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Grading Every MLB Team's Wheelings and Dealings

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IISeptember 3, 2016

Grading Every MLB Team's Wheelings and Dealings

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    And just like that, Major League Baseball was able to catch its breath.

    The 2012 trade deadline was nothing short of explosive on some fronts, while mundane and relatively quiet on others. Some teams, cough, Dodgers, cough, did everything in their power to shake things up, going all-in. Others took a much more conservative approach.

    One thing is for certain, the competitive landscape of baseball has certainly seen some power shifts, several of which owed to the moves made this summer.

    Here is how each team in baseball did with their in-season moves.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Transactions:

    7/24—SP Barry Enright to the Angels for a player to be named and cash considerations.

    7/24—3B Ryan Roberts to the Rays for SS Tyler Bortnick.

    7/29—IF Bobby Borchering and OF Marc Krauss to the Astros for 3B Chris Johnson.

    7/31—RP Craig Breslow to the Red Sox for RP Matt Albers and OF Scott Podsednik.

    8/20—SS Stephen Drew to the Athletics for INF Sean Jamieson.

    8/26—SP Joe Saunders and cash to the Orioles for RP Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named.

     

    Grade: C

    The Diamondbacks realized that they were not a playoff team. So they traded Stephen Drew and Joe Saunders.

    Unfortunately, they were unable (or unwilling) to unload Justin Upton.

    Further, in their trade with the Red Sox, Scott Podsednik declined the assignment to Triple-A and somehow found himself back in Boston.

    Defensively, the team did upgrade at third with Chris Johnson.

Atlanta Braves

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    Transactions:

    7/30—RP Arodys Vizcaino and SP Jaye Chapman to the Cubs for SP Paul Maholm and OF Reed Johnson.

     

    Grade: B

    One deal and done were the Braves this season.

    That said, the addition of Paul Maholm was an excellent move. Since joining the Braves, Maholm is 2-3 with a 2.45 ERA and 0.982 WHIP.

    In his 17 games with the Braves, journeyman Reed Johnson has been a fine addition, hitting 295 with a .340 OBP.

    The Braves sit five games behind the Nationals in the NL East, but still have a 89.6 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to CoolStandings.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Transactions:

    7/20—Future considerations to the Mets for SS Omar Quintanilla.

    8/13—INF Carlos Rojas to the Indians for RP J.C. Romero.

    8/26—RP Matt Lindstrom and a player to be named to the Diamondbacks for SP Joe Saunders and cash.

     

    Grade: B

    The Orioles are having a magical season. They are winning while playing some impressive baseball. The addition of a quality starting pitcher in Joe Saunders and a solid reliever in J.C. Romero has the team in line for a push at the postseason.

    As we all know, pitching wins championships.

Boston Red Sox

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    Transactions: 

    6/25—1B/3B Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox for INF/OF Brent Lillibridge and SP Zach Stewart.

    7/19—RP Justin Germano to the Cubs for cash.

    7/24—INF/OF Brent Lillibridge to the Indians for RP Jose De La Torre.

    7/31—RP Matt Albers and OF Scott Podsednik to the Diamondbacks for RP Craig Breslow.

    7/31—1B/OF Lars Anderson to the Indians for SP Steven Wright.

    8/5—OF Jeremias Pineda to the Twins for 3B Danny Valencia.

    8/14—C Kelly Shoppach to the Mets for RP Pedro Beato.

    8/25—OF Carl Crawford, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SP Josh Beckett, INF Nick Punto and cash to the Dodgers for 1B James Loney, 2B Ivan DeJesus, SP Allen Webster and two players to be named.

     

    Grade: A+

    The Boston Red Sox needed to get rid of some problems in their clubhouse, and they have succeeded in shipping out many faces of the franchise and are in full-rebuild mode.

    Somehow, regarding the Dodgers deal, the Red Sox came out as the winner in the eyes of many.

    .

Chicago Cubs

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    Transactions: 

    7/19—Cash to the Red Sox in exchange for RP Justin Germano.

