Nothing has piqued my interest this offseason quite like free-agent outfielder Eric Thames.
Thames is 30 years old, and if he returns to playing in the Majors next season, it will be his first time suiting up in a MLB uniform in half a decade.
In 2008, Thames was a 7th round pick in the MLB Draft of the Toronto Blue Jays. He worked his way up through the minor leagues, showing good pop and a keen ability to get on base.
Thames was a big leaguer by the 2011 season, and he was decent, swatting 12 home runs and posting a .769 OPS (105 OPS+) over 394 plate appearances with Toronto.
Selected off waivers by the Mariners in 2012, Thames wrapped up that season with a total of 21 career big league homers, a .727 OPS (96 OPS+) and defense so poor that he did not even provide any real value (-0.1 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement).
What is shocking, though, is what has happened since Thames fell into relative obscurity within baseball circles, especially since he was never a top prospect and was never considered to ever become a superstar at any level.
Over the past three years, Thames has been one of the best baseball players in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
From 2014 through 2016, Thames has a combined 124 home runs (41.3 HR/year average) and 379 RBI (126.3 RBI/year average) over 388 games.
He was named KBO MVP in 2015 when he posted a .381/.497/.790 line with 47 home runs, 140 RBI, 40 stolen bases and a 103-91 BB/K ratio in 595 plate appearances.
Now that Thames is a free agent once again, he's generating interest from Major League franchises, who not only seemed inclined to give him a Major League contract but a multi-year deal, according to some executives.
"Look at some of the money that Cuban players have gotten," one executive told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. "What’s the difference here? I think somebody is going to bite, and he’ll get a contract for two years and $12 million, or three years and $15-18 million."
According to Crasnick, the San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, and Tampa Bay Rays have all shown interest in Thames.
Can Thames make a true big league impact?
Certainly, teams think so. Results, on the other hand, give us mixed messages.
Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang went from Korea in 2014 to the big leagues from in 2015, and phenomenal results were almost immediate. He went from posting a 1.198 OPS in the KBO to an .816 OPS (123 OPS+) in the Major Leagues. That's a success story.
Hyun Soo Kim went from posting a .979 OPS in Korea in 2015 to a .801 OPS (113 OPS+) in the Majors in 2016. He was good with the Orioles but only in a limited role.
Like Thames, Twins designated hitter and first baseman Byung Ho Park is a former KBO MVP. He posted a 1.150 OPS in Korea in 2015 and then a .684 OPS in America in 2016. Park spent a big chunk of last season in Triple-A and remains a huge question mark.
One thing among all three of these examples is certain: when moving from Korea to America, the OPS will fall, and it might be only due to a transition period and getting used to Major League pitching. Though, I wouldn't say that is for certain, as the KBO is a notorious hitter's league.
For Kang, the OPS fell 32% (though it did go higher in 2016). For Kim, the OPS fell 18%. And for Park, the OPS fell 41%.
If we assume that Thames' OPS falls approximately 30% from 2016 to 2017 when making the likely transition to the Majors, he would post approximately a .770 OPS next season, which falls awfully close to what is in line with his MLB career OPS (.727).
Sure, my calculations are based on a mere three examples, but I think my point still stands. Thames isn't as good as he is in Korea, and it might not even be close.
Does this mean that a team does not deserve to give him a job? Absolutely not. It is on the teams to exploit every possible opportunity to gain value, and Thames could conceivably provide a lot of value if he even 80 or 90 percent of the guy he was in Korea.
But for me, I just don't see that happening.
It was coming to an end. It was Feb. 12, 2016, and the bulk of the 2015-2016 offseason had passed, with many baseball fans excited for the start of Spring Training with pitchers and catchers reporting.
Billy Beane and company in the Athletics’ front office were not done making the final tweaks to their roster going into this season.
Fast forward six months, and here’s outfielder Khris Davis, on Aug. 14, hitting his 30th home run of the season. Looking back at it now, the move for Davis could pay dividends for the Athletics for many seasons to come.
