First off, Happy Birthday to my Aunt Joyce. Last year I promised that I would mention her birthday here, and because I’m a man of my word, I am. So, Happy Birthday Aunt Joyce!
Today is the baseball trade deadline. It’s one of the Holy Grails of sports. A day when the deals go by fast and furious and without a Vin Diesel reference. Oops.
Anyways, since the MLB Network has been so kind as to air a trade deadline special, I’ll just run through the trades in the order that they show them, use it as a framework almost.
Pirates Acquire OF Travis Snider for RP Brad Lincoln
The Blue Jays should just go on an episode of “Hoarders” already. For some reason, all they do is collect quality relief pitchers and basically, hoard them. Brad Lincoln is another quality arm who joins Toronto’s pen. Granted he isn’t the starting pitcher we thought he would be after being drafted, but he’s managed to fashion himself into a nice bullpen arm.
Snider, on the other hand, might be a nice find for Pittsburgh. At just 24 years of age, the outfielder has the chance to put up big numbers in the ‘Burgh. Yes I just used “the ‘Burgh”, get over it. Snider has a chance to be a 20-homerun, 80-90 runs batted in guy, which is in fact what the Blue Jays need.
Dodgers Acquire RP/CL Brandon League for Prospects
Brandon League is switching leagues. I’m sorry world, but I had to do it. Moving on, League was Seattle’s closer, but lost that role for a stretch earlier in the year. It’s not really surprising that the M’s moved him. He’ll help the Dodgers’ injury depleted bullpen out a lot.
The Mariners’ return is a little unknown. I’m no prospect expert, but basically it’s two minor league prospects in the low minors. Those prospects are High-A centerfielder Leon Landry and AA relief pitcher Logan Bowcom. Both are putting up fine numbers this year, so there is definitely potential there.
Rangers Acquire C Geovany Soto for Jake Brigham and a PTBNL or Cash
My how the 2008 Rookie of the Year has fallen, not fallen rather, but has been inconsistent. As stated, Soto won the 2008 award for the best rookie, but has failed to produce or live up to the potential he showed since. This could be a very shrewd low-buy for Texas. At most he’s one of the better backup catchers in the league, and at worst a non-tender candidate after the season. But the potential is there.
Brigham was a starter for the Rangers AA affiliate. He’ll likely get a shot at some point in Chicago.
Braves Acquire SP Paul Maholm and OF Reed Johnson for RP Jaye Chapman and SP Arodys Vizcaino
This is a genius move for the Cubs, a hands down win. At least for the future. Chapman is pitching well out of the bullpen in AAA and could be in the Windy City soon. Vizcaino, on the other hand, is a former top prospect who was ranked in most publication’s top 50 league-wide prospects entering the year. This is a steal for the Cubs when you think about it. Maholm was just signed as a free agent last offseason, and Johnson is a 35 year-old fourth outfielder.
Atlanta addressed their rotation needs. They tried to get Ryan Dempster, but that got shot down, so here comes Maholm. On the other hand, Vizcaino maybe wasn’t a fit in Atlanta long term. The Braves have Tim Hudson, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Randall Delgado Julio Tehran and possibly Jair Jurrjens and Sean Gilmartin going forward. That’s a lot of rotation depth for the future, so maybe this is a win-win.
Other Trades –
Angels Acquire SP Zack Greinke for Prospects
The Angels seem to overreact with their pitching. Every time they need “pitching” they don’t pick up an under the radar guy like a Doug Fister or Anibal Sanchez (see what I did there?) They just blow it up and go for the biggest name out there. They got Dan Haren a couple years back signed CJ Wilson. Now they add Greinkie.
Mariners Acquire OF Eric Thames for RP Steve Delebar
See, the Blue Jays are hoarding more quality relief pitchers.
Yankees ALSO Acquire OF Ichiro Suzuki for Prospects
The face of the Mariners is gone. He’s now an outfielder for New York. Honestly, the M’s should have moved him 3-4 years earlier. They could have gotten the farm. Now they get a couple relief pitchers.
Dodgers Acquire INF Hanley Ramirez and RP Randy Choate for Prospects
Another guy who the Marlins could have gotten the farm for, but now another Ichiro-like return. Also a ton of salary relief.
- On another note here, Josh Beckett is a name that has come up in trade talks. The Red Sox could be sellers and Beckett might be an interesting name for teams. The key here is that Beckett used to be a Marlin, and was traded Boston for, among others, Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. Both of whom were traded at the deadline this year. The Fish’s notable returns include really only the return that they got for Sanchez. I know Omar Infante was involved, but again, who would have thought the Marlins would get more out of Anibal Sanchez then Han-Ram, as the kids say.