    7/30—SP Paul Maholm and OF Reed Johnson to the Braves for RP Arodys Vizcaino and SP Jaye Chapman.

    7/30—C Geovany Soto to the Rangers for SP Jacob Brigham.

    7/31—SP Ryan Dempster to the Rangers for 3B Christian Villanueva and SP Kyle Hendricks.

    8/5—1B Jeff Baker to the Tigers for two players to be named.

     

    Grade: C

    It is hard to give the Cubs a higher grade than a C at this point, only because they rolled the dice, selling off their major league players to build the farm system.

    After all, that is the Theo Epstein-Jed Hoyer way.

    In a year or two these deals may look better than they now appear. But even if they don't, you have to respect that the organization is sticking to the ideals set forth when Epstein came to town.

Chicago White Sox

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    Transactions: 

    6/25—INF/OF Brent Lillibridge and SP Zach Stewart to the Red Sox for 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis.

    7/10—SS Ozzie Martinez to the Dodgers for cash.

    7/21—P Blair Walters, P Matt Heidenreich and P Chris Devenski to the Astros for RP Brett Myers.

    7/28—3B Eduardo Escobar and 3B Pedro Hernandez to the Twins for SP Francisco Liriano.

     

    Grade: A

    The White Sox didn't need to do all that much this year at the trade deadline, but the deals they made were impactful.

    They added a quality pitcher and reliever, while basically stealing a Gold Glove player from the Red Sox.

    All in all, a pretty good trade season.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Transactions:

    7/14—SS Paul Janish to the Braves for SP Todd Redmond.

    7/31—RP Donnie Joseph and SP J.C. Sulbaran to the Royals for RP Jonathan Broxton.

     

    Grade: B

    The Big Red Machine didn't need to make many moves this year, so it didn't.

    The addition of Jonathan Broxton offered the Reds tremendous potential at the back end of the bullpen, but his 5.00 ERA hasn't exactly been ideal to date.

Cleveland Indians

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    Transactions:

    7/24—RP Jose De La Torre to the Red Sox for IF/OF Brent Lillibridge.

    7/31—SP Steven Wright to the Red Sox for 1B/OF Lars Anderson.

    8/13—RP J.C. Romero to the Orioles for INF Carlos Rojas.

     

    Grade: C

    Nothing here exactly excites you if you're an Indians fan. Yes, Lillibridge is a nice little player. Yes, Lars Anderson, at one point, had tremendous upside.

    What the Indians are relying on here is hope that the acquired players can live up to their potential.

Colorado Rockies

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    Transactions:

    7/20—SP Jeremy Gutherie to the Royals for SP Jonathan Sanchez.

    7/27—2B Marco Scutaro and cash to the Giants for 2B Charlie Culberson.

     

    Grade: F

    The Rockies traded away a pitcher with a 6.35 ERA (now a 4.32 with the Royals) for a pitcher with a 7.76 ERA (now a 9.53 with the Rockies) and thought it was a wise move?

Detroit Tigers

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    Transactions:

    7/23—SP Jacob Turner, C Rob Brantly and P Brian Flynn to the Marlins for SP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante.

    8/5—Two players to be named to the Cubs for 1B Jeff Baker.

     

    Grade: B-

    In theory, the addition of Anibal Sanchez was a tremendous idea for the Tigers. They wanted more pitching depth and Sanchez has historically been a solid arm.

    While he has been struggling a little in his new home, the Tigers did the wise thing by adding an arm as well as adding a decent utility infielder in Baker.

Houston Astros

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    Transactions:

    7/4—B Carlos Lee to the Marlins for 3B Matt Dominguez and SP Rob Rasmussen.

    7/20—RP Brandon Lyon, SP J.A. Happ and RP David Carpenter to the Blue Jays for RP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, P Joe Musgrove, SP Asher Wojciechowski, P David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named.

    7/21—RP Brett Myers to the White Sox for P Blair Waters, P Matt Heidenreich and P Chris Devenski.

    7/24—SP Wandy Rodriguez and cash to the Pirates for SP Rudy Owens, P Colton Cain and OF Robbie Grossman.

