With the 2012 trade deadline quickly approaching, more teams than ever are in a position to buy with two wild card spots up for grabs in each league.
Among those teams who are in a position to buy are AL East rivals the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Many times, teams try to avoid trading within their own division and the Yankees and Red Sox in particular have stuck to that stance.
The two teams have not made a deal with each other since August 13, 1997 when the Mike Stanley was claimed off waivers by the Yankees, with the Red Sox receiving Jim Mecir and Tony Armas.
That said, there a few potential deals that could help out both teams down the stretch. Here is a look at three speculative deals that could help shore up the Yankees and Red Sox rosters.
Yankees Acquire Nick Punto for a Prospect
The Yankees are looking to add a some depth at third base after losing Alex Rodriguez to a broken hand, and while Chase Headley is the most appealing option out there, the Yankees may not want to pay his high asking price.
Eric Chavez (.266 BA, 8 HR, 20 RBI in 158 AB) will see some time there, but at this point in his career the 34-year-old likely will not be able to remain healthy as an everyday player.
Punto is by no means an offensive asset, but he is capable of playing second, shortstop and third base and he served as a key role player for the Cardinals in their playoff run last season.
Red Sox Acquire Russell Branyan for a Prospect
The Red Sox have benefited from the returns of Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, but just as those two players returned DH David Ortiz went down with an Achilles tendon injury.
Cody Ross has slid to DH in his place with Ryan Sweeney moving into the starting lineup, and while Sweeney has been solid this season he represents a significant power downgrade.
Branyan has crushed Triple-A pitching this season (.309 BA, 11 HR, 39 RBI in 110 AB), showing that he still has plenty of pop at the age of 38. He'd give the Red Sox an immediate power boost, and could be the perfect short-term option while Ortiz recovers.
Red Sox Trade Mike Aviles, Josh Beckett and Cash to Yankees for Ivan Nova, Adam Warren and Russell Branyan
This trade would fill the above-mentioned problems, only on a much larger scale and with far more players changing hands.
The Red Sox would move Beckett and save some of the $31.5 million remaining on his contract over the next two years, while acquiring an immediate replacement for him in Nova, a solid pitching prospect in Warren and a temporary replacement for Ortiz in Branyan.
The Yankees would get a replacement at third base in Aviles and a proven, veteran starter to bolster their rotation down the stretch in Beckett. He's not cheap, but he is more than a rental player and in giving up Nova they could likely convince the Red Sox to throw in a solid amount of cash to offset that price tag.
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