Biggest Need for Each Divisional Leader

Biggest Need for Each Divisional Leader

As of now the six divisional leaders in baseball are the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Here are the biggest needs each of these teams need to address before the trade deadline. 

AL 

Boston:

The Red Sox currently hold a two and a half game lead in the AL East over the surging Tampa Bay Rays. The starting rotation is arguably one of the best in the game when healthy and the bullpen has the third best ERA in baseball. Of course they can always add another starter or bullpen guy to add some extra depth to those positions, but the biggest need they have to fill is at third base.

Where do they turn?

Mike Moustakas should be on their radar as he has put together a career year, but it is unclear if the Royals will be buyers or sellers at the deadline. If they would rather not trade for a third baseman, they have a top level prospect waiting in the wings. Rafael Devers is currently playing for the Red Sox triple A affiliate and putting up impressive numbers. The only concern with Devers is that he is only 20 years old. 

Cleveland:

On paper this team looks loaded, but for some reason they have yet to put all the pieces together.  They currently hold a half game lead on the Royals in the AL Central. For the Indians the number one thing they need is to just to get a couple of their top guys from a year ago back on track. Carlos Santana has struggled for most of the season and Jason Kipnis has fought off injuries all year long. If those guys can get hot and stay healthy going forward, the offense should be fine. The one thing they should go after at the deadline is starting pitching. Which is crazy to think, because that was considered a strength at the beginning of the year.  

Where do they turn?

Out of the players that we know are being shopped, Sonny Gray is probably the best pitcher available. They could go after a Yu Darvish or Jason Vargas, but there is no guarantee those guys will be made available on the market.

Houston:

The Astros are loaded on the offensive end as they lead practically every category there is in baseball. The biggest need for them is adding some depth to their rotation and bullpen. 

Where do they turn?

It seems that Sonny Gray to Houston is just going to happen at some point. It has been talked about the past few seasons, and this year may be the year it gets done. A rotation with Keuchel, Gray, and McCullers Jr. in the playoffs could match up with anyone. As for the bullpen, a guy like Justin Wilson or Brad Hand would be a nice addition. With Tony Sipp continuing to struggle and Luke Gregerson having a down year, the Astros would be well-served adding some quality depth to the back end. 

NL:

Milwaukee:

Don't look now, but the defending champs are only a game out of the divisional lead. If the Brewers want to hold on to their division lead, they'll have to add some bullpen arms and hope the starting rotation continues to pitch as well as they've been. 

Where do they turn?

Corey Knebel has filled in nicely into the closer role, but they need some help to bridge the gap. If they could add one or two quality relievers, it would go a long ways. 

Washington:

One word, closer. This team needs nothing else but a true closer. They own the worst bullpen ERA in the league, but the addition of Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle earlier this week should help.

Where do they turn?

Zach Britton is the guy the need. The Baltimore Orioles have already made it known that they are willing to shop him around, so why not add one of if not the best closers in baseball. 

Los Angeles Dodgers:

The Dodgers are 30-4 in their last 34 games and the hottest team in baseball. Their rotation is solid led by Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood, and their bullpen is ranked second in the majors in ERA. Justin Turner is putting up MVP caliber numbers and Cody Bellinger is well on his way to being named Rookie of the Year. 

So what do they need? Besides adding depth to their rotation and bullpen, because you can never have enough quality arms, they should shore up at least one outfield spot. Joc Pederson's numbers have been ugly, and Yasiel Puig still has never lived up to his hype. On the other hand Chris Taylor has been a nice surprise, but can he sustain it the rest of the year?

Where do they turn?

Let's go bold here. Why not try and get Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins? It's the Dodgers, so they obviously have the money to absorb his enormous contract and have pieces that Miami would like. That lineup is already dangerous, adding Stanton would make them extremely tough to slow down. 

Of course for these trade ideas to work, they have to find teams willing to pull the trigger. The MLB trade deadline is July 31st.  

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