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Some initial post-trade deadline thoughts

Jul 31, 2011, 5:18 PM EDT

Wandy Rodriguez Getty Images

– I was stunned that the Yankees didn’t make so much as a minor deal, but they definitely stand out as obvious candidates to be busy in August.  Just how busy could hinge on Rafael Soriano‘s performance.  Still, whether it’s Wandy Rodriguez — who could clear waivers and again become a possibility to be dealt as soon as Wednesday — or bench help, the Yankees’ ability to take on contracts should make deals relatively easy.

– Incredibly, not one reliever set to become a free agent at season’s end was moved this weekend.  Two of the game’s best setup men were dealt in Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, and the returns were strong largely because they were under control for 2012.  However, no closers were shipped off and there weren’t many trades involving lesser setup men.  I thought it was a lock that the Padres would move Chad Qualls, and it figured that the A’s would subtract at least one or two from the group of Michael Wuertz, Brian Fuentes, Craig Breslow and Grant Balfour.  Colorado’s Rafael Betancourt, Washington’s Todd Coffey and the Mets’ Tim Byrdak also looked like candidates to go.

– I’m not ready to make a call on the winners and losers, other than to say that some of the teams that decided to stand pat look like the real losers here.  The Marlins should have moved Leo Nunez and Omar Infante, and the Cubs were crazy to tell teams they were closing up shop.  I can’t believe that the A’s, with all of their free-agent-to-be hitters and expensive relievers, only ended up moving Brad Ziegler.

I don’t see Erik Bedard as any sort of consolation prize for the Red Sox.  Maybe they wouldn’t have traded for him if the Rich Harden deal hadn’t fallen though, but one never knows with the Red Sox; it is possible Theo Epstein wanted both as insurance policies.  Regardless, Epstein did give up more for Bedard than he was going to for Harden and the fact that it was a three-team, seven-player deal suggests that this wasn’t something that simply came together at the last minute.

– The Nationals will carry their hunt for a long-term center fielder into the winter after declining to give up more than closer Drew Storen in return for Denard Span.  Neither Nationals nor Twins fans seemed enthused by that trade anyway.  B.J. Upton still might be the answer for Washington.  The Nationals couldn’t come up with the pieces to get him now, but he should be cheaper in the offseason, particularly since he’ll have just one arbitration-eligible season left before free agency.  Besides, Desmond Jennings is well on his way to making it obvious that he can be the Rays’ long-term center fielder.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Phillies are big winners. They got Pence who already helped them to a big win today. Also got to send down Brown to get much needed seasoning. And my apologies to Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul!!! Two bombs and the game winning double. Yeah, on this trade deadline day there was a big, big winner and that was the Philadelphia Phillies.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:46 PM

      Glad to see you are coming around on Ibanez. I’m sure I will go the other way during his next 1-24 slide.

      • phillyphever - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        I’m willing to bet he goes off the next 3 months. He has to if he wants another payday (not with the Phillies of course).

  2. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    It is hard for me to understand what the Indians did. While landing arguably the best available starter, albeit at a steep price, the message that they were going for it this year seemed without doubt. Yet, they fail to land a bat of any sort (fuko doesn’t count) to help what is arguably the biggest weakness of this team, that they can’t score runs. Granted, the division is weak, and Choo and Grady should be back at some point, but when I see Ludwick acquired by the Bucco’s for a PTBN, I have to wonder why we couldn’t outbid that?? I understand the Jimenez deal may be aimed at next year and the year after as well, you have to go for it when you have the chance. Tribe could have offered a better package then was received for Ludwick, Bourn, Lee, and even Beltran……

    • dan1111 - Jul 31, 2011 at 5:59 PM

      I agree. The Indians are still a weak team; they don’t look like serious playoff contenders. And they gave up an awful lot. Meanwhile, the Pirates look great. They are an even longer shot than the Indians, but they made a couple of good, low-cost pickups to make things interesting. Maybe Neal Huntington was the real genius behind the Indians’ success of a few years ago–what have they done since he left?

