AL Lineup Analysis 07/24

The same way that I switched things up for the NL lineup analysis, I am doing the same thing for AL lineups! You can check out my most recent NL lineup article here! For those of you that did not follow my NL article, with the All-Star Break being last week I am focusing this article on the Trade Deadline. In the article below, I look at how each team could make moves at the deadline to impact their lineup. Check out news and notes for all 15 teams!

MLB Lineup Analysis

AL East

New York Yankees

The Yankees already boast one of the best lineups in baseball. They are stacked from top to bottom with elite hitters. The one name on the Yankees that continues to swirl around is Joey Gallo. Since acquiring him at the deadline last season, Gallo has been a major disappointment. Rumors have stated that the Yankees are trying to trade him and replace him with somebody else. Any hitter that joins the Yankees is in line for an immediate boost in fantasy value. The same can be said for Joey Gallo. Gallo has never looked comfortable as a Yankee and maybe a change in scenery unlocks the old Joey Gallo. If traded, Gallo is a player I am adding.

Boston Red Sox

Boston is one of the few teams I could see doing very little at the deadline in terms of adjusting their lineup. Boston’s biggest need is pitching. Their lineup seems pretty set at this point. The biggest addition to the team for the second half is Kike Hernandez. Hernandez seems to be closing in on a rehab assignment and will help provide depth and versatility. Boston could look to add a bench bat as an insurance policy to any starters getting injured, but I expect them to remain relatively quiet in terms of adding bats at the deadline.

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto is another team that I expect to focus on pitching. Looking at their starting lineup, there is really no reason to add any specific position. Cavan Biggio and Raimel Tapia provide valuable depth to Toronto’s starting lineup and they do not have any major holes. I could see Toronto using Gabriel Moreno as trade bait to potentially get a starting pitcher. Moreno is a top prospect currently blocked by both Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen. If Moreno gets traded somewhere, he should be added everywhere. I am okay adding Moreno as a stash now if you need catching help and have room on your bench.

Tampa Bay Rays

The injuries continue to pile up for Tampa. They are in dire need of a bat, but the concern is always about the payroll. The team specifically needs an outfielder. Manuel Margot and Kevin Kiermaier are not coming back anytime soon, and Josh Lowe continues to look lost at the plate. The Rays could add a right-handed bat to platoon with Lowe in the outfield if they did not want to acquire a big name. Former Ray, Tommy Pham is a name to keep an eye on. He expressed interest in rejoining Tampa in the off-season and would make a lot of sense for them right now.

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles have been a lot of fun to watch over the past month. They have been winning games and providing excitement for the city of Baltimore. However, they are likely aware that they stand little chance of making it to the playoffs. Their focus needs to be on next year and beyond as they have an elite young core to build around. I do not expect the Orioles to make many trades, but if they do, Rougned Odor and Trey Mancini are the most likely to be dealt. Mancini would provide a huge boost to a contending team, but he has become the face of the franchise and the Orioles might be hesitant to move him. The most exciting young prospect that Baltimore has is Gunnar Henderson, but I do not expect him up even the Orioles trade somebody from the starting lineup.

AL West

Houston Astros

The Astros are going to add at the deadline, it is just a matter of where? Michael Brantley still has not shown any improvement with his shoulder since landing on the IL. Jake Meyers has been fine in center field, but they could also use an upgrade there. Combining these two factors, I would expect Houston to make a move for another outfielder. In particular, one who can play center field. Bryan Reynolds makes a lot of sense as a potential fit here, although I am not sure Houston is willing to pay his price. Another option is Ian Happ. The Astros could use another impact bat and adding an outfielder would help.

Yordan Alvarez has already spent some time on the IL this year. The Astros could also look to add a 1B/DH bat that can help replace Alvarez in the event of another IL stint. Jesus Aguilar is a name that makes sense for Houston.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels are likely to be sellers at the deadline. From their lineup, there are not many attractive pieces for many teams. Matt Duffy is injured but is a name that could be sought after. Max Stassi has had a rough season but could be a target for a team looking to add a veteran catcher. The most intriguing player that is not starting is Jo Adell. However, the Angels are not going to trade any of Trout, Ward, or Ohtani. Adell will have to prove himself to be the better player over Brandon Marsh if he wants to enter the lineup.

