Tagged: Trade Deadline 2009

Trade Dealine 2009 — Part 2

The remaining 14 trades from the ’09 Deadline reviewed:

July 29th

To Philadelphia: Grade: A-
Cliff Lee.jpgLHP Cliff Lee
OF Ben Francisco

To Cleveland: Grade: A-
C Lou Marson
RHP Jason Knapp
SS Jason Donald
RHP Carlos Carrasco

Cliff Lee will probably never be a 22-game winner or Cy Young recipient again, but he is still a solid top-of-the-rotation talent and is a nice consolation prize for the Phillies who just couldn’t swing a deal for Roy Halladay.  Add on top of that that they got a decent fourth outfielder and didn’t have to give up any of their top prospects such as Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, Dominic Brown, or Michael Taylor and the Phillies swung a pretty good deal.  Cleveland, like Pittsburgh, were well-known sellers and the return for a pitcher who’s value will never be higher and an outfielder who was going nowhere in the organization was solid.  Indians GM Mark Shapiro is one of the smartest in the game.  Marson was a 4th round pick in 2004 who has become a solid defensive catcher with a plus arm.  Probably no better than a career backup, but the Indians did just trade long-time catcher Victor Martinez.  The Indians also acquired two minor league pitchers in Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco.  Some close to the Phillies have suggested that Carrasco was as highly regarded in the organization as Drabek and Jason Knapp was a 2nd Round pick in ’08 who could be a solid number 3 or 4 starter someday.  Finally, the Indians acquired infielder Jason Donald.  Donald’s approach to the plate is something that has impressed the Phillies since he was drafted in the 2nd round of the ’06 draft.  He also has some pop.  This deal is win-win.

To San Francisco: Grade: C-Tim Alderson.jpg
2B Freddy Sanchez

To Pittsburgh: Grade: A+
RHP Tim Alderson

Out of all the deadline deals, I think this one was the biggest win-lose deal of them all.  And yes, I believe that Pirates won.  Freddy Sanchez is a fine player, but his impact on a scale of 1-10 with the Giants will probably be around 3.  He’s not what the Giants needed, he was someone they wanted; and in getting him, they gave up one of their brightest young arms.  Alderson is a big, strong (6’7″, 220 lbs) pitcher with a good fastball that tops out around 92/93 mph and his curve is very quickly developing into an elite pitch, he’s also working on a change up that is coming along nicely.  Even though he’s been starting in the minors (21-6 with a 3.04 ERA), Alderson pitches exclusively from the stretch and it has worked for him.  He has an unorthodox delivery, is extremely deceptive, and his command is as good as anyone in the minors.  He’s a future top-of-the-rotation talent and the Bucs pulled a great deal in getting him.  When San Fran was rumoured to be in on the Halladay sweepstakes, Alderson was reportedly the crown-jewel of the returns.  Congrats Bucs fans.

July 30th

To Chicago (NL): B-
LHP John Grabow
LHP Tom Gorzelanny

To Pittsburgh: B
RHP Jose Ascanio
RHP Kevin Hart

This one was another decent deal for the Bucs.  Gorzelanny hit his ceiling in 2007 andmajor league hitters adjusted.  Good on the Pirates to believe he’ll likely never get better.  Grabow is a solid veteran reliever, but with the Bucs not contending he was not in their long-term plans.  The Cubs address a need in their shaky bullpen and pick up a pitcher who can start some games for them down the stretch.  Ascanio was signed by the Braves in 2001 and has a decent arm. His solid minor league number would suggest that he will eventually be a solid middle reliever.  As for Hart, a former 11th round pick of the Orioles, he can give the Pirates some spot starts, but may also settle into a relief role.

To Los Angeles (NL): Grade: B
George Sherrill.jpgLHP George Sherrill

To Baltimore: Grade: B
RHP Steve Johnson
3B Josh Bell

Sherrill was acquired by the O’s as part of the Erik Bedard trade to Seattle along with Adam Jones and Chris Tillman.  The fact that Sherrill was successful as a closer in 2008 was a bonus to an already very good deal.  As soon as Sherrill became more erratic, the Orioles did the right thing by shipping him out of town to get more prospects.  He’ll fit in nicely in LA where they desparately need a left-handed arm in the late innings.  The fact that he won’t close there will likely help his numbers.  In return the O’s netted pitcher Steve Johnson who was drafted in ’05 in the 13th round and was moving along admirably in the Dodgers system; and Third Baseman Josh Bell who was a 4th round pick in that ’05 draft.  Bell, who still needs work defensively, is a solid hitter who should develop some power.  He might end up at First where the Dodgers already have James Loney.  He has a clearer path to the majors in Baltimore.

