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Summing Up the Trade Deadline

August 5, 2011

After writing 17 posts over the past five days, I can now say we’ve covered each trade that was completed leading up to and at the MLB July trade deadline. So, it seems appropriate to sum everything up in one final post to end the week.

1. Houston will ultimately end up firing GM Ed Wade once the new ownership group officially takes control.

As I briefly mentioned a few days ago when discussing the trades of Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, the motives of Wade heading into the trading deadline were a little unpredictable. It would come as no surprise that he’d listen to offers on the cost effective veterans but whether or not he’d accept offers on the team’s cornerstone players remained to be seen. Yet, as the deadline came and went, the only substantial moves we saw the team make were to unload two thirds of the starting outfield and quite possibly the two most popular players on the roster.

Perhaps more notable, however, is the lack of any near-ready MLB talent aside from Jordan Schafer – who has largely disappointed since making his debut in 2009. The two best prospects in the deals both came from Philadelphia in Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart. Both are just 19 and haven’t reached Double-A yet so we won’t know how they ultimately affect our outlook on the trade for a few years.

The Astros have been the worst team in all of Major League Baseball in 2011 and have one of the worst farm systems as well. They needed to restock but needed to do so with talent that could be ready in the next year or two. They failed to do so. And failed to get one of Atlanta’s gluttony of pitching prospects in the deal when Bourn was a perfect fit for a near-desperate team. Remember, that trade wasn’t until just hours before the deadline. After Pence, Carlos Beltran, and Colby Rasmus had already been traded.

2. Good for the Mets.

New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson had a number of players he could have dealt but chose in the end to keep most of them. But, he took advantage of the market and made two trades that are good for the team.

First, he not only rid the Mets of Francisco Rodriguez but actually will receive something in return once the identities are revealed on the two PTBNL the Brewers agreed to give up. Of course, Alderson didn’t know that Rodriguez would so easily renegotiate the option that lurked over any team that acquired him but he still did well to move the closer for something.

Then, in moving Beltran, he managed to acquire on the better pitching prospects in the minor leagues in Zack Wheeler. The Mets are far from being a fixed team but these two moves could be steps in the right direction.

3. Deadline Winners – Seattle, Philadelphia, Texas, St. Louis, Arizona, Toronto

4. Deadline Losers – Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland, Houston

5. Kansas City did well in getting Yamaico Navarro for Mike Aviles but I’m surprised they didn’t get more for Wilson Betemit. Had they moved him earlier, perhaps in June, the return might have been stronger.

6. The Nationals acquisition of Jonny Gomes puzzles me. They were rumored to be searching for a center fielder who could hit near the top of the lineup. Gomes is the complete opposite of those things and seems redundant when looking at their roster.

7. The Blue Jays stole Rasmus from the Cardinals. I know, there’s some value in Marc Rzepcyznski and Edwin Jackson serves his purpose down the stretch but they sold low on Rasmus. Very low. The only significant piece the Jays surrendered was Zach Stewart and he didn’t even go to the Cardinals in the deal.

8. San Francisco paid big for Beltran. There are already too many outfielders on that team so something’s going to have to give.

9. I hope the Indians don’t regret acquiring Ubaldo Jimenez but I was surprised to see how much they were willing to give up for him. Alex White and Drew Pomeranz could give the Rockies a good pair to combine with Jhoulys Chacin atop that rotation in the coming years.

10. Speaking of giving up too much, why exactly did the Tigers surrender so many players for a completely overrated Doug Fister and David Pauley in a career year?

11. Philadelphia gave up much of what remained in their minor league system to get Pence but made a move that could get them back into the World Series.

12. Oakland missed a big opportunity by not making multiple trades. They could have acquired a few players that could help towards building next year’s team but instead chose to hold onto their players for now.

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