Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline has officially passed.
What did you think?
I think some general managers did fantastic jobs of improving their franchises for the short term and long term. And a few general managers didn’t do their organizations much good by making deals, or in some cases, not making deals.
There weren’t a ton of flashy moves in the last week or so. Giancarlo Stanton is still a member of the Miami Marlins. Cliff Lee is still a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. But there is something to be said about the deals that did go down and whether they were good or bad.
Here’s a look at two general managers who deserve raises after their performances over the last couple of days and one general manager whose intentions should be questioned. In other words, here are the winners and losers of the trade deadline.
Winner: Ben Cherington, Boston Red Sox
Ben Cherington pulled off what was arguably the top trade in the last week or so. Boston landed Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox as a part of a three-team deal that included the Detroit Tigers, according to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston. In the deal, the Red Sox got rid of Jose Iglesias and a few low-level prospects.
Boston needed a top starting pitcher, as Clay Buchholz hasn't thrown a pitch since June 8. The Red Sox could’ve decided to go with Brandon Workman in the back end of the starting rotation, but Cherington went out and got a former Cy Young Award-winner instead.
The best part of the deal was the fact that Boston didn’t give up too much to get Peavy. Cherington sold high on Iglesias, who has hit well this season, but struggled lately (.205/.247/.217 in July). The Boston general manager didn’t have to give up any of his top prospects like Anthony Ranaudo or Jackie Bradley, Jr.
The Red Sox now have a guy who can lead the rotation while Buchholz is on the disabled list. Assuming the right-hander returns this season, Boston could have a dangerous rotation heading into the postseason. A combination of Buchholz, Peavy, Jon Lester and John Lackey could bring a World Series back to Boston.
Loser: Billy Beane, Oakland Athletics
The Athletics were probably the only team in the league that didn't need to do much at the trade deadline. Second base was the only position you could make a case for where the team could improve, as it ranks 22nd in the majors in terms of WAR, according to FanGraphs. But the team gave up on Grant Green quickly.
Oakland general manager Billy Beane traded Green to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Alberto Callaspo, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The decision was definitely a head-scratcher, as it would appear the team was better off keeping Green than acquiring Callaspo.
The A’s recently called up Green from Triple-A where the infielder was hitting .325/.379/.500 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI through 87 games. He failed to hit in his first five games with the A's, though, and that may have been concerning to Beane. He apparently couldn’t wait any longer for Green to find his stroke at the plate.
Green was still one of the team’s top prospects, and Callaspo wasn’t the best person to aid the weakness. He hit .252/.324/.347 with five homers and 36 RBI through 86 games with the Angels this season, but hasn’t played second base since 2010. Beane could’ve gotten a true second baseman—and a better one—for Green.
Winner: Jed Hoyer, Chicago Cubs
No one expected the Cubs to contend this season. That being said, general manager Jed Hoyer did the smart thing and helped his team improve its chances of contending in the future. Hoyer pulled off three great deals that are sure to make Chicago a more competitive team in the coming years.
Hoyer should get a standing ovation for the talent he secured in trading Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers. Chicago landed Mike Out, Justin Grimm, C.J. Edwards and a player to be named later, according to Matt Snyder of CBS Sports. That’s quite the haul in exchange for a guy who will become a free agent after the season.
The Cubs also completed a deal to send Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees in exchange for minor league pitcher Corey Black. Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes Black could be a power reliever in the future, as he throws hard and also has a good curveball. As long as he commands his pitches, it’s a great move for the Cubs.
The other big move Hoyer recently made was sending Scott Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles. The Cubs received Pedro Strop, Jake Arrieta and two international signing bonus slots, per Alejandro Zuniga Sacks of USA Today. In general, Hoyer got the team a bunch of talent for the future in exchange for players Chicago didn’t need now.
All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through July 30. All contract information in this article was obtained via Cot’s Contracts, and all injury information was obtained via Baseball Prospectus.