    7/29—3B Chris Johnson to the Diamondbacks for 3B Bobby Borchering and OF Marc Krauss.

    8/9—Future considerations to the Cardinals for 2B Tyler Greene.

    8/27—OF Steven Pearce to the Yankees for cash.

     

    Grade: B+

    The Astros were going nowhere this season. They are, of course, headed to the AL next season. As such, they've decided to go with a full-blown rebuild.

    They moved seven players and future considerations out, while bringing back 17 players, a player to be named and cash.

    You have to love that the 'Stros are looking long term. They already have a good young core in Jose Altuve and, to a lesser degree, Jed Lowrie. These trades should help to bolster the team down the line.

Kansas City Royals

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    Transactions:

    7/20—SP Jonathan Sanchez to the Rockies for SP Jeremy Guthrie.

    7/31—RP Jonathan Broxton to the Reds for RP Donnie Joseph and SP J.C. Sulbaran.

     

    Grade: B

    The phrase addition by subtraction comes to mind when looking at the Royals' moves this summer.

    First, getting rid of their worst pitcher in Sanchez was a huge move, even if they only received a 6.00 ERA guy back in Guthrie. However, since arriving in KC, Guthrie seems to have found his way again.

    With Broxton, it hurt to give up such a great talent, but he hasn't been the missing piece in the Reds'  bullpen quite yet, and the Royals nabbed two prospects in the deal.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    Transactions:

    7/24—Cash and a player to be named to the Diamondbacks for SP Barry Enright.

    7/27—SS Jean Segura, RP Johnny Hellweg and SP Ariel Pena to the Brewers for Zack Greinke.

     

    Grade: A

    Any time you are able to acquire a Cy Young winner, the trade has to be considered a victory.

    Though Zack Greinke didn't start off as hot as the Angels would have liked, they have to feel better about their chances of making the postseason with Greinke in the rotation.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Transactions:

    7/10—Cash to the White Sox for SS Ozzie Martinez.

    7/25—SP Nathan Eovaldi and SP Scott McGough to the Marlins for SS/3B Hanley Ramirez and RP Randy Choate.

    7/31—OF Leon Landry and RP Logan Bawcom to the Mariners for RP Brandon League.

    7/31—RP Josh Lindblom and SP Ethan Martin to the Phillies for OF Shane Victorino.

    8/3—A player to be named or cash to the Phillies for SP Joe Blanton.

    8/25—1B James Loney, 2B Ivan De Jesus, SP Allen Webster and two players to be named to the Red Sox for 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SP Josh Beckett, OF Carl Crawford and INF Nick Punto.

     

    Grade: A+

    The players the Dodgers added in trades alone this season provide a significant upgrade.

    The boys in blue managed to add these guys to the likes of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw. 

    Needless to say, the Dodgers are 100 percent all-in this season.

Miami Marlins

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    Transactions:

    7/4—3B Matt Dominguez and SP Rob Rasmussen to the Astros for 1B Carlos Lee.

    7/23—SP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante to the Tigers for SP Jacob Turner, C Rob Brantly and P Brian Flynn.

    7/25—SS/3B Hanley Ramirez and RP Randy Choate to the Dodgers for SP Nathan Eovaldi and SP Scott McGough.

    7/31—RP Edward Mujica to the Cardinals for 3B Zack Cox.

    7/31—1B Gaby Sanchez and Kyle Kaminska to the Pirates for OF Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive- balance draft pick.

     

    Grade: D

    It would appear as though the Marlins just gave up... again.

    In all honesty, I feel bad for Marlins fans. Just when you think the team is heading in the right direction, they build a new stadium, stack the team, hit a rough patch and throw in the towel.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Transactions:

    7/27—SP Zack Greinke to the Angels for SS Jean Segura, RP Johhny Hellweg and SP Ariel Pena.

    7/28—C George Kottaras to the Athletics for RP Fautino De Los Santos.

     

    Grade: C

    It is hard to give up your ace, but knowing full well that Zack Greinke wasn't going to sign an extension to stay in Milwaukee, a deal had to be made.

