The guys celebrate “High Socks Monday” this week as the Braves continue to roll behind Chipper Jones’ twitter account. They also get into baseball news from around the league and hit on the mid-season awards. You’ll also be happy to know that we care about your fantasy teams as we provide yet another week of solid fantasy pickups in the ‘Three Up, Three Down’ segment.
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Trades! Trades! Trades! You’ll get all the MLB trade talk you want on this week’s podcast. We recap just about every trade that happened in the last week before the trade deadline. Greinke? Dempster? Pence? We have them all. And to cap it all off, the gang gives you some bad injury news. Hope you enjoy!
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or use this link to download on iTunes
Wow, what a whirlwind week of baseball wheelin’ and dealin’ we’ve had. I’m exhausted just from trying to keep track of all the trades that went down in the past week or so. Some teams look completely different (helloooooo, Dodgers) and some we thought would get a face lift, look exactly the same (what’s wrong, Rays?).
But this is your home for all things deadline – where you can get every dirty detail of every trade that went down, plus a quick analysis of the deals. For the sake of brevity, only trades from July 24th through the end of the deadline are included. But, I won’t keep you waiting any longer…let’s get it rolling:
7/24 – Pittsburgh Pirates + Houston Astros
Pittsburgh acquires Wandy Rodriguez (SP)
Houston acquires Rudy Owens (SP), Colton Cain (SP) and Robbie Grossman (OF)
The Pirates’ pitching staff has been stellar all year, but they felt they needed more depth. In Rodriguez, they get a veteran who has been pedestrian at times, brilliant at others, overall one of the better catches on the pitching market. And Houston is on the fast track to 100 losses, so any young talent helps. They snagged three guys who were in the top 20 of the Pirates’ very deep minor league system.
Tampa Bay Rays + Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay acquires Ryan Roberts (3B)
Arizona acquires Tyler Bortnick (IF)
Roberts, otherwise known as Tatman by his legions of fans in Arizona, was designated for assignment before being traded to the Rays. It gives Tampa a much-needed bat with some pop at a position they don’t necessarily need help at when Evan Longoria is healthy. The D’Backs like what they see with Bortnick, but he was sent to Triple-A, so it clearly wasn’t a move they expected to impact the club in 2012.
7/25 – Los Angeles Dodgers + Miami Marlins
Los Angeles acquires Randy Choate (RP) and Hanley Ramirez (3B/SS)
Miami acquires Nathan Eovaldi (SP) and Scott McGough (RP)
The dividends of this trade has already paid off for both squads – the Dodgers swept the rival Giants in San Francisco last weekend, largely in part to Ramirez and his clutch hits. Choate has already come in and fended off opposing lefty hitters in a couple of appearances. And Eovaldi made a good first start in Miami. McGough is a bit of a project but has a high ceiling in Single-A. The Dodgers traded long-term guys for immediate help. Read more about this trade HERE.
7/27 – Los Angeles Angels + Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles acquires Zack Greinke (SP)
Milwaukee acquires Juan Segura (SS), Johnny Hellweg (SP), Ariel Pena (SP)
The Angels bolstered an already-scary rotation with the addition of former Cy Young winner Greinke. He joins Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver in Anaheim. The Brewers got quite a haul in return, as all three prospects were top ten in the Angels’ system. Pena’s name stands out because he had a 216.00 ERA in his Futures Game appearance this year. Oops! Just for the sheer ridiculousness of the Angels’ new rotation, they win this trade. Read more about this trade HERE.
Colorado Rockies + San Francisco Giants
Colorado acquires Charlie Culberson (2B)
San Francisco acquires Marco Scutaro (IF)
Neither team needed to make this move, but it happened anyway. Scutaro gives the Giants a quality, veteran utility player who will definitely not solve their offensive woes. At best, Scutaro will find random ways to be in the lineup as soon as Pablo Sandoval returns from injury. Culberson is a good prospect and has a shot at stardom if he continues to progress. This one is a toss-up.
