It's a three-team race in the AL Central, with the first-place Tigers holding narrow leads over the Twins and White Sox.
All three figure to be buyers before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, and the best deal could very well determine which team is going to the playoffs.
There is one very hot trade rumor to keep a close eye on _ Cliff Lee to Minnesota.
The Twins have reportedly offered top prospects Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks to Seattle for the ace left-hander. Multiple sources are saying a deal is not even close, but its no secret Minnesota is in desperate need of starting pitching.
In my opinion, not one of the Twins' starting five _ Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn _ would be good enough to crack the White Sox' starting five.
That's why Minnesota dropped back to the AL Central pack so quickly after playing so well over the first two months.
But if the Twins manage to pry Lee away from the Mariners, they are going to be tough to beat.
As for the Tigers, word is they're pursuing a shortstop, specifically the Diamondbacks’ Stephen Drew. Since releasing Adam Everett, Detroit has been playing Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth at short.
As for the White Sox, you never know what GM Kenny Williams is going to do.
The need for a left-handed bat with some pop is still there, and that’s why you’re hearing about Adam Dunn, Prince Fielder and Lance Berkman.
We’ll see what happens there.
But the Sox have had the best starting pitching since Day 1, and the rotation finally kicked it into gear after performing poorly in April and May.
Pitching usually wins, so the White Sox have got to be feeling pretty good about themselves heading into the all-star break.