Mike Scioscia gives Ernesto Frieri a vote of confidence

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Ernesto Frieri’s 2014 season continued to be a nightmare with Saturday night’s appearance against the Braves. Staked to a 5-1 lead at the start of the ninth inning, Frieri allowed four runs on three singles, a triple, and a ground-rule double before he was yanked from the ballgame. The outing bumped Frieri’s ERA up to 5.46.

Frieri was demoted from the closer’s role towards the end of April, but returned to closing duty after a successful string of appearances in non-save situations in May. It would seem Frieri is once again in danger of losing his job, but manager Mike Scioscia gave Frieri a vote of confidence, saying is no change in how he’s handling the bullpen, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Frieri has allowed runs in two out of his last five appearances. Overall, along with the ugly ERA, Frieri has an 0-3 record with two blown saves and a 36/7 K/BB ratio in 28 innings.

Buyers and Sellers At the Trade Deadline: American League East

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With Manny Machado’s trade completed, the rest of baseball can now turn its attention to the non-blue chip players on the market.

Yesterday, in our look-ahead to the second half, we mentioned some of the top players likely to be made available. Today we look at each team to see who is buying, who is selling, what they’re seeking and what they have to offer. Note: almost every contender, always, needs relief help. Really, every dang team with a winning percentage over .300 will tell the press it wants bullpen arms. As such, I apologize if that becomes redundant.

As a reminder, the non-waiver Trade Deadline is July 31. Players traded after that date but before August 31 need to pass through waivers unclaimed before they can be traded. All players traded before August 31 are eligible to be on their new team’s playoff roster should they make the postseason.

First up, the American League East:

Red Sox
Status: Buyers
Wanted: Relief help and, possibly a starter. They have some minor league arms to deal to get that help, but when you’re on a 116-win pace, you can afford to be choosy and to drive a hard bargain. There are not glaring needs here outside of a non-closing bullpen arm.

Yankees
Status: Buyers
Wanted: Starting pitching. Look for them to be the first team mentioned in any rumor about a starting pitcher. They have major league-ready talent to deal for it too, including outfielder Clint Frazier, among others. If either Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard became available, the Yankees might consider trading A LOT of their top prospects from their deep farm system for one of them, but it’s hard to see the Mets wanting to make a trade with the source of their inferiority complex.

Rays
Status: Both?
Wanted/For Sale: The Rays are looking for good deals above all else, and if a given deal is characterized as an “acquisition” or a “selloff,” well, that’s just you failing to think outside of the box, man. If they do buy it’s because they improve their shot at the second Wild Card position in the next couple of weeks, but they won’t buy big regardless. If they do decide to sell they have a lot of potential candidates, inclduing Nate Eovaldi, Wilson Ramos, Sergio Romo, Adeiny Hechavarria, and the perpetually-rumored-to-be-dealt, Chris Archer.

Blue Jays
Status: Sellers
For Sale: Starter J.A. Happ, reliever Tyler Clippard and possibly John Axford. They had big dreams of flipping Josh Donaldson at the deadline but his health won’t cooperate. It’s a reload situation for Toronto, what with some good prospects, including Vlad Guerrero Jr., poised to join the club in the near-to-mid future, so pieces that can complement that are what they’re after.

Orioles
Status: Sellers
For Sale: Everything that isn’t nailed down, but mostly Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Adam Jones. They may be willing to trade the big brick building in right field. While we’re at it, how are ya fixed for harbors?