After we analyzed the National League earlier in the week, now it’s time to take a look at the American League. We will start with the powerhouses in the American League East.

When it comes to the July 31st trade deadline, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are usually “in” on all the top trade candidates. This year should be no different. The Tampa Bay Rays will be active this trade season as well.

Here are the trade deadline needs of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays…


New York Yankees

Record: 53-31, first place in AL East

Needs: Backup Infield, Starting Pitching

The Yankees are in a position where they really don’t “need” anything. However, there are a couple of areas where the Yankees feel they can approve on.

For instance, the Yankees could use a backup utility infielder. Right now, all the Yankees have is Ramiro Pena as a backup for Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez. That won’t cut it if one of those three goes down for a significant period of time.

I put starting pitching as a need, but they really don’t need a starting pitcher. They will be in the Cliff Lee hunt, but I am not sure how serious of a contender they will be. Why give up prospects now when they can just sign him in the offseason?

Potential Targets: Cliff Lee, Ty Wigginton, Jeff Keppinger, Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald, Adam Kennedy


Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 51-33, second place in AL East. First in Wild Card

Needs: Power Bat, Starting Pitching

Despite being fourth in the AL in runs scored, the Rays could use another bat in their lineup. They really could use a more productive DH. Pat Burrell didn’t work out and neither did Hank Blalock.

Maybe Matt Joyce could be the answer, but someone like Adam Dunn would be more of a sure thing for the Rays to target.

Jose Guillen could be another option at DH.

The Rays have been kicking the tires on Lee and they might have a great trade chip in BJ Upton. The Rays could trade Upton to make room for Desmond Jennings.

Potential Targets: Cliff Lee, Adam Dunn, Jose Guillen, Josh Willingham


Boston Red Sox

Record: 49-36, third place in AL East. Second in Wild Card

Needs: Bullpen, Healthy Bodies

Where do I even begin with the Red Sox? They currently have 10 players on the DL and when you have that many players hurt, it’s hard to predict needs. The one need the Red Sox have regardless of health is in the bullpen.

The only reliable arms Terry Francona has are Daniel Bard and closer Jonathan Papelbon. Other than those two, it’s a crapshoot out there. Hideki Okajima is not what he used to be and Ramon Ramirez hasn’t been reliable since the first half of last year.

I think if Theo Epstein does go out and acquire a position player, it will be for a veteran outfielder.

Potential Targets: Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, David Aardsma, Kerry Wood, Will Ohman, Kyle Farnsworth (that would be a disaster of epic proportions), Joel Hanrahan, Willie Bloomquist, Xavier Nady, Jason Michaels


Tomorrow, we will have a double dip, as we will cover the AL Central and the AL West.

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