The trading deadline has come and gone, meaning that aside from September call-ups and perhaps a waiver deal or two, teams’ rosters are pretty much set.
The July 31 trade deadline was full of activity, with Ryan Dempster and Geovany Soto going from Chicago to Texas, San Francisco acquiring outfielder Hunter Pence from the Phillies, and the White Sox trading for Minnesota pitcher Francisco Liriano.
On the heels of their headline-making move in trading for Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers also added Seattle reliever Brandon League and Philadelphia centerfielder Shane Victorino.
What do you think of these moves, and who are your winners & losers of the trade deadline?
Continue reading after the jump…
I like all of the moves and feel these teams helped themselves without giving up too much. The Rangers have suffered some injuries to their rotation, and Roy Oswalt has been lit up, so getting Dempster helps solidify an area of concern. He may not be an ace or true #1 guy, but he’ll deepen that rotation and is a good #2 or #3. Soto is an upgrade offensively over Yorvit Torrealba, and I’m surprised he was part of the deal.
Furthermore, Texas didn’t have to give up top prospect Mike Olt. Pence is just what the Giants needed. He’s had a down year, but he’ll inject some much-needed youth and energy into that aging lineup. The Giants have long struggled offensively, and while Pence isn’t a marquee hitter, he’s about as good as they were going to get. The Dodgers kept pace by adding some nice complementary pieces. League has closing experience and will help that bullpen, and while Victorino has struggled this year, he’s an upgrade in left field and at the top of the order.
The Dodgers have been atrocious offensively all year, so adding Victorino to get on base in front of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier is a good move. Ever year, the experts say the White Sox have nothing in their farm system, yet every year, GM Ken Williams pulls off a coup. Liriano has struggled this year, but when he’s on, he can be nasty. It’s another low-risk/high-reward move.
I think the Rangers and Angels are both winners. They each added a premier pitcher at the deadline to help bolster their rotations. The Angels now have the deepest rotation in baseball with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, CJ Wilson, and Zack Greinke, and nobody wants to face them in the postseason.
Plus, they are well-suited to being a wild card team. If they can’t catch Texas and have to play in the wild card play-in game, they won’t be hamstrung like other teams by throwing their ace. They can start Weaver and then have Greinke, Wilson, or Haren start Game 1 of the next series.
Like I mentioned earlier, Texas added a solid pitcher in Dempster to help a rotation riddled by injuries. He has postseason experience and will take some pressure off of Yu Darvish.
The Dodgers also did well. Hanley Ramirez was one of the top players in baseball a few years ago, and if he rediscovers his stroke, it’ll be a boon for LA. If the moves they made don’t pan out, the team won’t be set back much because they didn’t give up any top prospects.
I also like what the Reds did in picking up Jonathan Broxton. He as one of the best closers in the National League while with the Dodgers, and he’ll be good insurance in case Aroldis Chapman falters.
As for losers, I have to go with Pittsburgh, Seattle, Miami and the Cubs. Pittsburgh added Wandy Rodriguez, which is a nice move, but they really needed to upgrade their offense and failed to do so.
They even traded away Casey McGahee who, despite struggling with the Pirates, is just two years removed from a .285-23-104 season with Milwaukee. Seattle traded away Ichiro and League and really got nothing in return. Miami entered the season with high expectations and a new ballpark but ended up gutting their team.
Even though they made some good moves and got some nice pieces in return, like Jacob Turner from the Tigers, this has already been viewed by many as a fire sale and won’t go over well with the team’s fickle fanbase. The Cubs traded away Dempster but didn’t get Olt from Texas. Plus, they threw in Soto, so giving away their ace and starting catcher for three prospects who aren’t major league-ready can’t be viewed as a win.
As with anything else, it depends on how you want to define things. One definition says that whoever got the best player in a deal was ultimately the winner.
This is an oversimplification, of course, but if you use that as your benchmark then I think the Giants probably picked up the best single player in Pence, although the Dodgers probably accumulated the most overall talent when you add up Hanley Famirez, League and Shane Victorino.
If you want to know who simply made the best deal in terms of value out/value in, then I think it is probably the White Sox.
But when you’re talking baseball trade deadline deals, I look at who made a World Series winning move.
Who’s going to win the World Series now that they made such and such a move. And for that one I think the answer is Texas.
They had less to add to make it happen, and Ryan Dempster is just a perfect addition for that team and one I think will pay big dividends down the stretch.
It reminds me a little of when the TIgers picked up Doyle Alexander in 1987. He was 37 years old at the time, and Detroit was already one of the best teams in baseball, but Alexander promptly went out and went 9-0 for the TIgers down the stretch, getting them into the playoffs.
I think Dempster could give the Rangers a real lift down the stretch and make a couple of key starts for them in the playoffs too.