The AL Central is not one of MLB‘s strongest divisions, but is one of the closest.
The Minnesota Twins lead it with a 52-46 record, closely followed by the 50-47 Cleveland Guardians (1.5 games behind).
The 2021 AL Central champions, the Chicago White Sox, are not far behind, with a 49-49 record that has them three games out of first place and just a game-and-a-half behind the Guardians.
One, or even two of those teams will probably miss the playoffs, yet they are making a concerted effort at getting better before the deadline.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand discussed their current stances in the trade market.
“The Twins, Guardians & White Sox – separated by just 3 games in the AL Central – are among the most aggressive teams in the pitching market right now, per sources. According to one executive from a potential seller, “They all think they have a shot and are trying to get better,” Feinsand tweeted.
The Twins, Guardians & White Sox – separated by just 3 games in the AL Central – are among the most aggressive teams in the pitching market right now, per sources. According to one executive from a potential seller, “They all think they have a shot and are trying to get better.”
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 28, 2022
The AL Central Division Is Still Up For Grabs
In reality, the executive is right: they all have a shot at winning the AL Central, or making it to the playoffs.
They are very close in the standings, and a winning streak could help them position themselves for a playoff run.
But all three teams need improvements.
Fortunately for them (or at least two of them), they have strong farm systems to try and lure sellers into trading some assets.
You could easily argue that the Twins and Guardians have top-ten farm systems.
The same can’t quite be said about the White Sox, but they do have a lot of young contributors and some prospects of note, and there are creative ways to get trades done.
We will see who is the trade deadline winner out of this trio in a few days.