Blog Entry

Trade deadline winners and losers

Posted on: July 31, 2011 8:07 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 12:05 am

By Evan Brunell

Now that the trade deadline is over and the dust has settled, who are the winners and losers of the trade deadline?

There were plenty of big names dealt over the past week, including Colby Rasmus, Ubaldo Jimenez and Hunter Pence. Other players also moved that should impact teams for the next several years, and there were also plenty of minor deals to shore up holes. Over the coming months and years, the deals consummated today will be analyzed to death. We'll kick things off the same day with this uncompromising, unscathing look at your trade deadline winners and losers.



IndiansIn today's trade deadline chat, a commenter who appeared to be an Indians fan was rather upset with the deal to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies, pointing to Jimenez's decreased production and velocity as to why the deal was a failure from the start. While Jimenez's fastball velocity drop is concerning (96.1 mph average last year, 93.4 mph this season), his peripherals line up to what he produced last season. Jimenez may not be an Ace in the Roy Halladay mold, but at the very least, he's an excellent No. 2 who would serve as an ace on oh, 20 teams?

And unlike most top pitchers traded, Jimenez is under team control through 2013 and is just 27. He gives the fanbase a jolt of optimism as Cleveland attempts to win the division, and then most importantly, gives the Indians the premium pitcher necessary to compete the next two years, when Cleveland's core solidifies around a young, talented infield and an upcoming rotation. All they gave up were four minor-league players (three of them pitchers), none of which are guaranteed to turn into anything resembling Jimenez. This deal could still yet work out for Colorado, but it's already working out for Cleveland.

And of course, the Indians also added outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who will help Cleveland withstand the losses of Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore, then become part of a nice stable of outfielders when these players return. They also were hoping to get outfielder Ryan Ludwick, but lost him to the Pirates. That may have been for the best anyways, as Cleveland was reportedly balking at San Diego's price for who wouldn't have significantly upgraded the outfield corps.


BravesAtlanta made out like bandits in the deal for Michael Bourn, acquiring a leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position... and not surrendering any top prospects. The Braves gave up a no-hit center fielder in Jordan Schafer plus three minor-league pitchers in Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu. There are some intriguing aspects to these pitchers, but none are can't miss and only Oberholtzer appeared on Baseball America's top 10 Braves prospects list prior to the season. That hardly seems like fair value for Bourn.

The Braves, meanwhile, gain a 28-year-old who is the sixth-best center fielder in 2011, according to Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement metric. With dazzling defense, scorching legs and a capable bat. Hitting .303/.363/.403, Bourn has added 39 stolen bases into the conversation to become a dynamic leadoff hitter that will cause problems right off the bat to start the game. Atlanta controls his rights through 2012 as well, so he's not a short-term rental. Again, remember: they didn't give up any of their top prospects for someone who, at least this season, has performed as a game-changer.


RangersTexas gave up a pretty penny, there can be no doubt on that. The Rangers didn't make this list because they hoodwinked another team. Baltimore has to be pleased with the Chris Davis - Tommy Hunter haul for Koji Uehara, and the two minor-league pitchers sent to San Diego for Mike Adams will be heard from again. But Texas belongs on this list simply because of how impressively they upgraded their bullpen in the blink of an eye.

No longer are the Rangers handicapped by a shaky bullpen with a volatile closer. While the closer remains, the bridge to Neftali Feliz just got a lot more stable, with Adams and Uehara able to get the game from the starter to Feliz without breaking a sweat. Even better, the presence of Adams allows the Rangers to move Feliz out of the closer's role in October if need be, as well as grease the skids for a conversion to starting pitcher next season with Adams in the fold to close.



DodgersIn the morning, Los Angeles' deal sending Rafael Furcal -- who was injured most of the year and not producing when he was in the lineup -- to St. Louis was finalized. They received a 24-year-old outfielder crushing Double-A but without much promise, and $1.4 million in saved money. Whatever, right? The Dodgers aren't listed here because of that deal.

There was only one trade made the entire week in which a team was instantly ridiculed for its move. The Cardinals were headed for the loser's seat before the waning minutes of the deadline, but Los Angeles took it away with a staggering display of incompetence. To help Boston facilitate acquiring Erik Bedard, the Dodgers agreed to trade away Trayvon Robinson, one of the few bright spots in the high minors that could actually hit. Robinson, along with Jerry Sands, could have made a pretty decent first base-left field combo over the next few years. Instead, Robinson will take his .293/.375/.563 line with 26 home runs in Triple-A to Seattle while the Dodgers come away with three organizational pieces.

And really, that's all they are. You've got catcher Tim Federowicz, who has a strong defensive reputation but whose hitting will be challenged enough that he best profiles as a long-term backup catcher. Those aren't tough to find. Add in starter Stephen Fife, who has pitched to Federowicz all season for Double-A Portland, who profiles as a back of the rotation starter or solid middle reliever. Lastly, Juan Rodriguez, a reliever who throws smoke but is 22 years old and in Class A. Splendid. Oh, and all three will be Rule 5 eligible after the year, meaning they need to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being lost in the draft -- and all three would be strong candidates to be taken. The Dodgers, in one fell swoop, traded away one of their few high-ceiling prospects for three organizational players who will all require 40-man spots, which are incredibly valuable.


