Jun 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Jesse Crain (26) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Chicago won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Noose Closes: AL East Roundup


With division rivalries heating up and teams looking to make their final moves before the July 31 trade deadline, there’s been a few items of note both trade and non-trade related happening in the AL East that warrant comment.

Noose Tightens Around A-Rod’s Neck
Round two of the Biogenesis suspensions are due to be handed out this week. As suspected by, well, everyone, it looks like A-Rod is at the head of the line. Welcome back to the bigs big guy. You can go sit down, again.

Noose Tightens Around Trade Deadline: Rays Get More Starting Pitching
Tampa Bay secured the services of the White Sox’ Jesse Crain in exchange for players to be named or cash considerations.

The Rays, who are generally quiet around trade deadline, it appears could not resist another strong bullpen addition to compliment their already stout starting pitching. Crain, 32, has a light out 0.74 ERA in 36 2/3 innings this season. With the AL East shaping up to be a down and dirty dog fight to the end, the Rays apparently are looking to play every angle.

Noose Tightens Around Red Sox: Will Boston Trade For Anyone At The Trade Deadline?
If Boston is going to make a deal by the trade deadline, they’ve certainly been playing it extremely close to the vest. After Jake Peavey came and went and no amount of digging has produced any credible evidence that the Red Sox are in the hunt, GM Ben Cherington may truly be holding to his claim of building the team of the future by protecting every one of his prized prospects.

It’s a good strategy for the future. I’m just not so sure that it’s a formula for success here and now. But hey, if you look at what was expected of this team after 2012′s spin, crash and burn then we’ve already gotten our money’s worth from the 2013 Sox. With AL East opponents not making much of a splash – the Orioles haven’t made a move and the Yankees acquisition of Alfonso Soriano is as much an admission that their season may well be over – Boston may be able to ride on the gold rush and sneak into a wild card berth at the very least.

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