Back on Feb. 12, the Athletics acquired outfielder Khris Davis from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for two minor league prospects: Jacob Nottingham and Bowdien Derby.
At the time of the trade, I wrote:
“By adding Davis, the Athletics demonstrated their willingness to aim for contention in 2016. … He boosts the middle of their order, while also deepening their outfield.”
Davis has been all that and more for the Athletics this season, hitting .255/.295/.517 with the 30 home runs and 75 runs batted in. He’s posted a 116 wRC+, and coming into Sunday, he had been worth 1.3 Wins Above Replacement (FanGraphs). He struggles on the bases and in the field, but his power is real, with a .262 isolated power this season.
I will say, however, that Davis does not come without his flaws, even offensively. He strikes out a lot and does not walk often, but in a league where right-handed power is rare, some of those flaws can be overlooked to an extent.
Even when looking at the Brewers’ return, the addition of Davis looks even more promising for the Athletics down the road.
Nottingham, a catcher, is a legit prospect. He ranks 15th on the Brewers’ Top-30 prospect list (MLB.com) but is only hitting .236/.296/.337 in 390 plate appearances down in Double-A, adding 8 homers and 31 runs batted in. His defense is decent and currently ranks as a 40 (below average) on the 20-80 scale, with his arm coming in as a 50 (average), according to MLB.com.
As for Derby, he is not ranked on the Brewers’ Top 30 list. He’s 22 and only in Class A-Advanced, where the lefty has gone 6-10 with a 5.32 ERA and a 93-41 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 111 2/3 innings pitched this year. The San Diego St. product has not shown lots of promise on the stats sheet, to say the least.
Giving up prospects isn’t exactly what a non-contending team wants to do, regardless of how prominent they are. I know I wrote that the Athletics could contend by making this move back in Feb., but that has not been the case. I still like this deal for the team, though, for multiple reasons.
First off, he’s cheap and he will be cheap for awhile. Davis isn’t arbitration eligible until next offseason, giving the Athletics plenty of time to build a lineup around him. He’s also not a free agent until after the 2019 season. Right now, Davis is making just over the league minimum at $525,000.
Secondly, the Athletics could decide to move him in another trade further down the road. Nottingham is decent, and plays a premium position, but I would be willing to bet the Athletics would be getting a better prospect package in return for Davis than they gave up.
Just look at the trade the Mets made for Jay Bruce. Bruce, a power-hitting outfielder with little defense capabilities, fetched the Reds Dilson Herrera, an infielder that is no longer a prospect but still has lots of potential, and lefty Max Wotell, who ranks No. 21 on their Top-30 prospects. Bruce came with another year of control, too, which could be an exact move the Athletics make at the 2018 trade deadline, albeit with Davis.
And, obviously, the earlier they decide to dump him (if ever), the more they’ll get in return.
To recap, Davis is an option that helps the Athletics now and in the future, and perhaps even further into the future if they decide to flip him somewhere else.
So perhaps one of the best moves of this past offseason was the Athletics’ trade of slugging outfielder Khris Davis, no matter how late in the offseason it came.
We've made it! This is our last weekend without regular season baseball, with Opening Night coming next Sunday. We have arrived at my last division preview, as this time I take a look at the American League West. They have five teams that all have arguments for contention in 2016, but who will?
1. Houston Astros -- 2015 Record: 86-76; Projection: 92-70
The Astros narrowly missed out on winning this very division last year, falling two games shy of the Rangers in the standings. Fans still weren't upset by any means. The team hadn't made the postseason since 2005, and they had some of the worst teams in baseball from 2011 to 2013, losing an average of 108 games during those horrid years. Last season was a huge turnaround for them, and it should only serve as the beginning of a huge window of contention for the 'Stros.
