Archive for July 2010

Winners and losers of the 2010 MLB trade deadline

July 31, 2010

Another trade deadline has come and gone, and without some big moves. This year wasn’t short on drama or a blockbuster move (Cliff Lee), fleece deals (Dan Haren), and there was a lot of movement the past couple days. Here is who came out on top, in the middle, and on bottom.

Winners:

Texas Rangers

By trading for Cliff Lee the Rangers showed they were in it to win it in 2010. While they gave up their first baseman of the future in Justin Smoak for a pitcher they probably won’t retain, that pitcher is a superstar who is currently the best in the AL. He instantly makes them a scary opponent in the playoffs as they’ll be able to throw him three times in a seven game series. They also added Jorge Cantu and Christian Guzman.

New York Yankees

The best team in baseball- record wise- just got better. They added Lance Berkman for little, Austin Kearns for little, and Kerry Wood for little. Their already strong offense just got stronger with Berkman. Their bench just got deeper with Kearns. And the pen got deeper.

Kerry Wood may or may not disappoint, but he’s worth a shot considering how cheap his price was. Either way, the Yankees clearly will end the week a better team.

Philadelphia Phillies

With the Braves faltering, the Phillies seized an opportunity to make the NL East race interesting again by trading for Roy Oswalt. They didn’t give up a whole lot for him and the Phillies now have three really good starting pitchers. If they get into the postseason, they could be the most dangerous opponent for any team because of their three headed rotation of Doc Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.

Also, kudos for not trading Jayson Werth. Take his production down the stretch and the draft picks when he leaves.

Purgatory:

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are arguably the best team in baseball, so they didn’t have a strong need at the deadline. But with the moves the Yankees made, it would have been nice to add a bat like Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, or Lance Berkman. Instead they settled for reliever Chad Qualls. You can’t say they come out as losers, but they missed a chance to make them the pennant favorites in the AL.

Pittsburgh Pirates

I like what the Pirates did today. I can’t say they were winners since they didn’t add any top prospects or star players, but they made smart moves that are a step in the right direction for the franchise. They picked up a solid catcher for three aging veterans that had no future or worth with the franchise. For Octavio Dotel the Bucs picked up a good mid-rotation starter, and also got mediocre prospects in Joe Martinez and John Bowker who potentially could contribute here and there to future Pirate teams.

San Diego Padres

If the only move they made was the Ryan Ludwick trade, they would be big winners. However, the Miguel Tejada was pretty damn bad so it balances out the Ludwick trade. At least the Padres are trying to improve their offense so they have a better chance in the postseason against teams like Philadelphia and/or Atlanta.

Washington Nationals

Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps was one of the biggest steals of the deadline. The Nats also didn’t give into the pressure to trade Adam Dunn. They didn’t find an offer they liked, so they kept him. Now they’ll either sign him or let him walk for two picks. I’m sure Washington can live with that scenario.

St. Louis Cardinals

I am one of the few people like do not think the Cardinals made a bad trade. I believe Jon Jay and Allan Craig will be capable replacements for Ryan Ludwick, and while Jake Westbrook isn’t a spectacular pitcher, he could be a difference maker because that race is going down to the wire. And they didn’t give in to pressure and trade Shelbie Miller for a top pitcher.

Houston Astros

They accomplished their goal of trading high priced players to relieve the payroll. But their return was less than spectacular. They got a mid-rotation starter in J.A. Happ and prospects Brett Wallace and Mark Melancon. One can only imagine that they could have done better, especially for Oswalt, but that’s how the marker was this year. It’s not a loss though, since they did need to start from scratch and get out from some expensive contracts.

Milwaukee Brewers

They could have cashed in for Corey Hart or Prince Fielder, but they could also have been fleeced. For now they keep both and could try to sign both long-term in the off-season. That’s a push from me.

Atlanta Braves

They didn’t add any stars, but they needed to make a move and Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth for no one with a future in Atlanta is a solid deadline move. Fans should be content with the deal.

Toronto Blue Jays

Many people thought they got fleeced in the Gose-Wallace trade, but it’s not that bad a trade. Plus, they didn’t give into temptation to trade any of their type A relievers. They could have undermined their value and traded them for the heck of it, but instead they’ll net draft picks.

