-In the AL Central, the White Sox surprised everyone with a deadline deal at the last minute for Padres' injured Jake Peavy. The Tigers had dealt for Jarrod Washburn earlier in the day and the Sox may or may not have kept pace with this deal. Peavy has a possible return date sometimein September but more likely, next season. Washburn helps the Tigers now. They are separated by two games so anything could happen here.
-In the AL East, the clear winners are the Red Sox. They gained a big bat in Victor Martinez, who can play first and catch. They are neck-and-neck with the Yankees, who did nothing. Neither did the Rays, who are six games back.
-In the AL West, both the Angels and Rangers made a run for Roy Halladay and both camp up empty. 3 1/2 games separate them this morning and there's no reason to think it won't be a fight to the finish. The Angels really tried to get some pitching help, if not Halladay, then Cliff Lee, George Sherrill or Heath Bell.all of whom they sought.
In the NL:
First, let's say a prayer for the Pirates. They unloaded about 3/4 of their franchise this week and it couldn't have felt to good to management or fans. The possible good news is they got 18 players in return and maybe one or two of them will turn into something for them down the road.
-In the NL Central, the Cardinals and the Cubs are separated by .5 game after the Cubs poured it on in July, going 18-9. The Cardinals started their upgrade last month by acquiring Mark DeRosa, utility man-extraodinaire. Then, they added Matt Holliday, who is already making a difference. The Cubs were looking for and got a lefty-middle reliever in John Grabow. If the Cubs' big bats will be big and the pitching stays healthy and their rookie of the year catcher can come back from injury, it will be a dogfight to the finish.
-In the NL East, it's the Phillies, Phillies, Phillies. The defending World Series champs have a 5 1/2 game lead over the Marlins and they landed ace Cliff Lee, without giving up any other prospects the Blue Jays wanted from them in their failed attempt to get Roy Halladay. The Marlins got Nick Johnson, who will provide some added offense but will it be enough to catch the champs?
-In the NL West, the Dodgers have 7 1/2 game breathing room over the Giants. While the Dodgers, literally struck out in their efforts to shore up their starting pitching, they did acquire reliever Orioles' George Sherrill. The Giants' improved their offense by acquiring Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates.
Let's not forget that the waiver deadline is August 31st and there could still be action. Many teams who still believe they have a shot may be more realistic in a month and be willing to deal someone they weren't willing to now.
We'll be there...