To find the heart and soul of this Houston team, look no further than the middle infield, with 21-year-old Carlos Correa and 25-year-old Jose Altuve being among the best shortstops and second basemen in the league, respectively. The Astros practically had no turnover in their lineup going into the 2016 season, with only Chris Carter leaving via free agency. Other than that, this team is ready to pick up where it left off.
Their pitching staff is deep. I had absolutely no problem with the team taking a shot at Doug Fister to help with the back end of their rotation. I, in fact, loved it. He was an awfully good starter not too long ago, and at 32, he should still be in his prime or close enough to his prime to be a valuable piece. The team upgraded their bullpen, their lone issue in 2015, this offseason with the addition of Ken Giles from Philadelphia. Giles, with his 100 mile per hour fastball and wipeout slider, is one of the best up-and-coming closers in baseball and should be able to finish off games with ease.
Overall, the Astros have the makings of a ball club that could be very dangerous in the 2016 playoffs. The laughingstock of the league no longer, many will be paying attention to Houston for many reasons. Plus, who isn't excited to see what Carlos Correa can do in a whole season?
2. Texas Rangers -- 2015 Record: 88-74; Projection: 90-72
When the Rangers acquired Cole Hamels from the Phillies at the trade deadline last season, their main intention was to have him for a possible run into the postseason in 2016. They were 50-52 at the time and seven games out of the division. Slowly but surely, the Hamels acquisition became not just a 2016 move, but a 2015 move too, as the Rangers propelled themselves towards the postseason. They went 38-22 the rest of the way, and they found themselves playing the Blue Jays in the American League Division Series, where they lost in five games.
The Rangers' lineup is solid from top to bottom. Probably the most underrated player there is Delino DeShields, who, as a Rule 5 draft pick, went out and posted a .718 OPS, stole 25 bases, and provided fine defense. DeShields could even have a bigger year in 2016, as he stole 101 bases in 2012 while in the Astros system. With more of a green light on the base paths, DeShields could be a huge headache to pitchers. Also, the Rangers added Ian Desmond to the mix this year, where he'll serve as an outfielder until Josh Hamilton can find a way to get healthy (if he does at all). On a one-year, $8 million deal, Desmond looks to be a steal and may be able to have a solid year in a hitter's park.
As for their staff, the biggest addition (or more like a re-addition) the Rangers will be getting this year is Yu Darvish, who missed all of last year with Tommy John surgery. Darvish and Hamels should give them one of the better one-two punches in the American League. As for their bullpen, the Rangers took on Tom Wilhelmsen in a trade with the Mariners this offseason, where he'll be in the back-end of the 'pen with Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson, Keone Kela, and Shawn Tolleson.
The Rangers should have a very good year in 2016, but the Astros are just a bit better in terms of depth and in the rotation. I expect Texas to have a good shot at the playoffs, though.
3. Seattle Mariners - 2015 Record: 76-86; Projection: 82-80
The Mariners did a lot this offseason. Perhaps the move I liked the most, however, was the hiring of Jerry Dipoto to be their general manager and their subsequent hiring of Scott Servais to be their manager. They needed an executive like Dipoto to come in and clean house, while building around the talent that they already have in store, with players like Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz.
The Mariners brought in quite a few mid-range additions this offseason: starter Wade Miley, outfielder Nori Aoki, reliever Steve Cishek, reliever Joaquin Benoit first baseman Adam Lind, outfielder Leonys Martin, catcher Chris Iannetta and many, many others. If I spent time on every one, I'd be here all day. However, I'd like to point out that as a whole, I loved what the Mariners did this offseason. They attacked their weaknesses from 2015, like the pitching, especially out of the bullpen. Miley is a huge bounce-back candidate for their rotation; though he had a 4.46 ERA last year, his peripherals were very good (147 strikeouts and 64 walks in 193 2/3 innings) and advanced stats like FIP and xFIP suggest that his ERA should have been closer to 4.00. FIP in particular said that Miley should have had a 3.81 ERA last year with better defense behind him.