      • jamie54 - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        Ludwick and Lee better than Jimenez? They gave up two prospects who may or may not turn out to be useful as players within their organization or flipped somewhere else. Plus they’ll have Shoo and Sizemore back at some point and since Ubaldo’s road ERA has always been better than at Coors Field, that’s a no brainer. That plus they needed to show the fans they are seriously in it. Ludwick and Lee are no better than what they gave up, virtually nothing. And the Pirates don’t ‘look great’ after getting beaten soundly by the Phils all weekend. Laughable comment.

      • dan1111 - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        Clearly Jimenez is a far better player than Ludwick and Lee–no argument there. I meant that the Pirates’ moves made a lot more sense than the Indians’ given their situation. The Pirates, in my opinion, look great for being able to make a couple of pickups without giving up any major prospects. They correctly understand that they don’t have much of a chance this year, but why not make things interesting? The Indians, in comparison, made a much larger bet on this year, with a team that is also weak.

        The Pirates got swept by the best team in the NL, true enough. But the Indians lost 2 of 3 to the Royals and have gone 2-8 recently.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:08 PM

      It wasn’t actually a steep price for Jimenez, considering he’s a front of the rotation pitcher and they’ll have him for the following two years as well. All the hitters traded this year, on the other hand, are either rentals or not very good. Yeah, they could have overpaid for a hitter, but replacing one of their poor starters with Jimenez is a bigger upgrade than anything they could have gotten on the offensive side. I mean, Ludwick and Lee are really pretty bad, no?

      The Indians now have a better shot at a weak division that they had a decent shot at anyway. Plus they improved for the following two years.

      I’m a big fan of what they did in Cleveland.

      • jamie54 - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:23 PM

        Oh, no, dan, agree Pirates did what they had to do on their limited resources including minor leaguers. Big fan this year of them and having lived in Cleveburg when the Jake opened, absolutely loved going to games. Don’t know if Fukudome and Jimenez can put them over the top but at least they’re giving their fans a chance. Pittsburgh, much love to them since I have all the respect for Larussa but he’s an ass. Brewers should win it all since they have all the talent this year but hey sometimes it takes a certain ballclub in a certain year to put it together. Hope they keep it up.

  3. phillyphever - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    IMO, giving up Storen for Span would have been a big mistake. Young, controllable closers are hard to find.

    • Charles Gates - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      Wait, you think the Storen/Span deal would have been bad for the Nationals because closers are too valuable? You must be the Twins GM.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      You are on the wrong board to try to talk up the value of the closer. Two things to keep in mind when posting here.

      First, saves are meaningless. Pitching well in the 6th inning is just as hard as pitching in the 9th inning. 3 outs are 3 outs no matter when you get them. Anyone who thinks the 9th inning is tougher needs to get themselves an Wxcel Spreadsheet to check before posting.

      Second, RBIs are meaningless. If a guy leads the league in RBIs consistently every single year, he is obviously only doing so because he is one lucky MoFo who always gets to bat with RISP. He has no skill, and is likely the most overrated player in MLB history. If you don’t believe me, check the aforementioned Excel Spreadsheet.

      Now, keep those two things in mind before posting again. Thank you.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:04 PM

        Did you buy straw in bulk for that post?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:19 PM

        Nope. I only have to read the thousands of comments and blog postings on HBT that read “saves are meaningless” and “RBIs are the product of men on base in front of you and are meaningless”. You want to call it a straw man argument, then maybe we have two different definitions of the term Straw Man.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:22 PM

        Nobody ever said that there was no difference between the sixth inning and the ninth inning. Nobody ever said Ryan Howard had no skill. So, yes, straw man.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:31 PM

        “Nobody ever said that there was no difference between the sixth inning and the ninth inning”

        You need to read Aaron’s blog posts a little more closely.

        ” Nobody ever said Ryan Howard had no skill. So, yes, straw man.”

        I didn’t say anything about Ryan Howard, yet you think you know exactly who I was talking about. Doesn’t that kinda go against the whole definition of Straw Man 😉

    • Ari Collins - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:09 PM

      Someone on this board (Jack Marshall I think) put it succinctly:

      When has anyone regretted trading a reliever? Has that ever happened?

