Thursday, August 1, 2013

Trade Deadline Recap

                                  Peavy's Changing Sox

There wasn't much action during this year's trading deadline or in the weeks before it. More teams feel like they have a shot with the second wild card and there has been some changes in draft pick compensation for traded players. There were very few sellers at the deadline, absent of the bottom feeding Marlins, Astros, Cubs, and White Sox. Other teams like the Royals, Phillies, Blue Jays, and others decided not to sell. Many teams, including the Cardinals, stood pat this year. Division rivals Pittsburgh and Cincinnati were unable to work anything out, either.

The biggest deal of the deadline was a three player trade headlined by Jake Peavy. This deal involved 7 players and included the White Sox, Red Sox, and Tigers. Peavy was sent from the White Sox to the Red Sox for three Class A prospects. The Tigers traded outfield prospect Avasial Garcia(who appeared in last year's World Series) to Chicago and sent reliever Brayan Villareal to Boston. In return Detroit received slick fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox. Iglesias is batting .330 in his rookie year with Boston, but was a .257 career minor league hitter. Still, this could be a sneaky good move for Detroit. All Star SS Jhonny Peralta is facing a likely suspension due to his Biogenesis connection. The White Sox earlier traded All Star reliever Jessie Crain to the Rays.

The Red Sox felt like they needed another starter for the stretch run. Clay Buchholz was an All Star this year, but has dealt with some lingering injuries. Jon Lester, Ryan Dempster, and John Lackey have pitched solid, but not spectacular. Peavy adds depth to the rotation. In 13 starts with the Pale Hose this year, Peavy is 8-4 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. A trade to a contender could revitalize Peavy, considering he was an All Star in 2012. The Bosox will have Peavy for 2014 with a $15 million option for 2015. One down side is that Peavy is a injury risk. 2012 was the first season Peavy pitched in enough innings to qualify for the ERA title since 2008.

Besides adding Iglesias, the Tigers also traded for Astros closer Jose Veras. Veras is a journeyman and having his career best season. The Tigers gave up an A ball outfield prospect for him. The Astros also traded outfielder Jason Maxwell to the Royals for a A ball pitching prospect. In their biggest deal, the Astros sent Bud Norris to the Orioles for a couple of mid-level prospects and a competitive balance draft pick. The Astros are mired in another miserable losing season and are looking towards the future. The Orioles needed another starter to go along with Wei-Yei Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, and Chris Tillman. Baltimore also traded for Scott Feldman earlier this year, but Norris is a superior pitcher to Feldman. Norris isn't anything spectacular, but is an innings eater and a good option for the back end of the rotation.

The Cubs also unloaded Alfonso Soriano and Matt Garza in the last two weeks. Garza went to Texas for Justin Grimm, Mike Olt, and CJ Edwards. Grimm pitched some in the big leagues with the Rangers this year, Olt is a top 3B prospect, and Edwards is a A ball pitcher. The Cubs got a pretty good haul for Garza. The Rangers got a pitcher who can help them win this year. Garza has been really good since he came back in late May. He is 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 13 starts with Chicago and Texas this year. Soriano was dealt back to his original team, the Yankees, for a pitching prospect and salary relief. The Cubs still had to eat some of the contract, but the 37 year old Soriano doesn't fit in the Cubs rebuilding plans. Soriano still has some pop in his bat and joins a veteran laden Yankees club. The Yankees are in fourth place in the AL East, but are in the thick of the wild card hunt. This is the farewell season for Mariano Rivera and many other Yankees are towards the end of their careers.

There were rumors of Cliff Lee getting dealt, but the Phillies held on to him. It's not likely the Phillies will make it to October this year, though. Lee is owed quite a bit of money, but is still very productive. There's still a chance of him clearing waivers and getting dealt in August, but I think it is more likely to happen in the offseason. The Diamondbacks did trade away Ian Kennedy to the Padres for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher and a prospect. Kennedy was the D-Backs opening day starter, but has really struggled this year. Kennedy is 3-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 games started this year. Kennedy was a 21 game winner in 2011 and Padres manager Bud Black is a good renovator of pitchers. Arizona needed a solid lefty reliever and have a surplus of young starting pitching.

Last year, the Dodgers made several high profile trades during the season. This year, they only made one move for starter Ricky Nolasco. LA traded away three prospects to Miami to get Nolasco. The Dodgers thought to have a surplus of starting pitching in spring training, but Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, and Josh Beckett went down to injuries. Zack Greinke is healthy again, and the Dodgers have a potentially dominant postseason rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Nolasco. The Dodgers biggest additions were from within. Calling up Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez coming off the DL have kick started what was a stagnant offense. The Dodgers have gained the lead in the NL West after a rough early season.

Most teams decided to stick with what they had, instead of giving up top prospects for rentals. The Braves didn't make any moves, even though they were rumored to be in the Peavy/Lee sweepstakes after Tim Hudson's season ending injury. In the NL Central, neither the Pirates, Cardinals, or Reds made any moves. The AL West leading Athletics were rumored to be on the market for starting pitching, but ended up staying pat. They didn't feel the need to answer the Rangers move for Garza. The Rangers were rumored to be in the market for a bat, but failed to make any deals. Nelson Cruz is facing a possible suspension because of his Biogenesis connections. Should be some good races going forward.

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