The trade deadline has come and gone and as usual, you want to know who the winners are and who the losers are.
“Losers” is such a negative term though.
So why not just group everything like I always do. Well, not that I group everything, but I know I group teams.
So without further overuse of the word group, let's group the trades, from most impactful to all the way down. Or I guess, to build suspense, from least impactful all the way up.
Chicago Acquires IF/OF Mark Kotsay from Boston
A low-end move for the White Sox to pick up Kotsay, who was designated for assignment recently. It's worth noting that the White Sox sent speedy outfielder Brian Anderson to Boston in return.
Anderson is headed to Triple-A Pawtucket for Boston, while Kotsay has been added to Chicago's active roster.
The White Sox aren't exactly killing for left-handed bats, but he is certainly a defensive upgrade at first base for late in games.
Cincinnati Acquires 3B Scott Rolen from Toronto
I'm kind of confused here to some degree.
Scott Rolen might help the Reds in 2010, the year his contract expiresl. But as far as 2009, for a fifth place Reds team that is almost ten full games back of first place, I don't understand the significance.
It looks as if Rolen was traded for what is only being described as personal reasons, but none of this has any impact on the stretch run of the MLB season. Cincinnati will get some help with the remainder of Rolen's contract this year, but it looks as if they are on the hook for the $11 million he's due in 2010.
Toronto is also out of the race, so Edwin Encarnacion isn't much of a help to them. But I wonder how the move away from the Great American Ballpark will impact his performance.
Seattle Acquires SS Jack Wilson and P Ian Snell from Pittsburgh
This is a low-impact deal for the Mariners, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. Seattle is basically a seller—with the Jarrod Washburn deal—and so are the Pirates, so the deal has little significance this year.
Jack Wilson has a club option for 2010, which makes him more than a half year rental. That is rather important given that the reason this deal is low-impact is because Seattle isn't going to be contending the rest of this season.
However the Wilson upgrade at short will be great for what Seattle is planning on doing next season. Add in Ian Snell, who will attempt to rediscover himself in a new location, this is a very sound deal for the Mariners.
It won't provide much immediate impact, but Wilson is another good clubhouse guy that fits into the new Seattle way of operations. Giving him an extra few months and a full offseason to get acclimated to the team is very cunning.
New York Acquires UTIL Jerry Hairston Jr. from Cincinnati
Teams like New York are looking to make luxury additions if they can't add a big name like a Roy Halladay.
That's exactly what Jerry Hairston Jr. is, a luxury addition. Hairston is a jack of all trades player that can play multiple infield and outfield positions. He also provides some late inning defense or speed if needed.
The move won't win Brian Cashman executive of the year, but it is one of those deals that could silently pay dividends late in the season, especially if an injury pops up unexpectedly.
Colorado Acquires P Joe Beimel from Washington
The Rockies had been using Franklin Morales as a lefty out of their bullpen in the month of July.
The acquisition of Rafael Betancourt gave them a legit late inning relief pitcher that the Rockies needed.
Joe Beimel gives them a legit left-handed relief pitcher for late in the game.
The Rockies biggest weakness heading into the last few weeks of the deadline was relief pitching and they got two arms that will help that weakness.
Chicago Acquires P John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny from Pittsburgh
The Pirates gave up another once-successful pitcher in Tom Gorzelanny in a package that sends one of their current pieces to a team that was looking for some help. The Cubs weren't in dire need of a bullpen arm, but adding Grabow is just icing on the cake for the Cubs ninth ranked bullpen.
Grabow gives the Cubs two left-handers along with Sean Marshall, giving them a very strong upper hand with late-inning matchups and flexibility. Grabow's experience in the setup role also allows Lou Piniella to go easier on Carlos Marmol’s number of innings.
The Gorzelanny addition isn't one for the stretch-run, but a name to keep an eye on. We'll see if the Cubs can cure what ails the former Pirate starter.
Florida Acquires 1B Nick Johnson from Washington
What does Nick Johnson bring to Florida? One word: stability.
Johnson has a higher on-base percentage than teammate Adam Dunn, who's notorious for being a high on-base type of a player with the amount of walks he garners.
The Marlins have just two players with a OBP above .350 with at least 100 at-bats, Johnson gives them a third.
The Marlins have a middle of the road offense when you boil the numbers down though. So any offensive addition for them is a welcomed one.
Detroit Acquires P Jarrod Washburn from Seattle
The Tigers went out and got themselves one more arm for their tight AL Central battle with Chicago and Minnesota.
Every successful team that is going to contend in the playoffs needs three solid starting pitchers. Jarrod Washburn gives the Tigers that arm. Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson have been the rocks for the Tigers seventh ranked pitching staff, but Washburn is the scale-tipper.
His addition gives them three bona fide starters at the top of the rotation that teams are going to have to deal with. If they draw all three in one series, it's going to be a rough time.
While Detroit could have probably used an upgrade on offense in some way, Washburn is an impact player for this team.
Minnesota Acquires SS Orlando Cabrera from Oakland
With just 14 RBI combined from Brendan Harris and Nick Punto, who share duties at shortstop and sometimes third base, the Twins needed an infield bat.
