Cliff Lee, Lance Berkman , Jorge Cantu, Austin Kearns , Bengie Molina, Kerry Wood, Cristian Guzman. All players that are now wearing either a Texas Rangers Jersey or Yankee pinstripes now, as the smell of October baseball grows stronger with each passing day.
The perennial American League juggernaut Yankees were active as usual this year at the trade deadline, acquiring first baseman Lance Berkman , outfielder Austin Kearns , and reliever Kerry Wood to shore up some holes in the lineup, bullpen, and bench.
However, it was the Rangers who made it clear to everyone in the Majors that they are for real this year.
They started by snatching Cliff Lee from the jaws of the Yankees early on in July. Then, they acquired a solid catcher who can handle the rotation well, and they picked up a pair of bench pieces with Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman.
Adding those players to a team that is in total command of first place in the AL West adds them to the mix of top teams in the league, joining the AL East powers.
The playoffs are still two months away and anything can happen. However, if things were to stay the way they are right now, then the Yankees would meet up with the AL Central leading White Sox , while the Wild Card Rays and AL West leading Rangers would lock horns.
I think that the Yankees would probably beat the White Sox, and that the Rangers would over power the Rays, thus setting up an ALCS between New York and Texas, in an East meets West duel.
With power pitching and power hitting on both teams, this would be one of the most intriguing postseason matchups in years, not to mention a re-match from the late 90's playoff series between the Rangers and Yanks.
A series between these two teams would feature another heavyweight pitching bout between CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, Derek Jeter and Elvis Andrus, the top two shortstops in the league, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira playing against their former team, and so many more story lines to follow.
There are no guarantees that either team will make it to the ALCS, but it wouldn't be for lack of effort, and you have to admit that it would be an interesting playoff matchup to watch.