At six games up on the rest of the AL East the Yankees have the benefit of not needing to chase down another team in order to secure their playoff hopes. The downside to that lead is that every other team in the division can use the trade deadline to improve their roster enough to try and take the Yankees' place. Which of the Yankees' competition did the best job of retooling their roster at the deadline in order to present the biggest threat to the division crown?
The Orioles traded prospect Zach Davies to the Brewers in return for rental outfielder Gerardo Parra. In 100 games for Milwaukee this season Parra has hit .328/.369/.517 with nine home runs and nine stolen bases. Baltimore also acquired outfielder Junior Lake from the Cubs in return for reliever Tommy Hunter. Bud Norris was designated for assignment at the deadline after struggling to reproduce his strong results from 2014. The Orioles are currently tied for second place in the division with the Blue Jays at six games back.
The last place Red Sox sent outfielder Shane Victorino to the Angels in return for infielder Josh Rutledge. Daniel Nava and Jemile Weeks were designated for assignment and reliever Jean Machi was claimed off waivers. It was a quiet deadline for Boston, but one that makes sense considering they are likely the only team truly out of the race in the division.
New York Yankees
Dustin Ackley was the lone trade made by Brian Cashman ahead of the deadline, but the team is calling up top prospect Luis Severino to make his next start at the big league level. The roster as constructed has gotten the Yankees out to a nice lead in the division and internal options do exist at key areas where they might want to upgrade. Rob Refsnyder can be called upon at any point to take over second base duties if the team tires of the struggling Stephen Drew, and Severino seems like he could be with the team for the long haul after Cashman's comments about preparing the young right-hander to not run into an innings limit by pulling him from games early at the beginning of the season.
The Rays flipped Kevin Jepsen to the Twins for two pitching prospects, as well as trading David DeJesus to the Angels. Tampa Bay has fallen to eight games back in the division, and their negative run differential would seem to indicate that they could be the next division rival to fall out of the race. The lack of moves at the deadline seem to reinforce that idea.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays, of course, made the biggest splash at the trade deadline by bringing in David Price and Troy Tulowitzki from Detroit and Colorado, respectively. LaTroy Hawkins also joins the Blue Jays as the second piece in the Tulowitzski trade, and Toronto also added speedy outfielder Ben Revere to their roster. Jose Reyes went to the Rockies in that same deal, making him the only real loss for the team. Offense has certainly not been the Blue Jays' issue so far in 2015, but adding Price should help out with a rotation that sorely needs it. Whether or not it will be enough to catch the Yankees remains to be seen.