MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Ranking the 5 Biggest Value Moves at the Deadline
The busiest time of the MLB season is during the countdown towards the non-waiver trade deadline, but general managers can’t lose focus and not get equal value for the player(s) they’re trading away.
Several impact players switched ballclubs by the July 31, 4:00 p.m. ET deadline with the hopes of playing for a playoff contender, whereas others are part of a rebuilding process.
Did the teams trading the big-name guys get enough in return, though?
Did the teams acquiring big-name guys give up too much?
Let’s take a glance at who got the biggest bang for their buck as the clock reached zero.
5. Philadelphia Phillies Trade Shane Victorino
Completed Deal: Philadelphia Phillies trade Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin.
The Philadelphia Phillies made two major decisions as the trade deadline approached: parting with outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. Victorino was a great move because he was set to become a free agent after the season, and there was no guarantee he’d re-sign with the Phillies.
There was no reason for Philadelphia to keep Victorino on their payroll, and they got two good pitchers in return. Josh Lindblom is a good reliever that should bolster the Phillies bullpen, and Ethan Martin could eventually make it to the starting rotation.
Acquiring Victorino makes plenty of sense for the contending Los Angeles Dodgers, but I think that the Phillies got the better end of this deal for the long run.
4. Chicago White Sox Acquire Francisco Liriano
Completed Deal: Chicago White Sox trade Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Francisco Liriano.
Francisco Liriano has never been as good as he was in his rookie season. In fact, he’s actually been pretty awful over the last few years, but acquiring him was a great decision by the Chicago White Sox.
The White Sox needed another starting pitcher to compete with the Detroit Tigers, and Liriano is a solid left-hander who could’ve needed a change of scenery. Minnesota clearly wasn’t where he was most comfortable; Chicago could turn his career around. He’s only 28 years old, and the most important years of his big league career are ahead of him.
Liriano is a risk, but well worth the risk of a utility player and mid-level pitching prospect. Pedro Hernandez could come back to bite Chicago, but it will be a long time before we can judge that.
For now, the White Sox got a great value in Liriano. They’ll utilize his services this season and possibly in the upcoming seasons as well.
3. Atlanta Braves Acquire Paul Maholm
Completed Deal: Atlanta Braves trade Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson.
The Atlanta Braves needed to figure out a way to compete with the young and surging Washington Nationals. Paul Maholm is the guy that they feel can help match the strong Washington starting rotation.
Atlanta ditched Arodys Vizcaino, who has had elbow issues in the past and struggled to find his way out of the minor leagues. Maholm wasn’t the biggest name traded at the deadline, but he could have the biggest impact.
Maholm is a good middle-of-the-rotation left-hander who could win some games for the Braves should he get some help on offense. Atlanta can exercise an option on him for next season, which would make sense since they’ll still need pitching help despite a boatload of prospects.
2. Milwaukee Brewers Trade Zack Greinke
Completed Deal: Milwaukee Brewers trade Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Jean Segura, Ariel Pena and John Hellweg.
Whether the Milwaukee Brewers were going to be able to sign Zack Greinke to an extension or not, they definitely upgraded their future by trading him to the Los Angeles Angels.
Jean Segura is a top prospect not only in the Angels’ minor league system, but in all of baseball. He will be the future middle infielder of a Brewers team that does have a ton of potential. It’s still a little too early to tell how Ariel Pena and John Hellweg project, but they could turn out to be solid pitchers as well.
Dumping Greinke could not have been an easy deal to make, but the Brewers are better off without him. They still have the ability to make the playoffs without him, and if he would’ve walked after this season, they would’ve been left with virtually nothing.
At least they now have a key piece of the future.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Hanley Ramirez
Completed Deal: Los Angeles Dodgers trade Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Randy Choate and Hanley Ramirez.
The Los Angeles Dodgers went all-in at the trade deadline and came out as the most improved team heading into August and the rest of the season. They are determined to make the playoffs and clearly will do whatever it takes to do so.
Acquiring Hanley Ramirez was a move that they had to make. Their production at third base wasn’t what they need it to be, and Dee Gordon has been out with an injury, so Ramirez could also play a little shortstop as well. His boost to their lineup is what means the most.
Ramirez has only been in L.A. for a couple of games, but he’s made a big impact already and looks to be comfortable hitting in the middle of the Dodgers lineup. Nathan Eovaldi will be a good pitcher, and Scott McGough still has some work to do, but they were well worth it for the Dodgers to get the former Marlin.
By adding Ramirez to a roster of players who were already in the playoff hunt, the Dodgers now have one of the best lineups in the NL and will be serious threats once the postseason begins.