Winners and losers of the 2010 MLB trade deadline

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.

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