7/29 – Chicago White Sox + Minnesota Twins
Chicago acquires Francisco Liriano (SP)
Minnesota acquires Eduardo Escobar (IF) and Pedro Hernandez (SP)
If the Sox think Liriano will be the added depth they need in the rotation to compete down the stretch, they are sorely mistaken. Brilliant occasionally, awful usually, Liriano was let go by the Twins because they just couldn’t take it anymore. They were able to pry a light-hitting, yet slick-fielding top-10 hitting prospect and a left-handed pitcher from Chicago. But the ultimate victory was ridding themselves of Liriano. Read more about this trade HERE.
Arizona Diamondbacks + Houston Astros
Arizona acquires Chris Johnson (3B)
Houston acquires Marc Krauss (1B/OF) and Bobby Borchering (3B/OF)
If you’re Houston…why not? You are selling everyone and their mothers anyway, so if a corner infielder is shipped away, bring in two others who are younger and can be molded however you see fit. Johnson hit a huge grand slam yesterday against the division rival Dodgers, so he’s already a D’Back hero. But this trade didn’t really hurt either team. Again, a default winner.
7/30 – Texas Rangers + Chicago Cubs
Texas acquires Geovany Soto (C) and cash
Chicago acquires Jacob Brigham (SP)
Another NL Central team going full fire sale, the Cubs gladly took the Rangers up on their offer to rid the club of a former Rookie of the Year in Soto, who had steadily declined both in health and production. Brigham is a pitcher the Rangers had pretty high hopes for that just wasn’t panning out. It looks like he’ll have to earn his way to the majors as a relief pitcher now. Texas designated Yorvit Torrealba in response to getting Soto.
Atlanta Braves + Chicago Cubs
Atlanta acquires Reed Johnson (OF), Paul Maholm (SP) and cash
Chicago acquires Arodys Vizcaino (RP) and Jaye Chapman (RP)
The Braves got a veteran utility outfielder and an underrated big league starter for two minor league relievers. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. That being said, Vizcaino has an exceptionally high ceiling. He was the number two prospect in the Braves organization coming into 2012, but was sidelined and needed Tommy John surgery in March. Not yet 22, we could see the hard-throwing right hander closing out games at Wrigley Field by 2014.
Pittsburgh Pirates + Toronto Blue Jays
Pittsburgh acquires Travis Snider (OF)
Toronto acquires Brad Lincoln (RP)
This was a surprising and somewhat strange trade, but the Pirates got another high-potential bat in Snider, in exchange for a pretty solid reliever in Lincoln. Snider has great power potential but hasn’t put it together yet in the Majors. If he does, the Pirates got a steal. Lincoln is no slouch though. His 2.73 ERA in the Pirates’ bullpen this season opened some eyes, and the Blue Jays intend to let him try his hand as a set up man.
Seattle Mariners + Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle acquires Eric Thames (OF)
Toronto acquires Steve Delabar (RP)
I actually like what the Blue Jays are doing. They know they have the offense, but need to bolster the pitching staff in the rotation and bullpen. So they are trading high-potential, excess bats to bring in some quality bullpen help. Delabar is a good pick-up, and Thames won’t be missed in that lineup. For the Mariners, who are always looking for bats, they are hoping Thames continues to improve and becomes a legit power threat from the right side of the plate.
Seattle Mariners + Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle acquires Logan Bawcom (RP) and Leon Landry (OF)
Los Angeles acquires Brandon League (RP)
The only reason the Dodgers made this move was because they were planning to move one of their current right handers in the bullpen, Josh Lindblom. League replaces Lindblom and is a slight upgrade, though it’s not a hugely noteworthy trade overall. The M’s pulled in a pretty good pitching prospect who needs a lot of work and a young, fast outfielder who has put up HUGE numbers at Single-A.
