As the weekend began there were 18 teams (10 AL, eight NL) over .500, compared with 16 in 2011. There were 22 teams within seven games of a playoff spot (either division lead or wild card). At the same time last year, there were 17 teams within seven games of a playoff spot.
If you want to make a deal this year, you’d better get out in front because if you want a Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, or Francisco Liriano, there are likely 8-10 teams with which you’re competing. So be prepared to expose your farm system to a raid. And if you don’t want anyone to touch your top prospects, you probably won’t have what it takes to make a blockbuster deal.