more than one gap, but here we leave you with the most obvious need for each team as managers try to repower their rosters for the second half.
Red Sox: First base
Boston’s .663 OPS at starting ranks them 12th in the LA, although Bobby Dalbec has 10 home runs in 226 at-bats. The Red Sox lineup is predominantly upright – Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo are the only left-handers in the starting lineup, while Marwin González is ambidextrous – so adding a left-handed hitter would be preferable.
Potential candidate: CJ Cron, Rockies
It’s unclear when the Rays will revert to the injured Tyler Glasnow, if it ends up happening. (He’s upbeat and hopes it’s before the postseason, but it’s still too early to tell.) In his absence, Tampa Bay hasn’t been able to replace their numbers at the top of the rotation and as of Wednesday they only had two starters with better-than-league ERAs: Rich Hill, 41, and Josh Fleming. . Maybe Shane McClanahan or Colombian and rookie Luis Patiño will step up to fill that void, or Shane Baz or veteran Chris Archer will give them a push at the end of the season, but adding a first-rate starter would help a lot. the Rays in their attempt to overtake the Red Sox.
Potential candidate: Kyle Gibson, Rangers
Getting Adam Cimber was a good start, but the Blue Jays – who also acquired Trevor Richards from the Brewers Tuesday for Rowdy Tellez – need more second-half relievers. Toronto has had to deal with a healthy dose of injuries this season (and who hasn’t?), But in the ultra-competitive AL East, they’ll have to add an arm or two for the bullpen (not to mention at least one starter. ) if they want to dream of the divisional title.
Potential candidate: Richard Rodríguez, Pirates
The Yankees roster does not have many holes, although the low production of players like Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu and Clint Frazier gives a different impression. If those players can rebound in the second half, the Yankees’ main lack will be a starting pitcher to place behind Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber, presuming that the second can return from the disabled list and resume the level he demonstrated at the beginning of the game. the bell.
Potential candidate: Tyler Anderson, Pirates
White Sox: Second base
The White Sox’s best second-half acquisitions would be the return of Dominican Eloy Jiménez and Cuban Luis Robert, but losing Nick Madrigal for the entire season left a huge void at second base, which they will probably have to fill before they end july. They will likely seek help for the bullpen as well.
Potential candidate: Adam Frazier, Pirates
Eddie Rosario’s abdominal injury was a sensitive loss for Cleveland’s lineup that left the team without one of its most productive hitters. The Indians’ rangers have a collective OPS of .713 (10th in the AL), so adding a solid bat to the outfield should be a priority for the second half. Cleveland would also benefit from more depth in the rotation, although Zach Plesac is expected to roll off the injury list and join.
Potential candidate: David Peralta, D-Backs
Some Houston relievers could come off the disabled list in the coming weeks (Joe Smith, Bryan Abreu, Josh James and perhaps Pedro Báez), but add a reliable reliever to keep them company. Ryan Pressley would make the Astros favorites in the AL West.
Potential candidate: Taylor Rogers, Twins
Houston is not the only contending team in the AL West that needs to reinforce the relief. Oakland’s reliever corps has only two reliable late-inning options, Yusmeiro Petit and Lou Trivino, although Sergio Romo has improved lately. Adding another reliever for tight situations would be great for the Athletics, who would also benefit from a powerful bat like Nelson Cruz’s.
Potential candidate: Daniel Bard, Rockies
Mariners: Gardener / BD
The surprising Mariners aren’t going to give up promising youngsters in exchange for short-term fixes, but GG Jerry Dipoto has always been willing to trade when the right move has come his way. For Seattle, an arm or two for the rotation and the bullpen would help, but the lineup has to produce more if the team is to compete for a playoff berth. Adding an outfielder or designated hitter whose contract is about to expire could help them, without blocking a luxury prospect like Jarred Kelenic or Julio Rodriguez in the long run.
