While the American League remains as competitive as ever, the Central division offers two teams that could be the most interesting sellers at the trade deadline.
The Minnesota Twins have several players that could help contending teams while the Kansas City Royals are loaded with prospects as they look for talent who can help them at the big-league level.
Canadian slugger Justin Morneau could be one of the more sought-after players if the Twins make him available. His health remains a long-term question mark but he could be a major addition to a playoff team if he can stay off the DL.
The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers are in playoff contention once again have already moved to fill some short-term holes.
General Manager: Kenny Williams
Opening Day Payroll: $97,669,500
Baseball America Farm System Ranking: 30
Deeadline Status: Buyer
Needs: Veteran starter, outfield depth, bullpen depth
Major League trade chips: Gordon Beckham (2B), Orlando Hudson (2B/3B), Philip Humber (SP)
Top prospects: Nestor Molina (RHP), Simon Castro (RHP), Trayce Thompson (OF)
The Skinny: The White Sox have the power bats to stay in contention so they went out and acquired Francisco Liriano last week from Minnesota to bolster their starting rotation. Williams struck earlier in the month by dealing for veteran right-handed reliever Brett Myers from Houston.
General Manager: Chris Antonetti
Opening Day Payroll: $65,430,300
Baseball America Farm System Ranking: 29
Status: Wait and see
Needs: Power-hitting first baseman, upgrade at third base, veteran reliever
Major league trade chips: Michael Brantley (OF), Josh Tomlin (SP), Derek Lowe (SP), Justin Masterson (SP), Chris Perez (RP)
Top prospects: Francisco Lindor (SS), Dillon Howard (RHP), Tony Wolters (SS)
The Skinny: The Indians have been one of the surprising teams in the first half of the season and remain in the Wild Card race but their status as buyer or seller remains in doubt. As a buyer, they have been linked to Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs. If they decide to sell, Lowe and Masterson are likely candidates to move on
General Manager: Dave Dombrowski
Opening Day Payroll: $133,475,000
Baseball America Farm System Ranking: 23
Needs: Middle-of-rotation starter, upgrade at second base, veteran reliever
Major league trade chips: Delmon Young (OF), Rick Porcello (SP), Brennan Boesch (LF), Daniel Schlereth (RP)
Top prospects: Jacob Turner (RHP), Nick Castellanos (3B), Andy Oliver (LHP)
The Skinny: After a slow start to the season, the Tigers began to fire on all cylinders following the acquistion of starter Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante from Miami. The Tigers lost two of three to Toronto over the weekend and may still have one more move up their sleeve.
General Manager: Dayton Moore
Opening Day Payroll: $64,001,725
Baseball America Farm System Ranking: 2
Needs: Young starters, upgrade at second base
Major league trade chips: Jeff Francoeur (RF), Jonathan Broxton (RP), Yuniesky Betancourt (SS), Bruce Chen (SP)
Top prospects: Will Myers (OF), Bubba Starling (OF), Mike Montgomery (LHP)
The Skinny: The Royals were supposed to have the next great farm system, but the team is still years away from contending at the pro level. Trading away Melky Cabrera was a monumental error but the team is still is loaded with high-end, tradeable talent in their system. Broxton is attracting lots of attention.
General Manager: Terry Ryan
Opening Day Payroll: $100,435,000
Baseball America Farm System Ranking: 20
Needs: Front-end starter, controllable talent, middle infield upgrade
Major league trade chips: Justin Morneau (1B), Josh Willingham (OF), Ryan Doumit (C), Denard Span (OF), Scott Baker (SP), Matt Capps (RP)
Top prospects: Miguel Sano (SS/3B), Aaron Hicks (OF), Joe Benson (OF)
The Skinny: After over a decade of success in the AL Central, the Twins are in rebuilding mode and should be looking to flip their veteran players for young, controllable assets. The Twins don’t have much in the high-end prospect department so the for sale sign is up on everyone not named Mauer.
With files from Mike Cormack