Let’s Make A Deal by Bob Ryan

trade dealine imageThe dust has settled on this exciting MLB trading season which just concluded (for the most part) on Friday….it’s substantially different from the trading season of years ago….in those days you traded players based on skill-based performances, positional needs, advancing age, financial needs or the preverbal “giving a shot” to the team.   The paradigm shift has moved to a “dumping often for potential” or “all in” for one of the two teams. Oh…there’s the occasional player-player trade (Tulo for Reyes) but not often…let’s take a close look at some of the trades with recognizable name by team and give you “our take” on the deals with some observations thrown in to keep you off balance.

 

Cards…”in” but only in shallow water

Cards first obtained Steve Cishek from Marlins for RHP Kyle Barraclough.   This would be the 1st of several Marlin roster moves to slash salary….Cards try to solve concern of starting pitching by adding a side-arm RP, who can gobble up innings, to shorten SP stints…..this is another clear win for the Cards.

…After Holliday was injured, MO was pushed into a corner as he needed a bat …and needed it badly….acquiring Brandon Moss for Rob Kaminsky…Moss seems like a younger model of the Mark Reynolds bat…Kaminsky was highly touted & Cleveland is really “talking him up”

…modeling after the KC Royals…the Cards procure another RP, Jonathan Broxton, to shore up the pen. GM MO must have felt that since he missed out on the really big starters (Price, Hamels, Cueto) that the best way to improve the pitching was to expand the quantity and the quality of the bullpen. Another “prospect” was shipped out.

 

…when John Axford ran onto the field on Thur night from the bullpen…his head was down….right away it was clear to me that he dreaded going into the game and sure enough he lost it for the Rockies by walking in the winning run…ala…5th grade baseball…body language often speaks far louder than words….and women seem to be better at judging it than us guys….at least this guy…I’d rename him John Ax-me

 

Pirates…..an “all in” team

Pirates, who feel like that they have a great shot at making the playoffs again, acquired 37 year old…excuse me…I’ll say it like Al Hrabowski….he’s 37 years of age… Aramis Ramirez was acquired from Brewers after being decimated by IF injuries to Mercer & Harrison. Ramirez has already announced his retirement at the end of the year….this is an example of “we’re all in” for Pitt. Meanwhile, Brewers save $2.7mil by clearing him out during the rest of this meaningless season (Pitt assumed $3mil of contract)…example of dumping for Mil…with retirement already listed…no potential players swapped. Both teams got what they wanted in this deal.

…..Jokim Soria (Det closer) for JaCoby Jones….hitting prospect…rally strengthens their bullpen for the playoffs…trying to emulate the KC model…get 6 innings from starter and turn it over to 3 relief pitchers

….Joe Blanton was obtained from Royals, who are reconfiguring their pay scale

…to supplement their Lefty side of the pen, the Pirates brought in JA Happ for yes…another prospect

…swapped Jose Tabata(of) for Mike Moore (1b-LAD)…hoping for more hitting

 

…I’m just saying….Carlos Martinez hasn’t been the same in his last 2 starts since his 5 inning relief stint….we haven’t seen so much emotion in Card uni since Joaquin Andujar…I actually thought that Carlos & Wacha were going to “go at it” over Carlos’ cup mountain.

 

Detroit….the “Dumpster King”

Removed the salaries of David Price (premier ace), Joakim Soria (closer) and Yoenis Cespedes (.290 hitter with punch) while receiving all prospects…..thank goodness NFL football practice starts soon so the Detroit fans may watch the Lions

 

Astros….an “all in” team ….

Astros are going “all in” as they still are in 1stplace position at this moment.

Astros acquire Scott Kazmir from A’s for RHP Danieled Mengden and C Jacob Nottingham.

…Kazmir, a #1 draft pick in 2002, is a proven veteran….his ERA for the A’s was 3.11 when he was traded….his $13mil contract for 2015 is high but his highest win total was last season for Oakland (15) so it’s the type of move you make to ADVANCE in the playoffs…..

….then the Astros grabbed a wild-card in Carlos Gomez…apparently blessed with lots of talent …that means….good speed, power, eye-hand coordination…but he’s been an enigma with perplexing performances in Milwaukee….maybe the pennant race will “shape him up”

In the same trade, Houston obtained a SP in Mike Fiers…I think he’ll be a “long” relief man

 

….don’t you wish the Yankees were still big players in the trade market? They seem to be shopping at Dollar General now.

 

A’s (big time dumping team)

…. After going “all in” last year and flopping badly, A’s have switched chairs at the card table and now are dumping (with a dump truck…so many players are going out). Looking at the players obtained in Kazmir deal……Mengden is a Tx A&M grad and rated as #19 in Astros farm system…good stuff but listed as “funky” delivery…now…do you want a guy with that description? Meanwhile, Nottingham appears to be a hitter but lately has shown to be weak against off-speed stuff …sounds like a minor league player to me.