CubsYou will hear much more on Monday about the Cubs' massive failure at the trade deadline thanks to GM Jim Hendry, who really should be fired on the spot. But while we're here, we might as well recap the Cubs' situation. That situation is a 42-65 record, which is just a few losses away from a 100-loss pace. The Cubs are loaded with unseemly contracts, ranging from the obscene (Alfonso Soriano) to the bad (Carlos Zambrano) to the unnecessary (John Grabow).

And yet, not only was Hendry content not to move any pieces but he was fine encouraging Aramis Ramirez to stay in town. He was fine ruling out the trading of a backup platoon infielder in Jeff Baker. (Read that last sentence again.) The only player Hendry parted with was Fukudome, and he never had fans in the front office and was a lock to leave after the season, anyways.

Instead of trying to set the Cubs up for future success, Hendry seemed paralyzed by which direction to go and while choosing to become buyers would have been ludicrous, it would have been a more palatable direction than just staying pat. Of course, the Cubs aren't flush with a deep farm system, especially after trading for Matt Garza. So Hendry's stuck pretending to be a contender for what, at least from this side of things, seems to be nothing more than a desperate attempt to save his job by pretending his team is close to contention and does not need a fire sale -- a fire sale that would have been entirely Hendry's fault.


OriolesLet's think back to before the season started. Baltimore was coming off a 66-96 season, but optimism abounded thanks to Buck Showalter's 34-23 record to cap off the year. Brian Matusz was emerging into a top young pitcher and Zach Britton wasn't too far behind. The offense needed some help, but was young enough and projectable enough to have some optimism moving forward. In an attempt to make baseball relevant again in Baltimore and give the players some leadership, as well as something to strive for, the O's went veteran heavy in their free-agent signings.

Understandable, even if Baltimore knew it wasn't going to make any type of postseason run. It could still jack up energy in the city, then deal these players at the trade deadline for solid prospects or young players that might help the O's take the next step forward. Alas, Justin Duchscherer has been hurt all season. Vladimir Guerrero has taken his $8 million and crumbled before our very eyes, then hit the disabled list and destroyed his trade value. Only Derrek Lee's recent hot streak saved his trade value, and even he was only able to fetch a 23-year-old currently doing pretty decent ... in high-Class A. Hardly the return to make Baltimore relevant. The Orioles took a risk in the offseason, and even if you don't blame them for Lee and Guerrero's failures at the plate, they are losers because they came away from these moves with a net negative. All these millions of dollars and playing time allocations wasted, rather than giving Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold an entire year to establish themselves.

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Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2011 5:09 am

Trade deadline winners and losers

Hanibal - Good thing this is a Baseball message board, because you sure don't know politics

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2011 5:06 am

Trade deadline winners and losers

Well, GlennW - who have the Phillies bought?

1. Cliff Lee was the only big splash they made in Free Agency.

There other free agent signings?

Raul Ibanez was the only one that had a modicum of interest from other teams.
Placido Polanco, Jose Contreras, Dannys Baez, Ross Gload, Brian Schneider.
Lets see if any team "buying" them would win a championship - probably not.

The Phils built from within the organization - or traded their prospects for other key pieces. Other than the vaunted core four of the Yankees, who did they develop or trade for? Phil "suck" Hughes? Joba (my arm hurts) Chamberlain? Ivan "I'm not good enough to trade" Nova? The only one I can't make fun of is Robinson Cano.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:19 am

Trade deadline winners and losers

The guy wasn't whining, he was just criticizing the author--that's one of the main things these messages boards are for. Debate about what the author wrote--not name-call.  It's not a stretch to criticize that he didn't put Phillies in top 3 of winners w/ the Pence acquisision.  Tim Kurkjian on ESPN said Phils were biggest winner in MLB at the deadline.  It's all opinions... so debate, don't name-call like a child.
Phils have a lot of homegrown talent that came up thru their system (Utley, Howard, Victorino, Rollins, Ruiz, Hamels, Worley); and w/ 183 straight sellouts and a good TV market, the franchise has $$ to spend and the owners don't pocket it, they go out to try to build a winner--and you criticize THAT?  Would you want your team's owners and management to try their best to win?  Your arguments don't seem to make much sense Glenn W.  The only part of your message I follow and agree with is that in the playoffs, obviously, it's a tossup and the best team doesn't always win.  The Phillies weren't the best team in 2008 when they won.  They were last year and the Giants won.  It's a bit about who gets hottest at the right time. Not like Euro soccer where there isn't a playoffs...but that's the system.  So, you try your best to give yourself the best chance to win (if you're smart, and the Phils front office is clearly smart).  So, they'll take their chances w/ these pitchers and the improved lineup.  Might they lose in the playoffs?  Of course; but you have to like their chances.