7/31 – Los Angeles Dodgers + Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles acquires Shane Victorino (OF)
Philadelphia acquires Josh Lindblom (RP), Ethan Martin (SP) and Player To Be Named Later/Cash
A trade between the two biggest movers netted each team a pretty good haul. The Dodgers were in desperate need of an upgrade in the outfield and at the very top of the lineup, and came away with both in one guy. Philly received a good set up man who can become great with some consistency in Lindblom. But Martin may be a steal, considering the solid year he’s having in Double-A. Read more about this trade HERE.
San Francisco Giants + Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco acquires Hunter Pence (OF)
Philadelphia acquires Nate Schierholtz (OF), Tommy Joseph (C), Seth Rosin (SP)
The Giants needed to answer their rivals’ big pick ups of Victorino and Ramirez, so they swung a move for a great all-around player in Pence. They lost a back up outfielder with a great arm in Schierholtz and their number two propsect in Joseph, but the immediate returns should more than make up for it. San Francisco is plenty deep at catcher for the foreseeable future, so Joseph was expendable. Great pick up for the Phils there though. Read more about this trade HERE.
Miami Marlins + St. Louis Cardinals
Miami acquires Zack Cox (3B)
St. Louis acquires Edward Mujica (RP)
This trade was completely unnecessary for the Redbirds, as their bullpen had been nearly impenetrable as of late. After slow starts, Mitchell Boggs and Mark Rzepczynski had turned it around and that relief corps was hot. Not that Mujica won’t just bolster it further, but did they really want to give up a top-five offensive prospect for a middle reliever? Miami scores again. Fire sale mode has worked wonders for the disappointing new-look Marlins.
Arizona Diamondacks + Boston Red Sox
Arizona acquires Scott Podsednik (OF) and Matt Albers (RP)
Boston acquires Craig Breslow (RP)
This isn’t much of a trade, despite all three players being Major League level. The Sox and D’Backs essentially swapped pretty good relievers, though Breslow is a lefty, Albers is not. So the Red Sox get the edge there. And while Arizona doesn’t necessarily need any help in the outfield, Podsednik can get on base and provide some speed. It’s the little things that will allow the D’Backs to climb back into the NL West race here.
Pittsburgh Pirates + Miami Marlins
Pittsburgh acquires Gaby Sanchez (1B) and Kyle Kaminska (RP)
Miami acquires Gorkys Hernandez (OF) and 2013 competitive balance draft pick
The Pirates continue to make under-the-radar moves that should help their playoff push in 2012. Sanchez was replaced by Carlos Lee in Miami, despite being mired in a similar slump as El Caballo. Hernandez goes to the Fish in a trade that really helps both sides. Sanchez has put up big numbers in the Majors in years past, while Hernandez has been a top prospect for Pittsburgh for a few years. Time will tell which team comes out on top.
Cincinnati Reds + Kansas City Royals
Cincinnati acquires Jonathan Broxton (RP)
Kansas City acquires J.C. Sulbaran (SP) and Donnie Joseph (RP)
I understand that the Reds didn’t want to be left out, but this is an embarrasment of riches. They didn’t need bullpen help. That being said, you can never have enough quality bullpen arms. I also understand that the Royals need pitching, but what if Joakim Soria isn’t back to full strength after he returns next season? They better hope Sulbaran, Joseph and Soria pan out, or they let a good closer walk for cheap.
New York Yankees + Pittsburgh Pirates
New York acquires Casey McGehee (1B/3B)
Pittsburgh acquires Chad Qualls (RP)
At the last second, the Yanks just had to do something. Anything. And they actually made a pretty shrewd move, getting someone the Pirates felt they didn’t need, in return for a veteran reliever. Qualls is good, he’s always been steady – but the Yankees might be laughing if McGehee can actually step in and fill the shoes of the crippled Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez for them. Pirates get another bullpen arm, Yankees get a power bat. Close call.