The Mariners' core part of their lineup is similar to what it was in 2015. In terms of wRC+, the Mariners had the seventh-best offense in the league. If they want to be better than that, they'll need Cano to play like he did in the second half. He had a .331 batting average, hit 15 home runs, and posted a 157 wRC+ in the latter half of 2015. There's reason to believe he'll be back to where he was, as he is now fully healthy after battling a long-term stomach illness. Overall though, there's reason to have hope in the Mariners' lineup in 2016.
Looking at the team as a whole, it's really hard to know where the Mariners stand in 2016. It is impossible to determine if they will mesh, if their pitching will hold up, or if they can beat out some of the better American League teams. I initially thought that the Mariners could win the AL West, but I'm still skeptical as to whether they will put it all together on the field.
4. Los Angeles Angels - 2015 Record: 85-77; Projection: 81-81
The Angels are wasting the best player in baseball. Mike Trout has only seen the postseason once (in 2014 for a mere three games). And he won't see it again this year. The Angels are coming off a season where they were oh-so-close to making the postseason, but just could not do it. I liked the addition of Andrelton Simmons to fill a whole at shortstop, but are they really going into 2016 with a platoon of Daniel Nava and Craig Gentry in the outfield? I am not a fan.
Outside of Trout and Albert Pujols, I have concerns about who will provide the offense in Anaheim. The team had five players with an OPS+ of 100 or greater in 2016. One of them is gone (David Freese), and the other two--Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron--were just above 100 at 104 and 106, respectively. The Angels ranked 12th in the American League in runs scored in 2015. That could only be worse this year. Mike Trout can only do so much, L.A.! That's what I love about baseball; one player cannot make a team a playoff team.
The rotation is fine. I am a fan of Garrett Richards at the top there and Andrew Heaney more towards the back. Even Hector Santiago was solid last year, working to a 3.59 ERA in 33 games (32 starts). But then the Angels have Jered Weaver, who has struggled to work above 80 mph this Spring Training and looks even more hittable than last year when he worked to a 4.64 ERA. Matt Shoemaker is the wild card here, as he had a 3.04 ERA (3.26 FIP) in an excellent rookie year, but posted a 4.46 ERA (4.59 FIP) last year. What Shoemaker will we see next year?
The Angels have plenty of concerns in my eyes, but there's definitely a chance they contend, especially if their offense can pick up some of the slack. They've got a good couple of stars there, but I'm worried about the depth, or lack thereof. The Angels will keep themselves in the mix if they can win the close games and beat the teams they should beat in 2016. Because I don't think they'll be blowing anyone away.
5. Oakland Athletics - 2015 Record: 68-94; Projection: 78-84
The Athletics missed the playoffs in 2015 for the first time since 2011, and I don't see them reversing their fortunes. The front office may still have hope, though, considering Sonny Gray is still in an Oakland uniform. This is despite the fact that he was a hot name on the trade market this offseason, and the Athletics are not expected to contend next year.
The team made a few modest upgrades this offseason, bringing in relievers Ryan Madson, Liam Hendriks, John Axford and Marc "Scrabble" Rzepczynski; starter Rich Hill and Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, and Yonder Alonso in the lineup. Each move came with a purpose, but my favorite of all of them was the trade for Davis, who is a candidate to a ton of home runs in 2016. This is something the A's lacked last year. Davis hit 27 in 440 plate appearances with the Brewers last season, posting a 122 OPS+. There's a lot to like about his upside on the field, but the A's must like him due to the fact that he's inexpensive and controllable through the 2019 season.
As for their pitching, you can't go wrong with Gray, who, at 25, was named to his first All-Star team last year. He posted a 2.73 ERA in 31 starts and 208 innings last season, striking out 169 and walking just 59. Gray is the ace of Oakland's staff, and his excellent control gives me plenty of reason to believe that he'll be the ace for years to come. Hill was the another addition for the A's this offseason, and he earns $6 million in 2016 after making just four starts last year. However, Hill's four starts were fantastic, as he posted a 1.55 ERA in 29 innings with a 36 to five strikeout-to-walk ratio with the Red Sox. Those are again reasons to believe that his success was sustainable. The A's hope he'll be just good enough to be worth the $6 million they owe him.