…The A’s continued their trips to the dumpster when they sent the Mets Tyler Clippard from A’s for RHP Casey Meisner. ..Clippard, a closer, was just acquired last winter by the A’s when they still thought that they could have a decent team….Clippard signed for $8.3 with the A’s who dropped him faster than a hot skillet..

….A’s did bring RP Felix Dubront from Toronto …he’s still arbitration eligible….his career numbers don’t indicate a major “Move” by the A’s here….I think this was to convince their fan base that they really are still trying to win…at least some games…

 

…I’m just saying …Kolton Wong gets hit by so many pitches because he either doesn’t or can’t (body seems locked) fall back from pitches…he just turns his back into the pitches…he’s been hit on his feet, legs, back….Kolton…little hint….fall down or jump back!

 

New York Mets….”in” with two major moves…

..snatched Yoenis Cespedes (solid hitter) from the Detroit fire sale before everything was gone….he’ll add some badly needed hitting to the NYM….but….I’m a bit leery of Cespedes…his high reputation has stopped him from wearing many different uniforms (Oakland, Bost, Det, now NYM) in 4 years…further this Cuban is listed as 29 years of age….I have my doubts…maybe closer to 32-33…

…acquired Tyler Clippard as their new closer…see A’s above

 

Florida Marlins…the 2nd largest “dumping team”

…minor cash drop by sending Cishek to Cardinals

…huge dump with Dodgers…exiting was Mat Latos ($9.4mil), Bronson Arroyo ($9.5mil on DL) , Michael Morse($2.9mil this year & $8mil next year…ouch)…prospects galore arriving in Miami…Latos & Morse were the TWO biggest off-season acquisitions last winter that the marlins touted highly….very highly …how quickly that wore off…how does that GM/MGR still have his job? Can I apply….but I’d have to do it from my home…the General does draw the line with my retirement activities

 

….so will it come down to Piscotty or Grichuk?   Or….will Jay be moved and Heyward not brought back?…don’t count on Brandon Moss being around too long…maybe …maybe…he’ll be around next year while his contract is still “under control” but if Adams is around, hitting at acceptable level, where does he play? He’s an expensive bench man.

 

…do we expect too much from Rosenthal?   I’m thinking that probably all but 5 teams would love to have him…yes….he does throw lots of pitches…yes…he does walk people….yes, he does get behind in counts…..but… yes …he DOES close out the games…..do we now expect absolute perfection? Are we too spoiled? Just can’t pitch him 3 days consecutively…easy rule to follow.

 

KC Royals …”all in” team

The Royals went BIG with the acquisition of Johnny (another superfluous in) Cueto for 3 left-handed pitchers…the only name that you might recall is Brandon Finnegan who made the Royal post-season roster last year and then claimed the title as the 1st player to pitch in the college world series and the MLB World series in the same year…..classic example here of “dumping for potential”…Reds are kissing this season good-bye while Royals are convincing their fans that really “want to win”

……Then KC added versatile Ben Zobrist to bolster their hitting punch for two more LHP….see A’s on dumping above….hitters have been extremely difficult to pry away from teams…except the A’s apparently J

 

Rowdy Roddy Piper cashes in…

I was sorry to hear that one of my favorite WWF entertainers passed away at the age of 61. He was often on the short end with the Hulkster but never short-changed in entertainment.

RIP Rowdy Roddy…

 

 

SF Giants “in”

…not having too many holes … the SF Giants bolstered their pitching staff by adding Mike Leake from the Reds…we just saw firsthand here in StL that Leake silenced the Cardinal bats…in fact…maybe THAT”S why they got him…to face the Birdies…

 

Milwaukee Brewers “dumping big time”                                                                                         ..they’ve sent off Aramis Ramirez (starting 3B), Carlos Gomez (often a #2-5 hitter in their lineup), Mike Fiers (#5 starter) and .300 hitting Geraldo Parra for prospects…..it should be very easy to purchase game-day tickets in Milwaukee for the rest of this season J

 

LA Dodgers “all in or maybe dumped on!”