Minnesota Twins

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    Transactions:

    7/28—P Francisco Liriano to the White Sox for 3B Eduardo Escobar and 3B Pedro Hernandez.

    8/5—3B Danny Valencia to the Red Sox for OF Jeremiah Pineda.

     

    Grade: C+

    Unloading an under-performing pitcher like Francisco Liriano is always a good thing. In return, the Twins received a couple of young players with potential.

    I'd take potential over under-performance any day.

New York Mets

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    Transactions: 

    7/20—SS Omar Quintanilla to the Orioles for future considerations.

    8/14—RP Pedro Beato to the Red Sox for C Kelly Shoppach.

     

    Grade: C-

    This was an underwhelming trade year for the Mets.

    The team has seen great seasons out of R.A. Dickey and David Wright, but fell apart after the All-Star break. One thought they may make some bold moves to try to right the ship.

    Not so much.

New York Yankees

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    Transactions:

    7/23—RP D.J. Mitchell and RP Danny Farquhar to the Mariners for Ichiro Suzuki and cash.

    7/31—RP Chad Qualls to the Pirates for 1B/3B Casey McGehee and cash.

    8/27—Cash to the Astros for OF Steve Pearce.

     

    Grade: B

    The Yankees have been one of the best teams in baseball all season, despite being plagued by injuries.

    While nobody can ever count the Yanks out when it comes to making moves, nobody saw the Ichiro deal coming.

    Yet it did, and it has worked out wonderfully for them. Beyond that, two of the three trades they made this year involved cash coming to New York. That feels foreign to me, yet it falls in line with the team's stated desire to reduce its payroll.

Oakland Athletics

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    Transactions:

    7/28—RP Fautino De Los Santos to the Twins for C George Kottaras.

    8/3—C Kurt Suzuki to the Nationals for C David Freitas and cash.

    8/20—INF Sean Jamieson to the Diamondbacks for SS Stephen Drew.

     

    Grade: B

    Little tweaks were made to the A's lineup here and there.

    That is all the team really needed to do. Somehow, some way, they just keep winning, so why mess with what's working, right?

    The addition of Stephen Drew could prove to be quite beneficial, if his bat ever gets off his shoulder. Nevertheless, the defensive addition is key.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Transactions:

    7/31—OF Shane Victorino to the Dodgers for RP Josh Lindblom and SP Ethan Martin.

    7/31—OF Hunter Pence and cash to the Giants for OF Nate Schierholtz, C/1B Tommy Joseph and SP Seth Rosin.

    8/3—SP Joe Blanton to the Dodgers for a player to be named or cash.

     

    Grade: A

    Somebody was ringing the Liberty Bell as if it were the dinner bell. The Phils were having a fire sale this summer and the Dodgers and Giants tried to reap the benefits.

    The Dodgers took an outfielder. So...the Giants took an outfielder. Then the Dodgers took a pitcher.

    But at the end of the day, it was the Phils that made out. Like the Red Sox and Yankees, the Phillies want to reduce their payroll.

    They also realized that a World Series berth wasn't happening in 2012. 

    The only thing that kept the Phils from having an A+-caliber trade season was not finding a taker for Cliff Lee.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Transactions:

    7/24—SP Rudy Owens, P Colton Cain and OF Robbie Grossman to the Astros for SP Wandy Rodriguez.

    7/31—SP Brad Lincoln to the Blue Jays for OF Travis Snider.

    7/31—OF Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive-balance draft pick to the Marlins for 1B Gaby Sanchez and RP Kyle Kaminska.

    7/31—1B/3B Casey McGehee and cash to the Yankees for RP Chad Qualls.

     

    Grade: B-

    None of the players the Pirates brought in were going to blow you away. However, they addressed all of their needs heading into the last quarter of the season.

    They added depth to their starting rotation, bullpen and positional players.

    Not bad for a team that has otherwise seemed dormant at the trade deadlines in years past.

San Diego Padres

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    Transactions:

    None.

     

    Grade: C+

    The Padres had plenty of opportunities to move Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley, for example, but opted to sit tight.

