Each team enters the trading deadline with a wish list. Nobody gets everything they want — even if it might feel that way in San Diego right now.
No list is perfect. There are always holes in even the most powerful clubs, little problems for the front office and the manager to try to solve, game after game.
Let’s zoom in on a few of these potential sore spots, focusing on contenders. We’ll use some basic criteria: If a contending team has a position group that, according to bWAR, has performed at least half a standard deviation below average, and has plans to stay at that level for the rest of the season, they can be on this list .
Below are the roster holes with the greatest potential impact on the title chase, with some possible solutions. Positive rankings are shown for each spot: season to date and forecast, based on baseball-reference.com’s WAR for the season’s production to date and Fangraphs predictions for the remainder of the season.
Problem position: Second base (19th season to date, 28th remainder of season)
Chicago’s inaction on the deadline was troubling, although perhaps it was more a reflection of how much the system has thinned than a lack of motivation to improve the roster. There’s no position where the White Sox needed a bigger upgrade than second base, where their projection for the rest of the season is 1.6 standard deviations below average. Congratulations: This makes this the biggest positional gap in a competing team.