Losers

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox have to be the biggest losers of the deadline. One would expect a team fighting for the playoffs with lots of injuries would be working the phones for a trade. Not Theo. I did not Boston mentioned in a single rumor ALL DAY until I heard they traded Ramon Ramirez. Their big trade of the day was for catcher Jarrod Saltamalacchia whose prospect status is a ship that sailed a long time ago. All Salty provides is depth and they actually gave up some decent prospects for him. I guess Theo was serious when he said 2010 would be a “bridge” year.

Chicago White Sox

Edwin Jackson is a decent pitcher, but so was Dan Hudson and I did not like that trade. Especially since pitching was not an area of concern for Chicago. They really wanted a power bat and tried to land Lance Berkman, Adam Dunn, and Manny Ramirez among others, but they failed in each attempt. They had a chance to pull away from Minnesota and Detroit, but came up short.

Minnesota Twins

Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps. Nothing else to say. They had no true need, especially in the bullpen. Ramos and Testa for Capps was a bad value trade and won’t help the Twins much in 2010 and beyond. If anything the Twins could have used a starting pitcher, but weren’t even in on any starters from the rumors I read.

Detroit Tigers

Another AL Central team on the loser list! With the team fading they could have used a shot in the arm via a bat or pitcher. But they didn’t make any move at all. Come October, it looks like Detroit fans will be turning their attention to the Detroit Lions. The horror!

San Francisco Giants

Slowly but surely they are creeping closer to the Padres atop the NL West, but all they did today was trade for a couple of mediocre relievers. Color me unimpressed. Especially since they were in on Hart and Fielder.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Out: Dan Haren, Chris Snyder, Chad Qualls, Edwin Jackson

In: Dan Hudson, David Holmberg, Tyler Skaggs, Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez, Joe Saunders, Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby, DJ Carrasco

So…they traded an ace pitcher, good catcher, decent reliever, and decent starting pitcher fooooooooooooooooooooor a good pitcher (Hudson), two decent prospects (Skaggs and Holmberg), and some shitty ML players (Saunders, Church, Crosby, Carrasco). So much for rebuilding. But hey!- they cut payroll!

– This was a rather boring deadline imo. The Cliff Lee trade was big news, but that happened before the AS break. There were a flurry of moves on Friday and couple more today, but nothing spectacular. It was rather mundane and ho-hum compared to past deadlines.

CHAN HO PARK DFA

July 31, 2010

OH WHAT A GLORIOUS DAY IN YANKEE UNIVERSE!

Remembering the man who gave the best interview in the history of journalism.

The best part is Mariano laughing on the background, in disbelief that that quote just happened.

Atlanta Braves trade for Rick Ankiel, Kyle Farnsworth

July 31, 2010

Man, my titles must be getting redundant.

So the Atlanta Braves picked up Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth for Jesse Chavez, Gregor Blanco, and Tim Collins.

I like the trade for both teams. Rick Ankiel isn’t a great player and doesn’t get on base a whole lot, but he can hit for power. He has a .207 ISO on the year, which is in line with his career ISO of .202. He has a .343 wOBA in 101 PA and ZiPS projects it to be .336 going forward. The Braves really needed an outfielder and while Ankiel isn’t a savior, he’s been better than Melky Cabrera or Nate McLouth. The Braves also added Kyle Farnsworth, who’s been a good reliever since leaving New York. He had a 3.10 FIP in 2009 and has a 3.16 FIP in 44 innings this season. ZiPS thinks he will do well down the stretch with a 3.64 FIP in 21 innings.

Going to KC is Chavez, Blanco, and Collins. Chavez is just a throw in piece. He’s been in the majors for three seasons and hasn’t been good, even as a reliever. Blanco is a 27 year old outfielder, but isn’t that good either. However, he could be a solid role player. He has a good glove and in 633 ML PA’s, he has a .361 OBP. His MiLB on base numbers were really good as well. The one thing holding him back- power. Blanco has never come close to slugging above .400 in his career- at any level.

The interesting piece Tim Collins. He is just a reliever, but at each stop in the minors he’s been lights out good. Go to his MiLB page. Look at his K rates. Holy shit. The dood could be reaaaal good. But as a reliever.

I’d say the Braves got a little bit better and the Royals got all they could have expected to get.