Texas Rangers + Chicago Cubs
Texas acquires Ryan Dempster (SP)
Chicago acquires Christian Villanueva (3B) and Kyle Hendricks (SP)
After weeks of drama, the curtain finally fell on the Cubs’ ace Dempster, who wound up in Texas. It makes you wonder if the Rangers already assumed Neftali Feliz was seriously injured (announced earlier today that he would need season-ending Tommy John surgery) before the trade was made. The Cubs stack the minor league system with two more guys who can be molded into very good players a couple of seasons down the road. Read more about this trade HERE.
Boston Red Sox + Cleveland Indians
Boston acquires Steven Wright (SP)
Cleveland acquires Lars Anderson (1B/OF)
Um. Who? I don’ t know. So I did a little research. The last trade before the deadline hit looks on paper as if it favors the Red Sox. Wright is a 27-year-old knuckleballing reliever who had a pretty nifty ERA in Double-A this season. If he comes around late like R.A. Dickey, who knows? And Anderson was formerly thought to be a top prospect, but has struggled in the minors. At only 24 years old, the Tribe is willing to take their chances.
Winner: Red Sox
There you have it folks. A run down of the last week of trading in Major League Baseball, leading up to the crazy finale of the trade deadline. Are you surprised at some of these trades? Anyone still in the same uniforms who you thought would have been moved?
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Well the Dodgers went out and got Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino at the trading deadline, and Giants fans were noticeably frustrated on Twitter about their team’s lack of acquisition response to their bitter rivals. Then out of nowhere, the Giants pounced on an opportunity to grab Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence.
Suddenly, just when the NL West looked like it belonged to the boys in blue, San Francisco answered with a big bat of their own to add some big punch to the middle of a lineup that had been lacking in power all season.
With Pablo Sandoval on the DL and Angel Pagan struggling, the Giants had been counting on Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey to produce runs every single day. With Pence back there, a fearsome foursome of Cabrera, Posey, Pence and Sandoval will now make for an epic run to the finish in the West between two of the biggest rivals in sports history.
That was dramatic. I digress. But seriously, let’s break this thing down:
OF – Hunter Pence
OF – Nate Schierholtz
C – Tommy Joseph (Double-A
SP – Seth Rosin (Single-A)
So obviously, the Giants wanted someone with an immediate impact bat in their lineup. The starting pitching is set and there are some studs in the bullpen, though the ‘pen as a whole could use a little re-tooling. Pair all this with the fact that Schierholtz felt entitled to requesting a trade recently, and the Giants really got an all-around win in this deal.
They get one of the most consistent, talented hitters in the league today and got rid of someone who didn’t want to be there. Losing a prospect like Joseph hurts, but it will be good for them in the long run. Besides, they seem pretty set at catcher for the foreseeable future!
In Philadelphia, they continue to stockpile really good young talent. After snatching a couple good pitchers from the Dodgers earlier in the day, they come back and get Joseph and Rosin from San Francisco. Rosin has some control issues, but has a pretty high ceiling and could project as a starter or reliever. I’m sure that flexibility is an added bonus for Philly.
The prized jewel of the group is Joseph, who is one of the better power-hitting catchers in all of the Minors. His average has not been as high as the Giants hoped, but they were able to look past that for the sheer power that the kid brought to the table. Plus, he’s a good defensive catcher. In High-A last season, Joseph hit .270 with 22 homers and 95 RBI, while maintaining a .991 fielding percentage.
That’s a high quality prospect. BUT, as for the two Major Leaguers who were swapped…it isn’t even close. Schierholtz has never bee anything more than a role player in San Francisco. Sure, he started for certain stretches when he was swinging the bat well over the past few years, but that’s because the Giants had no outfield depth.
Schierholtz plays hard and has a gun of an arm, so he’ll become a fan favorite out there for the Phillies, just as he did in San Francisco. But that doesn’t mean his overall talent is even comparable to Pence.
