With the injury to closing pitcher, Mariano Rivera, the Yankees join the ranks of teams that are one person away from ensuring a post season run
With this year's MLB season barely underway, a few teams have shown that they are just a player away from being a postseason team.
At this stage in the game, the biggest need is in the pitching category. Every team could always benefit from a better bullpen, but there are a few that have a legitimate shot if they had that one additional pitcher to lock up a top-notch rotation.
For others, the need is in the lineup. With some teams missing big bats in crucial lineup spots, their postseason dreams also ride on the backs of a nonexistent person.
Here are the teams that are a contract away from being postseason contenders.
With the injury to All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria, the Rays are going to be in dire need of not only a solid third baseman, but a bat in their lineup.
Longoria produced a good portion of the Rays offense in years past, so there will be a big hole in the team's roster which will need to be filled if they hope to make it to the playoffs this year.
If they find a replacement or get Longoria healthy again, then the Rays will be in a fine position to make in appearance in the postseason.
The Yankees are another team that is one away due to an injury.
Following the injury of legendary closing pitcher Mariano Rivera, the Yankees will need to try and find a replacement at closer either through the trade, their farm teams or free agency.
The Yankees already have a hit-or-miss starting rotation, so the absence of a solid closer will be a big thing for the club to overcome as they look towards another postseason run.
Could Cole be the answer?
The Blue Jays have had a decent start to their season on the backs of solid hitting by their starting lineup.
Rumors have been circling, though, that the team needs only a pitcher or two to make the jump to a postseason appearance. The Jays have already looked into a possible trade with the Philadelphia Phillies for pitchers like Cole Hamels.
The rumors make sense, though, and better pitching would definitely play in the teams' favor and serve as a good compliment to the Jays existing batting order.
The Brewers became one away the second Prince Fielder left the team. The move opened up a hole not only in the batting lineup, but at first base as well.
The team's situation became worse earlier this month when the team's current first baseman, Mat Gamel, tore a ligament in his right knee in a game against the San Diego Padres.
This injury rips the scab off the hole that was left by Fielder's departure. The team is still without a first baseman and without a spot in the batting lineup. The team will need to address this situation if they wish to make the postseason.
The Nationals are another team that needs a pitcher to make it to the postseason.
There pitching staff has seen injuries to Drew Storen and Brad Lidge this season, both of which have left a hole in the Nats rotation.
They sit atop the National League East right now, but if they don't get a new, healthy pitcher on the mound, they're in danger of getting over run by Atlanta, who is dangerously close in the standings. The Braves are only second to the Nats by a loss; both teams hold 19 victories this season.