Saturday, July 31, 2010

Trade Deadline Movers And Shakers

Today's trade deadline has come and gone and was a little uneventful. Most of the major deals were made prior to Saturday. No surprises, no insane rumors. None of my wild and careless trade ideas came to fruition. I will say that with Twitter and the MLB Network, it was a lot of fun to follow but I'm starting to realize how much of a nerd I am. Let's take a look at who did the best moving and shaking this trade deadline season...

1. Texas Rangers
Kind of funny how the one bankrupt team in the MLB was the most active and added the second most payroll during trade season, huh? I know this is Bud Selig's doing. There's a conspiracy theory here somewhere. I'll figure it out after my third drink.

The Rangers started the real trade season by dealing for Bengie Molina on July 1st. Of course, the big winner in that trade was the Giants and not for what they got in return. By finally moving Molina, blog favorite Buster Posey was unleashed on National League pitching. Then the Rangers made their real move by trading for Cliff Lee. The Rangers did have to build their package around their top prospect Justin Smoak. But at least Texas will get two draft picks for Lee when signs with the Yankees in the offseason.

Recently the Rangers traded for Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman in separate deals. Cantu adds depth and Guzman is just a stopgap for an injured Ian Kinsler. Otherwise these deals have no consequence on the playoff race or playoffs. Unless they have a scientist to mash Chris Davis and Jorge Cantu into one platoon-free player.

2. Orange County Angels
Yeah, I stole that name from Rob Neyer, what of it? Is this a biased pick on my part? Maybe a little. The Angels did acquire the second best player available before the deadline. The Angels came out of nowhere to deal for Dan Haren and all they had to surrender was Joe Saunders and 3 prospects. If Tyler Skaggs is the PTBNL, he's the only prospect in the top 100. The Angels also swung a deal for Alberto Callaspo whose best skill is he isn't Brandon Wood.

While the Angels are still long shots to catch Texas, they will have Dan Haren under control for the next few seasons under a below market contract.

3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phils acquired the third biggest name to be had. The addition of Roy Oswalt gives the Phils a dangerous 1-2-3 pitching rotation. It also also gives them the Roy-iest rotation in the league and I appreciate the little things. Like the Haren deal, the Phillies traded a back end rotation guy in J.A. Happ and a couple of not-Domonic Brown prospects. Also like the Haren deal, the Phils will have Oswalt for the next couple of seasons. Unlike the Haren deal, this might actually help the Phillies catch the Braves.

4. New York Yankees
I'm not saying that playing for the Yankees will turn their over-the-hill careers around but going the best team in baseball might give Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood a little boost. In trading for Berkman, Wood and Austin Kearns, the Yankees severely upgrade their depth. Kearns gets you a platoon for Granderson because, shhh!, Curtis Granderson is a platoon player. And the Yanks grabbed Wood and Berkman because, well, they could. If this was 2002, the Yankees would win the rest of their games all the way through the World Series.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers
I didn't think the Dodgers could spend any money either but here we are. The Dodgers traded for Scott Podsednik, Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot and Octavio Dotel in three seperate deals. By my count, all they gave up was Blake DeWitt but I'll admit I don't know their farm system that well. Lilly is, I suppose, the only real difference maker of the bunch.

Other Winners:

Padres picked up Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick.

The Nats got one of the best catching prospects, Wilson Ramos, for Matt Capps. I think I have a crush on the Nats.

The Diamondbacks got a younger, cheaper version of Edwin Jackson in Dan Hudson for Edwin Jackson.

The Blue Jays bought low on Yunel Escobar by selling high on Alex Gonzalez.

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