So, as has been a theme during this frenzied trade deadline, the seller gets young and talented, the buyer gets experienced and savvy. The Phils add to a suddenly very deep minor league system, but have thrown in the towel for 2012. The Giants answer the Dodgers’ moves by adding their own impact bat.
Who wins the trade? Vote in the polls below and let us know! Don’t forget to comment on these trades and our take on them.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
It’s over. Thank the good baseball lords above, it is finally over. The deadline and the bad-for-blood-pressure rumors that go with it is finished for now, and the Ryan Dempster saga, most importantly, has come to a close.
And he ended up with one of Three Up, Three Down’s favorite teams – though not exactly the one you might have expected. After flirting with Mapes’ Braves and having a steamy public relationship with my Dodgers, it’s Brian’s Texas Rangers that swooped in at the last minute to steal Dempster away.
Let’s break down the trade:
SP – Ryan Dempster
3B – Christian Villanueva (Single-A)
SP – Kyle Hendricks (Single-A)
Wait…that’s it? After all that back-and-forth between the Dodgers, the demands to only go to certain teams, the reportedly super-high asking price…and all it took was two high-potential Single-A prospects?
Theo Epstein must have really wanted to get rid of Dempster, who expanded his one-team list of acceptable teams to three (added the Yankees to the list as well) in the last half hour before the deadline. This doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice for a Rangers team that is now absolutely loaded with starting pitching to go along with a ferocious offense.
That offense is one of the reasons a young, power-hitting corner infielder like Villanueva was expendable. And Hendricks has some good potential as well, but you never know with pitchers.
Never fear, Cubs fans. You didn’t strike out completely. First of all, Dempster had to go somewhere. He wasn’t going to re-sign long term after the season, and at least the Cubs reeled in two pretty good prospects for him now, instead of nothing later.
I think the winner of this trade is pretty obvious. The Rangers now have Dempster, to go along with fellow rental Roy Oswalt, Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, and about 83 other above average starters in a rotation that was sorely lacking depth and experience in their previous two World Series runs.
If Texas returns to the Fall Classic for the third straight year, they are now in much better position to actually bring home the title. You have to think that facing a top three of Harrison, Dempster and Oswalt would be about as pleasant as hugging a porcupine for opposing offenses.
Stupid analogies aside, the Cubs strengthened an already-loaded farm system even further with these two guys. You have to like that Epstein is finally doing what previous front office regimes wouldn’t, and completely overhaul to rebuild for a few years down the road.
Fans of both of these teams have suffered long enough. The Rangers now look poised to head into the postseason as prohibitive title favorites (again, just stronger this time), and the Cubs might field a surprisingly competitive team by 2015.
All in all, a trade that had to happen, finally happened. The Rangers got the arm they needed, the Cubs unloaded Dempster and brought in more young talent. So how do you see the trade? Vote in the polls below and grade that trade!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
When the Dodgers’ new ownership said they would spend money and make whatever move it takes to win a championship…they weren’t kidding. After acquiring Hanley Ramirez last week, they jumped in and got another former All-Star in Shane Victorino from the Phillies this morning.
Let’s break it down:
OF – Shane Victorino
RP – Josh Lindblom
SP – Ethan Martin (Double-A)
A player to be named/cash
Once again, the Dodgers trade away high-ceiling prospects in return for an established veteran. Sounds good to me. And at first, I was worried about the sheer volume of young talent the Dodgers were shipping away. But as Ken Rosenthal pointed out on Twitter, the organization’s top 7-8 prospects are still intact.
But the Phils really do make out well, as Lindblom has shown flashes of brilliance in the set up role. Though he’s had his ups and downs this season, Lindblom has a ton of potential and room to grow. A good fastball just needs to be coupled with a little improvement on the off speed stuff and his overall control.
