The July 31st baseball trading deadline came and went with a frenzy. Some star players were on the move (Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, & Matt Holliday) and some of the star players we thought would be moved, stayed with their current team (Roy Halladay).
With every trading deadline, there are teams that won and unfortunately there were teams that lost. Of course, the beauty of all these trades is that in five years from now, a team that we all thought won at the trade deadline could turn out to be a loser in the long run. You just never know how these prospects are going to turn out.
For the short term, here are my five winners and losers from the July 31st trading deadline.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates. Many called what Pittsburgh did a “Fire Sale.” In my opinion, this was not the case. A “Fire Sale” is what the Marlins did in the 1997/1998 offseason.
Getting rid of mediocre talent and replacing them with potential is not a “Fire Sale.” That is called being smart. The Pirates weren’t winning with this group of current players, so replacing them with players who can potentially win.
Again, it’s my “Average Knows vs. Unknown Potential” theory.
4. Toronto Blue Jays.What? How could I put the Blue Jays as winners when they didn’t trade Roy Halladay? Here is my thinking on this one. It’s good for baseball that Halladay remains on the Blue Jays.
Will Halladay get traded in the offseason? Most likely. But in the short term, it’s good for baseball and the Blue Jays that Halladay stay in Toronto. There are certain players who I feel need to stay on their current team for the good of the game – Joe Mauer, Roy Halladay, Hanley Ramirez, and Albert Pujols.
The Blue Jays were also winners because they were able to unload Scott Rolen to the Cincinnati Reds (more on them later) for some good pitching prospects (Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke) along with Edwin Encarnacion.
One scout’s take on this trade, via Buster Olney’s blog– “Roenicke is good, and Stewart probably has an even higher upside. The Jays didn’t really need Encarnacion — they’ll probably release him in the winter — but to get those two pitchers and shed the salary, that was a great trade.”
3. Boston Red Sox. You just knew the Red Sox were going to do something at the deadline. It was clear to everyone that the Red Sox needed a kick in the pants. The kick in the pants came in the form of C/1B Victor Martinez from the Cleveland Indians.
Martinez gives the Red Soxsome versatility as he can play both first base and catcher and he gives the Red Sox a switch-hitting force in the middle of the lineup.
2. Philadelphia Phillies. If this was a game of poker, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. played his hand perfectly. Amaro came out strong with a nine-ten of diamonds. The flop came out and it was eight of diamonds, jack of diamonds, and three of spades.
The other players (GM’s) let Amaro stay in the hand and Amaro kept checking. The turn came and a king of clubs came out. Amaro checked again. Amaro could have won the hand with a flush by getting an ace of diamonds (Roy Halladay) or he could have won with a seven or queen card to get the straight (Cliff Lee).
A seven came out and Amaro won the hand. Halladay would have been the big time flush, but Lee is still a winning card and still gave Amaro the win.
Not only did the Phillies land last year’s AL Cy Young award winner in Lee, but they also got the right-handed bat in Ben Francisco they have been searching for since spring training.
Well played Mr. Amaro Jr, well played.
1. St. Louis Cardinals. After acquiring Mark DeRosa earlier in the season and Matt Holliday near the trading deadline, the Cardinals better make the playoffs. They gave up a lot of those two players and anything less than a playoff bid would be a disappointment.
The Cardinals’ front office has done everything to appease Tony LaRussa who is in the last year of his contract and their star Albert Pujols. The Cardinals have no excuses, it’s playoffs or bust in 2009.
5. Tampa Bay Rays. I don’t understand how all the talk leading up to the deadline was how the Rays were looking to make a splash and then at the end of the day the Rays do nothing. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I think for psychological purposes the Rays need to make a move. Bring in another reliever at least. Very surprised the Rays didn’t do anything.
4. Texas Rangers. The Rangers have been battling all year, playing very well, and when it came time for management to reward the team for playing so hard – they do nothing.
I am not interested in hearing how poor Tom Hicks is all of a sudden. This organization is rich with prospects and they could have done something to help this team out.
Just a terrible job by the Rangers. No wonder why this organization has never won a thing.
3. Milwaukee Brewers. I watched the Brewers pretty consistently for two weeks heading up to the deadline. It was pretty clear they needed starting pitching.
They didn’t have to go out and make a splash for Roy Halladay like they did last year with CC Sabathia. They just need to get anyone who can go five to six innings on a consistent basis.
Jon Garland, Doug Davis, or anyone would have been better than watching Manny Parra walk the ballpark home every outing.
2. Cincinnati Reds. Can someone please explain to me the logic behind the Reds trading two solid pitching prospects along with Edwin Encarnacion for a 34-year old Scott Rolen when they were 10 games out of first and 13 games out of a Wild Card spot on July 31st?
Their move made no sense. I understand Rolen is signed for 2010, but at $10 million – he is overpaid by today’s standards.
As my roommate from college Odie said “Scott Rolen is sooooo 2001.”
1. Cleveland Indians. On the morning of October 18th, 2007 the Cleveland Indians were one game away from the World Series. They had CC Sabathia on the mound and all was well for the Indians.
The Red Sox Josh Beckett dominated the Indians for eight innings, the Red Sox won the game that night, and the Indians have been in a tailspin ever since. Last year the Indians traded away the before mentioned Sabathia and Casey Blake and this year they traded away Mark DeRosa, Ryan Garko, Ben Francisco, and Cliff Lee.
It is looking like it might be another couple of years before the Indians get back on track.
Tags: Boston Red Sox, CC Sabathia, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Cliff Lee, Mark DeRosa, Matt Holliday, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Roy Halladay, Ryan Garko, Scott Rolen, St Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Victor Martinez