MLB Trades 2012: Winners and Losers from Trade Deadline
The (actual) 2012 MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and a number of players now find themselves on new teams. Per usual, there was a flurry of activity as a number of teams with postseason dreams scrambled to bring in impact players.
With just a few months left in the 2012 season, these moves should have a major impact on the playoff race. And some of the deals seemed fairly one-sided, allowing a select few to really build up their rosters.
Let's take a look at the winners and losers of the 2012 trade deadline.
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
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The addition of Hanley Ramirez was a huge boost for the Los Angeles Dodgers' NL West title and pennant aspirations. He will serve as a shot-in-the-arm for their offense.
Even though he has struggled at times over the past two seasons, Ramirez still has a boatload of talent. Considering the fact that the Dodgers gave up only Nate Eovaldi and Scott McGough for Ramirez and reliever Randy Choate, it is easy to believe they got a steal.
Los Angeles also needed to add bullpen depth, and they did so by picking up Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners for Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom. Both of these prospects have put up good numbers this season, but neither was even considered among the Dodgers' top 10 prospects by Baseball America.
The Dodgers then made another huge splash by picking up Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies for prospect Ethan Martin and reliever Josh Lindblom, according to the Associated Press via ESPN. Victorino will be another outstanding piece in an already dynamic Dodgers lineup.
Lindblom has put up great numbers this year, but the L.A.'s acquisitions of Choate and League made him expendable.
Loser: Baltimore Orioles
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This preseason, no one expected the Baltimore Orioles to be in a position to make the playoffs by the time the trade deadline had rolled around.
Baltimore needed to bring in an impact player, but they were not able to pull it off. They did receive Omar Quintanilla from the New York Mets (for cash considerations), but he does not help them fill their biggest need: starting pitching.
Winner: San Francisco Giants
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With all of the moves that the Los Angeles Dodgers made in recent days, the San Francisco Giants knew they needed to respond.
They picked up a big bat when they acquired Hunter Pence from the Phillies in exchange for Nate Schierholtz and prospects Seth Rosin and Tommy Joseph.
Pence is a huge addition to the Giants lineup, and they got him without giving up too much talent in return, relatively speaking. Joseph is a good player (San Francisco's No. 2 ranked prospect by Baseball America, third best by John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com ), but the team already has a long-term catcher in Buster Posey.
Prior to the deadline, the Giants also brought in Marco Scutaro for prospect Charlie Culberson (h/t Carl Steward of The San Jose Mercury News). This move was a shrewd one by the Giants as Scutaro will be able to fill a void for the Giants.
Loser: New York Mets
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The New York Mets got off to a good start this season, but they have struggled of late. Even though the team is barely in contention for a playoff spot, they decided not to be sellers.
New York had a high asking price for Scott Hairston and thus the outfielder remains a Met. Hairston is set for free agency at season's end, and the Mets should have tried to get something in return.
Winner: Los Angeles Angels
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The Los Angeles Angels made two of the biggest pickups of the offseason when they signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, and now they have made one of the biggest trades of the 2012 MLB trade deadline by acquiring Zack Greinke.
Greinke, in his contract year, was acquired for second base prospect Jean Segura and pitching prospects Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg.
While the Angels gave up a number of talented prospects for Greinke, they got a player who just may them get a ring this year. Greinke is a huge addition to the Angels’ starting rotation, and a top three of C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver and Greinke will be hard to match in the playoffs.
Loser: Cleveland Indians
With a fairly tight race at the top of the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians finally have a shot at the postseason once again. However, they only made one minor move.
Cleveland acquired Lars Anderson from the Boston Red Sox for minor league pitcher Stephen Wright (h/t Alex Speier of WEEI.com). The Indians should have sought out either a third baseman or pitching help this trade deadline.
Winner: Milwaukee Brewers
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The Milwaukee Brewers made every attempt to sign Zack Greinke to an extension, but once he turned down their $100 million-plus offer, they knew a trade was the only viable option.
Once the Brewers put Greinke on the market, they were able to get a very solid return for his services in the Angels' prospects.
Jean Segura was the 55th-best prospect in the game entering the season, according to Baseball America. Pena has been fantastic this year and could be a solid major league starter. Johnny Hellweg is very projectable because of his size and could be up with the Brewers at some point next season.
Loser: Oakland Athletics
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As one of the big surprises in the American League this season, the Oakland Athletics have put themselves in position to make the playoffs.
