As the second half of the Major League Baseball season begins on Friday afternoon, five of the six divisions appear to be spoken for. In the NL East, the Washington Nationals have a six game lead. In the central, the Chicago Cubs lead by seven, with the Giants leading the pack by 6.5 games in the NL West.
In the AL West, the Texas Rangers have a 5.5 game lead over their in-state rival, the Houston Astros. The Cleveland Indians are pacing the field in the AL Central, leading the Detroit Tigers by 6.5 games. The only division that looks, at this particular moment, to be headed for a late season race is the AL East.
At the All-Star break, the Baltimore Orioles hold a two game lead over both the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. All three of these teams appear to be built very similarly, with powerful offenses and just enough pitching to keep them in games until their offense can outslug their opposition. With each of these three teams being so similar, the general managers in this division might just decide who comes out on top at season’s end. The team willing to sacrifice some of their future to acquire another arm will most likely be the victors in the AL East race.
If someone were to guess which of these front offices would be willing to pull off such a trade, the edge should go to the Boston Red Sox. Their farm system is usually always full of young talent that interests other teams. Their current President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, is always very active at this time of year. 2016 should be no different considering how tight the AL East race is.
So as the August 1 trade deadline approaches, pay attention to see what these three teams do to try to separate themselves from their nearest pursuers.