A six-part series that will cover every team in the majors, What You'll See at the Trading Deadline is a blog worked on by FanNation users Dudeman, Gu3, and thehemogoblin. This blog will be released Monday through Saturday, with each blog covering a certain division. Day two entails the AL Central.
Tuesday, July 1st: AL Central
Wednesday, July 2nd: AL West
Thursday, July 3rd: NL East
Friday, July 4th: NL Central
Saturday, July 5th: NL West
Chicago White Sox
Dudeman's Take: The Chicago White Sox have finally started to win under their fiery manager Ozzie Guillen ever since the 2005 World Series. This team is a great offensive team thanks to Jermaine Dye and the emergence of Carlos Quentin earlier this season, and their pitching is mediocre. That's why I think they are definitely going to deal for some pitching. Jose Contreras, and Mark Buehrle are definitely on the trading block. Both have been very inconsistent this season, and they could fetch a few young pitchers. I don't think Dye is one the block this year, he's been way to good. Jim Thome might be going, he's old but hitting well, so they might be able to get something worthwhile in return for him.
Gu3's Take: The Chicago White Sox are a surprising hot team this year in the MLB. And this is mainly due to the play of Carlos Quentin who is a surprise himself. Also, Dye, Konerko, and Thome are also hitting. Now, for the deadline. This depends solely on their record at that point. If they are still on fire in the AL Central, they absolutely need to trade for another pitcher. They have the hitting, just not the arms. Now, if they start to go down the tubes and Ozzie is fired like Willie Randolph, look for a fire sale. This fire sale would get rid of Konerko, Dye, Thome, and Cabrera. And look for one or two to be traded to the Yankees.
Hemo's Take: On the South Side of Chicago, Ozzie Guillen's White Sox somehow are leading the AL Central. With a good rotation, a great bullpen, and an overachieving outfield, the only place that the White Sox have to address is the infield, where they're facing injury problems to Paul Konerko and a lack of productivity from their middle infield. The ChiSox still have uberprospect Josh Fields down at AAA, with Joe Crede blocking his path to the majors, and maybe they should sell Crede to a team that needs a third baseman in exchange for a back of the rotation starter or a second baseman. Not bad for a team that everyone thought was third best in their division coming into this year.
Dudeman's Take: The Cleveland Indians have been below expectations all season, and they are looking to start rebuilding. The emergence of Cliff Lee hasn't been enough to keep this team in contention for the AL Central. The injury to Fausto Carmona has been huge, and Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez have been huge disappointments. That leads me to ace C.C. Sabathia. C.C. is a strikeout machine, but his slow start was very untimely for the Indians. He has been in many rumors recently that allege he will be moved. C.C. could fetch a couple bats and a decent pitcher, and anything involving could be the biggest trade at the deadline. I would not be surprised if he was dealt by the deadline, because of the needs of the Indians. It looks like they are headed towards rebuilding.
Gu3's Take: With the Cleveland Indians, there is only one thing they should worry about. And that one thing is worrying about getting the best deal for CC Sabathia. CC is one of the most dominating pitchers in the MLB and a lot could be gotten for him. And there is plenty of teams looking for a second man in their rotation to shut down a team back-to-back games in the playoffs. The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and even the Tampa Bay Rays could be looking for a starter come deadline time, and there isn't one better than CC available. The Cleveland Indians MUST NOT cut themselves short in this deal.
Hemo's Take: The Cleveland Indians are baseball's biggest disappointment since the Mitchell Report. Injuries to Fausto Carmona, Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook and Joe Borowski coupled with apathy elsewhere on the roster has made 2008 a lost season for The Tribe. CC Sabathia is going to be this year's prized deadline acquisition, but the Indians can also sell veterans such as outfielder David Dellucci, starter Paul Byrd, and closer Borowski to help the Indians after a rapid transition year. Even after the eventuality of losing Sabathia, the Indians will be a very good team for years to come.
