What the Trading Deadline Told Us by Bob Ryan

The trading deadline…coming at the end of July….tells us a great deal about the true feelings of a MLB team..its management reveals some of its deeper thoughts by their “moves” or lack of moves…lets take a look as I complete this on Sunday night….one day prior to the deadline…what these teams have told us thus far..

…Detroit sends JD Martinez to the Diamondbacks…Martinez is 29 years old…so still has some very productive years.  He’s hit over .300 each of the last 3 years and with his HR against the Cards last week has hit over 20 HR for 5 straight years…why did Detroit deal him?   His contract expires at the end of this year…apparently, Martinez doesn’t fit into the plans for Detroit…although it does seem to be too young to be “giving him away”… The Tigers aren’t the 1st team to give up on him…the Astros drafted him in 2011 but gave up on him after 3 years and released him…Detroit signed him as a free agent in 2014.. In addition to Martinez, Arizona is telling us that they are “in” for this playoff run

…Kansas City did it in their usual way….obtaining Melky Cabrera from the CWS.  This Cabrera…there are several in the league…Cabrera holds some strong hitting numbers–.295 avg; 13 HR, .336-OB%. He’s been acquired to provide more punch for the Royals…KC has suffered from the drop off of Alex Gordon (.201) and Brandon Moss (.210). He is expected to be in the lineup daily instead of Gordon or Moss. Cabera returns to KC where he played in 2011 and hit .305. Clearly this is a short rental for KC since Cabrera is a free agent at the end of the year and he’s making $15m this year.  Kansas City just 2.5 games out of the wildcard is playing it “close to the vest” but are pedaling to stay in the race.

….the Cards shuffled from the bottom of the deck…again…released Eric Fryer…placed Dexter Fowler & Adam Wainwright on DL…released Chad Huffman…who…out of nowhere…with no credentials…shows up on the Cardinal roster in June….he was in & out quicker than a spoon stirring a cup of coffee..and finally…the good news…yet another Memphis OF joins the Cardinals-Harrison Bader. It does seem strange to me that Carson Kelly being “brought up” now…mid-season….while you would expect that Yadi will still catch 6 days a week… but…Yadi doesn’t seem to have reacted well to this move…that is –actually having a backup who could be a starter instead of a backup who is largely ceremonial…..he’s already been in a public tiff over sitting out one day with Manifesto.. it seems, he spent the game in the bullpen  with his shin guards on pouting….Cards are actually telling us that they are in a “holding pattern” and not exactly sure where they are going OR landing

…the Cubs worked it another way…in a clear effort to improve a weak spot…the starting rotation..this tells the team that we have confidence in you—we just need pitching….they acquired  Jose Quintana from the White Sox, activated Kyle Hendricks and swallowed $2.9m as they released pitcher Brett Anderson…2017 stats–22 inn, 20 ER,34 hits, 16 K & 12 walks….who they had just signed this past winter….the Cubs have been on a tear since the trade…Cubs told us that they are going for it..again

…a team rarely on the receiving side at the trading deadline is Tampa Bay….constricted by a very small MLB pocketbook…we are talking millions here….the Rays actually went out and tried to improve their team for THIS year…the Rays obtained Lucas Duda…slugging 1B from the Mets…TB sent back Drew Smith…a 23 year old RP….TB also has reworked their bullpen by acquiring 3 new hurlers…they procured a lefty, Dan Jennings of the White Sox…Jennings is a no-name for most of us…but this is his 6th year in the league with a lifetime ERA of 2.45…that ERA is up this year and he just turned 30 so the CWS who prohibit any player on their team from being over 25 years old J shipped him off. TB swapped relief hurlers as they acquired Steve Cishek (rhp-free agent end of the year) for Erasmo Ramirez. Cishek’s duties will be to handle late innings against teams with right handed hitters. Tampa Bay also signed the fading Sergio Romo for their pen…the Rays are hoping that this aging vet can squeeze out a couple saves or holds in the last 2 months..so…basically…Tampa Bay is telling us that they are working within their fiscal constraints to improve their playoff chances.

….Tampa Bay Rays is a largely overlooked team…at least by me…..the Rays have been in the post-season playoffs 4x since 2008!…that shocked me … I would have guessed 1 or 2 times…..currently Tampa Bay is in the hotly contested AL wild-card race with a 53-52 record

….the Rockiess obtained Pat Neshek from the Phils for prospects…this should provide an immediate jolt for the Rocks pen. Neshek’s “funny” delivery makes him super for an inning. Colorado is refining their weakness for the final stretch…it’s a “weak” play but they are still in the race..the wild card race.

