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Archive for July 25th, 2011

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

As July draws to a close, gradual separation in the American League East has begun to emerge. After beginning the month three games behind the Yankees, the Red Sox have turned the tables on their rival by going 16-3 and taking a three game lead of their own. At the other end of the spectrum, the Rays have stumbled to an 8-11 record, which has pushed them 10 games behind in the loss column. Meanwhile, the Yankees have taken the middle road, compiling an 11-9 record that has helped solidify its hold on a playoff slot by two games, despite ceding six games in the standings to the Red Sox.

A.L. East Division Race, Game-by-Game Progression (click to enlarge)

Note: Negative numbers represent games behind; positive numbers represent games ahead.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

With the trade deadline nearing, all three teams have been involved in rumors regarding impact players. For the Yankees and Red Sox, the whispers have hinted at key acquisitions, like Carlos Beltran and Ubaldo Jimenez, however, for the Rays, most of the “unnamed sources” present the team as a seller. James Shields, B.J. Upton, and Kyle Farnsworth have all been rumored to be available, which, on the surface, seems like a premature white flag. Then again, judging by the strength of the Rays’ farm system, as exemplified by the very early impact of Desmond Jennings and Alex Cobb, Tampa might actually improve its post season chances by shedding veteran players.

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