The long ball has plagued Lindblom this year, but that is something the Phillies can fix. Martin is the gem of this trade for Philly. They got a 23-year-old stud starter, who is almost Major League-ready. He’s really improved his overall arsenal of pitches over the past season and has put up very good numbers in Double-A this season.
As for the contenders, the Dodgers picked up that left fielder and top of the order guy they were thirsting for all year. With Dee Gordon on the DL, the Dodgers really had zero speed at the leadoff spot. With Victorino in place (possibly moves to the two-hole after Gordon returns), that lineup has a lot more options with Victorino’s speed on base in front of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Ramirez.
It’s really hard to say who won this trade, mostly because Lindblom and Martin haven’t played long enough to garner a fair scouting report. As it stands now, the Dodgers get a high “B” from me for adding another good bat to the lineup and hanging on to some of their more prized prospects. The Phillies get an initial high “B” from me too, but that could go down to a “C” or worse if Lindblom and Martin don’t pan out. Depending on who the player to be named later is, the Phils could bump up into the “A” range.
All I know, as a Dodger fan, is that a lineup of Victorino-Ellis-Kemp-Ethier-Ramirez-Hairston-Rivera-Cruz-Ellis looks a hell of a lot better than it did about a week ago. This may be the push the Dodgers needed to surpass and hold off the rival Giants.
Side note: The Dodgers also acquired former Mariners closer Brandon League for minor leaguers Leon Landry (OF) and Logan Bawcom (RP). This allowed them to move Lindblom and deal for Victorino, but both players they gave away also have very high ceilings. That trade looks like a push to me, depending on how League performs in the Dodger pen.
So what do you think? How would you grade the Victorino trade for the Dodgers? For the Phils? Vote in our polls below, and comment with your opinions!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Last night, I was totally excited to go to bed and get a full night’s sleep for the first time all week. And then right as my night was winding down…*Buzz*. Dodgers acquire Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins.
I nearly fell out of my seat. As a Dodger fan, this was the news I’d been waiting to hear for weeks – finally, another bat to complement Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the middle of our lineup (Ramires is hitting .245 with 14 homers and 47 RBI so far)! And to think, the Dodgers only gave up a high-ceiling starter in Nathan Eovaldi and a decent Single-A reliever, Scott McGogh.
Not only that, but the Marlins threw in lefty specialist Randy Choate, something the Dodgers also sorely needed. Despite Scott Elbert’s (the lone lefty in the Dodgers ‘pen before the trade) solid season, left-handed hitters were very successful against him this year.
Coming into this trade deadline period, I was adamant that the Dodgers improve on at least three of these five areas: left field, first base, third base, lefty relievers, starting rotation. In one trade, they scratched two of those off the list, and are still in talks to acquire an outfielder from the Phillies (they are closely eyeing Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence) and trying to finalize a deal with the Cubs for starter Ryan Dempster.
Is this the trade that will push the Dodgers back to first place in the NL West? Does this lock down a playoff spot for a squad that had more ups and downs than Space Mountain?
Time will tell. But on paper, the trade looks like a complete steal for Los Angeles.
It’s understandable that the Fish wanted to unload Ramirez. He was unhappy from day one with moving to third base to make room for Jose Reyes at shortstop. He’s had his attitude problems in the past, and is currently recovering from a hand injury he sustained from punching a fan out of frustration.
Well, I’d be frustrated too if my team wasn’t playing up to expectations. Ramirez should be ready to play and fully recovered here soon, and he’s coming to a much better team environment than he left in Miami.
The Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly, is the polar opposite of Ozzie Guillen. Mattingly is calm and collected and knows how to lead a team through turbulence. Additionally, Ramirez will learn from stand-up veterans like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Bobby Abreu, etc.
All signs point to this being a fantastic trade for the Dodgers. Ramirez won’t even get a chance to be a prima donna in this clubhouse, and the additional bat in the middle of the lineup has to strike fear into opposing teams. A 3-4-5 of Kemp, Ethier and Ramirez is one of the best in all of baseball now.
