6 MLB Teams Who Need to Make a Big Move ASAP
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But let's face it, some teams just aren't very good. They've proved it by falling out of playoff contention two months into the season, and there isn't anything they can do to turn things around.
The Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins and New York Mets could soon have company in the land of teams with no shot at the playoffs and already looking ahead to 2014. Here are six teams that won't have a reason to "scoreboard watch" if they fall any further back in the standings and should probably try to make a big move as soon as possible.
Chicago White Sox
Current record: 25-32, six games back of playoff spot
Already down one starting pitcher for the season —Gavin Floyd had Tommy John surgery last month—the Sox will now be without Jake Peavy (pictured) for four to six weeks with a non-displaced rib fracture. Not good news for a team with a lackluster offense, although they did break a eight-game losing streak with yesterday's 16-inning win over Seattle.
It's unlikely that it will be enough to spark a team with so little production throughout the lineup. Even Paul Konerko, one of the most consistent hitters in the game for more than a decade, is struggling (.643 OPS).
As they did in 2012, the Detroit Tigers are doing the rest of the division a favor and letting them hang around by not playing up to their potential. If the Sox are going to avoid getting left in the dust, they'll need to make a move now.
Los Angeles Angels
Current record: 26-34, 8.5 games back of playoff spot
After winning 14 of 24 to run their record to 23-27 in late May, the Angels have lost seven of 10 and are going backwards once again. While they already have the talent on their roster to make a run and get back into playoff contention rather quickly, they could fall just short, as they did in 2012, if they wait much longer for this team to come together.
They don't have the minor league talent to go out and acquire a Zack Greinke this year, so any moves will have to be small. But if you take a look at of some the moves the San Francisco Giants made during their championship seasons in 2010 and 2012, you realize that it's not always the big-name acquisitions that will push a team over the top.
Josh Hamilton's (pictured) .810 OPS in May after an awful start to the season is encouraging, but he's marred in a 5-for-29 slump and has recently been dealing with back spasms.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Current record: 25-33, 8.5 games back of playoff spot
It may seem like Yasiel Puig (pictured) is the savior that will push the Dodgers in the right direction and to the top of the division by the end of the season. And while he's certainly sparked the team, he doesn't fix every hole on a roster that lacks talent.
In reality, Puig's a young player who made the jump from Double-A and will have more games like he had on Wednesday (0-for-4, 2 K) than he did in his first two (5-for-8, 2 HR, 2B). A completely healthy Dodgers team with Matt Kemp returning to his early 2012 form might be enough. But Kemp won't be back for at least a couple weeks, and he's looked nothing like that guy in his 51 games this season (.640 OPS).
They'll need another bat very soon. It might be time for general manager Ned Colletti to focus his attention on acquiring a third baseman. Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers could be an option.
Kansas City Royals
Current record: 24-32, seven games back of playoff spot
Led by their new-look starting rotation, the Royals were off to a 17-10 start and seemed up to the challenge of battling the Tigers for the division crown. But since then, they've turned back into the Royals with 22 losses in their last 29 games.
More specifically, the pitching staff hasn't been quite as strong and the offense has yet to pick up the pace. Whether it's acquiring a right fielder, second baseman or third baseman, the Royals need to fill at least one of those holes with an impact bat. They still have enough down on the farm in the form of high-caliber pitching prospects Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer to get something done.
Eric Hosmer's (pictured) potential makes a first-base upgrade lower on the priority list, but if he can somehow turn into the 2011 version of himself (.293, 19 HR, 78 RBI) and not the guy who has a .656 OPS over his last 202 games, it would certainly help the cause.
San Diego Padres
Current record: 27-32, seven games back of playoff spot
The Padres had one of the quietest offseasons of any team in the majors. Maybe the front office just had a lot of faith in a team that finished so strong in 2012. Give them credit, because not many others had confidence either. But they have been quite competitive so far.
Since losing 15 of their first 20, they've gone 22-17 and haven't appeared to be overmatched in any series during their run. They also don't look ready to make a run at the playoffs. Andrew Cashner has been the team's best starter (3.61 ERA in eight starts), while Jason Marquis and Eric Stults have been solid.
But they'll need more help, specifically at the top of the rotation, if they're going to continue as playoff hopefuls in late July and not be busy fielding calls from teams interested in trading for third baseman Chase Headley (pictured).
Toronto Blue Jays
Current record: 25-34, nine games back of playoff spot
With shortstop Jose Reyes' return on the horizon—he could return by the end of the month—and Josh Johnson's impressive return from the disabled list on Tuesday (7 IP, ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K), things are looking up for the Jays. That is, until you see their record and the fact they're behind four pretty good teams in the AL East.
A starting rotation depleted by injuries, Mark Buehrle's lack of effectiveness and Ricky Romero's continued decline all add up to a mess, even if Johnson can pitch well. The Jays gave up many of their top prospects in two blockbuster trades this offseason, but they probably have enough to at least bring in one or two reliable veteran starters to stabilize the back of the rotation.