Josh Beckett, the gift that keeps on giving.
- Another thing here, BJ Upton is supposedly on the market. Stop me if you’ve heard that before. It seems like every year for the past three, Upton has been rumored to be moved. Ho, dee, doe dee doe.
Dodgers Acquire OF Shane Victorino for Prospects
The Dodgers add another bat to add to the mix of Matt Kemp, Andre Eithier and now, as the kids say, Han-Ram. Boy, have the Dodgers changed in the course of the last week.
- Alfonso Soriano is apparently on the market. This is Alfonso Soriano remember? He’s a great player at times, but he has 36 million dollars left on the tab for the next two years. That’s a lot of money.
- Also the Tigers are supposedly looking for a middle of the order bat after the not-so-encouraging news on Victor Martinez’s injury. It seems a little odd, I know they might need a bat, but where are you going to put him? Are you putting him at DH? No, we need Delmon Young in the fifth spot in the lineup for now. Brennan Boesch has been hot as of late, so that outfield spot is out. So is the other outfield spot is Quintin Berry’s. We need that spark plug after Austin Jackson. The other name here is Andy Dirks. Andy Dirks was on fire before going down with an injury earlier. He’s been out since that injury, and if he comes back and hits like he has, the Tigers are going to be even more legitimate offensively.
Giants Acquire OF Hunter Pence for OF Nate Schierholtz, RP Seth Rosin and C/1B Tommy Joseph
Hunter Pence is a monstrous upgrade for San Francisco. Schierholtz and some of the other outfielders in the Bay Area aren’t huge offensive threats, so Pence makes a lot of sense. Another deadline address change for Hunter Pence.
Here’s some more deadline deals that have gone down-
- Cardinals Acquire RP Edward Mujica for minor league third baseman Zack Cox. Cox is a former first-round pick at third, who has the potential to be a middle of the order guy. Edward Mujica is another dividend of the long gone Miguel Cabrera trade. So again, just like Beckett, Cabrera is the gift that keeps on giving for the Marlins.
- Red Sox Acquire RP Craig Breslow for RP Matt Albers and OF Scott Posednik. The Diamondbacks really moved an effective relief pitcher for another one and picked up a rental outfielder in Posednik. Scotty-Pods (again as the kids say) who is pesky, in a word, but it’s an interesting move for Arizona.
- Pirates Acquire 1B Gaby Sanchez for OF Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance pick. The Marlins get more youth, namely the draft pick. Hernandez is a guy who has been moved in big-time trades before. He went to Atlanta with Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria. He also went to Pittsburgh for Nate McLouth. Sanchez, another guy with the potential that Snider has, could help them big time. Florida also gets minor leaguer pitcher Kyle Kaminska.
- Royals Send RP Jonathan Broxton to Cincinnati for… I’m not sure. Actually, now I am (an hour or two later mind you) — lefty reliever Donnie Joseph as well as starter JC Sulbaran. Both are in the high minors and are likely to end up at KC’s AAA affiliate.
Rangers Acquire SP Ryan Dempster for…
Like Broxton, I’m not sure what the Cubs are getting. Reports and what not are in on what the Cubs are getting, two minor leaguers, third baseman Christian Villanueva and right-handed starter Kyle Hendricks. Two guys who might help Chicago down the road.
Yankees Acquire INF Casey McGehee for RP Chad Qualls
The Yankees get a former 100 RBI man for a relief pitcher who they got for relatively nothing from the Phillies. Nice pick-up.
Winners and Losers-
- Tigers- Sanchez has Doug Fister written all over him.
- Cubs- Vizcaino is a really nice addition for a fourth outfielder and recent free agent signee.
- Dodgers- Big additions change their offense from one of the worst to one of the best.
- Giants- Hunter Pence provides a huge addition to a struggling lineup.
- Yankees- Simply because of the McGehee addition. His potential plus the little that they gave up for him makes for a steal.
- Royals- Dealing a low-buy free agent signing in Johnathan Broxton for two high-minors pitchers with upside has to be a major coup.
- Diamondbacks- simply on the fact that the rest of the division contenders got leaps and bounds better and the D-Backs swapped relievers and added another fourth outfielder-type.
- Rockies- Not necessarily now, but they got bamboozled on the Jeremy Guthrie-Jason Hammel swap, and now they moved him for another struggling starter: Johnathan Sanchez.