MLB Trade Grades: Analyzing the Best and Worst Deadline Moves

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 9: Hunter Pence #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by Shane Victorino #8 after scoring a run during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 9, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Phillies defeated the Brewers 5-3. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

The scurry of moves leading up to the MLB trade deadline can range from smart for both sides to completely irrational.

General managers are always trying to make their organizations better, either for the current team or in the future, and the deadline always provides front offices a chance to find trade partners to accomplish their needs.

Unfortunately, sometimes these men panic and make narrow-minded decisions that end up hurting the squad.

Here are the major moves that were made on Tuesday, with grades for each team.


Los Angeles Dodgers get OF Shane Victorino

Philadelphia Phillies get RHP Ethan Martin and RHP Josh Lindblom

Dodgers: A

Victorino does not have great overall numbers this season, but he is hitting .357 since the all-star break and is the perfect fit for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles ranks 25th in the majors in runs scored and needs a consistent contributor at the top of the lineup. Victorino can manufacture runs as well as anyone in the game and can get on base much better than Dee Gordon.


Phillies: B+

Philadelphia had little choice but to part ways with its beloved outfielder. At 13 games out of the second wild card spot, it was obvious the team was not contending this season. They also could not afford to re-sign Victorino in the winter.

In return, they received two solid young players, although neither of them are great. However, Lindblom should help one of the league's worst bullpen's right away and is under team control for a number of years.


San Francisco Giants get OF Hunter Pence

Philadelphia Phillies get OF Nate Schierholtz, RHP Seth Rosen and C Tommy Joseph

Giants: C+

Last season, the Giants acquired Carlos Beltran at the trade deadline by giving up one of the top prospects in the league in Zack Wheeler. This year's trade is better, but not by much.

Pence provides the team with power and some much needed offense, but only has one home run since the end of June. Also, according to MLB Trade Rumors, his contract next year should inflate to over $14 million after arbitration.

The team needed to make a move to match the Dodgers within the division, but Pence does not fit the team offensively or defensively.


Phillies: B-

The good news is that they saved money going into next season by getting rid of Pence. Unfortunately, Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will still have some big contracts on the books.

Tommy Joseph is a talented catching prospect, although he is unlikely to ever be a full-time starter behind the plate. The team would have been better off getting one difference-maker instead of three players that will struggle to stay with the team.


Cincinnati Reds get RHP Jonathan Broxton

Kansas City Royals get LHP Donnie Joseph and RHP J.C. Sulbaran

Reds: A-

After a couple of disappointing years with the Dodgers, Broxton has seemed rejuvenated as a member of the Royals. He will now add to an already great bullpen in Cincinnati as they attempt to make a deep run in the playoffs.

This move loses points only because it is not a position of need for the Reds, but you can never have too many pitchers once the playoffs begin.


Royals: A

Broxton is a free agent after this season, so the Royals made the smart move by trading a player that has more value to other teams than their own.

Between Donnie Joseph and J.C. Sulbaran, they have a chance to add some live arms to the bullpen for a player that was not going to help them anyway.


Texas Rangers get RHP Ryan Dempster

Chicago Cubs get 3B Christian Villanueva and RHP Kyle Hendricks

Rangers: A+

After losing in the World Series two years in a row, it is time for the Rangers to make enough moves to break through. They already have arguably the best lineup in baseball and a quality pitching staff, but the bottom of the rotation is killing them.

Adding Dempster gives the team another elite pitcher with experience that can take them into the playoffs and help them make a deep run. They also match the acquisition of Zack Greinke by the rival Los Angeles Angels


Cubs: B

Christian Villanueva is a very good hitting prospect and Kyle Hendricks has some of the best control in all of the minor leagues, but they could have gotten more.

The Atlanta Braves had offered talented young pitcher Randall Delgado earlier, but the trade talks fell through. The Rangers have some of the best prospects in the league, but the Cubs were unable to get their hands on the best.


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