Right deals for Sox, Tribe, M's, Astros, A's, Yanks

July 9th, 2018

The non-waiver Trade Deadline is three weeks away, and although the American League has largely separated itself into contenders and pretenders, there likely will be plenty of moves made to bolster rosters for the stretch run and, more important, October.
With that in mind, here's a look at the most glaring need for each of the six AL teams occupying a playoff spot or within single digits of a postseason berth (teams listed in order of wins as of Monday).
Red Sox: Relief pitcher
Boston's bullpen has good overall numbers, ranking third in the AL with a 3.20 ERA, but the Red Sox could use another trustworthy arm to help get the ball to All-Star closer . If that reliever were a left-hander, all the better; Boston has no lefties in its bullpen. In addition to a reliever, the Red Sox could be in the market for a catcher now that will miss the next six to eight weeks after undergoing finger surgery.
Potential fits:Zach Britton, ,
Astros: Closer
Houston's bullpen may possess the best ERA in the league, but adding a proven closer would be the cherry on top in the Astros' pursuit to repeat as World Series champions. has converted all 12 of his save opportunities, but last year's postseason struggles showed why he might not be trusted in the biggest spots. This would be a luxury add for Houston, but one that would improve its back-to-back hopes.
Potential fits:Brad Hand, Britton
Yankees: Starting pitcher
We detailed this in a piece this past weekend, but the need for a starter became even more glaring following 's most recent blowup on Friday in Toronto. J.A. Happ didn't do much to distinguish himself with his outing against New York on Saturday, though it should be noted that Happ would not have to face the Yankees if they acquired him, rendering his 9.82 ERA against them a non-issue. His 1.17 ERA against the Red Sox, Rays and Orioles, on the other hand, makes him a nice fit for the Yanks. Whether it's Happ or someone else, the Yankees figure to add at least one arm before July 31.
Potential fits: Happ, Cole Hamels,

Mariners: Starting pitcher
Seattle would like to add a starter to help ease the innings burden on some of its starters, namely , who has topped the 150-inning mark just once as a pro. The Mariners aren't likely to make a big rotation splash with an acquisition, but rather add a steady veteran who can provide stability during the final two-plus months.
Potential fits:Matt Harvey,
Athletics: Starting pitcher
Oakland ranks 10th among AL teams in starters' ERA at 4.37, so a rotation addition could supplement the Athletics' postseason hopes. With the exception of their 2014 deals for and Jeff Samardzija, it hasn't been Oakland's way to deal for expensive rental players for awhile, so it's unlikely they would make a splash for a Happ or even Hamels, but there are some solid low-price options available that would make the rotation better without severely impacting the payroll or putting a huge dent in the Minor League system.
Potential fits: Ross,
Indians: Relief pitcher
Cleveland could also use an outfield bat (or an infield bat, which would require a position change by or , or both), but adding a reliever remains the priority. won't be back until later this month, and aside from closer , the rest of the relief corps has been inconsistent. Add in the fact that Miller and Allen are both headed for free agency and the Tribe would love to add an impact reliever with years of club control -- much the same way it added Miller two years ago.
Potential fits: Hand, ,