Dudeman's Take: The Detroit Tigers were touted as the best offensive team in the league before this season. They had acquired Miguel Cabrera, and looked like a potent offense that could set some records. Well at the beginning of the season that was far from the case, but recently they have picked it up their offensively. It's pitching that they will be after by the time the deadline comes around. Don't be surprised to see the Tigers as bidders in the C.C. Sabathia Sweepstakes or offer Seattle a package for Erik Bedard. A dominant ace could do wonders for this team, their season and their bid for a playoff spot.
Gu3's Take: The question with the Tigers is what are they doing? Are they trying to get younger with 25 year old third baseman Miguel Cabrera? Or are they trying to be like the Yankees and stack their line-up? Well, if they are getting younger, they need to deal some players for prospects and start over again. Players that would go in that case include Gary Sheffield, Ivan Rodriguez, and Edgar Renteria. Now, if they are trying to be like the Yankees, they do the exact opposite. They keep Sheff, Pudge, and Edgar and gut their farm system. They have the D-Train floating around somewhere. He can very well be traded in a package for a player like Jim Thome, CC Sabathia, or Erik Bedard.
Hemo's Take: The Detroit Tigers are another team who's had a lost season in 2008, however the situation there isn't as easy as it is for the Indians. Detroit is a much more veteran-laden team than Cleveland, has few up and coming prospects (Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya are it), and so if they sell out, they'll have to launch a 3 to 5 year rebuilding plan which would involve dumping all of the aging salary that's on their books. The Motor City Kitties don't have much time left to contend, so they need to make that decision rapidly. If they do, blockbuster names such as Carlos Guillen, Pudge Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Kenny Rogers and even Magglio Ordonez if someone wants to take on his gargantuan contract could be available. Remember, GM Dave Dombrowski was the man who imploded the 1997 World Series-winning Florida Marlins right after they won the title.
Kansas City Royals
Dudeman's Take: The Royals got off to a great start this season, than they cooled down, but recently they've been playing well and are nearing .500. Honestly this team really doesn't have much needs except for maybe a bat or two. The Royals are full of untapped potential, and while some of that potential is being realized now, most is still sitting, waiting to be tapped into. Give this team a couple years and they will be in contention. They have the pieces but are just to young.
Gu3's Take: The Kansas City Royals don't have much to do. Nothing would really help them. They don't have that superstar that can change a game.. YET. And they don't want to trade for it at this deadline. They have good young players as well as good key veteran players to help build around. Kansas City just sits back and watches this off season.
Hemo's Take: In Kansas City, Dayton Moore's long-term rebuilding project on the Royals is nearly complete. With players such as Gil Meche, Alex Gordon and Joakim Soria as products of this, Kansas City should be contending in a year or two. The Royals should probably capitalize on the trade values of Mark Grudzielanek and Jose Guillen while they are high, but they shouldn't touch the young core of this team. Just wait this one out for a couple of years and let manager Trey Hillman do his magic and there will be a contender in Kauffman Stadium.
Dudeman's Take: The Minnesota Twins looked to be like they would be out of contention for anything in the near future after they dealt their ace Johan Santana to the Mets. Well, they have proved almost everyone wrong, as a recent hot streak has them ahead of the Indians and Tigers in the AL Central. Granted they may not win the division but they are built for the future, and I believe once Francisco Liriano is fully healthy they will have a future ace in the making. The Twins are my darkhorse team for the AL Central, and at the deadline they will probably be looking for a reliable pitcher.
Gu3's Take: The Minnesota Twins basically lost it all when they let Hunter walk last year and traded Johan Santana to the Mets. Their team is now Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Their pitching is still developing in Francisco Liriano. Not much they can do right now but wait. Mauer and Morneau are young and they will be performing for a long time. They could go younger now. Small steps since they dont have any really good older players.
Hemo's Take: In the Baggydome, the Minnesota Twins have rebounded nicely after trading away ace Johan Santana in the offseason. Offseason acquisitions Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez have made a decent return for what was lost, and having Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer on the team doesn't hurt. The Twins are close enough that they could start buying, but billionaire owner Carl Pohlad runs the team on a shoestring budget, so there are doubts to that happening. Minnesota doesn't have much of a veteran presence anywhere on their roster, so dealing players is out of the question. Fans of the Twinkies are just going to have to wait and see what plays out with the roster that they already have.