Jul 31, 2013, 5:50 PM EST
Given how disappointing this afternoon’s trade deadline proved to be, it’s only fair that the annual winners and losers column is a little lopsided. Let’s get right to it:
Red Sox: I didn’t like the idea of Boston giving up top prospects for Jake Peavy because I just didn’t see him being a big upgrade over the rest of their candidates for the postseason rotation. Parting with Jose Iglesias for him, on the other hand, is something I can get behind. Iglesias had an incredible run for the Red Sox earlier this season, but he was a lifetime .257/.307/314 hitter in the minors. He had a .588 OPS in 829 Triple-A at-bats. And while he was still at .330 for Boston this season, he had returned to earth in a big way this month, batting .205/.247/.217 in 83 at-bats during July. I think Iglesias will be a useful regular for a long time, but for a big-spending team like the Red Sox, he was always going to be expendable. They sold high when they sent him to Detroit in the three-team swap.
Angels: Getting Grant Green from the A’s for Alberto Callaspo was a nice little coup. Green is 25 and still doesn’t have a position, which is a problem, but he’s also hit .325/.379/.500 in Triple-A this year. The Angels should start working him out at third. Some will argue that the Angels should have moved Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar as well, but I’m not so sure. Both have reasonable contracts, and the Angels almost certainly would have downgraded had they tried to replace either in free agency this winter. They would have needed a big return to justify dealing either.
Braves: Many wanted the Braves to get a starter with Tim Hudson out. I think they’re just fine with a front six of Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Paul Maholm, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood. And getting the perpetually underrated Scott Downs from the Angels for Cory Rasmus was nice. I’m not positive how he does it, but Downs has a 1.76 ERA again this year. Last year’s 3.15 mark was his worst since 2006, and that was really the result of two bad weeks (nine of the 16 runs he allowed came in a stretch of five appearances).
Cardinals: The slumping Cardinals failed to add, but the important thing for them is that the Pirates and Reds didn’t make any additions, either. St. Louis is still the NL Central’s best team on paper, provided that Yadier Molina isn’t out for much more than the minimum 15 days with his sprained knee. All bets are off if his absence extends into September.
Cubs: The lack of action on Wednesday suggests that the Cubs were smart to move Matt Garza, Scott Feldman and Alfonso Soriano when they did. They clearly got a better return for Garza, a free agent at season’s end, than the White Sox did for Peavy, even though Peavy is locked up for another year.
Dodgers: Drew Butera, yo. But, no, the Dodgers are here for the same reason as the Cardinals. Maybe the Diamondbacks engaged in some addition by subtraction in shedding Ian Kennedy, but they didn’t do much addition by addition.
Mariners: Kendrys Morales, Oliver Perez, Michael Morse, Raul Ibanez and Joe Saunders are all going to be free agents this winter, and the 50-56 Mariners, remaining stubborn under GM Jack Zduriencik’s guidance, didn’t cash any of them in. Morales and Perez would have brought significant returns. At least some of the other teams that declined to sell could have chances to get deals done in August, but I’m not sure any of the Mariners listed above will clear waivers, limiting the team’s options.
Royals: Winners of seven in a row to move to 52-51 on the season, the Royals refused to sell. Which is understandable. But the fact that they did choose to buy, acquiring outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Astros, and still didn’t land an upgrade from Chris Getz at second base is tough to take. It’s not like they needed a star; they’ve gotten so little production from second base for years now that just about anything would have done.
Indians: One of the rumors going around Wednesday was that the Indians were aiming for a big-time starter. Instead, they stayed quiet; their only deadline pickup was lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski, who was unwanted by the Cardinals. Something to energize the fanbase in Cleveland would have been welcome; the Indians have the AL’s sixth-best record, so they’re right in the thick of things.
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays could have cashed in closer Casey Janssen and turned a tidy profit. They also had a couple of nice role players in Emilio Bonifacio and Rajai Davis to dangle. They did nothing.
