The MLB Trade Deadline is just a little over a week away, and many teams in the hunt are still trying to decide which side of the line they will be on.
Is your team an obvious contender, with small roster cracks that need fixing at the Deadline? Is your team a bottom-feeder, looking to unload some big-time performers in exchange for prospects to build their future?
Or is your team in the middle, supposed to be contending (or not) but still in the race, unsure if they should ass pieces or wave the white flag?
Well, whoever your team is, below is what side of the line they should be on come August 1st.
Baltimore Orioles // Buyers
The Orioles should definitely buy at the Deadline, as they currently sit first in the AL East. That being said, they still have some unbelievable prospects coming up through their farm system that will make their team even more formidable in years to come.
They don’t need a huge move, so they can still preserve their homegrown roster-building strategy, so they should be looking to add pieces that won’t cost too much.
Boston Red Sox // Sellers
They aren’t even in last place and only see themselves three games out of the third AL Wild Card spot, but the Red Sox aren’t going anywhere.
This is actually the perfect opportunity to trade any pieces that are valuable to help make them return to contending status as quickly as possible in the coming years.
Tampa Bay Rays // Buyers
The Rays have faltered of late. After their red-hot, and we mean RED-HOT, start to the season, they don’t lead the AL East anymore. However, this is the best team they’ve had since their 2020 World Series team, so they should take the opportunity that sits in front of them and get the players needed to finally push themselves over the hump.
Toronto Blue Jays: Buyers — The Blue Jays are a team that, over the last couple of years, has been so highly regarded, yet they still haven’t fully lived up to expectations. They currently occupy an AL Wild Card spot, so there’s reason to believe they can do damage this season. How much they need to add is up to them, but they are in their window. The core players they believed they needed are in the big leagues and have been for some time, so it’s time to put up or shut up for Toronto.
New York Yankees // Buyers
Crazy, right? Saying they should buy when they sit in last place. Well just, simply stating they’re in last place is just ignoring context. They’re in last place in the best division in baseball (only by a game) and still sit only four games out of a postseason spot. Oh, and they’re missing a top-3 player in baseball in reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge. This team hasn’t looked good at all, but the Bronx Bombers rarely ever sell, so don’t expect them to now.
In the Judge era, the American League has never looked so open, so if there was ever an opportunity to get to the World Series and win it, it would be this year. There are lots of moves to be made, but just like Toronto, it’s time to put up or shut up if you’re the Yankees.
Chicago White Sox // Sellers
What a disappointment and failure this core has been from the previous White Sox rebuild has been. They are just a bad team with pieces available to sell in Dylan Cease, Luis Robert Jr., and Lucas Giolito. Time to go back to the seller for a few years, Chicago.
Cleveland Guardians // Buyers and Sellers
This division is extremely weak, and it’s really only a two-team race, so someone has to buy in theory. The Guardians should buy and sell, they can win the division, but in the postseason, they won’t go far. If making the postseason is the goal, they definitely shouldn’t fully sell, so they straddle both sides of the line. Selling slightly can help their future, but buying small pieces can help them win the division.
Detroit Tigers // Sellers
The Tigers are still building toward contention, so the obvious answer here is to sell. They don’t have a lot, but there’s no reason not to trade any pieces they are willing to part with in order to make the future of the Tigers look brighter.
Kansas City Royals // Sellers
Just sell. You’re the second-worst team in baseball and have the worst farm system in the game. You desperately need any valuable prospects you can get.
Minnesota Twins // Buyers
The Twins are in a weird spot. They, too, have a chance to win the AL Central, and they, too, will be bounced early in the Postseason if they make it.
Selling while you lead the division sounds insane, so by default, they should marginally buy, but they could very well be on the same side of the Guardians and do both.
Houston Astros // Buyers
The defending World Series champions are still trying to chase down Texas for the division crown and currently sit in a Wild Card spot. Everyone knows once October comes, they always seem to be as formidable as ever.
Buying at the deadline only increases their chances of becoming the first team since the 1998-2000 New York Yankees to repeat as champions. This is an obvious call.