      • JBerardi - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:01 PM

        I said that. And, I still can’t think of one.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:16 PM

        Sorry JB!

      • mcchef - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:00 AM

        Giants and Joe Nathan? Thats the only one I can think of…… maybe whoever traded Eck to Oakland….

      • browngoat25 - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        Mets trading Heath Bell?

  4. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    I wonder if Heath Bell and the Padres have some sort of gentlemans agreement behind the scenes, and that he actually will end up returning to San Diego on a discount, because him staying put is the most baffling thing to happen this month.

    • jamie54 - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:25 PM

      Bell has always made it public he would return for a discount. He and his family both love it in SD. Could not see him coming back if Adams was kept and turned out to be the closer for two months, how could Adams go back to being a setup man if Bell returned? If Bell leaves they still get two supplemental picks, which is at least what they were asking in return for any trade. Who else do they have, really, to keep fan interest? This is a nothing team going nowhere with the only worthwhile roster player being Maybin, when he’s not hurt. Thought to some degree is keep Bell, somehow to keep fan interest. Of course that is if they can ever get a lead to the

      • jamie54 - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:27 PM

        …..9th. Might be the two studs they got for Adams, one makes it to the bigs, one gets traded for someone who can actually hit, maybe one gets hurt, who knows. At least now you have some options.

  5. yournuts - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Sometimes the best trades are the ones that don’t happen. I’m glad that the Yankees did not trade there young stars for possible help. I think their doing just fine and the chemistry on the Yankees is excellent. Two games back of the Red Sox and the Yankees losing so many talented players to injuries this season. Good move by the Yankees to keep their top prospects around. Brian Cashman has done an excellent job with this team.

    • cackalackyank - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:17 PM

      Agree about the young players, not the chemistry and Ca$hman. The whole Posada/catcher/DH thing is not doing his rep any favors. Also, I am starting to notice a pattern…has anyone sles noticed that one starter in particular does not get a lot of run support…my nomination for chemisrty buster is…..(drum roll) AJ (giggles)Burnett.

  6. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jul 31, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    How many talented players have the Yankees lost this year ? ……. A-rod ? Soriano and his +5 ERA ? Please explain …… Yankees are still 1-8 vs the Red Sox this year. Yankees front of the rotation will get them no where in the playoffs.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      You know, it’s almost like the Yanks’ starters ERA isn’t better than any other team from the East or Central. It’s almost like they don’t have the two most valuable relievers in the AL. It’s almost like they don’t have the best starting pitcher in the league. Odd how the haters always seem to forget the facts.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:11 PM

        It’s almost as if they’re going to start Bartolo Colon in the second game of a playoff series.And Freddy Garcia third. And A.J. Burnett fourth.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:16 PM

        Wow, it’s almost like those guys have actually been good this year. The peripherals are solid. The concern is injury, not effectiveness. Or did the Yankees somehow get to such a strong team ERA with imaginary pitchers?

      • Kevin S. - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        Well, not AJ, obviously. But the two lottery tickets have been paying off. You’re telling me they can’t keep the games close enough for the Yanks’ offense and bullpen to handle the rest?

      • Ari Collins - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:40 PM

        They’re flukes, to different degrees. Just because they’ve done well so far doesn’t mean they’re a good bet to keep doing well. In addition to their peripherals not being that likely to match their true talent going forward, Garcia’s outpitching his peripherals.

        Of course, those are statements based on educated projections. They could go 10-0 with a 3 ERA each and pitch SOs in every postseason start.

      • ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jul 31, 2011 at 9:13 PM

        I stated some facts . Those starters you are raving about and such must have not done so hot against the sox seeing as the yankees are 1-8 ( factual information )

  7. foreverchipper10 - Aug 1, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    The Braves giving up next to nothing for Michael Bourn is going to change the whole dynamic of their offense. They were starved for stolen bases and a true leadoff hitter. With Uggla turning up the offense this is a welcome man on base in front of him.

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