White Sox: The White Sox’s top picks in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 drafts were outfielders (Chris Sale was the choice in 2010). Baseball America said their No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 prospects at the start of the season were outfielders. Yet when they chose to deal Peavy, they did it for another outfielder, getting Avisail Garcia from the Tigers. They also dealt Matt Thornton to Boston for an outfielder (Brandon Jacobs) earlier in the month. In the abstract, I don’t mind Peavy for Garcia. It’s decent value. The White Sox, though, have questions throughout the infield and a dearth of young pitching in the minors. I’m not sure what they’re building.
Phillies: Ruben Amaro Jr. is still likely shocked and appalled that no team was willing to surrender two top prospects for Michael Young. The Michael Young.
Marlins: OK, so the Marlins didn’t put Giancarlo Stanton on the block yet. That’s fine. But then they wouldn’t talk about relievers Steve Cishek and Michael Dunn. Even more incredibly, they weren’t even interested in picking up a prospect for a 34-year-old Chad Qualls today. The only thing I can figure is that the commissioner’s office and the MLBPA is back whispering in the Marlins’ ears about their use of revenue sharing money.
Giants: The flagging Giants had a chance to refuel the farm system a bit, which could have been a silver lining in a very disappointing season. Instead, they held on to Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum and even Javier Lopez. Maybe they’ll get compensation picks if Pence and Lincecum leave as free agents or maybe they’ll even deal Lincecum in August, but with plenty of contenders looking for a middle-of-the-order bat and starting pitching, it’s disappointing that they resisted overtures.
Astros clubhouse attendants: Good luck with those end-of-season tips. With Bud Norris, Carlos Pena and Jose Veras gone, Erik Bedard in now the highest-paid Astro at $1.15 million this season. That’s about what Alex Rodriguez makes per week.
Dec 20, 2013, 11:01 PM EST
Brian Kenny is not an official Baseball Hall of Fame voter. If he did have a vote, however, it’d go a little something like this: My HOF ballot: Maddux, Thomas, Raines, Biggio, Schilling, Martinez, McGriff, Glavine, Mussina, Trammell. @CHConfidential — Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) December 20, 2013 In the interest of full disclosure: I do not…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:45 PM EST
The quickly souring four-year $50 million deal the Phillies gave Jonathan Papelbon two years ago, and the Orioles’ recent fiasco with Grant Balfour may make the two teams unexpected trade partners. MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Phillies and Orioles have discussed a trade involving closer Jonathan Papelbon. Kubatko adds that the Phillies would have…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:50 PM EST
Grant Balfour isn’t going to let this issue go silently into the night. After the Orioles backed out of a two-year, $15 million contract with Balfour, the right-hander said he is considering filing a grievance. He continued to defend himself, saying that he has multiple doctors on his side vouching for his health. He also…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:10 PM EST
If their latest action is any indication, the Indians’ decision to have catcher Carlos Santana work out at third base wasn’t just made on a whim. As Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer reports, the Indians have sent infield coach Mike Sarbaugh down to the Dominican Republic to help Santana as he plays in winter…
Dec 20, 2013, 7:25 PM EST
The Phillie Phanatic is good for a laugh a majority of the time, whether he’s cavorting around Citizens Bank Park in his ATV, posing for pictures with fans in the stands, or rifling individually-wrapped hot dogs into the 400-level. The Phanatic, who hails from the Galapagos Islands (of Charles Darwinian fame), will be entering his…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:35 PM EST
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that free agent reliever Grant Balfour is considering filing a grievance over the Orioles’ recent decision to back out of a two-year, $15 million contract. Balfour contends he is as healthy as ever, and multiple doctors agree with him. It is very hard to see what the Orioles…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:00 PM EST
[Edit: The title originally included the word &concussion& rather than &collision&, which made Kapler look bad for something he didn't say. It was an unfortunate malapropism on my part. I apologize for the mistake.] Former Major Leaguer Gabe Kapler penned a thoughtful piece about the home plate collision issue over at FOX Sports. It’s nice…
Dec 20, 2013, 5:20 PM EST
Earlier today the Orioles backed out of two-year, $15 million deal with closer Grant Balfour, citing concerns about Balfour’s shoulder. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke with Balfour today, and he says he’s 100%: Balfour tells me his MRIs, incl R shoulder, are the exact same as they were three years ago. “I’m…
Dec 20, 2013, 4:31 PM EST
