The non-waiver trade deadline passed at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon. There were not many trades that went right down to the deadline. Just minor trades were made. The blockbuster trades as few as there was, were made before July 31. In my previous post I outlined why it was good and bad to be a buyer or a seller. Some teams fell into the trap and make some of the buying mistakes I suggested they should avoid. Other teams make some of the selling mistakes I outlined and that may hurt them in the long run. Now I will outline the winners and losers of the 2011 trade deadline.
Starting with the American League
Texas Rangers- Their bullpen needed an upgrade after losing Frank Francisco and Naftali Feliz struggling this season. They went out and acquired the help they needed. They traded two prospects Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin to the Padres for Mike Adams. Adams gives them some stability in the 8th inning and a great bridge to Feliz. They also acquired Koji Uehara from the Orioles for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter. This was a steep price to pay for another reliever but Texas’ window for winning is right now and they needed to make this move. Overall I felt like they had an excellent deadline acquiring these two arms and feel like they have an even better shot at winning the AL West.
Mariners- I felt like they had a solid deadline. They were obviously sellers after losing 17 games in a row. They did what I suggested sellers should do, they got prospects for their veterans and cashed in on career years from a guy like Doug Fister.
White Sox- They acquired Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart from the Jays for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen. The White Sox did a good job getting salary relief, getting a very good reliever in Frasor and a good prospect in Stewart. This trade is able to help them this season and in future seasons.
Blue Jays- They made what I felt like to be one of the best trades of this deadline. They aquried Jackson and Teahen as stated above. They then traded Jackson along with Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, and Corey Patterson to the Cardinals for Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters. The Jays gave up very little in this deal and acquired a very talented young player in Rasmus. They were able to make this trade because Rasmus had fallen out of favour with manager Tony LaRussa. This was a great trade for young GM Alex Anthopolous who is starting to become a bit of a legend.
Orioles- Did an excellent job getting two MLB players in Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis for middle reliever Koji Uehara. Davis made Derek Lee expendable and the Orioles did a good job flipping Lee to the Pirates for Aaron Baker.
Athletics- They did do a good job of aquireing Brandon Allen and Jordan Norberto from the Diamondbacks for Brad Ziegler, but overall they were losers. I though Oakland would have been much busier this deadline as they had so many veteran player. Josh Willingham, Hideki Matsui, and other relievers should have been moved for prospects. But I guess Billy Beane feels the potential draft picks will be worth more than the prospects.
Indians- They illustrated my point perfectly on why it’s bad to be a buyer. The first trade they made was a perfect one for a surprise contender. They traded Abner Abreu and Carlton Smith for Kosuke Fukudome. This was a good trade that helped the MLB team without risking their future. The Indians also traded Orlando Cabrera to the Giants for Thomas Neal. This was another good trade they got a solid AAA player for a veteran who no longer was needed. Those two trades would have made the Indians winners but they made one blockbuster trade that makes them a loser. They acquired Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies for Joe Gardner, Alex White, Matt Mcbride and a play to be named later. The PTBNL is going to be top pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz who will be dealt when he is eligible in August. The Indians did get an ace pitcher on a team friendly contract, but Ubaldo has pitched in high altitude his whole career. He is very likely going to get hurt very soon, there was too much risk involved in this trade which is why the Indians are losers this year. They should not have risked the future for a chance to win now.
Red Sox- Only acquired Eric Bedard who probably isn’t going to be a fit there. He is a left handed oft injured pitcher who is bound to get hurt again. The Red Sox needed rotation depth but should have looked at more established starters. We will have to see what they do in August before we can say the Red Sox are true losers, but as of right now with that trade they were a loser at the trade deadline.
The Angels, Rays, and Yankees, are all contending teams who didn’t make any moves and I consider them all to be losers. Honestly I don’t feel any team is that complete that no trades were needed. Every team has some hole, which should be addressed at the deadline.
The Twins were a team who are not contending and didn’t make any moves. If your team is out of the race and no veterans were traded that is not good. Then only reason to keep these players is if the GM wants the draft picks at the end of the season if they leave via free agency. There are many risky variables that could result in not getting the picks so I would take my chances and trade the player for a prospect further developed.
And the National League
Giants- The Giants made one of the biggest trades of the deadline. They traded Zack Wheeler who was their top pitching prospect for the best hitter on the market Carlos Beltran. This is exactly why it’s good to be a buyer. The Giants are in win now mode and have to make these types of trades. They needed to add to their offence and they were able to do just that with the Beltran trade. They also acquired a good veteran player with playoff experience in Orlando Cabrera. He will bring leadership to that team. These trades along with the stellar Giants rotation makes this team look awfully strong with a good chance to repeat as world champs.