UPDATE: Boston finally makes a move! They traded for Jarrod “this blogger will spell me name wrong” Saltalamacchia. He still maybe might have upside, but I don’t count on it. Just a depth move for Boston.

And the Yankees DFA Chan Ho Park! Oh it’s a glorious day!

Octavio Dotel traded to Los Angeles in last major reported trade of the deadline

July 31, 2010

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded closer Octavio Dotel to the LA Dodgers for James McDonald and another prospect.

I don’t get this trade for LA. Look, I love Octavio Dotel. I really do. I used to play a game called MLB Showdown and Dotel was my ace reliever. I loved him. But you do not trade a pitcher like James McDonald for two months of a relief pitcher. Dotel can still bring the gas face as shown by his 10.80 K/9, which is actually below his career average. Along with Jon Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo the Dodgers now have three reliable relievers to close out a ballgame. But that price is not worth James McDonald.

James McDonald is not the high upside arm many thought he would be. He is 26 now, has spotty command, and gives up fly balls and home runs. But he is still capable of being an above starter, thanks in part to an ability to get swinging strikes and K’s. The Pirates will have five cost-controlled years of McDonald, where he can fit in nicely as their #3-#4 starter.

Dotel will fetch the Dodgers a compensation pick, but those are worth $2.5mil. McDonald will certainly be worth more than that. And I haven’t even discussed the other prospect going to Pittsburgh.

LA could get a good player with their pick, but considering the low success rate of prospects, it will be a long shot if that pick can get the current status that McDonald has reached.

Kerry Wood is your newest New York Yankee

July 31, 2010

Reports Joel Sherman. I don’t like it.

I know Cleveland is eating money so Wood is practically free and I don’t know who we gave up yet, but I do not see Wood as an addition. Our pen could use some help, but I wouldn’t call Wood “help”. He has sucked this year and been hurt. Moreover, the past two years he’s had a high HR rate and that will not play well in NYS. Hopefully his big name will not get him big innings. I’d much rather see Joba Chamberlain or D-Rob in the eighth.

And the move wasn’t even needed. Just call up Jon Albeladajao- the dood is bossing AAA. And if not him, than Ivan Nova.

The right move is to DFA and call up Alby.

Well, whatever. Just don’t suck Kerry.

UPDATE: In a “non-move” the Giants pick up lefty specialist Javier Lopez for Joe Martinez. Who cares, to be honest.

UPDATE II: Pirates also receive outfielder John Bowker. He’s more of a fourth outfielder, but he’s raking AAA and many thought he should have been given a big chance in the Bay.

Giants also pick up reliever Ramon Ramirez from Boston. No word on who Boston gets, but it should be someone of no impact.

Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot to Los Angeles for Blake DeWitt and prospects

July 31, 2010

The LA Dodgers picked up Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot for Blake DeWitt and prospects.

My feelings are mixed on the trade.

Ted Lilly is an okay pitcher. He will be paid around $4mil the rest of the season, and should provide about $5mil in value during that time. However, he will be a type A free agent, which gives him an extra value of $10mil. So his net value is $11mil. Ryan Theriot is under team control for two more seasons. He too is just an okay player, with a lot of his value tied into defense. So if he is a 2 WAR per year player in 2011 and 2012, that value will be about $17.6mil. In arbitration he will most likely make a total of $11.6mil. So his net value is $6mil and the total value going to LA is $17mil.

The Cubs will receive Blake DeWitt, who will be under team control for four years. I don’t think DeWitt is that good, but he is just 25 and has shown he can play a solid defense and get on base at around or above league average. If he can do that, DeWitt should be about an average player going forward. Starting in 2011, I peg him for a WAR of 1.5, 1.7, 2.0, and 2.0. That would be a value of $31.68. In 2011 he will probably be paid about 450K. Considering DeWitt is similar to Theriot, I will give him a first year arbitration salary similar to Theriot’s. So if DeWitt makes $2.5mil in 2012, that will jump to $4mil in 2013 and $7.2mil in 2014 for a total of $13.2mil. Subtract that from his WAR value and his net value is $18.48mil.

So it looks like the Cubs come out ahead, right? Well I disagree with my numbers. The Cubs do not need a third baseman in DeWitt. I know he has struggled big time, but they still do have Josh Vitters in the minors. Moreover, a few of their top prospects can play third base if needed. Besides, we’re talking about Blake DeWitt. He is not a difference maker on a future Cubs team. For the next two years they could have easily moved Theroit to third and netted two draft picks for Ted Lilly. If given the choice between two high draft picks or Blake DeWitt, give me the picks every time.

