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Buy, sell or hold: AL East

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

We've already seen a few trades, but the real action is looming, as the trade deadline sits just over a week away. With that in mind, we'll take a look at each division here this week. First up, the American League East.

New York Yankees

Status: Please. It's the Yankees. They buy things.

Needs: Despite having been swept by the A's over the weekend, the Yankees still sport baseball's best record. So their needs aren't dire. Starting pitching is obviously a bit of a concern, but the Yankees seem more worried about grabbing someone to play left field, with Brett Gardner out for the season (Shane Victorino? Denard Span? Justin Upton?!?!). This would effectively create a really solid designated hitter platoon, with Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez. It's hard to see a blockbuster move (like Upton), but you never know.

Baltimore Orioles

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Status: Just when it looked like they were in a free-fall, the Orioles have won five in a row and are tied for the second wild card. They'll buy, but not go nuts.

Needs: More starting pitching couldn't hurt, but it sounds like the Orioles will target hitters before pitchers. Third base and second base would be the biggest areas to improve, but overall it appears the Orioles are just seeking depth across the board while not planning on coughing up major prospects.

Tampa Bay Rays

Status: Both?

Needs: The Rays need to get better on offense, and while they're attempting to upgrade other areas, they appear to be getting inquiries on 2011 All-Star pitcher James Shields. Look for the Rays to seek out young pitching in addition to a catcher upgrade and possibly a designated hitter upgrade while they wait for Evan Longoria's return. Alfonso Soriano -- with the Cubs picking up almost all his remaining salary -- would make sense as a DH upgrade, though reports seem to suggest that's not even on the radar.

Toronto Blue Jays

Status: Through all their injuries, the Jays are still just three games out of a wild card. The best guess is they'll buy pitching if it makes sense, but the club is mostly in hold mode.

Needs: Pitching, pitching and pitching. Whether the Blue Jays trade shortstop Yunel Escobar or deal for starting pitcher Franciso Liriano -- both moves have been rumored -- the overall message remains the same. The Jays need more pitching, but they don't intend to mortgage the future for a short-term deal.

Boston Red Sox

Status: For all the bad times they've endured this season, the Red Sox are only 3.5 games out of a playoff spot right now. They are obviously buyers, though selling a part or two wouldn't be shocking.

Needs: Starting pitching and maybe a shortstop upgrade. Jon Lester's name has surfaced in the rumor mill as someone who might be traded, but this isn't likely because legitimate starting pitching is exactly what these Red Sox need. They don't appear to be ready to give up lots of prospects for a rental, either, so someone like Matt Garza would make a lot more sense than someone from the Ryan Dempster-Cole Hamels-Zack Greinke group. Oh, and as for that crazy Carl Crawford rumor: Give it up. The Red Sox would likely have to eat a ton of money in such a deal and it's unlikely they'd be prepared to do so in Year 2 of the deal.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

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