Major League Baseball has dealt with two big stories this week—the trading deadline and the possible suspensions of players involved in the Biogenesis scandal.
In turn, teams likely found out as well and certain contenders began looking for a deal.
NBC Sports' Craig Calcaterra believes the scandal was casting a shadow over the trading deadline as teams like the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, among others, looked to make moves to brace for suspension of their players.
But how did the possible suspensions exactly shake up the deadline?
Tigers Deal for Jose Iglesias
Current shortstop Jhonny Peralta is one of the 20 players on the list who is facing suspension.
It was surprising to see Iglesias traded, especially considering he had started 60 games at shortstop and third base for the Red Sox this year. In those 60 games, he had a batting average of .330 and on-base percentage of .376.
However, the Red Sox were able to acquire Peavy in part to their willingness to part with Iglesias. The Red Sox were also able to acquire reliever Brayan Villarreal to help their need in the bullpen.
Had Peralta not been involved in the Biogenesis scandal, it's likely the Tigers wouldn't have needed to acquire a shortstop considering Peralta is batting .308 with 10 home runs and 53 RBI this year. Peralta has also only committed four errors at shortstop this year, so the glove was there as well.
What makes it even more obvious is that 24 hours before the deadline, Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said the Tigers weren't looking for a bat.
According to John Lowe of the Detroit Free-Press the Tigers weren't looking to replace Peralta.
"We have depth in the infield,” Dombrowski said. “Argenis Diaz (the Triple-A shortstop) is an outstanding defensive shortstop. (Danny) Worth is playing second base (at Triple-A)—we know he can play shortstop. (Ramon) Santiago can go over there and play."
So, what changed in the course of one day?
The one positive the Tigers can take from the Biogenesis scandal is that they now have their shortstop of the future. And all they had to give up was backup outfielder Avisail Garcia and Villareal.
That's not a bad trade off.
Nelson Cruz May Appeal Suspension
Prior to the deadline, there were multiple rumors out there that the Rangers were looking to acquire a bat.
According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, Texas was seeking an impact bat at the deadline with the Cruz situation still unknown.
However, the Rangers were unable to do so, leaving them in a bind. Or, that's what one would think.
If that were true, that would explain one reason why the Rangers didn't acquire a bat. Another reason could be the asking price for certain trade targets was too high for the Rangers.
Regardless, even with all the evidence MLB claims to have on the players, Cruz could be doing this for the Rangers' sake more than his.
NBC Sports' Matthew Pouliot seems to think so:
It’s possible that Cruz is being influenced by the Rangers in his decision. Expectations were that he wouldn’t be re-signed as a free agent this winter, suspension or no suspension, but the Rangers could have assured that he’d presented with an offer f he finished out this season on the roster. That’d be very important since, with a suspension of at least 50 games and possibly more like 65 hanging over his head, there’d seem to be little demand for his services in free agency.
If that were the case, then we'd know that there are still bigger issues involving performance-enhancing drugs. It would show the Rangers don't value the integrity of the game.
What if Cruz had a game-winning hit to help the Rangers win a playoff series, or worse yet, the World Series? What kind of reaction would there be?
If the reports are true, then it's easier to understand why the Rangers didn't trade for a bat. But shame on the Rangers.
A's Stand Pat
Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reported that players like Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal and Melky Cabrera will likely avoid a suspension.
For the Oakland Athletics, that's good news since they're in the midst of the playoff race.
Colon is 14-3 with a 2.50 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP this year. He's been the A's best starter all year and losing him would have hurt Oakland's chances in the playoffs.
MLB decided Colon had already served his suspension due to Biogenesis and that was good enough for them. Thus, Oakland didn't have to tinker with their rotation. Like the old saying goes, "If it's not broke, don't fix it."
While it would have been nice to acquire a Peavy or Matt Garza, the fact remains the Oakland staff has been pretty good this year, with a combined ERA of 3.60.
The deadline may have been boring to some people, but every team had a reason for making a move or not.
For some, the cost in prospects was just too much.
For others, it was in response to what might happen in the near future.
And still for others, hanging on to what they got is far better than what they could have received in return on the field—now and in the future.
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