Now to the actual day: July 31st

To Los Angeles (NL):
UTIL Vinny Rottino

To Milwaukee:
RHP Claudio Vargas

This trade ranks pretty low on the significance list, but the Brewers believe Vargas can help them make a run at the post-season.  They are also familiar with him as he was with the Brewers in ’07 and posted an 11-6 record.  Rottino could end up being a bench utility-man at the major league level.

To New York (AL):
UTIL Jerry Hairston, Jr.

To Cincinnati:
C Chase Weems

Jerry, Jr. was the second Hairston brother traded within a matter of days, and he’s a nice pickup by the Yankees who appear poised to return to October baseball.  Hairston provides a lot of versatility off the bench as he can play virtually every position and has some pop in his bat as well.  The Yankees gave up Weems to get him who is a former 6th round pick in ’07 who was not in the immediate catching plans of the Yankees.

To Colorado: Grade: B+
LHP Joe Beimel

To Washington: Grade: C-
RHP Ryan Mattheus
RHP Robinson Fabian

Beimel was one fo the many players this past offseason that signed very late.  Teams baulked at his apparently burely clubhouse demeanor, but there’s no questioning this guy’s ability to pitch.  Beimel is a solid left-handed reliever who should work nicely in the late innings for the Rockies who are making a run at the NL Wildcard.  They gave up two right-handed prospect pitchers in Mattheus and Fabian.  Neither have put up good number in the minors and don’t project to be impact major-league players

To Florida: Grade: B-
1B Nick

To Washington: Grade: B
LHP Aaron Thompson

Johnson has made quite an impressive comeback from injuries, but is isn’t the player he once was.  The Nationals did a nice job moving him and the Marlins needed to fill at hole at First and Johnson isn’t the worst they could do.  Thompson was a 1st Round pick in ’05 who has struggled at the minor-league level.  The Nats are hoping he can fulfill some of the promise he once had.

To Minnesota: Grade: A-Orlando Cabrera.jpg
SS Orlando Cabrera

To Oakland: Grade: B+
SS Tyler Ladendorf

Cabrera is a solid defensive player who hits for contact and draws a lot of walks; a perfect fit in Minnesota.  He should help the Twins push for the Central crown.  It is likely that only one of the three contending Central teams are going to the playoffs so any little bit helps.  As for Ladendorf, he is a former 2nd round pick of the Twins in ’08 and is an excellent defender.  The A’s are hoping that he can learn how to hit.  This is a decent deal for both sides.

To Detroit: Grade: C+
JarrodWashburn.jpgLHP Jarrod Washburn

To Seattle: Grade: A-
LHP Luke French
LHP Mauricio Robles

Washburn is in a contract year and is in the midst of a fine season, but I’m not convinced.  Washburn isn’t terrible, but the last time he had a good year was in 2002 when he won 18 games with the Angels.  I know Detroit wants to prepare its rotation for the post-season and Washburn has some experience in such circumstances, but he isn’t the pitcher he was.  They gave up a pretty good lefty who is major-league-ready in French.  French tossed a gem against the M’s earlier this month and that no doubt made Mariners’ brass sit up and pay attention.  Robles was moving up in the Tigers organization pretty quickly as well.  The Tigers may regret this one some years down the road…unless they win a World Series this year with the aid of Washburn.

To Boston: Grade: AVictor Martinez.jpg
C/1B Victor Martinez

To Cleveland: Grade: A
RHP Justin Masterson
LHP Nick Hagadone
RHP Bryan Price

Victor Martinez probably would have signed in Boston in the offseason anyway, so the Indians did a nice job of getting something in return.  Masterson is a great talent who has electric stuff; he’s clearly the centerpiece of this deal for the Tribe.  The Red Sox apparently had a difficult time parting with him.  Hagadone and Price are nice pieces too.  As for the BoSox, they’re just happy they didn’t have to give up Buchholz, Reddick, Bowden, or Bard to get the All-Star catcher.  Martinez provides a consistent bat and a great clubhouse presence and should fit in nicely for another World Series run in Juliaville.  They also have a great chance of re-signing him in the offseason, which I’m sure they will try to do with the likely retirement of Jason Varitek and the likely moving of Mike Lowell from Third base.  With Halladay staying put, Martinez was the crown-jewel of this year’s deadline…until Peavy was traded of course.  Nice deal for both sides.

To Atlanta: Grade: B+
1B Adam LaRoche

To Boston: Grade: B-
1B Casey Kotchman

This one was a bit curious considering LaRoche was just acquired from the Pirates a little over a week ago, but the Red Sox feel as though Kotchman is better suited for a bench role.  As for Atlanta, LaRoche had his best year with them in ’06 and they are hoping that he can regain his form in Georgia.  Kotchman seems to have completely lost whatever potential he had so maybe being a role player for a very good team is what he needs right now.  Weird deal, but one that seems to work for both sides.

