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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | July 23, 2010

It’s time to push all in or fold for three MLB teams

By Senior Airman Patrick McKenna 316th Wing Public Affairs

Well, it's that time of year again folks. It's time for teams to decide if in their heart of hearts they really think they have a shot to not only make the playoffs, but do some damage in October. By this point, teams need to know whether or not they'll try and acquire that missing piece to help them over the hump. If the season is a lost cause, they might explore trading away some veterans for prospects or just let those veterans leave via free agency and receive draft pick compensation.

I'm not going to waste your time and list division leading teams as "buyers" or teams in the basement as "sellers." Where'd the challenge be in that? I'm going to discuss three high profile organizations who at present time are all at least four games behind the division leader - they are the Red Sox, Phillies and Giants.

Boston Red Sox - The Sox have had a tough year, through no fault of manager Terry Francona or general manager Theo Epstein. They have been decimated by injuries having lost Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Mike Cameron and Josh Beckett for significant amounts of time so far. They've been fortunate to get Herculean performances out of David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre and Clay Buchholz to help keep them afloat. They now sit at seven games out of first place and the question is, should they trade off some players who are in a walk year (Beltre, Martinez) or pick up some pieces, hopefully get healthy, and make a late run?

Verdict: The Sox need to pick up some bullpen help and ride this out. They'll get back all of their injured players before the end of August. If that's enough to sneak past the Rays for the wild card, great, if not then at least they'll have their top prospects still in the system and plenty of cash to sign an impact free agent.

Philadelphia Phillies - A case could be made that the Phillies are the most dissapointing team in baseball. They find themselves not only in third place in their division, but in sixth place for the wild card. Their offense has suffered thanks to injuries to Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. Would a deal turn them into a contender?

Verdict: After an offseason that saw them net stud pitcher Roy Halladay, expectations were soaring in Philly. Are the fans really going to be alright with the team trading away talent (Jayson Werth) at the deadline? They need to brace themselves because while it'd be smart for Philly to trade for a pitcher that can help them this year and beyond (Dan Haren), it's also smart for them to see what kinds of prospects they can get for Werth who is going to leave via free agency in the off season.

San Francisco Giants - By now, the Giants weakness is well known. While they have one of the best young pitching duos in all of baseball in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, their offense is yet again letting them down. Last year's cult hero, Pablo Sandoval, is suffering the dreaded sophomore slump and Aaron Rowand has been a huge bust after signing a big deal.

Verdict: The Giants should make a move..a big one. They should put together an attractive package of prospects to bring in a hitter like Prince Fielder. Fielder along with stud rookie Buster Posey, would be the start of a solid offense, making the Giants a very dangerous team come playoff time.