August 19, 2022

Five contenders with holes left after the MLB trade deadline

Every team enters the trade deadline with a wish list. Nobody gets everything they want — even in San Diego, it might feel that way right now.

No list is perfect. Even at the most powerful clubs there will always be loopholes, small problems that the front office and manager must try to solve, game after game.

Let’s drill down into some of these potential sore points, focusing on the competitors. We’ll use a few basic criteria: If there’s a positional team that’s at least half-a-standard deviation below average, according to BWAR, and projects to continue at that level throughout the season, they can be on this list.

Below are the roster holes that could have the biggest impact on the title chase, along with some possible solutions. Position rankings for each position are listed: season-to-date and projected, based on baseball-reference.com’s WAR and Fangraphs’s Rest-of-Season projections for season-to-date production.


Problem Status: Second Base (19th season to present, 28th season remaining)

Chicago’s inactivity at the deadline is worrisome, though that may be more a reflection of how thin its organization is than a lack of motivation to improve the roster. The White Sox have no position in need of improvement beyond second base, where their rest-season projection is 1.6 standard deviations below the mean. Congratulations: This creates the single biggest positional hole in a contending team.