It seems as if the A's are a piece or two away from one of the wild-card spots, but the only move they made was acquiring George Kottaras (.209, 3 HR, 12 RBI) for Fautino De Los Santos from Milwaukee.
This is not the type of trade that is going to propel Oakland into the postseason.
Winner: Atlanta Braves
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The Atlanta Braves had been on the market for pitching help, and they found it. In a deal with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta acquired lefty Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson (h/t Jerry Crasnick of ESPN and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports).
Atlanta gave up Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman in the trade.
Vizcaino is a highly-rated prospect, but he is coming off Tommy John surgery. Additionally, the Braves have a number of young pitchers who will be ready for the majors next year, so it's not a huge loss. Chapman could become a decent reliever, but he is another pitcher the Braves will not miss much.
Loser: St. Louis Cardinals
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The NL Central is tighter than expected this year, and as a result, the St. Louis Cardinals currently find themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs.
St. Louis needed to go out and get a reliever to improve their bullpen. They picked up Edward Mujica from the Miami Marlins for 2010 first-round pick Zack Cox.
Mujica has an ERA of 4.38 on the year, and the Cardinals seemingly overpaid for him. Cox was considered to be the Cardinals’ seventh-best prospect by Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.
Winner: Houston Astros
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Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow knew that he would be building for the future and that he had a number of pieces to trade. He was successful in acquiring a number of prospects and young major leaguers in return for his veterans.
In their first trade of July, the Astros dealt Carlos Lee to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Rob Rasmussen and third baseman Matt Dominguez. John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com has said that Dominguez could be a Pedro Feliz-type player.
Luhnow and Houston then dealt David Carpenter, J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon to the Toronto Blue Jays for Asher Wojciechowski, Carlos Perez, David Rollins, Joseph Musgrove, Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco. Wojciehowski, Perez and Musgrove were all top-20 prospects in the Blue Jays system entering the year, per Sickels.
In return for Brett Myers, the Astros received Blair Walters and Matthew Heidenreich from the Chicago White Sox.
Houston followed up that deal by acquiring Colton Cain, Robbie Grossman and Rudy Owens from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Wandy Rodriguez. Grossman is the top prospect out of that group, but Owens has the ability to be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter.
The last deal that the Astros made was trading Chris Johnson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Bobby Borchering and Marc Krauss, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Both of these players have shown a lot of power potential and could be impact bats for the 'Stros in a few years.
The Astros may not have brought in any future superstars, but they certainly brought in a number of guys who could contribute in the future.
Winner: Pittsburgh Pirates
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The Pittsburgh Pirates made four deals in the 2012 trade deadline, all of which will pay off immediate dividends.
Picking up Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros for Colton Cain, Robbie Grossman and Rudy Owens was a great way to bolster their rotation. While Grossman, meanwhile, has the potential to be an MLB regular, this package was certainly worth giving up as the Pirates try to push towards the playoffs.
One of the other deals that the Pirates made may fly under the radar a bit this year, but it was a shrewd move. Pittsburgh acquired Travis Snider from the Toronto Blue Jays for Brad Lincoln (h/t Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com).
Snider is just 24 years old and has been one of Baseball America’s top 10 prospects twice since 2008. He could help the Pirates this year and for years to come. Lincoln proved to be a very good reliever for the Pirates this season, but a Lincoln-Snider swap is a win for Pittsburgh.
The Bucs also made a shrewd decision to pick up Gaby Sanchez from the Miami Marlins. They received a nice bonus in minor league reliever Kyle Kaminska along with their competitive balance pick, and only sent Gorkys Hernandez—not a top-20 prospect for Pittsbrugh, according to John Sickels—to the Marlins.
After acquiring Sanchez, the Pirates then dealt Casey McGehee to the New York Yankees for Chad Qualls. While this was not a great deal for the Pirates, they took a risk to try to improve their bullpen.
Though not necessarily the biggest or high-profile of moves in the league, these trades will not only help the Pirates in 2012, but also put them in a good position for the future.
Winner: Texas Rangers
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After Neftali Feliz’s latest setback and need for Tommy John surgery, the Texas Rangers knew that they needed to acquire a starting pitcher. They passed on some of the more expensive options and acquired Ryan Dempster for a fair price.
Texas sent third base prospect Christian Villanueva and minor league starter Kyle Hendricks to the Chicago Cubs. Villanueva is a talented player (100th-best prospect entering the year, per Baseball America), but he is blocked at third base in the Rangers organization.
Dempster provides Texas with the starting pitcher it sorely needs, as the team hopes to pick up its first World Series title in franchise history.