Since: Nov 29, 2009
Posted on: August 1, 2011 12:17 am

Trade deadline winners and losers

Fans Win. President Obama beat the trade deadline. He traded 1 trillion in cuts for 1 trillion in increased debt, plus more down the road for each one. The Tea Party rookies hit home runs in the first inning but wait until they strike out once John Doe and Jane Doe see the cuts in services. There were lots of deals and sad sacks like Clevelost and Pittsbad now have more hope. Dodgers are bust and so is Congress.

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2011 11:51 pm

Trade deadline winners and losers

Why limit the cubs to just trade deadline losers? Winning record at home (nope)...winning record on the road (nope)...winning record against NL East (nope)...winning record against NL West (nope)...winning record against NL Central (nope)...winning record in interleague play? (nope). Winning a world series in anybody's lifetime that can remember it? Nope. In fact, if it weren't for the Nats/Expos never winning a pennant, every team in the NL has won a pennant since the last time the cubs won one.

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: July 31, 2011 11:45 pm

Trade deadline winners and losers

Phillies vs. Yankees World Series....Phillies get revenge!!

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: July 31, 2011 11:40 pm

Trade deadline winners and losers

Maybe you can buy yourself a byline because no one likes a whiner.

Lord knows, the Phillies are trying to emulate the Yankees and buy a title, so if you're looking for sympathy for their latest super piece of the puzzle that's supposed to put them over the top, just like last season, put it to rest. There are over 30 other teams out there with about half of them fighting for playoff spots, just like the Phillies. And who knows, maybe some team may actually turn out to beat them during the playoffs, like the Giants did last Fall.

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: July 31, 2011 11:13 pm

Trade deadline winners and losers

I wanted to say a couple things, I was going to start of with the Indians until I read what he said about Felix Pie.

In the last line he says "All these millions of dollars and playing time allocations wasted, rather than giving Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold an entire year to establish themselves."  I am not going to knock Reimold since I am not familiar with him (but it seems he has stunk the last two years) but Felix Pie?

And a double ?? for felix Pie even!

This guy has 5 years of big league experience and has sucked in pretty much every year though he was ok in part time duty since joining the Orioles.  The point is, in his best year he hit .274 so its not like the O's had a lot of reason to not go out and sign Vlad, who, even in a down year is still hitting .285

I get the point about the future but I wouldn't but my stock as a GM in a guy like Felix Pie which brings me too....

"And of course, the Indians also added outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who will help Cleveland withstand the losses of Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore, then become part of a nice stable of outfielders when these players return"

I actually clicked on his bio and maybe it is a typo but it says in 300 AB's the guy has 14 RBI, 14, WTF!!

I know he will likely end up with more but how does a guy have only 14 or be on pace for 30 RBI given 600+ AB"s!

Now, he make rake once he gets there and finish with 37 RBI's but I don't see how a .265 hitter with no power who can't drive in runs is any better than anybody they have in Triple A.  I don't know their farm system but I don't see how this guy is an upgrade unless he took my outfield spot on my 28+ team that I play for.

I am hitting .323 now but I am sure he would be an upgrade over me in on the ole' rec league team I play for but 14 RBI's in 300 AB's as an upgrade, scary and unbelievable!

I would consider the Oakland A's a loser here.  Though they didn't make many moves, that's the reason, they had a lot of fluff, DeJesus, Willingham, etc and couldn't unload much of that fluff even if just to save money and getting low level fodder in return.  I would have thought Crisp would have brought a decent prospect or two in return.

Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:43 pm

Trade deadline winners and losers

Two points, one Beltran is 2-17 since joining the Giants and two, with yesterdays loss, Atlanta now also has 10,000 losses as a franchise. Both stats mean nothing but they are interesting. You wont find either widely published like when they rubbed the Phils noses in their 10,000 th loss. It would be nice if the Phils had the propaganda machine like the Yanks, Cards and Braves do. It amazes me how little national in depth coverage the Phils get unless it is some record breaking accomplishment like a no hitter. How about 39 Year Old Iban~ez  Rallies Baseballs Best Team or Howard Reaches 1000 Hit Milestone or Howard Halfway to Micheal Jack Hr Record. film at Eleven. I guess I'm dreaming  because we save those big headlines for dog killers, people who shoot themselves, Brett Favre and fat Redskin defensive linemen. Best Team in Baseball Gets ALL STAR RH Bat  fill only Weak Spot. If that was about the Yankies and not the Phillies that would be the BIG winner, here not even an honorable mention.

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:28 pm

Trade deadline winners and losers

How are the Pirates not at the top of your list of winners.  For the first time in almost 2 decades they not only get to keep all their developed talent, but they got to add some key pieces.  Pittsburgh has been known for the Steelers the Penguins and the disappointing baseball team for too long, it's time the original city of champions was reborn.

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