Carlos Beltran had his introductory news conference with the Yankees today and said all the things a guy who just signed with the Yankees is expected to say. It’s a great organization, it was his dream to play in pinstripes, etc. etc. But of course, since Beltran spent so much time with the Mets, he…
Dec 20, 2013, 4:09 PM EST
It’s the Friday before Christmas so all of you are having your office Christmas parites. I used to have office Christmas parties. We’d have cocktails and chase women around desks and photocopy our rear ends and everything. Hi, I’m Craig, and I haven’t worked in an office since 1968! Anyway, what I’m saying is, it’s…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:20 PM EST
It has been flatlining since yesterday, but after heroic efforts were undertaken, Roch Kubatko calls it: #orioles wont complete deal with balfour. it’s off — Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 20, 2013 Duquette: “The Orioles are moving on from this situation.” — Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 20, 2013 The signing was supposed to be announced…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:30 PM EST
Alex Speier of WEEI reports that Kevin Youkilis has reached an agreement to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan in 2014. Youkilis’ 2013 season was a lost one. He signed a $12 million deal with the Yankees, but he was racked with injuries, playing in only 28 games and hitting a meager .219/.305/.343 with two…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:14 PM EST
MLB announced that Orioles left-hander Troy Patton has been suspended 25 games following a positive test for amphetamine use. Patton has done nice work out of Baltimore’s bullpen during the past three seasons, throwing a combined 142 innings with a 3.05 ERA and 113/33 K/BB ratio in a middle relief role. He was previously arrested…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:00 PM EST
Mark Grace, who went from the Diamondbacks’ broadcast booth to a prison cell due to multiple drunk driving convictions has a job in baseball once again. The Hillsboro Hops of the single-A Northwest League have announced that Grace will be their hitting instructor for 2014. The Hops are affiliated with the Diamondbacks, a team which…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:52 PM EST
Grant Balfour‘s two-year, $15 million deal with the Orioles is in jeopardy because the team didn’t like what it saw during his pre-signing physical exam and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re turning their attention to Fernando Rodney. Any pursuit of Rodney would only happen if Balfour’s deal is wiped away, but…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:30 PM EST
Despite yesterday’s reports that the Rakuten Golden Eagles have decided not to post Masahiro Tanaka, the team insists that it is still having internal discussions on the matter and has not made a decision one way or another. There is no timetable for decision, and players can be posted up until February 1. While it’s…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:33 AM EST
Sadly, not a variety show: RHP Todd Coffey has tentative showcase scheduled for 1/17 as he comes off Tommy John surgery. — Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 20, 2013 It sounds so festive. I’m picturing this: Mixed with this: If they do that, I’d advocate for signing Coffey to a three-year, $39 million deal.
Dec 20, 2013, 11:03 AM EST
The idea behind tax credits and other tax incentives is to convince businesses to invest in the jurisdiction over which the taxing authority holds sway. When the business is already committed to investing in the area and there is no danger of losing said investment to another jurisdiction, there is little reason to grant that…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:46 AM EST
Minnesota wasted little time finding a new veteran catcher, adding free agent Kurt Suzuki one day after trading Ryan Doumit to Atlanta. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Suzuki and the Twins have agreed to a one-year deal and the 30-year-old will compete with rookie Josmil Pinto for playing time behind the…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:25 AM EST
UPDATE: Notre Dame-Boston College is now officially booked at Fenway Park in 2015. ========== Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Fenway Park Sports Group is in talks with Notre Dame and Boston College to host a football game at the ballpark in 2015. That’s when the two schools are next scheduled to…
- Grant Balfour may file a grievance over Orioles’ decision to back out of contract 18
- Former Major Leaguer Gabe Kapler wants collisions to remain part of the game 27
- Carlos Beltran introduced by the Yankees, takes a shot at the Mets 29
- The Grant Balfour-Orioles deal is dead 25
- Kevin Youkilis is going to play in Japan 30
- Hall of Fame voting expert: Greg Maddux makes it. No one else does. (105)
- I don’t know what the best baseball song is, but it ain’t John freakin’ Fogerty (101)
- Happy Birthday, Ty Cobb! (89)
- ‘Tis the season for people acting incredibly dumb (74)
- The Yankees agree to a one-year, $2 million deal with Brian Roberts (74)