Let us not forget who the Marlins got in this deal. Despite struggling a bit of late, Eovaldi is a big, hard-throwing right hander who has shown flashes of brilliance at the big league level already. He hits 97 on the gun regularly, has a pretty good curveball, and is developing a change-up to go with it. Also, Eovaldi is just 22 years old – plenty of time to grow.
In the last two days, the Marlins have acquired two big, right-handed starting pitching prospects and a host of other lower-level minor league guys. But, they’ve traded half their infield and one of their established starters. Anyone who thinks this team is not in fire sale mode, needs to lay off the booze.
There is no doubt that the Dodgers won this trade. That’s how it was designed. L.A. gets an impact bat for NOW, Miami gets some building blocks for the future. But the real question is, how would you grade this trade by the Dodgers?
Take into account that they didn’t have to give up prized prospect Zach Lee, but they took on Hanley’s entire contract, and vote in the poll below!
– Jeremy (@Jamblinman)
If there is one team that has made it clear that they are sellers at this year’s trade deadline it’s the Houston Astros. Why wait until July 31st to make some some moves though? Houston already dealt Carlos Lee to Miami that we covered here and Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow is continuing to build towards the future by pulling off two more deals this weekend. Let’s take a look at how the Astros did.
Astros receive: RP Francisco Cordero and OF Ben Francisco, plus prospects RHP Joe Musgrove and Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named later
Blue Jays receive: SP J.A. Happ, RP’s Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter
The Blue Jays were looking for any pitching help after losing Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Sergio Santos, Luis Perez, and Jason Frasor to injuries. Drabek, Perez, and Santos are done for the season. Happ can be serviceable in both the rotation and out of the bullpen. He came out of the bullpen in his first appearance with the Jays. Lyon will replace Cordero as the righty set-up man in the bullpen.
Cordero joins his 6th MLB team in his career and comes back to the N.L. Central after being with Cincinnati from 2008-11. He has fallen off this season with a 5.77 ERA, but is only signed to a one-year contract, meaning the Astros will clear his salary at the end of the season or it makes him a target to be flipped by the end of July for more prospects. Francisco was a former big-name prospect, but hasn’t lived up to it. He’s turned into a reserve outfielder and is hitting .236 this season.
The Astros made this deal though for the prospects. The three pitchers all have been good in the minors so far and two were high draft picks in the 1st compensation round. Wojciechowski and Perez were top 15 prospects in the Blue Jays system according to “Prospect Corner.”
Astros receive: Prospects RHP Matt Heidenreich, LHP Blair Walters, and a player to be named later
White Sox receive: RP Brett Myers
Was there a more obvious trade candidate in the 2012 season than Brett Myers? The Astros converted him to closer in order to maximize his value on the trade market. The two prospects aren’t anything overly special, but stockpiling pitching lottery tickets and hoping one makes it, isn’t a bad strategy. Walters, 22, was ranked by Baseball America as the 26th best prospect in the White Sox system, but has struggled since moving up to high A with a 7.01 ERA and 1.63 WHIP for Winston-Salem. 21 year-old Heidenreich was solid in Winston-Salem going 8-2 with a 3.57 ERA this season, but also has struggled since moving up another level.
Myers moves to the Windy City to help stabilize a bullpen that has the 3rd worst bullpen ERA in the American League. Myers has 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA for Houston before being traded. Myers, Matt Thornton, and Addison Reed isn’t exactly the strongest combination at the end of games, but it can be good enough to keep the White Sox in contention for the A.L. Central.
The Astros have shown that they’re trying to bottom out completely and pick up high draft picks in the draft to build a nucleus for the latter part of this decade. We’ve already seen Houston grab Carlos Correa with the #1 pick in this years draft. They’re setting themselves up to pick near the top once again.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
We’re 11 days from the trade deadline, and the only move of any significance that has been made is Carlos Lee to the Miami Marlins. Yawn.
