Trade Deadline Buy/Sell Report: American League

SPECIAL UPDATE: TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL REPORT (PART ONE OF TWO)

July 15, 2014

Glossary
BUY+: This player has a large chance of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
BUY: This player has a small chance of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
SELL: This player has a small chance of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.
SELL+: This player has a large chance of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.

TL;DR Version
BUY+: Edward Mujica
BUY: Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Josh Fields, Tony Sipp, Neftali Feliz
SELL: Casey Janssen, Joe Nathan
SELL+: Chad Qualls

Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles sit in first place at the All-Star break, but won’t likely be making a big splash at the deadline for a reliever like last year when they acquired K-Rod. Zach Britton has emerged quite nicely as the closer with Darren O’Day right behind him as a strong secondary option. At this point, Tommy Hunter doesn’t figure to be returning to the closer’s role unless a serious collapse occurs. BUY/SELL: None
Boston Red Sox – The defending champs are in last place, but only 9.5 games back in a not-so-hot division. That said, there’s a very strong chance that the Sox trade aging closer Koji Uehara to a contender. If that’s the case, we expect the embattled Edward Mujica to get the first crack at save opportunities. If not Mujica, Junichi Tazawa and Andrew Miller (if he’s also not traded) are next in line for John Farrell. BUY+: Edward Mujica; BUY: Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller
New York Yankees – Closer David Robertson is in the final year of his contract, but even with Dellin Betances lurking behind him, the Yankees are still in the playoff race and should stand pat with their bullpen with other more pressing needs elsewhere. BUY/SELL: None
Tampa Bay Rays – You could really play buy or sell with the Rays’ bullpen in the middle of the game thanks to Joe Maddon’s hijinks. BUY/SELL: None
Toronto Blue Jays
– Casey Janssen has 14 saves in 16 chances since returning from an early-season DL stint, but the Blue Jays have been linked to both Huston Street and Joakim Soria. Janssen hasn’t been an issue for the contending Jays, but if Soria or Street land north of the border, then Janssen may be the odd man out. SELL: Casey Janssen

Chicago White Sox – The White Sox aren’t very good and nobody wants what Robin Ventura is selling in the late innings. BUY/SELL: None
Cleveland Indians – The Tribe has to be pleased with the way their bullpen has shaped up after a rocky start. BUY/SELL: None
Detroit Tigers – The Tigers lead the AL Central by 6.5 games at the break and are in desperate need of bullpen help. They have been linked to Joaquin Benoit and Joakim Soria, among others, which means Joe Nathan is due for some competition for saves. SELL: Joe Nathan
Kansas City Royals – Greg Holland is second in the AL in saves with 25, and Wade Davis has been terrific ahead of him in the eighth. The Royals are in second place in the division and will be going all out to get to the playoffs in 2014. BUY/SELL: None
Minnesota Twins – Glen Perkins should remain the Twins closer, despite the club sitting in the AL Central cellar. BUY/SELL: None

Houston AstrosChad Qualls may have pitched himself out of a job in Houston, and not in the way you may think. He’s been solid in the closer’s role, and we think the Astros will trade him to a team that will have him throw primarily in the eighth inning. Tony Sipp has also been great, which means he may get dealt to a contender as well. That leaves Josh Fields as the lone ninth-inning option in Houston. If Sipp stays, Bo Porter may go to Sipp outright or elect to use Sipp and Fields in a committee. SELL+: Chad Qualls. BUY: Tony Sipp, Josh Fields
Los Angeles Angels – Mike Scioscia has recently said that as long as Joe Smith does the job, he’ll continue to be the club’s closer. Jason Grilli remains the handcuff, but rumors have linked the Halos to Joakim Soria. If that rumor holds true, then Smith could be out after all. BUY/SELL: None
Oakland Athletics – Sean Doolittle has been terrific since taking over for Jim Johnson and has helped the A’s to the best record in baseball at the All-Star break. BUY/SELL: None
Seattle Mariners – The Mariners are in playoff contention and a big reason is Fernando Rodney’s terrific season at closer. Seattle will stay pat with its bullpen as it makes a playoff push. BUY/SELL: None
Texas Rangers – Closer Joakim Soria has been part of trade rumors, notably to the Tigers and recently to the Angels and Blue Jays, but we think Jason Frasor is the most likely Ranger reliever to be dealt at the deadline. Neftali Feliz has been solid since his return and should be a favorite to return to the ninth inning if Soria is dealt. BUY: Neftali Feliz

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