Diamondbacks- They had a pretty good deadline from my perspective. They currently sit just 2 games back of the Giants in the NL West and 3.5 back of the Braves for the wildcard. They went out and acquired Brad Ziegler who helps their bullpen. They also acquired rotation depth in the form of Jason Marquies who they acquired from the Nationals for prospect Zach Walters.
Rockies- They are winners because they were able to get 4 top prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez who is destined to break down shortly. It may not be this season but very soon I wouldn’t be surprised to Ubaldo go down with a significant arm injury.
Astros- Yes this is surprising but I’m putting the Astros as winners because I feel like they are rebuilding the right way. They traded Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn and got back 7 prospects to help them in the future. The one fault in the Bourn trade was they did not get one of the Braves four pitching prospects. I feel like one of those four would have been nice but the Astros did a solid job for the time that they had, and it’s a lot better to make this trade now, rather than keep Bourn and have him leave via FA after 2012.
Cardinals- The Cardinals had a good deadline in my perspective. They had a need at SS and went out and got Furcal from the Dodgers. They had a whole in their bullpen and went out and got Zep, and Dotel. They had a hole in their rotation and they went out and got Jackson. It was a steep price to pay for zap, Dotel and Jackson in Rasmus but LaRussa didn’t want him and he was losing playing time anyway.
Pirates- The Pirates did an excellent job to improve their team without risking the future. Exactly what I suggested a team in their position do. The picked up Ryan Ludwick for a PTBNL, and they got Derek Lee for minor leaguer Aaron Baker. These were two nice additions that will help upgrade the Pirates offence.
Phillies- They are another one of those teams in win now mode. They already have a very strong team that needed little improvement. So what did they do they went out and got the second best hitter on the market Hunter Pence. They did give up top prospects to get Pence but it is worth it for the Phillies who have a chance at the title this season.
Braves- Much like the Phillies they are in win now mode as well. The acquired another great hitter in Bourn. The Braves did exceptionally well not to give up any of their top 4 pitching prospects in the deal.
Mets- Another seller who did a good job at the deadline. They got the Giants top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler, for Beltran. They also rid themselves that was the mess of Frankie Rodriguez. I would have liked to have seen a guy like Scott Hairston go but he wouldent have brought back a whole lot anyway.
Dodgers- For a bankrupt team you would have thought more deals would have been made trying to shed payroll. They really only traded Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals for 2.5mil and Alex Castellanos. This was a solid trade but I would have liked to have seen more moves made by them.
Padres- I put the Padres here for similar reasons as the why the Dodgers are here. Not enough trades were made. The Padres had 3 relievers (Heath Bell, Mike Adams, and Chad Qualls) who I thought should have been traded. They did a good job getting Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin for Adams, but they have gotten more prospects. The Padres did a have a good run last season but they need to go young and the best way to do that is to trade veteran players for prospects. That’s something they didn’t do and they are a trade deadline loser for that.
Brewers- They went into the deadline looking for left side of the infield help. They came out of it with Jerry Hairston Jr. and Felipe Lopez, and that pretty much explains why they are losers. The Brew Crew currently sit 2.5 games up on the Cards for first in the NL central and they need to make a move to greater improve their team. Yes I know they are short on prospects after gutting their system for Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum in separate trades this past off season. Even someone cheap like Orlando Cabrera would have been an upgrade over what they have. Currently they have Yuniesky Betancourt as their everyday shortstop. He is considered to be one of the worst everyday players in the game. The Brewers are not going to go far with Betancourt as their SS, they needed to improve on that and they didn’t.
Cubs- They had some good players who could have been moved for solid prospects. But Kerry Wood and Aramis Ramirez had no-trade clauses and both said they did not want to leave. The veterans they did have, they didn’t move like Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd. They are a prime example on why it’s bad to be a seller. They held on to all of their veterans and that is not the right way to rebuild. The Cubs did aquire 2 prospects from the Indians for Kosuke Fukudome, but they need more, so they can go young and build around young budding SS Starlin Castro.
The Reds fall into the same category as the Rays, Angels and Yankees stated above.
The Marlins really didn`t do anything this deadline as they are keeping this team together for when they open their new stadium. I don’t mind them staying pat as they have a good core they just need them not to struggle like they have this year.
This turned out to be a very exciting trade deadline, with lots of trades and rumours swirlling around.
Comments are appreciated, let me know how I'm doing and what I can improve on. Thanks