Texas Rangers

After a massive offseason that saw them sign Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, the Rangers have been disappointing. They are over seven games back of a playoff spot and cannot be considered contenders. I expect the Rangers to be sellers, but not in a big way. They could look to trade Brad Miller to a team in need of a left-handed bench bat. Miller has struggled this season but has crushed righties the last few seasons. Miller is on the IL right now, decreasing his chances of being dealt. Ezequiel Duran has continued to demonstrate strong abilities to make contact and hit for power in the minors and majors. I expect the Rangers to find a way to get him into the lineup in the second half and he is a player to target in fantasy leagues.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are in a unique spot. They have been playing some of the best baseball in the league lately. Despite this, they do not have any significant holes in their lineup. In fact, the most significant additions will be getting Kyle Lewis and Mitch Haniger back from the IL. Lewis has already been activated and will play every day. Haniger began a rehab assignment this week and should be back in a couple of weeks. I continue to believe these returns will impact Adam Frazier and Abraham Toro the most. With Carlos Santana playing well, the Mariners will want to keep him in the lineup. Shifting Santana to first base will move Ty France to second base and remove Adam Frazier from the starting lineup.

Oakland A’s

The big name available in Oakland is Sean Murphy. Murphy is one of the better defensive catchers in the league. Any team looking for an upgrade at catcher will be reaching out to Oakland. His price is likely cheaper than Willson Contreras who is the other big catcher that might be on the block. Murphy’s fantasy value will increase with a trade since he should improve his counting stats. If Murphy gets dealt, I expect Oakland to call up prospect Shea Langeliers. He is batting .272 with 16 home runs in AAA so far this year.

Oakland has a few other players that might garner some interest in trade talks. Seth Brown hits for solid power against righties. A team looking for a left-handed bat could make a deal for him. Tony Kemp and Stephen Piscotty are other veterans Oakland might shop around to other teams. Both players are struggling this year and are unlikely to bring back much of a return.

AL Central

Kansas City Royals

The Royals have several core lineup pieces to build around and a few pieces that could garner interest from contending teams. The name that instantly sticks out is Michael A. Taylor. He has never been a player that hits consistently well but could be a defensive upgrade for some teams. Taylor will lose an everyday lineup spot on a new team. A Taylor trade would open the door for both Kyle Isbel and Edward Olivares to receive consistent playing time. Olivares is the name to watch for fantasy purposes even though he is on the IL now. He is batting over .300 on the season and has shown real flashes of being able to finally put it all together. The raw talent and skills are there for Olivares, now it is just about opportunity. If Michael Taylor gets traded, I would pick up Olivares.

Another name that is a little less likely to be traded is Hunter Dozier. Dozier is extremely versatile and is under club control through 2025. The Royals might ask a lot for Dozier, and I expect to see a team pay up for his services. If the Royals get a package they like, they could call up Nick Pratto who is another top prospect in their system. Although I have more reservations about Pratto than I did Pasquantino, he is worth adding in deeper leagues.

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have been another team to disappoint in 2022. They are undoubtedly going to sell at the deadline. I could see Robbie Grossman being a name to come up in trade discussions. Grossman is in the last year of a two-year deal with Detroit. He is struggling this season but posted a 114 wRC+ in 2021. Akil Baddoo will be in line to receive more playing time if Grossman is traded. Baddoo has looked completely lost at the plate this season but was a popular breakout heading into the year. He might be worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox desperately need a second baseman. Josh Harrison and Leury Garcia have been receiving most of the lineup time, and the argument can be made neither should be on an MLB roster. Last season, the White Sox made a trade for Cesar Hernandez, and honestly, the same exact trade would make sense again. Brandon Drury is another name that makes sense as a target for Chicago. Although he has been disappointing, Yasmani Grandal is back from the IL. He struggled during the first half last season and then had a monster second half after an IL stint. He is worth watching in case the same thing happens again.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins are going to be yet another AL team looking to bolster their rotation. The lineup is solid for Minnesota. They will be welcoming Miguel Sano back at some point in the second half which will help provide them with more depth. One spot they could look to upgrade with a minor move is catcher. Gary Sanchez is fine, but with Jeffers on the IL there is very little depth behind him. Sanchez has been able to maintain his fantasy value for now with the Jeffers injury, but if the Twins make move his value will take a hit.

Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians are quietly only one and a half games out on the Twins for the AL Central lead. If the Guardians are looking to add at the deadline, they have a couple of areas that could use an upgrade. The first and biggest is at catcher. Austin Hedges continues to be one of the worst offensive catchers in baseball. If the Guardians are looking for a cheap option, Max Stassi would be an upgrade. The other position of need is CF. Myles Straw is an excellent defensive replacement. However, he has been the Guardians starting center fielder. They could target Ian Happ or Ramon Laureano as options. Joey Gallo could even make sense if they believe he can play CF. Any trade for an outfielder would remove any fantasy value Straw possesses.

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