….Milwaukee also dove into the bullpen waters and fished out a new arm..Anthony Swarzak from the CWS for prospects. This is a rental for the Brewers….Swarzak is having the best year of his 8 year career and becomes a free agent at the end of the year….good gamble for the Brew Crew..but really not a “game changer” for the Brewers…Milwaukee had procured catcher Steve Vogt  to help behind the plate a couple weeks ago (still trying to replace Lucroy)…..one would have to say that they are “in” but only with a few chips. I really think that Milwaukee doesn’t believe that they are good enough this year but have made a token move to appease their fans.

….going the other way with their bullpen..and in the standings…. is the Chicago White Sox…the Chisox have brought in the big broom and cleaned out their pen…which has been largely ineffective…receiving plane tickets for their new destinations are Dan Jennings (TB), Anthony Swarzak (Mil),David Robertson & Tommy Kahnle (both going to NYY)…the White Sox always seem to be “building for the future”…If I were a fan…I’d be asking when will that be?  Will I be alive to see it J Are they to match the 100 year drought that the Cubs experienced in Chicago? CWS is telling us…no..not us….we’re decades away

…the Mets shock most fans by snatching AJ Ramos (Miami’s closer) to 2 minor league prospects…one highly touted, one not so much. Surprising why?  Although Ramos is a very good closer..20 saves this year, 40 last year…neither team is close to contending..both are 9 games out of the wild card spot..so why the trade?  NY will lose their valuable bullpen man—Addison Reed to free agency next year…. So the Mets are setting up for next year already…Ramos is not a free agent until 2019….NY is telling their fans “wait to next year”..Miami is telling their fans what they usually do…we don’t pay big money .. unless his name is Stanton..to players…so trade them

….Minnesota obtained Jaime Garcia from the Braves(Garcia has now been traded 3x since the end of last season) for 2 prospects….than less than a week later…after 1 start… Garcia is traded to the Yankees for two prospects (one seems talented)..Garcia’s great movement on his pitches has always made him attractive…but….he goes 6 inn at the most…and wins aren’t always easy for him to pile up since he relies on the bullpen to go 3 or 4 innings…so..with all those trades of Garcia in a few months…it got me thinking after his multiple moves…who’s been on the most teams….

…two guys who are very, very familiar with the trading deadline and other trading times are linked together in St. Louis….Edwin Jackson has been on 12 different MLB clubs. He is one behind the all-time team-hopper—Octovio Dotel (13 teams)….how are they linked…both were on the 2011 St Louis Cardinals! Dotel was 3-3, 2 saves and 3.28 era…meanwhile Jackson was 5-2, 3.58…Fernando Salas led the team in saves with 24….as I was going through the  Cardinals 2011 roster…how about these names….I remembered most of these names but little about them….Bryan Augenstein, Nick Punto, Maikel Cleto, Gerald Laird, Miguel Batista, Tyler Green, Arthur Rhodes, Corey Patterson, Trevor Miller

…more on 2011 team…..the 2017 Cardinal edition is hoping to emulate the very same 2011 team mentioned above.…The 2011 Cards won just  90 games in the regular season, knocked off the favored Phil Phillies in round 1, defeated the division leader-Milwaukee Brewers in 2nd round…and then who can forget the 2011 World Series… superhero David Freese established a new record for post season RBI’s with 21 including  his famous…at least he’s famous in St Louis J…walk-off HR….it still amazes me that the Cards scored in the 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th innings to win game 6…scoring in all those particular innings has never has been done prior to 2011 and never since…it was truly historic.

In the SPECIAL CATEGORIES arena…….

….we reap what we sow category…looking back at the Cardinals “Moves” from last off season…one might conclude that our inertia about freshening the roster has left us with 2017 being close to a replica of 2016…here ya go….major league free agent signings Dexter Fowler 5 yr-$82.5m & Brett Cecil 4y-$30.5m; in-house signing-Carlos Martinez 5 yr-$51m; notable minor league signing Jose Adolis Garcia & Eric Fryer (already gone)…traded …gave away Jaime Garcia for 3 minor league players who aren’t on the radar currently; lost Jeremy Hazelbaker (Az) & Tim Cooney (Clev)on waivers and lost or cut Brandon Moss, Matt Holliday, Seth Maness, Brayan Pena…the only player of that group that doesn’t fall into the category of “addition by subtraction” is Matt Holliday…I really don’t see much from Nov thru March that has significantly changed our team for the better..the “big” signing of Dexter Fowler (a lifetime .266 hitter) I think was more of a move to retaliate against the Cubs for the signing of John Lackey….so…. do you expect it now at the trading deadline?  Maybe  but probably not…it could be a “token” move to keep the anxious StL fans appeased?… for  you optimists…..we still do have Monday left

