Question of the day: Which team needs to be the most active before the baseball trade deadline?
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Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they’re wrong.
Dean Jones Jr., Baltimore Sun
After acquiring Roy Halladay in the offseason, the Philadelphia Phillies were picked by many analysts and fans as the favorite to win the World Series.
Philadelphia hasn’t lived up to those expectations so far, thanks to injuries suffered by Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Brad Lidge and others. Still, the Phillies are lurking just behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
Adding some infield depth and another starting pitcher should be at the top of the Phillies’ list at the deadline. The Orioles seem to be a logical fit as a trade partner with Ty Wigginton, Jeremy Guthrie and Kevin Millwood -- if he’s healthy -- but it remains to be seen if a deal can be made.
As the stretch run begins, the Phillies need to add some fresh faces in order to live up to the preseason expectations of a third straight World Series appearance.
Updated at 9:56 a.m.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Early in the season, Carl Pavano referred to the Twins as “a great team.’’
But they’ve been anything but over the last month. They went 6-13 in the stretch immediately before the All-Star break, and have lost 13 games in the standings to the White Sox since June 9.
There was talk of a Cliff Lee trade but they watched him go to the Texas Rangers instead. With franchise-record revenues from Target Field, the Twins have the resources to make a splash. The 4.60 earned run average by the starting rotation suggests how badly they need to add a hot starter (or even two) to their mix, as Philadelphia did at this time a year ago.
Jon Rauch has been surprisingly solid as a fill-in for sidelined closer Joe Nathan but it wouldn’t hurt to add an experienced arm as insurance if he starts feeling the heat.
Updated at 10:54 a.m.
Andrew Wagaman, The Morning Call
This week the Atlanta Braves acquired Alex Gonzalez, a more defensively consistent shortstop than Yunel Escobar and also the extra bat the Braves craved.
What say you, Philadelphia?
With their four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies showed general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that they are still capable of a third straight National League title. But they need help, and Amaro must respond with an aggressive move of his own, something he’s done well the last couple of years.
The return of Placido Polanco should resuscitate some of the Phillies’ offense, but Chase Utley might not return until Labor Day. Why not trade rightfielder Jayson Werth, on his way out anyway, for another infielder and decent starting pitcher?
Yes, Werth is the Phillies’ only good right-handed hitter still healthy, but trailing by more than four games means standing pat is not an option. Atlanta has raised the stakes, and Philadelphia’s only options are to call the bet or fold.