    In some regard, you have to respect the team for deciding to wait for its young talent to develop. After all, they can afford to allow players like Yonder Alonso and Cameron Maybin to grow with solid veterans like Quentin and Headley around.

San Francisco Giants

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    Transactions:

    7/27—2B Charlie Culberson to the Rockies for 2B Marco Scutaro.

    7/31—OF Nate Schierholtz, C/1B Tommy Joseph and RP Seth Rosin to the Phillies for OF Hunter Pence and cash.

     

    Grade: B

    The Giants made minimal, but impactful moves this year.

    Adding a veteran infielder like Marco Scutaro was huge. He is a tested veteran with a solid bat. The addition of Hunter Pence was also huge, especially since Melky Cabrera is now on the shelf.

Seattle Mariners

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    Transactions:

    7/23—OF Ichiro Suzuki and cash to the Yankees for RP D.J. Mitchell and RP Danny Farquhar.

    7/31—RP Steve Delabar to the Blue Jays for OF Eric Thames.

    7/31—RP Brandon League to the Dodgers for OF Leon Landry and RP Logan Bawcom.

     

    Grade: C

    The Mariners, since making these trades, have caught fire, playing some of the best baseball in the league.

    It is hard to imagine that giving up your marquee player would light a fire under the rest of the team, but apparently it has.

    The only issue I have is that the Mariners didn't take advantage of a crazy trade market to try to move Felix Hernandez. The return on him would have been tremendous this season, catapulting the Mariners into a top-tier franchise in no time at all.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Transactions:

    7/31—3B Zack Cox to the Marlins for Edward Mujica.

    8/9—2B Tyler Greene to the Astros for future considerations.

     

    Grade: A

    Though the Cards didn't make any huge moves, what they did do what bolster their bullpen.

    The addition of Mujica has been pretty substantial. In his 13 games for the Cards, he has pitched in 13.1 innings and has not allowed a run.

    Beyond that, he has a 0.75 WHIP with a 6/1 K/9 ratio.

    What's not to like about that?

    What the Cardinals proved here is that it doesn't take a ton of moves to improve a team.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Transactions:

    7/24—SS Tyler Bortnick to the Diamondbacks for 3B Ryan Roberts.

     

    Grade: B-

    I personally love Ryan Roberts as a player. His attitude is great, as is his style of play. However, he has been struggling a little since arriving in Tampa Bay.

    Playing a majority of the time at second base has been a transition for him and he has yet to get his bat going.

    That said, he is another complementary part to the well-oiled machine that is running in Tampa.

Texas Rangers

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    Transactions:

    7/31—3B Christian Villanueva and SP Kyle Hendricks to the Cubs for SP Ryan Dempster.

     

    Grade: B-

    While his ERA has not been pretty, Ryan Dempster is 3-1 since coming over from Chicago.

    More so, the Rangers were able to keep Dempster away from the Yankees, which was the motivation behind the deal.

    Sure, they added depth to their rotation as well, but don't be fooled, this was partially a block-play by Nolan Ryan and company. 

    Well-played.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Transactions:

    7/20—RP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, P Joe Musgrove, SP Asher Wojchiechowski, P David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named to the Astros for RP Brandon Lyon, SP J.A. Happ and RF David Carpenter.

    7/31—OF Eric Thames to the Mariners for RP Steve Delabar.

    7/31—OF Travis Snider to the Pirates for SP Brad Lincoln.


    Grade: A-

    Offense has never been an issue for the Blue Jays, so there was no real need to address it midseason. That's especially true considering that the Jays are last in the AL East.

    The moves they made all have the future in mind. The team has stockpiled arms. With the number of pitching injuries to hit the club this year, that comes as no surprise.

Washington Nationals

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    Transactions:

    8/3—C David Freitas and cash to the Athletics for catcher Kurt Suzuki.

     

    Grade: B

    The best team in baseball didn't need a whole lot of tweaking, so with trades they were just one and done.

    Adding Kurt Suzuki gives the team a better option at catcher than what they had before. Though his numbers in Washington have not been eye-popping, he is a career .253 batter with some power potential.

     

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