Overall, the Athletics are another puzzling case in the American League West. I'm not sure how big of an impact their new additions this offseason will make. However, I can say without much doubt that Oakland will be improved after a bad year last year, but the question is how much.
Up Next: Postseason and Award Picks
As 2015 comes and goes, nobody is more excited to take the field again like infielder Chad Pinder.
Pinder is in the Athletics' minor league system. He was rated as their 7th-best prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, and is projected to make his Major League debut in 2016.
"To be honest I don't focus on that," Pinder said in an email to Cover Those Bases. "I can only control what is in front of me, and that's playing where they put me. I plan on continuing to develop and work hard at some of the aspects of my game that I think need to be refined."
The 23-year-old has come a long way to get to where he is today. He grew up in Virginia, in a household with baseball being a main focus. His father, Chris, played in the Indians' and Orioles' systems and influenced Chad in his baseball endeavors.
"[He was] definitely the biggest influence in my baseball life, mostly the mental side to the grind of minor league life," Pinder said. "He lived it so he prepared me for what it was like."
Pinder was a four-year Varsity baseball player at Poquoson High School in Poquoson, Virginia. Pinder continued his baseball career at Virginia Tech and racked up honors, including being named to the All-ACC team in 2013.
"It was an honor to be named all ACC with the talent in the conference," Pinder said. "I did have an idea I would be drafted going into my junior year."
And he got his wish.
On June 6, 2013, Pinder got word from his advisor that he was drafted by the Oakland Athletics with the 71st overall pick in the second round. "Beyond excited," Pinder celebrated the milestone with family and friends. With the selection, he was Virginia Tech's seventh highest draft pick ever.
"It was surreal," Pinder said. "You don't really ever think it's going to happen and finally it did."
Pinder has been moved aggressively through the A's minor league system, reaching Double-A Midland this year. He hit for a .317 average and posted a .847 on-base plus slugging percentage in 522 plate appearances, swatting 15 home runs and driving in 86 RBIs.
Pinder was quite happy with his second full season of professional baseball, but notes that there are things he could have done better. Going forward, he hopes to refine his game to make himself a more complete player.
The Athletics also felt that Pinder had an excellent year, naming him to the Arizona Fall League (AFL) this fall. The AFL is known as a breeding ground for top prospects, with many Major League stars spending time there, including Dustin Pedroia, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Jimmy Rollins, Bryce Harper, and David Wright. Pinder himself loved his experience out west.
"I had an awesome time," Pinder said. "I learned a lot and really enjoyed getting to play with and against some of the best talent in minor league baseball."
Going forward, Pinder's ultimate goal, of course, is to make it to the Majors, but in 2016 he is not getting ahead of himself.
"My plan is to control what I can all while working as hard as I can along the way," Pinder said. "Hopefully the rest will take care of itself."
From southeastern Virginia, one Athletics prospect is thrilled as the calendar flips to 2016. He knows what is at stake and continues to enjoy the game he has played his entire life. As 2015 comes and goes, there is nobody more excited than Chad Pinder.
Using Baseball Prospectus' playoff odds, you should be able to tell who has the best chance of doing just that. Teams really should take those odds to determine whether they should be buyers and sellers because more often than not, they are right.
After games being played on July 6 last year, five of the ten eventual postseason teams had a 80 percent chance of making the playoffs or better. Every team that did have an 80 percent or greater chance of making the playoffs on this date last year did.
The team with the highest percent chance to make the playoffs on July 6 that ultimately didn't was the Milwaukee Brewers, who had a 71 percent chance to punch their ticket, but collapsed down the stretch and failed to make it.
Only three (Orioles, Royals, and Pirates) had less than a 50 percent chance of making the playoffs following action on July 6. By July 31, the Orioles were up to a 71 percent chance, the Royals were at a 17 percent chance, and the Pirates were at a 46 percent chance.