To Cincinnati: Grade: B
Scott Rolen.jpg3B Scott Rolen

To Toronto: Grade: B
3B Edwin Encarnacion
RHP Josh Roenicke
RHP Zach Stewart

This was the only deal my Jays pulled off on deadline day.  Rolen had apparently approached the Jays and asked if he could be traded for personal reasons.  There’s speculation that there’s some health problems in his family and he wanted to be closer to his Indiana home.  Rolen had resurrected his career this season and the Jays were able to turn a decent pull for the veteran third bagger.  Encarnacion does one thing well…hit home runs.  Although this year has been a complete wash so far.  He’s terrible defensively and likely won’t be a Jay for that long, but that;s not why they made the deal.  Roenicke and Stewart were both very highly regarded in the Reds’ system.  Both have outstanding arms and it’s believed that Roenicke will one day very soon have a shot at the closer’s job in TO.

To Chicago (AL): Grade: A
Jake Peavy2.jpgRHP Jake Peavy

To San Diego: Grade: B
LHP Clayton Richard
LHP Aaron Poreda
RHP Dexter Carter
RHP Adam Russell

Maybe the most significant deadline day deal was a bit of a surprise.  Not because Peavy was traded but because he was traded to Chicago where he activated his no-trade clause to reject a deal to earlier this year.  Peavy is signed through 2012 with a club option for 2013 so he could be an impact player for the Sox for a long time.  He’s a former Cy Young and Triple Crown winner (2007) and is a two-time ERA champ (2004, 2007).  This has to make Chicago the favourite in the three-team Central race.  When you can thrown out Buehrle, Danks, Peavy and Floyd, there aren’t many teams who can beat you in a series.  As for the Padres, they pick up four pitchers in return.  Richard, Poreda, and Russell have already picthed at the major league level and are pretty highly regarded, and Dexter Carter isn’t a bad pick up either.  The White Sox win this deal based on the sheer length left on the contract of Peavy.



Trade Deadline 2009 — Part 1

The trade deadline is a stressful time for team executives, players and fans alike.  Some deadline deals turn out to be the difference between playing October baseball or enjoying some autumn golf.  C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers last July got them to the post-season for the first time since 1982, while Bartolo Colon to the Montreal Expos for Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Brandon Phillips worked out a lot better for the selling team, the Cleveland Indians.  This year there were 22 deals in the week leading up to deadline day.  This entry will deal with the first 8.

I meant to do this on the day of the deadline, but I was out of town so I shall do it now.  I’ll breakdown each deadline deal and assign a letter grade to each side.

July 22

To Boston: Grade: C+
adamlaroche.jpg1B Adam LaRoche

To Pittsburgh: Grade: B+
INF Argenis Diaz
RHP Hunter Strickland

The Red Sox basically ended up getting Casey Kotchman from the Braves for Diaz and Strickland.  LaRoche played a total of 6 games with the BoSox but I still give this trade a C+ for Boston simply because of Kotchman.  As for the Pirates, this seems like a win-win.  LaRoche makes $7.05M this year and is eligible for free agency come November.  He also wasn’t anything close to the player he was in ’06 when he clubbed 32 HR and had a .561 SLG which was good enough for 7th in the NL.  As for Diaz, he’s a middle infielder who signed with the Red Sox in 2003 as a non-drafted free agent and has had his troubles in the field.  He has a plus arm but terrible hands.  He’s also only a .269 hitter in the minors.  Strickland, an 18th Round pick by the Red Sox in 2007 is 11-9 with a 3.54 ERA mostly as a reliever.  I think unloading half of LaRoche’s salary for some young talent is always a good thing if you have no intention of contending.


To Boston: Grade: B
OF Chris Duncan

To St. Louis: Grade: B
SS Julio Lugo

Each team got something they wanted in this deal.  A stiff they no longer wanted or needed is gone.  The problem is, they both got a stiff back in return.  St. Louis may get the slightly better deal only because Lugo is actually playing for them.  Duncan was sent to AAA-Pawtucket by the Sox right after the deal.


