Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Trade Deadline Thoughts


Acquired Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs for Abner Abreu and Carlton Smith

The Indians do need outfielders while Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo are out. While Fukudome isn't the power right handed bat they were hoping for, he is a serviceable veteran starter with a high on base percentage. His tendency to fade down the stretch is a concern, but Sizemore and Choo will be back relatively soon, and hopefully before that fading does any serious damage.

On top of that, the Indians didn't give up much in return. Smith is a AAA reliever, which the Indians have plenty of. Abreu is having a good season, but he's also playing high A ball the second time around this year.

Traded Orlando Cabrera to the Giants for Thomas Neal

Neal also isn't the power-hitting right-handed outfielder the Indians were hoping for, but he's a decent return for Orlando Cabrera. With tons of depth at second base in the majors and AAA, the Indians could afford to get rid of Uncle Orlando. Jason Kipnis's home runs in three straight games since the trade has helped as well.

The Giants, meanwhile, continue their role as a final resting place for former All Star middle infielders.

Didn't acquire Ryan Ludwick

As mentioned above, the Indians were looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder. Ludwick and his 90 OPS+ (which does take Petco Park into account) isn't the answer, and when the Padres raised his price, the Indians were wise to let him go.

Acquired Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies for Joe Gardner, Alex White, Matt McBride and a player to be named later (Drew Pomeranz)

Yes it's a gutsy move, but it's a good one. Jimenez is only signed through 2013, but so are all the other Indians stars. As much as I don't like the model of competing only once every five years, at least the Indians are committed to it, and this trade proved it. Playoff success is built with two ace pitchers, and the Indians may have them now in Jimenez and Justin Masterson.

Of course, Jimenez didn't come cheap. White is already major league ready (as evidenced by his 3.60 ERA in a handful of start), and Pomeranz is expected to be better. But both are injury risks at a certain level. Gardner and McBride are essentially throw-ins; the latter is a great hitter at AA but hasn't proved much above that level.

So again, although the Indians gave up quite a bit in the trade, I like it because it shows they're going all in for the next two and a half years.


Acquired Ryan Ludwick from the Padres for a player to be named later
Acquired Derrek Lee from the Orioles for Aaron Baker

Both acquisitions show an aggressive Pittsburgh front office, which is just what Pirates fans want to see right now. Lee may only be a league-average hitter at this point, but that's still an improvement over what the Pirates had been getting at first base.


Traded Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers for two players to be named later

Closers, good or bad, aren't needed much on rebuilding teams, so they're always a good piece to trade away.

Acquired Zack Wheeler from the Giants for Carlos Beltran

Beltran was perhaps a bit underappreciated during his time in New York, but Mets fans were still sad to see him go. Beltran will add some pop to a lifeless Giants offense and move to right field, where his range will be a benefit in San Francisco's home park.

Wheeler is a great return for half a year of Beltran. The pitching prospect does have control issues, but he also comes with tons of upside.


Acquired Mike Adams from the Padres for prospects Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin

When I first heard about this trade, the announcer erroneously reported that the Rangers acquired Heath Bell, not Mike Adams. While I have nothing against Bell, Adams may in fact be the better pitcher. This move obviously gives the Rangers great bullpen depth. Plus, if they can re-sign him again next year, they have the option of moving him to closer and making Neftali Feliz a starter, if they so choose.

Blue Jays

Acquired Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen from the White Sox for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart
Acquired Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and PJ Walters from the Cardinals for Edwin Jackson, Marc, Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, and Corey Patterson

Teahen, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion are all 3B/RF/DH types. Bautista is obviously a star. Teahen isn't, but he's a definite step up from Encarnacion.

The unenlightened Blue Jays fan may think Colby Rasmus is another underachieving center fielder in the mold of Vernon Wells or Alex Rios, but in fact Rasmus is a burgeoning star. In a way it's funny that Rasmus, highly underrated by the casual fan, was traded for Edwin Jackson, who's somewhat overrated by the casual fan.

Also, Brian Tallet is awesome.

Red Sox

Acquired Erik Bedard and Josh Fields from Seattle as part of a three-way trade

Bedard is having a great comeback year, and Boston starters are having trouble staying off the DL. If Bedard can hold off that DL curse, this will be a great pickup for the Sox.


Acquired Jason Marquis from the Nationals

Playoffs, here they come!


Acquired Jordan Schafer, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, and Juan Abreu from the Braves for Michael Bourn
Acquired Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, and Josh Zeid from the Phillies for Hunter Pence

The Astros were wise to at least try rebuilding for once. I think they were helped by the down year for available position players as well. Schafer and Cosart are the headliners in this deal, and Schafer will step into the starting outfield right away.


Acquired Rafael Furcal from the Dodgers for Alex Castellanos
Acquired Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel, and Corey Patterson from the Blue Jays for Colby Rasmus, Trever Miller, and Brian Tallet

Tony LaRussa's personal grudges may finally be catching up for him. The Furcal deal is to make up for trying to replace Brendan Ryan with Ronnie Theriot, and replacing Rasmus with Patterson doesn't look like a good move even with the other names thrown in that deal.


Traded Jonny Gomes to the Nationals for Bill Rhinehart and Chris Manno

Does this mean my "Jonny Gnomes" gnome is even more of a collector's item now?


Acquired Mike Cameron for a player to be named later or cash

Cameron was underappreciated in Boston, as he was everywhere he's been. That said, I fail to see how this move benefits the Marlins at this stage, unless it's too take some pressure off of Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton in the lineup and in the outfield.