Knowing this, I will use Baseball Prospectus' current postseason predictions to determine who should buy and who should sell at the 2015 Trade Deadline.
All In (85% or greater)
St. Louis Cardinals (99.3%)
There's no reason why the Cardinals, who own MLB's best record at 54-28, should consider selling. In fact, Baseball Prospectus says that they have a 99.3 percent chance of making the playoffs, leaving just a very small chance for an extreme collapse. If the Cardinals play just .500 ball the rest of the way, that would put them on pace for 94 wins, which would definitely put them in prime position to punch their ticket to the postseason. The Cardinals have no reason to do anything but buy.
Los Angeles Dodgers (92.9%)
The Dodgers have the second-highest playoff percentage in the league, and nothing suggests that this team won't buy at the trade deadline. I predicted them to go out and get Johnny Cueto, perhaps the best pitcher available not named Cole Hamels. The Dodgers are always willing to spend money and prospects to make their team better and can easily justify doing so at the deadline.
Washington Nationals (85.6%)
The Nationals have arguably not played their best baseball yet, but still have an 85.6 percent chance to make the playoffs. They could use some reinforcements in their bullpen, but most of the additions the Nationals will be getting will be players coming back from injury, such as Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, and Stephen Strasburg. They may not need to make a ton of moves in July, but if they do, they have good reason to do so.
Houston Astros (84.7%)
The Astros have already shown interest in some of the top pitchers that will be available, and Baseball Prospectus' playoff odds completely backs that up. Houston's playoff percentage, at 84.7 percent, is so close to 85 percent that I had to shove them into this category. The Astros have showed that while they are a bit of a surprise, they still can win ballgames and do it over a period of time. The Astros by no means are "pretenders," as they have been able to hold a comfortable AL West lead since late April.
Should be buyers (70-85%)
Pittsburgh Pirates (81.3%), Chicago Cubs (73.1%)
The Pirates and Cubs have a case of some serious bad luck. They are playing in the National League's toughest division and would be either leading or close to leading any other division in the league. The only reason I'm wary of either of these teams buying at the deadline is because they are not division leaders and have more of a chance to collapse and fall out of the playoff race altogether. Unless they believe they have a real shot at the Cardinals (which it appears they don't), they shouldn't completely unload their farm systems to go out and get the best guy on the market.
Kansas City Royals (75.3%)
Of the three teams in this category, I am most comfortable with the Royals buying at the trade deadline due to the fact that they lead their division by a comfortable margin and need just one or two pieces to really put the pressure on the rest of the division. All signs point to the Royals making the playoffs again this year, so I would go ahead and pencil them in as buyers at the deadline.
Los Angeles Angels (64.8%)
The Angels are in a good position right now. They are playing good baseball and have shown the need for an upgrade in left field. Of the teams listed in this section, I truly believe they are the best and most complete team, so therefore they should be buyers at the deadline. The Angels could use some rotation help as well, but if they patch up a few spots, they will get into the postseason. My verdict? They should be buyers.
AL East: New York Yankees (59.4%), Toronto Blue Jays (39.6%), Tampa Bay Rays (34.9%)
The American League East division is lumped together because the division is so muddled and close that really anyone could win it. Baseball Prospectus' simulations give the Yankees the best chance to go to the playoffs out of that division, but with some rotation help, the Blue Jays are the division's best team. The Yankees and Rays should stand pat or make small moves at the deadline, while the Blue Jays should go out and make a splash for a rotation piece.
Detroit Tigers (36.7%)
With Miguel Cabrera being sidelined with his hamstring injury, I'm going to pencil the Tigers in as should be sellers, but as this team continues to try and make a run once again, they will find themselves trying to buy. The Tigers are heading towards a Phillies-esque fall, and if they don't realize that soon, it could only get worse if they decide to buy at the trade deadline in hopes for one last run at the World Series.