…with the Dodgers salary base at astronomical levels already…it’s really hard to move upward but…the Dodgers procured a plethora of veterans in a 3 way trade with Atlanta & Florida….personally I don’t seem much of an improvement…but given them an “A” for trying—   RHP Mat Latos, LHP Alex Wood, OF/1B Michael Morse, RHP Bronson Arroyo, LHP Luis Avilan, RHP Jim Johnson, UT Jose Peraza

…received Jose Tabata (OF) from Pitt for Matt Moore…remember that card game—pass the trash…..this is the MLB version of that game

 

Rockies (dumping)-Bluejays (all in)…

The trade with the biggest names saw the Rockies sent the “face of the team” Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto for Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro. Heck….I don’t blame them…the Rockies are in last place with Tulo…how much worse can they be?…Reyes still has a name but his game has slipped…the Rockies needed his name to sooth the fans…the 2 pitchers that they received were their real targets…Hoffman was a 1st round pick in 2014 and should be in starting rotation next year. Castro was “up” early this year…floundered as many youngsters do in their 1st trip to the BIGS….his 96-99 mph fastball makes scouts drool…might end up as bullpen closer….another dump by Rockies for potential.

…..This trade completely baffled the Bluejays fans who expected them to “reach out” for pitching….well Toronto wasn’t done….a surprising arrival in the Tulo trade was LaTroy Hawkins…this 41 year RP has taken 20 years in the majors (almost) to develop into a wonderful set up man…last year was arguably his best MLB year…this could be a sleeper for the Jays

….then Toronto procured David Price…bingo….things change for the Jays…they now have a real ace to start game 1’s or game 7’s. The Jays gave up pitching prospects Daniel Norris, Jairo Labourt and Matt Boyd….it doesn’t make much sense to me for Detroit…with Toronto having a horrible pitching staff…if these guys couldn’t make that staff…how good are they?

….Toronto then stepped out to procure Mark Lowe (vet RP) to bolster up the pen

….Blue Jays added speedy Ben Revere (Phil) for defense & speed….a good piece to have around…in exchange for a prospect

 

…one of my brothers has made the point that the strike zone is too low…hence, when those pitches are called strikes…batters are in trouble…real trouble….raise it just a bit and averages and HR will raise also…easy solution for a big problem

 

Angels…”barely in”

Just enough to sooth their fan base but not enough to make a difference-claiming to be “filling holes”

The LA Angels acquired 3 seasoned veterans in 3 different trades as they hope to make a run at the wild card….The Halo’s brought in Shane Victorino, David Murphy, David DeJesus…clearly these were “tinkering” moves…not real big names but vets who’ve traveled down the Sept pennant race road previously.

 

…isn’t it a strange paradox that MLB prohibits Pete Rose from HOF status due to gambling and then uses Draft Kings (fantasy gambling) as their biggest sponsor? I guess no current players use Draft Kings…..right….who are u kidding…

 

Texas …. “in but still holding”…Phil “dumping what little they have”

Procuring Cole Hamels from Phil was like drawing an ace in a poker game….but that TX pitching is still thin…

 

Phils (dumping what little they had)

…traded Cole Hamels to Texas for multiple prospects

…traded Ben Revers to Toronto for prospect

…prayed that someone…anyone… would take Chase Utley

 

Cubs …”in for pitching”….but not selling the house

…brought in Danny Haren to try to find 5-6 good innings from someone…anyone…

Next year is their playoff year…they’ve made several moves already this year

…Tommy Hunter (Balt) a RP who can go long or short arrives as Junior Lake departs..Hunter should be an improvement over some of the Cubs pitchers …Lake is a prospect that never lived up to expectations and could never find a true position…AL may suit him better

 

Cincy…”dumping”

…Walt Jocketty sits on the other side of the table as he peddles away Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake (two of his best starters) for prospects

 

Bob….”all in” but out of info…. J

Your thoughts are always welcome…in fact highly encouraged…I enjoy reading your ideas tremendously…no one is right or wrong…heck…we’re just kicking it around…you may send me an email with your thoughts or post them on Prepcasts …find the button at the top of my article..…

Comments

  1. Joe Parisi says:

    Really was hoping for Cards to make BIG splash at deadline. I’m a bit underwhelmed with thei deadline deals. I’m not convinced Holiday is going to be ready for post season. Even if he’s back, running at 50% isn’t the formula for a long playoff run. Cespedes was the answer for remainder of 2015.

  2. Neil Ryan says:

    Thought maybe you would have more to say about Brandon Moss getting picked up by the Cards. He’s had some fantastic numbers this year so far, really looking forward to seeing how he can help the team. Fantastic writeup though, agree with everything you’ve said here.

  3. John Rocco says:

    Bob, good assesment. I was hoping the Cards would pick up a strong hitter. However, if Piscotty and Grichuk stay hot and Moss pitches in a few long balls they may be all right. I was encouraged by Matt Carpenter’s play I’m the first two games of the Colorado series. But he’s still striking out too much. I also agree with you about Martinez. I hope he gets his act together.

    One last comment. What’s going on with the Royals? They are like a group of WWF guys. Another brawl yesterday. At least Cueto didn’t kick anyone.

    John Rocco

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