Los Angeles Angels // Sellers
Are they only five games out of an AL Wild Card spot? Yes. But Mike Trout isn’t coming back anytime soon, and they caught a struggling Yankees team for a sweep that makes it seem as if they can do this when the Angels really can’t.
We’ve seen this movie before. It’s time to rip off the bandaid and sell at the deadline. And yes, that means Shohei Ohtani too.
Oakland Athletics // Sellers
You’re the worst team in baseball. Sell at the deadline and get whatever prospects you can possibly get back.
Seattle Mariners // Buyers
To make the Postseason for the first time in 21 years last year and then do what they’ve done this season so far is definitely a disappointment.
They sit 5.5 games out of a postseason spot, and they’ve got to believe they can have some second-half magic, so buying is the way to go here for Seattle.
Texas Rangers // Buyers
The Rangers have led the AL West for a good portion of the season, and they have been one of the more impressive teams this season, which was slightly surprising.
Now’s an opportunity to take advantage of an open American League and add at the deadline to make a World Series run.
Atlanta Braves // Buyers
Not sure this team needs to make any changes to its roster at all, but if they did, obviously, Atlanta would be buying.
Miami Marlins // Sellers
They are slightly ahead of schedule when it comes to a championship window, and they won’t get past the Braves or any NL West this October. It would suck to wave the white flag with the position they sit in right now (occupying an NL WC spot), but they should sell and build their team and organization more.
New York Mets // Sellers
The highest payroll in baseball sits seven games out of an NL Wild Card spot. They have some valuable pieces that any contending team would like, and to give themselves a better chance in the immediate future, selling is what the Mets should do at the deadline.
Philadelphia Phillies // Buyers
They are the defending NL champions and currently occupy a Wild Card spot. I’m not sure that you can sell at the deadline with the core that they have and make sense of it.
Washington Nationals // Sellers
The Nationals can actually move in the right direction as a franchise by getting the right prospects back at the Trade Deadline. This is an obvious choice.
Chicago Cubs // Sellers
The Cubs are in a very good position for a non-contending team. They have players on the roster who can net them some great prospects, and the players they decide to keep will be in Chicago for a while. Get the right package, and continue to build a strong roster, Chicago.
Cincinnati Reds // Buyers
It’s a surprise to be saying “buy” when it comes to the Reds, but they have an underrated roster and can do some special things this year.
Don’t buy at the expense of some prospects you have coming up that can make an actual impact in Cincinnati but make some marginal moves to make yourself better.
Milwaukee Brewers // Buyers and Sellers
The Brewers can still contend for the NL Central title since it’s a weak division, but the best thing for them to reset a little might be to trade some of their more talented players and get a reasonable return back. They’re in a weird spot.
Pittsburgh Pirates // Sellers
The Pirates have had some bright moments this year but aren’t there yet. They won’t be winning anything this year but can look forward to some success in the near future.
Selling at the deadline is what’s best for the franchise.
St. Louis Cardinals // Sellers
A complete disappointment is what the Cardinals have been. At this point, selling is really the best option for them.
They have valuable pieces and will probably spend the rest of the season seeing what they have in certain players.
Arizona Diamondbacks // Buyers
The Diamondbacks have a very strong team this year, and they can give themselves a real opportunity to go far in October with the right moves at the Deadline. Buy for this first time in a long time.
Colorado Rockies // Sellers
This is obvious.
Los Angeles Dodgers // Buyers
This is also obvious!
San Diego Padres // Sellers
This team is another huge disappointment. They have a lot of money invested in Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Xander Bogaerts.
Can they pay Juan Soto? If not, trading him might be the best option, as well as any other pieces you can get valuable returns for.
San Francisco Giants // Buyers and Sellers
They have a strong team, truth be told, but it wouldn’t necessarily be wrong for them to get some value out of guys who will be free agents at the end of the year.
They can straddle both sides of the line (but should lean slightly towards selling).
Photo: Jeff Dean/AP