July 24th

To St. Louis: Grade: B-matt-holliday-photo.jpg
OF Matt Holliday

To Oakland: Grade: A
3B Brett Wallace
RHP Clayton Mortensen
OF Shane Peterson

If you thought the A’s were only acquiring Holliday in the off-season to trade him later; you were right.  The A’s probably thought he would up his worth and they would sell him for more than they bought him for; sort of like flipping a house, except with and an outfielder.  Holliday isn’t having a terrific year, but Billy Beane managed to get quite a bit in return for him.  Wallace was the 13th overall pick in the ’08 draft and has a potent bat, but his 6’1″ 245-lbs frame might land him at First or DH once he breaks into the majors.  Mortensen is another former 1st round draft pick of the Cards (26th overall in ’07) who has yet to find his groove in the minors with a 4.21 ERA between all levels.  In two starts with the A’s AAA affiliate, however, he has a 1.64 ERA.  Peterson was drafted in the 2nd Round of the ’08 draft and can play all three outfield positions and first.  The A’s are impressed by his advanced approach at the plate.  I think in the long-run, as usual, the A’s will win this deal.  The players they got in return for someone they were going to lose at the end of the season anyway are well worth the wait for A’s fans.
July 27

To San Francisco: Grade: C+
1B Ryan Garko

To Cleveland: Grade: B
LHP Scott Barnes

Garko is a decent hitter who doesn’t have enough power for First and is below-average defensively.  The Indians are trying to re-build and he clearly was not in their plans.  San Fran needs anyone who can hit the ball, and in cavernous AT&T Park, power isn’t quite as important as it is in another, smaller park.  As for Barnes, he was drafted in the 8th Round of the ’08 draft but has been solid in A-ball over the past season and a half, compiling a 15-6 record with a 2.62 ERA.  Barnes isn’t likely to be an impact player at the major league level for a few years, but could end up being a decent 4th or 5th starter someday.  He’s also a lefty, which raises his value even more.
July 28th

To Chicago (AL): Grade: B
OF/1B Mark Kotsay

To Boston: Grade: C+
OF Brian Anderson

Mark Kotsay seems to get traded 4 times every year.  Well, actually, he’s been traded 5 times in his career and three times in the past two seasons.  With the acquisition of LaRoche/Kotchman, the Red Sox had no room for Kotsay so they sent him to Chicago where he might be of some use in an AL Central pennant race as a fourth outfielder and spare first baseman.  As for Anderson, he was once one of the top prospects in the White Sox system, so why not take a flyer on a player who’s never lived up to his potential?

To Oakland: Grade: D
scott-hairston-jc-424.jpgUTIL Scott Hairston

To San Diego: Grade: A
RHP Sean Gallagher
RHP Craig Italiano
RHP Ryan Webb

Once a part of the Rich Harden trade, Gallagher is a former 12th Round pick of the Cubs.  He’s far exceeded his draft position already, but he may be falling down to earth again.  This must be why the A’s have packaged him in a deal with two other minor league pitchers for journeyman utilty-man Scott Hairston.  This is a strange deal for the prospect-oriented A’s who acquire the 29-year-old in his contract year when they aren’t contending.  Add on top of that that they gave up some significant talent to get him, and I can’t quite figure this one out.  Italiano was a 2nd Round pick of the A’s in 2005, and Webb is hoping to turn around his career after a standout 2004 made him a popular sleeper pick to make an impact at the major league level in 2005.  He was drafted out of high school so he’s still only 23.
July 29th

To Cincinnati: Grade: B
OF Wladimir Balentien

To Seattle: Grade: B-
RHP Robert Manuel

This a probably going to end up being a fairly inconsequential deal.  Balentien was once highly regarded in Seattle’s system but his stock has fallen since he’s played major league ball where he’s hit only .207.  Manuel was an undrafted signi
ng of the Mets in 2003 and is 26.  The Mariners will be his third organization.  He only made his debut this year and is likely at best a journeyman middle-reliever.

To Seattle: Grade: C-
jeffclement1.jpgRHP Ian Snell
SS Jack Wilson

To Pittsburgh: Grade: A
C/1B Jeff Clement
INF Ronny Cedeno
RHP Nathan Adcock
RHP Aaron Pribanic
RHP Brett Lorin

Pittsburgh is clearing house again…because they SUCK.  But they may have pulled the two best deals of the week, one being this one, the other, the Freddy Sanchez deal (more on that later).  Pittsburgh parted ways with a pitcher (Snell) who has talent but badly needs a change of scenery.  He has yet to pitch to his full capabilities and it was wise of the Pirates to deal him before it gets worse (which it probably will).  Jack Wilson is a fine fielder at Short, but his bat has lost what little bite it used to have.  The Mariners appear set on picking up his $8.4M option for 2010 which is strange considering his very limited offensive potential on a team that already has trouble scoring runs.  As for the Bucs, they receive a former 3rd overall pick in Clement who has been blocked by a lot of catchers in the M’s system and a breakout year from Rob Johnson.  Clement is so bad defensively behind the plate that First seems like a more realistic option.  His bat has a nearly unlimited ceiling if he can ever figure out major league breaking-balls.  Pittsburgh is Cedeno’s 3rd organization after originally being signed by the Cubs and is another player who has yet to live up to lofty potential.  And oh yeah, The Pirates also got three prospect pitchers as well.  This one will end up being a trade Seattle will want back.

The other 14 trades will be reviewed over the next few days.