Maybe/Stand Pat (20-30%)
New York Mets (28.9%)
Even if the Mets added an offensive piece, I don't think that would be enough to get them to the playoffs this season. With that said, however, I could see them dealing for a guy with more than one season of control, as their young and talented pitching staff comes into their own. The Mets couldn't justify buying for a rental player, but a guy who is at least signed through 2016 could make sense.
Baltimore Orioles (28.7%)
The Baltimore Orioles have a ton of free agents at the end of the season that they probably should move. The Orioles could be one of those teams that tries to get 25-man roster guys with more years of team control in return. The Orioles could be a team that buys and sells at the trade deadline, and I would be fine with that.
San Francisco Giants (22.9%)
It's an odd year. The Giants aren't good enough to win the NL West, and considering that they have to deal with the Cubs and Pirates for the Wild Card, it will be tough for them to really make a run into the postseason. However, they still have a good core group of guys and the team has proved me wrong before. They probably should stand pat.
Shouldn't buy (Less than 20%)
Minnesota Twins (18.2%)
The Twins just aren't that good. Sure, they had a good run earlier this season, but all the numbers suggest that they were going to fall out of first in the AL Central. The Twins should really try and go for 2016, when some of their rookies will be more polished.
Texas Rangers (15.0%)
While the Rangers shouldn't buy, they probably will, as I consider them to be in a similar boat as the Tigers are in. The Rangers could legitimately contend, but they would more than a couple of upgrades, to the point where they probably shouldn't go for it this season.
Cleveland Indians (13.5%)
The Indians were a popular postseason pick prior to this season, but Baseball Prospectus' simulations show that they would need some serious luck to actually get there. The Indians shouldn't sell any pieces other than the impending free agents because my gut says that they will be back in the postseason sooner than later.
Boston Red Sox (11.8%)
The Red Sox are in a tough position right now. It might not be time for a fire sale quite yet, but it's definitely not time to go out and try and contend this season.
Seattle Mariners (7.0%)
The Mariners have had some issues staying in the race this season, and while they shouldn't sell off their entire team, they really shouldn't be buyers either.
Oakland Athletics (6.8%)
The Athletics are already shopping their pieces and it looks like they will be sellers.
Arizona Diamondbacks (6.4%)
The Diamondbacks are a team that should stand pat. They still have pieces to contend in the near future and as their pitching improves with guys coming back from injury, they could be a legitimate contender coming 2016.
Atlanta Braves (3.8%)
The Braves, especially in the offseason, have committed to becoming a selling team. They don't have any exciting pieces, but even though they have kind of surprised, they should by no means buy.
Chicago White Sox (3.2%)
The White Sox are in a tough position. They reportedly won't have a fire sale, which makes sense considering how much money they spent in free agency, but they need to get rid of Jeff Samardzija and still be planning to try again in 2016.
San Diego Padres (2.7%)
The Padres could buy at the deadline, but in all reality, they shouldn't. They've got some important games coming up that they need to win if people start seriously seeing them as contenders. Once again, they are proving that the winners of the offseason don't necessarily win during the season.
Miami Marlins (1.6%)
The Marlins shouldn't go into a fire sale, but Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Brad Hand, and other free agents at the end of the season should be gone.
Cincinnati Reds (1.1%)
The Reds have Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and possibly Aroldis Chapman available, and while they won't sell until after they host the All-Star Game, I expect it to come, as it should.
Colorado Rockies (0.2%)
I'd pull the trigger and deal Troy Tulowitzki. It's time for a real change in Colorado if they want to be relevant down the road.
Milwaukee Brewers (0.2%)
The Brewers should enter into a fire sale.
Philadelphia Phillies (0.0%)
Now, these rankings and categories don't mean that each of these teams will do as I advise. Their postseason percentages could change and perhaps an addition is all they need to do that. However, Baseball Prospectus' odds are very accurate and should not be taken lightly. Teams really should use them to determine whether they could justify buying at the deadline.