By white_sox 24 Comments
One of the best aspects of baseball is its reliance on management, budgets, and statistics. In some ways, its like the ultimate simulation video game, but the results are real instead of being simulated by a computer. I love games like OOtP baseball and The Show because they give you a little taste of what it takes to put together a competitive roster. It's important to manage the current season, but also keeping in mind the future of your franchise.
This trading deadline was one of the best ever. It featured both an abundance of deals and big names in those deals. While we may never know who won or lost each trade until 10 years from now, it's still fun to judge each team's decisions at the deadline. So, without further ado, here are my winners and losers at the deadline.
Detroit Tigers - Let's start at the most obvious and without a doubt the biggest winner of the deadline. The Tigers got a legit #1 starter and easily the best pitcher on the market for Smyly and Austin Jackson. While I usually dislike deals that include starting major league talent, it makes plenty of sense when you look at how great Price has been. Not to mention they have him guaranteed for next year and now they have all the leverage when it comes to the Max Scherzer negotiations this offseason. The loss of Jackson will hurt a bit, but they have Kinsler who can slot into the leadoff spot and they have minor league options to fill the open CF position. With the addition of Price, the Tigers have far and away the best rotation and they are the team to beat in the AL.
Seattle Mariners - The Mariners made two solid moves to acquire some much needed outfield help. They're need in that area can't be overstated, as they were trotting guys like Hart, Jones, and Chavez out there on a daily basis. Jackson is a great upgrade and they got him for a cheap price by letting go of Nick Franklin. Sure they may have helped a future foe in the process, but they certainly gave themselves a better chance to make the playoffs. They also held onto their prized minor league pitchers in the process. Perhaps one regret could be not actually getting Price themselves, as one would have to believe a Paxton + Franklin deal would have been just as appealing to the Rays as the one they got.
Boston Red Sox - One of the most active teams at the deadline were the BoSox. They were able to get rid of expiring or aging pitchers while bringing in some much needed power bats to help balance out their lineup. An outfield of Cespedes, Victorino, and Craig projects nicely alongside their other players for next season. This also allows them to see some of their young pitching depth for next season. This is a team that has realized their window for this year is completely shut, but the players they targeted were guys they knew would help them for next year.
Houston Astros - The 'Stros picked up two nice prospects for Cosart, who has been shaky so far in the bigs. In a system that's already loaded with talent, the Astros continue to stack up their system with talent.
Tampa Bay Rays - I don't think this needs much explanation. This trade looks so bad for the Rays at the moment. Some have argued that the Rays had to do this deal. I think that's insane. Even if you had to move pieces around to keep Price for one more year, then you do it. If they were blown away by the deal, then sure, I'd pull the trigger too. But they had all the power in this deal and the pieces they got just don't come close to what they gave up.
Florida Marlins - A bad day for Florida teams it seems. I just don't get the acquisition of Cosart. I understand that any player they wanted needed years of team control, but I felt as if they gave up way too much in Moran and Marisnick. Both of those guys are major league talents and Maisnick is close (having had call-ups already this season) to being ready. I also do not believe this puts them over the hump in the East as the Nationals and Braves are both better teams. Why not keep your prospects and wait one more year for Fernandez to return from Tommy John? At worst, why not give up less for someone like Millone, Burnett, Hughes, De La Rosa or Danks?
Philadelphia Phillies - Usually, bad teams trade their good veteran players. There are some exceptions like the bad teams with good players who are injured (Rangers), bad teams who have great systems (Cubs, Astros), and bad teams without any big contracts (Padres). The Phillies are none of these and they should have been way more active this deadline. They had so many potential players they could have dealt like Byrd, Hamels, Burnett, Lee, Utley, Ruiz, etc. I'm shocked that they couldn't match up with anyone on any type of deal. Perhaps they'll move some players at the waiver deadline, but if they don't they'll continue to have a bad and bloated roster for next season.
Pirates and the Blue Jays - Both of these teams are in winnable division, but both are currently trailing to teams in front of them. Neither were willing to part with their prospects to get better and doing so puts them behind in their respective division. It is especially confusing for the Jays, because the Red Sox are putrid this year and the Yankees are a middle of the road team. It's a perfect opportunity to take the division, and these opportunities should be taken advantage of. For a team that hasn't been to the postseason in forever, I'm surprised they played it so safe.
The Wild Card
Oakland A's - The A's gave up both ML talent (Cespedes, Millone) and huge prospects (Addison Russell) to solidify their rotation with Lester and Samardzija. But in doing so, do they even have the best rotation in the AL? I still don't think they're better than the Tigers and maybe they gave up too much in each deal. Had they waited, I'd say their package for Shark would have easily been enough to get Price. Letting go of Cespedes also seems like a risky move. Not only is he a fan favorite, but he was the most feared hitter in their lineup. Maybe I'm just jaded because of the deal the Tigers were able to pull off, but the A's went all in this year, and they need to pull off more than just a division title to make their deals worth the price they paid.
Did your teams make any deals this trade deadline? What did you think of this years deals?