That doesn’t bode well for our brilliant, new, yet under-utilized blog segment, “Grade That Trade!” But seeing as how there are so many potential trades just knocking on the door right now, baseball fans should be excited about the wheeling and dealing that’s bound to go down in the next week or so.
For the purpose of this blog, I’ll stay away from big fish like Cole Hamels, Zach Greinke, Ryan Dempster and Josh Willingham. These are the lesser-known guys who I think will be on the move.
Here are five players I guarantee will be traded before the deadline ends:
Rodriguez failed his latest audition miserably, giving up five earned runs in four innings against the Padres, and dropping his record below .500 (7-8). He has been one of the more consistent under-the-radar starters in MLB for a while now, and with the ‘Stros in full-on rebuilding mode, this should be the year he is moved. Rodriguez would be a great middle-of-the-rotation addition for a team desperate for a late-season run at the playoffs.
Jeremy’s Prediction: Rodriguez goes to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta and a minor league pitcher. Though the contract is a bit hefty, the O’s add a 3rd solid starter behind Wei-Yin Chen and Jason Hammel to try and regain a lead in the Wild Card.
Another lefty on the market here has started gaining a lot of attention among contenders, based on superb performances recently. Liriano has certainly had his ups and downs, but the last two starts especially have shown teams he still has something to give. He struck out 25 batters combined in those starts, and if not for two bad pitches (a grand slam to Jonny Gomes and a two-run homer to Adam Jones), he would have had an unblemished ERA.
Jeremy’s Prediction: The Yankees scoop up Liriano in a deal for two minor league pitchers. The Twins get a couple starters to develop, and the Yanks get immediate help that they need with Andy Pettitte shelved and Freddy Garcia struggling.
Apparently, no potential trade piece is demanding of a higher price than Headley. It makes sense. He’s just entering his prime, has a lot of power from both sides of the plate, and is still under team control until 2015. But Padres’ GM Josh Byrnes might stop playing hard to get as the deadline gets closer. A lot of teams still in the hunt could use an extra bat in the middle of the lineup.
Jeremy’s Prediction: The Pirates, desperate to add a bat, put together a good package of prospects that doesn’t include Jameson Taillon, Gerrit Cole, or Starling Marte to land Headley. Inserted into a lineup with Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker, the Buccos suddenly look even more dangerous down the stretch.
The Jays are convinced that Adeiny Hechavarria is ready to make the leap to the Majors, so Escobar is expendable. I have to assume Toronto is in the market for young pitching, considering the unfortunate Tommy John epidemic that has hit their staff this season. The best fits for a trade for Escobar are probably Pittsburgh, Seattle and Oakland. All three have good pitching prospects and gaping holes at shortstop.
Jeremy’s Prediction: Billy Beane decides to capitalize on his surprisingly successful 2012 roster and make a run at the Wild Card (the A’s are only a 1/2 game back as of July 20th) by trading two pitching prospects to Canada for Escobar. The A’s add a little more pop to the lineup, the Jays have some more talent down on the farm to develop and *hopefully* keep healthy.
This is an interesting option. The M’s are less likely to give up Vargas without a fight, now that they’ve gotten interest from a number of playoff contenders in need of pitching. My thought is that Seattle is overflowing with minor league pitching talent, but still hurting for some hitting. They have a ton of pieces, but a Vargas-for-AAA-hitter swap would do wonders for the Mariners’ future.
Jeremy’s Prediction: In somewhat of a surprise, the Cardinals jump head first back into the NL Central race by acquiring Vargas for slugger Matt Adams. St. Louis can afford to give away a high-potential first baseman for two reasons: He struggled in his call-up this year, and they have Allen Craig. If Adams pans out, the Mariners are sitting pretty in a couple years.
– Jeremy (@Jamblinman)