Potential candidate: Nelson Cruz, Twins
The Angels have survived Mike Trout’s absence thus far and are around .500 as they look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014. With a team ERA of 5.26, the rotation is 13th in the American League. So adding a starter (or two) seems like a logical move for GG Perry Minasian if the Angels are to put up a fight down the stretch.
Potential candidate: Danny Duffy, Royals
The Mets’ offense has struggled most of the season, but the setbacks suffered by Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard make it clear that New York needs another starter behind Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker. The Mets are very talented in their offensive order. As long as Francisco Lindor can recover and Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith continue to produce as they have lately, the lineup can improve without any major acquisitions.
Potential candidate: José Berríos, Twins
Max Scherzer is still doing his thing at 36, but the rest of Washington’s rotation has been inconsistent all season. It is not known when Stephen Strasburg will return, and at the same time it seems that we have already seen the best of Jon Lester. The NL East is still within reach, so adding a starter or two would be the obvious strategy for the Nationals if they want to put up the fight.
Potential candidate: Jon Gray, Rockies
This looks like something of an annual event for the whole of Philadelphia, which hasn’t been able to put together a solid bullpen in recent years. This club may also need reinforcements for the rear of the starting rotation, but the Phillies’ 4.78 ERA from the relief team ranks them 12th in the National League and has shown no signs of improvement. The biggest problem for Philadelphia would be that the Minor League system was rated 23rd by MLB Pipeline in the preseason, making it small the number of quality prospects they can offer.
Potential candidate: Ian Kennedy, Rangers
Mexican Luis Urías has shown his face in the anteroom, but Milwaukee could need a better piece to reinforce the lineup. Having solved the question mark at first (Rowdy Tellez) and shortstop (Willy Adames), the team is clearly trying to improve their offense to support their stellar mountaineering body.
Potential candidate: Venezuelan Eduardo Escobar, D-backs
Cincinnati is 14th with a 5.29 ERA, making this the obvious weak point for the club. Seven different relievers have gotten at least one rescue this season, so adding a reliable alternative for the ninth inning would favor the Reds, who have a stable of relievers with ERAs worse than 5.00.
Potential candidate: Dominican Yimi García, Marlins
Chicago’s lineup has faced roadblocks during its recent slump, but if this set is looking to add pieces, the starting pool should be the focus. The rotation ranks 13th on the Old Circuit with a 4.58 ERA, due to the inconsistency of every starter with the exception of Kyle Hendricks. Of course, the long losing streak has overshadowed most chances that the Cubs – who traded Yu Darvish in the offseason – would become buyers in the next few weeks.
Potential candidate: Matthew Boyd, Tigres
The return of Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas from the disabled list would erase the need to add another starter, but the St. Louis bullpen would definitely need help. The Cardinals would probably try to add another reliever who is trusted by manager Mike Shildt in the later innings to complement Mexican Giovanny Gallegos, along with Dominicans Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera.
Potential Candidate: Kendall Graveman, Mariners
Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani have been a good duo to lead the rotation, but the back of the starting group has been hit by injuries. Adding some depth to the rotation should be San Francisco’s priority, since the roster doesn’t have many holes to fill.
Potential candidate: Danny Duffy, Royals
The champs already needed a starter before Trevor Bauer was put on administrative leave, raising the possibility that Los Angeles may need to add two arms to the starting pool this month. Mexico’s Julio César Urías has already set a career high with 99.1 innings pitched, while Tony Gonsolin missed two months with a shoulder injury. Top pitching prospect Josiah Gray has also been absent for two months, and questions are raised as to whether he can make an impact in the majors this season.
Potential candidate: JA Happ, Twins
The Friars might need help with the bullpen or a bat in the prairies, but rotation for some is what they need to reinforce the most due to the health of Dinelson Lamet, the inconsistency of Blake Snell and possible limitations in the volume of work of Ryan Weathers (has released 51.1 episodes, more than half his personal best of 96 in 2019).
Potential candidate: Dominican Michael Pineda, Twins