Fact or fiction: the Yankees will acquire a bat off the bench and much needed bullpen help. All of that and much more will be finalized with eight days remaining until the MLB trade deadline.
Will general managers trade for a big name hitter or pitcher or will they remain placid with the hope that they have the team in place to make a run for a playoff berth? July 31st will determine what clubs are contenders and which are pretenders. The underlining truth is that all division leaders and teams in the wild card mix could use an extra arm and fill a void on offense.
With a very scarce pool of quality players available it will be up to the crafty gm's to find value where most others would come up empty. It's an arduous feat to accomplish, but guys like Kevin Towers of the Padres, John Schuerholz of the Braves, Theo Epstein of the Red Sox and Omar Minaya of the Mets have made a living at finding undervalued players.
Two prominent pitchers that will be available are the White Sox Jose Contreras and the Giants Matt Morris. Contreras, 35, is on course to suffer the worst season in his 5-year major league career. At 5-12, he's sporting a 5.76 E.R.A. and has allowed 134 hits in 114 innings pitched. Still, he brings playoff experience and is the cheapest of the White Sox pitchers that Kenny Williams would be willing to trade.
After ending a disappointing first-year by the bay where he lost 15 games, Matt Morris has rebounded nicely to go 7-6 with a respectable 4.08 E.R.A. He's the veteran leader of a young and dynamic pitching staff that is among the best of baseball. He would be the quintessential fit for any playoff bound team.
Rangers' first baseman Mark Teixeira is the hottest commodity available on the trade market and all indications demonstrate that general manager Jon Daniels is willing to deal his franchise player. For a team like the Yankees, Angels, Tigers or Braves to acquire the power hitting infielder, they must be willing to give up several high-profile prospects.
Dodgers are frontrunner to acquire Dotel who's pitching exceptionally well. Is finally healthy.