In a money vs ring contest…..the best players in the NBA are all attempting to “partner up” with another star so that they may go deep in the playoffs…all of these starts are paid handsomely …so now it’s about winning a championship…which many have NOT accomplished…ore even come close to doing.  The latest merry-go-round saw Kyrie Irving (Clev)…who HAS won a championship and been in the finals 3 years…express his desire to leave LeBron…oops Cleveland…and play where HE could be the feature player and make more money … sensing an opening…Derrick Rose…who has never been on a winner and has made plenty of dough(1 year left on 5 year, $95m deal + $185m contract with Adidas)….signed with Cleveland as the slashing-guard type that Irving has been in the past …hoping to win the ring with LeBron.

In a “spoiled sports world” …or…you must talk PC about the pros..….David Price (Boston pitcher) seems to have gone overboard…he has reacted outwardly on a couple occasions to Dennis Eckersly.  Apparently Price was “upset” when Eckersly reacted with a “yuk” to the stats of a Boston starter rehabbing in the minors…Price has been highly vocal with f-bombs directly to Eckersly in front of many of his teammates…sounds to me that Mr. Price has has earned $114m throwing a baseball and currently holding a 5-3 record should accept that Dennis Eckersly, a HOF pitcher, has the right…and is in fact…paid to express his true opinions on the performance of the players….ya know…if ya get the big bucks….you also become a big target…don’t like it?…then don’t sign for the huge contracts.

In a make sure that you “cover” yourself world…about a week ago, Matt Carpenter was thrown out at home…it wasn’t even close….the catcher had the ball and moved up the line to tag Carp prior to him starting his slide…immediately after being tagged out, Carpenter whirled around and took a quick look at the 3B coach….without speaking but saying clearly, “What were you doing sending me home?”…Carp wasn’t going to “take the fall” for such an egregious decision..especially since he’s been castigated by many for his baserunning

opening the door

Andre Beltre has opened to the door to the Baseball HOF…garnishing his 3000 hit this afternoon. He broke in with the Dodgers in 1998 at the age of 19. He’s the 31st batter to break the 3000 barrier…28 of the first 30 batters who had 3000 are in the HOF….Ichiro is still playing & Pete Rose…you all know his story….btw…I was surprised to see that Babe Ruth had 2873 hits in his unbelievable career…I’ve always just thought of him as the MR HR…next in line is Albert Pujols…he has 2911 hits…probably next year

…well I’ve reached my deadline….thx for trading your time for this blog…have a super week

Comments

  1. Joe Parisi says:

    Always enjoy the introduction of MLB Hall of Famers who attend ceremony inducting new members. Seeing them in suits along with their choice in fashion is always interesting. All wearing fashion Sunglasses’s…assume Rayban provides them comp. Speeches of incoming members… not so good…. thanking those who helped along the way, current/ former wives, parents, and kids.
    Guess they have earned the right to give farewell speeches, but a bit long, boardering on ” boring”

    Based on changes in the game, the requirements for admission has become “watered down”…
    300 wins, 500 homers… won’t see many reaching these milestones.

    Cards may want to improve the team via trade, but with few exceptions, who can we deal that would excite a trade partner? Cards not into rentals… seeking players they can financially control.

    Continued base running blunders, missing cut offs, too many issues with bullpen…
    at present, Cards seem content in bringing up minor leaguers for much needed ” spark”… this is a bandaid approach! Remember Cesar Cedeno, Will Clark, Larry Walker, Lance Bergman??.. established stars who led us to post season success success.

    Marketing Dept remains busy creating special promo days,,, jerseys, rings, beer steins, etc.
    these events satisfy casual fans/ kids… keep the chotski’s…. get some stud players!

    Lastly, straighten Molina out. He got his contract .. now we are expect Carson Kelly to sit for 3 more years? Kelly will be traded as Yadi cannot remember how he squeezed Matheny out of StL and on to SF.
    Successful businesses have Succession Planning, often hurting feelings of long time/ established employees who train their eventual replacements. I remember Ozzie’s final season pouting… Molina could cause similar problem!
    Matheny/ Front office must always be thinking Succession Planning… the fans got over Puljos leaving didn’t they?

  2. Terry G says:

    Just coming off a 10 game hiatus from cardinal baseball due to lack of fundamental baseball, I sit here waiting for a move to sell, go “all in” or sit on our hands. They owe this to the millions of fans who attend these games both home and away. Haven’t heard anything yet……

  3. Tom Koziacki says:

    Why make any deals? The Sheep keep showing up in Droves!!!!!

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