Whereas it was seemingly always somewhere off in the far distance, Major League Baseball's trade deadline is now mere days away.

So, here's hoping that every team in the league has a clear plan for buying or selling by now.

Just in case, we've sorted all 30 teams into which of those two camps they likely will be in before the deadline passes at 4 p.m. ET on Friday. We based our decisions on where they are in the standings, what they have to offer and anything that might be spinning around the trade rumor mill.

We'll go division by division, starting in the American League East and ending in the National League West. All playoff chances are courtesy of FanGraphs.


American League East

1. Boston Red Sox (61-39): Buyer

After starting out at 9 percent, the Red Sox's chances of winning the AL East title are now over 60 percent as they've risen to first in the division. So even though Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom says the team's long-term plan is "still the same," he also acknowledged the need to consider trade possibilities.

There's nonetheless a question of how aggressive Boston will be, especially with ace Chris Sale nearing his long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery in August. The Red Sox may be content to shop in the bargain bin, most likely for back-end starting pitchers and middle relievers.


2. Tampa Bay Rays (60-40): Buyer

The Rays did both a little bit of buying and a little bit of selling in the last week before the deadline, acquiring slugger Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday and then flipping veteran southpaw Rich Hill to the New York Mets on Friday.

Though the Rays might continue mixing additions with subtractions, they're surely more buyer than seller as they battle the Red Sox for first place. Though they satisfied their need for power with Cruz, the Hill trade opened up a rotation hole that GM Erik Neander hinted could be filled via another trade.


3. New York Yankees (51-47): Buyer

The Yankees' fortunes throughout 2021, meanwhile, have basically been the inverse of Boston's. Their chances of winning the division have plummeted from over 70 percent to under 4 percent. Coupled with the team's losing records against the Red Sox (3-10) and Rays (5-8), and a selloff is possible in theory.

In reality, though, the Yankees seem poised to do the opposite. They're reportedly in on Trevor Story as well as Starling Marte, Joey Gallo and Max Kepler. The latter two would be harder to get, but they make the most sense for the Yankees on account of their left-handed bats and controllability beyond 2021.


4. Toronto Blue Jays (49-47): Buyer

The Blue Jays haven't ranked higher than third place in the AL East since May 18, and their chances of winning the division are now roughly 2 percent. Nevertheless, GM Ross Atkins said at a recent press conference that the team has "shifted toward the winning cycle."

There's a juicy report out that the Texas Rangers are eyeing the Jays as a potential fit for Gallo. But Toronto, which already leads the majors in home runs, certainly needs arms more than bats. Especially in the bullpen, where there's no greater possible upgrade than Chicago Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel.


5. Baltimore Orioles (34-64): Seller

The Orioles find themselves not only at the bottom of the AL East but also the bottom of the entire American League. A team in that position obviously has no excuses not to sell.

Among the players the Orioles have on expiring contracts, shortstop Freddy Galvis is the only one with any real value. So if the Birds really want to grow their farm system, they'll dangle controllable left-handed relievers Tanner Scott and Paul Fry and maybe even All-Star hitters Trey Mancini and Cedric Mullins.