With the July 31 trade deadline quickly approaching, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the teams who are considered buyers, what their needs are, and who they could possibly be targeting.

I am only concentrating on the teams that will be buyers, as there is no point in analyzing what a team like the Chicago Cubs might need because I really don’t have that kind of time.

We shall start in the National League East and work our way around the majors.

Atlanta Braves

Record: 48-35, first place in NL East

Needs: OF

The Braves have a rock solid starting rotation led by Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, and Tommy Hanson. They also have a bullpen that is third in the NL in ERA at 3.30.


What the Braves need is another outfielder.

With Nate McLouth still suffering concussion-like symptoms, Jason Heyward hurting, and Melky Cabrera predictably being a replacement level player, the Braves really could use another bat in the outfield.

Eric Hinkse has been a good lineup filler, but Bobby Cox can’t expect him to hit .280 all year. He is a career .255 hitter.

The Braves have also added Willy Tavares for outfield depth, but as we all know he isn’t the answer either.


Potential Targets

Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, Aaron Rowand, Corey Hart, Jose Bautista.


New York Mets

Record: 46-35, second place in NL East. Lead Wild Card.

Needs: Starting Pitching, Setup Man

The Mets’ offense should be fine in the second half with the return of Carlos Beltran; It’s like the Mets are getting an All-Star caliber player without giving up anything. There bench should be strengthened with the return of Beltran because now either Angel Pagan or Jeff Francouer will be a fourth outfielder.

What the Mets need is another front-line starter to go along with Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey. R.A. Dickey has been unbelievable, but I think everyone is just waiting for that other shoe to drop.

If the Mets can go into a playoff series with Santana, Pelfrey, and another ace, they will be in good shape.

The one pitcher I think would be a good fit for the Mets would be Shaun Marcum. His elbow injury is not serious, and he has No. 2 or 3 starter stuff when healthy. He won’t be as flashy of an acquisition as Cliff Lee or Dan Haren would be, but he can get the job done.

I also feel the Mets could use a better bridge to get to Francisco Rodriguez.

Bobby Parnell has been good since his return to the majors, but the Mets could use another power arm from the right or left side late in the game.


Potential Targets

Cliff Lee, Jake Westbrook, Kevin Millwood, Shaun Marcum, Joel Hanrahan, Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel.


Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 42-38, third place in NL East. Fifth in Wild Card.

Needs: Infield, Starting Pitching, Bullpen

To quote the great Bull Hurley from Over the Top , the Phillies are in “a world of hurt.” They have so many needs right now that I don’t think they can fulfill them all at the trade deadline.

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. was so obsessed with Roy Halladay that he failed to realize that he didn’t make his team any better.

The Phillies have the same issue in 2010 that they have had the past two seasons—a lack of depth in the starting rotation.

Not only do the Phillies need starting rotation help, but they also need infield help thanks to the injuries to Chase Utley and Placido Polanco.

I don’t think they need a superstar to fill those voids, but someone like Ty Wigginton or Adam Kennedy will do.

The Phillies’ bullpen should get a boost with Ryan Madson scheduled to return after the All-Star break, but with Danys Baez struggling, they could use another arm in the pen.


Potential Targets

Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Kevin Millwood, Shaun Marcum, Ty Wigginton, Adam Kennedy, Mike Lowell, Willie Bloomquist, Jose Lopez, Miguel Tejada, Kelly Johnson, Matt Capps, Octavio Dotel, Kerry Wood.


Florida Marlins

Record: 38-43, fourth in NL East. Seventh in Wild Card.

Needs: Bullpen, Defense

The Marlins should really be sellers, but they are so delusional sometimes that they will probably be buyers at the trade deadline.

The two things the Marlins need the most are bullpen help and anyone who can play defense.

Outside of closer Leo Nunez, who the Marlins stole from the Kansas City Royals in the Mike Jacobs trade, and setup man Clay Hensley, the Marlins bullpen is a mess.

Anytime a team has to resort to giving Armando Benitez a shot, you know they are in trouble.

I put defense on here because if you have ever watched the Marlins play, their defense is a joke.

If the Marlins can find players who can actually play defense, it will help their young pitching staff out now and in the future.


Potential Targets

Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, Todd Coffey.

Tomorrow we will take a look at the NL Central buyers market.

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