So the Dodgers come out good here. I don’t really like Theriot or Lilly and I don’t think either player will help them overcome San Diego. But they will get two draft picks for Lilly and going forward, as I’ve already said, I will take the draft picks over DeWitt.

The prospects LA is giving up are Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit. Smit struggled big time as a starter before converting to relief where he has been pretty good this season. Wallache a high round pick of the Dodgers last season and looks like he could be a good pitcher in the future, but he is just in A ball right now. The Cubs must be confident that those two will be better than whoever they could have gotten in the draft. It makes the trade a little better Chicago and in the end I’d call it an even trade, but I like LA’s return just a little better.

Three way deal: Ryan Ludwick to San Diego, Jake Westbrook to St. Louis, prospects to Cleveland

July 31, 2010

It’s being reported that Ryan Ludwick will head to San Diego, Jake Westbrook and a prospect will head to St. Louis, while Cleveland will get prospects. So far there is no word on who the prospects are.

I like this deal for all three teams. Lets start with Cleveland. They are a bad team and do not need Westbrook, obviously. He’ll only be paid a couple mil the rest of the season, while only providing a couple mil worth of value. So while they shouldn’t expect much of a return, they are still getting a few prospects. I have no clue if it’s anybody worthwhile, but even if its a couple C level prospects or a B level prospect than Cleveland did good here.

Depending on who San Diego gave up, I really like this trade for them. San Diego has one of the worst offenses in baseball, so adding Ludwick is a big upgrade. He instantly becomes the best outfielder on the team and the best hitter outside Adrian Gonzalez. Ludwick won’t hurt the team defensively either, seeing that he’s been a plus fielder according to UZR over the course of his career and past couple seasons. He comes cheap the rest of the season, and through arbitration will make around $9mil next year, where he could very well leave as a type A free agent. If he gets the Padres picks, he could net them around $19mil in value! That’s on the optimistic side, but still, this is a good trade for San Diego. Their chances of winning the West just went up.

Now onto St. Louis. Essentially, they are trading Ryan Ludwick for Jake Westbrook and a prospect. Straight up, that doesn’t appear to be a great trade. Ludwick is a better player. However, that’s looking at things in a bubble. Outfield and offense is not an area of concern for the Red Birds. Jon Jay can step up and be a more than capable player down the stretch. He was a high round pick out of the University of Miami a few years ago and has had a solid MiLB career. No, he is not as good as he’s been- his talent level is not a 180 wRC+- but he is good. The Cardinals did want pitching though to help them in their tight race in the Central. They have gotten any positive production from the back of the rotation. Westbrook should slot in perfectly there. He is only an average pitcher, but that’s better than what the Cardinals were getting. In a race that could be decided by one game, they need a solid start every time out. That is why the trade makes sense for them.

UPDATE: Only one prospect ended up going to Cleveland, Corey Kluber. Kluber has a good minor league track record and looks like a big time strikeout pitcher, but San Diego should be ecstatic to give him up for Ryan Ludwick. The Cardinals got Nick Greenwood from San Diego. He’s a nice ground ball pitcher, but nothing special, and if anything will end up a reliever at some point down the line.

Also, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded Chris Snyder and prospect Pedro Ciriaco to the Pittsburgh Pirates for DJ Carrasco, Bobby Crosby, and Ryan Church. Not a real big trade, especially since it’s between two last place teams, but I like it for Pittsburgh.

Ciriaco is no-name prospect, but Chris Snyder is a good catcher. He won’t have an impact on the Pirates or improve the team, but it’s a good deal and worthwhile. The Pirates can now move Doumit away from catcher and fill another hole (first base or outfield) with Doumit. Meanwhile, they gave up nobody of value to their franchise. Crosby, Church, and Carrasco are not a part of their future. In the next couple years, Snyder will be. He is a kind of young, solid catcher who will provide stability behind the plate and will be able to work with their young arms and provide “veteran leadership”.

‘Zona, again, wtf? I know you wanted to move Snyder, but you just picked up a bunch of aging veterans who won’t help you win.