Question: To buy ... or not to buy?

With the non-waiver trade deadline a week away, teams are trying to find the answer to their problems.

Baseball Week

July 24, 2005|By DAN CONNOLLY | DAN CONNOLLY,SUN STAFF

AFTER THIS WEEK, you won't be inundated with media speculation, front office fibs or absolute done deals that never happen.

The non-waiver trade deadline is next Sunday at 4; the madness soon will subside.

Here's the best guess at what each major league team is thinking this week.

The buyers

Orioles

Needs: A top-line starting pitcher and a power bat. Skinny: Available starting pitching is thin and costly. Marlins pitcher A.J. Burnett is the primary target, but he, for now, is tied to third baseman Mike Lowell's $21 million contract. The Giants' Jason Schmidt is intriguing. Pitching prospect Hayden Penn is team's best chip.

Boston Red Sox

Needs: A starter, two relievers and a right-handed bat. Skinny: They are in the Burnett sweepstakes and likely will land at least a reliever. Pitcher Bronson Arroyo and catching prospect Kelly Shoppach could be dealt.

New York Yankees

Needs: You name it. Starting pitcher, center fielder and lefty reliever. Skinny: They'll do something, as always. But they have little farm depth to offer.

Chicago White Sox

Needs: Starter, reliever, reserve middle infielder. Skinny: They have the prospects for a blockbuster but are afraid to mess with their chemistry.

Minnesota Twins

Needs: Third baseman, designated hitter. Skinny: They need run producers and could dangle reliever J.C. Romero or starter Kyle Lohse for a bat.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Needs: Mid-level starter, lefty reliever. Skinny: They have few holes and lots of prospects, but they don't usually go the rental-player route.

Texas Rangers

Needs: Pitching, right fielder. Skinny: They would take an entire staff if possible. Two starters and a reliever would work, but they don't want to move prospects.

Chicago Cubs

Needs: Power bat, setup men. Skinny: They traded for outfielder Jody Gerut. That might be the best they can do, unless they deal enigmatic outfielder Corey Patterson.

St. Louis Cardinals

Needs: Outfielder, left-handed reliever. Skinny: They'd love to get the Reds' Adam Dunn for now and the future. Expect a smaller outfield deal.

San Diego Padres

Needs: Right-handed bat at third, starting pitcher. Skinny: They may have obtained both yesterday, getting third baseman Joe Randa from the Reds and possibly Sidney Ponson from the Orioles.

Atlanta Braves

Needs: Relievers, left-handed hitter. Skinny: With a stocked farm system, they are again in a great position to make a second-half charge.

Washington Nationals

Need: Mid-level starter. Skinny: They've already added the biggest piece, outfielder Preston Wilson. Maybe outfielder Marlon Byrd gets dealt again.

The sellers

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Needs: A better owner, more youngsters. Skinny: The Rays are tough trade partners but have leverage with closer Danys Baez and utility man Aubrey Huff.

Cincinnati Reds

Needs: Pitching, prospects. Skinny: They moved Randa for two minor league pitchers, but shortstop Rich Aurilia should go, too. The jewels are outfielders Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Needs: Major league-ready young hitters. Skinny: Left-handed starter Mark Redman, outfielder Matt Lawton and first baseman Daryle Ward can be had. More coveted is starter Kip Wells.

Colorado Rockies

Needs: Youth, preferably major league ready. Skinny: They've already dealt three players. Expect pitcher Shawn Chacon and outfielder Dustan Mohr to follow.

Kansas City Royals

Needs: Corner outfielders, starters. Skinny: They want to hold onto their relievers and first baseman Mike Sweeney, so outfielders Matt Stairs and Terrence Long are their chips.

Seattle Mariners

Need: Youth. Skinny: Mike Hargrove is caught in another fire sale. Left-handed starter Jamie Moyer, closer Eddie Guardado and outfielder Randy Winn are all drawing interest.

The fence riders

Toronto Blue Jays

Needs: Top starting pitcher and hitter. Skinny: The Jays have money and a wild-card chance, but they might deal closer Miguel Batista or outfielder Frank Catalanotto.

Cleveland Indians

Needs: More young studs. Skinny: They are probably a year or two away from really contending, so pitchers Kevin Millwood and Bob Wickman could be dealt.

Detroit Tigers

Needs: Power hitter, closer. Skinny: They think they're still in the wild-card hunt. If not, former Orioles pitcher Jason Johnson tops their trade block.

Oakland Athletics

Need: Right-handed power bat. Skinny: General manager Billy Beane likes to be a buyer and a seller. He could deal newly acquired left-hander Joe Kennedy, but Barry Zito likely stays.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Need: Relief pitching. Skinny: Would like to buy, but if pitcher Javier Vazquez and outfield prospect Conor Jackson are off limits, not much happens here.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Needs: Health, power bat. Skinny: The Dodgers want to make a late push, but injuries have hurt. So whispers surround pitchers Jeff Weaver and Odalis Perez.

San Francisco Giants

Needs: Young starters, left-handed hitter. Skinny: The jewel is ace Schmidt, but second baseman Ray Durham and right-hander Brett Tomko are more likely trade bait.

Florida Marlins

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