MLB Trade Talk: 5 Teams That Are 1 Player Away from Postseason

Zac Sweeney@@sweeney_zacContributor IIIMay 11, 2012

MLB Trade Talk: 5 Teams That Are 1 Player Away from Postseason

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    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.  

Tampa Bay Rays

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    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. 

New York Yankees

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    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. 

Toronto Blue Jays

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    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. 

Milwaukee Brewers

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    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. 

Washington Nationals

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    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.