2012 MLB Trade Deadline Recap
The trade deadline has come and gone and now the playoff hunt begins. Teams like The Dodgers, Angels, Giants, White Sox, and Pirates showed they were in it to win it all this year where teams like The Astros, Brewers, Phillies and Cubs gave up all hope of winning another game in 2012.
The two Western Divisions won free agency this year. The Dodgers were able to turn their minor league lineup into one of the best in the NL with the addition of Victorino and Hanly. Their 1-6 hitters now pose a major problem for most of the pitchers in their division. The Giants had a top catching prospect that they knew would never play because of Buster Posey so they were ok with trading him in order to improve their lineup with Hunter Pence. Pence will drastically improve that lineup which needed a new bat infused into it.
The Angels got Zach Grienke and as happy as Angels fans and teammates are, no one is as happy about the trade as his super hot wife who now gets leave Milwaukee and tan in LA. They were already one of the top 4 teams in the AL and now have the best starting three in baseball with a rotation of Weaver-Greinke-Wilson. This move jumped them up to the second best team in baseball in my team rankings. The Rangers (who are currently winning the west) knew they had to get a top pitcher with Lewis and Feliz going out for the year. They were able to land Ryan Dempster and really didn't have to give up much.
There were other teams that did a very good job with their trades and can be considered "winners". The Pirates were winners in two different ways. First, they were able to boost their lineup with the addition of Gaby Sanchez and Travis Snyder (this is the first time I can remember that the Pirates were buyers and not sellers) and helped their starting rotation with the addition of Wandy Rodriguez. Also, the majority of their division decided to give up on the season and trade away all of their good players (Dempster, Wandy, Grienke, Malholm, Myers, etc) which should give Pittsburgh an easy path to the playoffs.
The White Sox who are currently winning their division, had three holes in their lineup and they were able to fill each whole and in return didn't have to give up any of their top prospects. Liriano and Myers should help that staff and Youkalis fills a major hole at third base.
No one really made any bad trades, but there were some teams that either could have done better or did nothing at all that really should have.
The Cubs and Astros unloaded all of their players for prospects in return. Neither team really had a choice, but I do feel like both teams could have held out a little more and got 1-2 more prospects. That being said, I learned a while ago to never question any move that Theo Epstein makes.
The AL East is the toughest division in baseball, it is also the division that made the least amount of moves. For the first time in close to 15 years the Orioles were not sellers. They did need to make a move for either a top SP or a third baseman, but they were not willing to part with any of their top prospects. Tampa was also invisible in the trade market. There was a chance they were going to move Shields, but at the end of the day, they decided to stay put and compete for that wild card spot with the team they have. It appears that when Epstein left Boston he took the willingness to trade with him. After unloading Youkalis Boston was unable to move Beckett and the only player they acquired for the playoff push was Craig Breslow who is an average RHP. The Yankees who are normally the biggest players were able to steal an aging Ichiro from Seattle to help that lineup and Casey McGehee who will cover third until A-Rod comes back from injury.
Just because you are a seller at the deadline does not mean you are a loser. There are other things that come into play when considering if you were a winner or a loser and analyzing how you did with all of the trades.
After spending so much money in free agency and then having to dump half their team, the Marlins were losers in this years trade deadline. Heath Bell was so bad that no other team wanted him but they did move Hanly, G. Sanchez, O. Infante, Mujica and K. Kamnska.
By doing nothing, Arizona has to be considered another loser. They currently sit only 4 games back from the division lead and the two teams in front of them (SF and LAD) improved their teams and separated themselves as the top two teams in the division.
The Reds have a huge hole at the lead-off spot and they let three different lead-off hitters get traded to other teams. As a team, they are hitting .203 out of the lead-off position with an OBP of .248. This could really come back to bite them in the playoff race with Pittsburgh right behind them. I will give the Reds a little credit since they signed the fattest pitcher in baseball in Jon Broxton. He will be a setup man for Chapman this year, but if they really are serious about moving him to a starter next year, Broxton is a great fit for the closer role next year.
Josh Johnson, Josh Beckett, Joe Blanton, and Matt Garza were all top name pitchers that were available and did not get traded. Any of these players would have been a great addition to any staff in a playoff race and their current teams could have gotten great prospects in return. All of the teams that looked at these players and then passed on them are going to regret that decision in September.