Weekend sweeps alter division races in AL and NL

Weekend sweeps have altered races in both the National and American leagues. Here are thoughts on the storylines of the week: * Before the trade deadline, the general consensus on the Blue Jays was that they didn't have enough pitching to contend. Now that's theory is out the window: David Price, acquired in a trade from Detroit, has pitched two brilliant games and he and ... read more

How do moves made at deadline affect division races?

The baseball landscape has changed dramatically. So, let's answer questions about the shifting: Q: Which team made the biggest improvement in the National League East, the Nationals or Mets? A: The Mets added three bats in Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, and an All-Star setup guy in Tyler Clippard, while the Nationals added closer Jonathan Papelbon. The Nationals are better, even though the ... read more

Jays finally land their pitcher, but at what cost to their farm system?

After an off-the-charts trade that brought them shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, the Toronto Blue Jays are at it again. This time, they've added lefty pitcher David Price, giving the Detroit Tigers three pitching prospects, including their best prospect, lefty Daniel Norris. Price, 29, will get 11 or 12 starts for the Blue Jays. He'll make their rotation better and with a lineup that has a 95-plus ... read more

Jays' blockbuster adds offense, but doesn't address pitching problems

Leave it to the Toronto Blue Jays to make an unconventional, off-the-charts trade before Friday's 4 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline. The Blue Jays have acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and 42-year-old relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins from the Colorado Rockies for shortstop Jose Reyes and pitching prospects. What's going on? The Blue Jays need pitching, especially in the rotation. Everyone knows about their high-octane offense. But this ... read more

Will Mets' moves help close gap in tight NL East race?

The debate at the start of the season in the National League East focused on one question: Which team - the Mets or the Marlins - would be the biggest challenger to the Nationals in the division? The Marlins had a strong case, but they wilted under expectations, and it is the Mets who have the best chance of making it a race. In the ... read more

Harper, Williams have similar goals, but a rivaled past

As a kid growing up in Las Vegas, Bryce Harper knew about Matt Williams' All-Star baseball career. But Harper had reasons not to follow it too closely. Apparently, in-state rivalries never die in Nevada. Harper grew up in southern Nevada and Williams was from the north. "Being from Las Vegas, you hated the schools up north,'' Harper said. "It's a rivalry. You don't really like ... read more

With non-waiver trading deadline approaching, a look at possible buyers and sellers

The July 31 non-waiver trading deadline is approaching and speculation is flying about players moving to contenders. Soon it will be out of control. The Nationals might be looking for an outfield bat off the bench - how about Boston's Shane Victorino or Philadelphia's Jeff Francoeur? - and bullpen help to boost the bridge from rotation to closer. The Orioles could be looking for a ... read more

Will Nationals be able to shake off injuries to maintain control of NL East?

The National League East is playing out as expected, except for a minor detail. The pitching-rich Nationals are the first-place team, but the general consensus at the start was that their lead would be bigger than the two-game margin they have over the New York Mets. The Nationals and Mets are similar. Both have strong rotations, reliable closers and questions about the relievers that connect ... read more