With less than two weeks left until the July 31 trading deadline, it is safe to say that nine, maybe ten, teams in the American League have to feel as if they are still in contention for the post season.
If you are Oakland, Seattle, Baltimore and Kansas City, you have to think that your chances are slipping away or are already gone, and if you are Toronto you are on the periphery and might be able to justify making a deal to improve your club for the stretch run, but even that would be iffy as far as making a difference.
All other American League clubs are still solidly in the hunt for four playoff spots.
Here, via mlbtraderumors.com is every AL contender's wish list as it stands today:
- Red Sox: Right-handed hitting right fielder, lefty reliever, starting pitcher, shortstop
- Yankees: Starting pitcher, lefty and righty reliever, bench player capable of playing third base
- Rays: Reliever
- Indians: Starting pitcher, outfielder, infield help, general offense
- Tigers: Starting pitcher, third baseman, outfielder, lefty reliever
- White Sox: Righty reliever
- Twins: Middle reliever
- Rangers: Reliever, starting pitcher
- Angels: Third baseman, outfielder, first baseman (preference for left-handed hitter)
The Indians and Tigers are eyeing Aaron Harang, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The Indians might also be among teams (including the Tigers) interested in the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda to add to their staffs.
Harang is 7-2 with the San Diego Padres this season. With San Diego pretty much out of the race, Harang could be had, and his 3.19 ERA in 15 starts looks pretty good, although for his career Harang is a little more down-to-earth with an 88-89 record and a 4.26 ERA in ten big league seasons. Kuroda is 6-11 with the Dodgers, albeit with a nice 3.13 ERA.
Tim Dierkes of mlbtraderumors looks at some specific Indians' needs in a more in-depth Cleveland-specific entry. Dierkes talks of the Indians' interest in Carlos Beltran of the Mets, although Beltran's price-tag may be out of the Tribe's reach.
The Minnesota Twins will not trade Mike Cuddyer, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, even if they fall from contention. Cuddyer would be an attractive addition to any squad, but with the Twins still in contention, seven games back, you have to think that the statement that he isn't going anywhere is an accurate one.
We will update and name more names as the next few days roll along and the deadline gets closer, and -- of course -- should there be any signing among those teams of relevance to the Indians, we will pass news of those signings on to you pronto.