Cabrera fits the bill for Minnesota who could use a No. 2 hitter at the top of their lineup. This allows them to move Joe Mauer out of that spot.
Cabrera is also quite the defensive player, so he also fits the Minnesota mold of player.
Los Angeles Acquires P George Sherrill from Baltimore
Another already strong bullpen got bolstered with the addition of George Sherrill to the Dodgers. LA's bullpen is ranked in the top three in ERA. They are also have the second most worked pen in the game behind San Diego and they've got injuries to boot.
Cory Wade and Ronald Belisaro, two of Los Angeles' most important parts in the pen behind Jonathan Broxton are both on the rehab trail at different spots. They both should be back, but without them, Ramon Troncoso and Guillermo Mota are all the Dodgers have to lead up to Broxton in the ninth.
You shouldn't need that many arms, but with the amount of innings the Dodger starters pitch, they rely heavily on the bullpen. Dodger starters have pitched the fifth least amount of innings in the league, making more arms in the pen a necessity if Roy Halladay or any other starter is too pricey.
In addition to that, with Will Ohman's status uncertain, Sherrill provides a look from the left-side that the Dodgers could really use in their pen. He also has experience closing games and with youngsters like Belisario and Troncoso, a reliable eighth inning man is a plus.
Philadelphia Acquires P Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco from Cleveland
There probably isn't a move that put a team more over the top than the Phillies acquisition of Cliff Lee. So how come it isn't the highest impact?
Quite frankly, the Phillies have a strong hold on the NL East right now. This move is more about solidifying their World Series hopes more than their playoff hopes.
Lee's addition to a National League club is drawing comparison to CC Sabathia's addition to Milwaukee last year. Not just because he's a former Cy Young winner for the Indians, but because Lee dominated the superior offensive league last year.
They needed to help their middle of the road starting rotation by adding and ace, and they did so with Lee. But they had enough talent to make the playoffs to begin with.
This deal has a large impact, but not larger than some of the other deals as far as the stretch run goes.
Chicago Acquires P Jake Peavy from San Diego
The biggest surprise of this deadline was the sudden resurrection of this trade.
Peavy is currently recovering from an injury, and it is unknown as to when he's going to contribute to his new ball club.
So while this move has high-impact attached to it, it comes with a very large question mark. I can't see the White Sox acquiring him at this point if he isn't going to be able to help them this season. They could have always waited until the offseason rather than pay more for him at the deadline.
So with the assumption that Peavy is going to contribute to the White Sox this season, this deal is of very high impact.
However just how healthy and effective Peavy will be makes this a low-end high-impact deal compared to the other names exchanged. We'll soon find out just how much Peavy will do for Chicago, but if he's healthy, his addition changes a lot in the AL Central.
Boston Acquires C/1B Victor Martinez from Cleveland and 1B Casey Kotchman from Atlanta
Boston needed to get an extra bat in their lineup to help their already deep pitching staff and they did just that with All-Star catcher Victor Martinez.
The plus for Boston is that Martinez can play first base as well, which enables the Red Sox to move Kevin Youkilis to third if they want to give Mike Lowell a day off or if he just happens to break down physically.
You can also look at the .239 average of Jason Varitek and look at is as a upgrade at the catchers spot on certain days as Martinez is more of a polished hitter at this point in his career.
Throw in the addition of Casey Kotchman off the bench, who can also provide some great late-inning defense at first, and the Red Sox really bolstered their crew for a tough battle with New York and Tampa down the stretch run.
St. Louis Acquires OF Matt Holliday from Oakland
They got Mark DeRosa to hit second and play a multitude of positions, but that wasn't enough. The Cardinals and all their pitching needed one more bat, someone to make opposing teams pay for pitching around Albert Pujols.
Matt Holliday is that guy and he's already showing what a brilliant addition he is in just less than a week. In every game so far for the Cardinals, Holliday has had a multi-hit game, scored a run, or knocked in a run.
Holliday automatically makes the Cardinals mediocre offense very potent with a run-producer like Ryan Ludwick hitting behind him, the best hitter in the game ahead of him, and then a solid on-base man in DeRosa ahead of Pujols.
If they get their pitching to stay consistent down the stretch, this team is going to be a force in the NL Central.
San Francisco Acquires 1B Ryan Garko from Cleveland and 2B Freddy Sanchez from Pittsburgh
To me, the team that made the most impactful moves is San Francisco.
This is a team fighting for that last playoff spot in the National League and they need all the help on offense that they can get. They've just added two players that are going to immediately impact that lineup in two different ways.
Only three teams have scored less runs than the Giants have in 2009 and both Ryan Garko and Freddy Sanchez will help that number improve at a faster rate.
Freddy Sanchez is a former batting champion who should help the Giants at the top of the order. He replaces Juan Uribe, who's actually having a good season, but Sanchez will take over the problematic two spot in the order, which is a lot more important to the team than the sixth or seventh spot that Uribe hit from.
That would let the Giants put Randy Winn in the leadoff spot and give them a solid one through five in the lineup.
Ryan Garko will be that five guy and he provides legit run production punch that the Giants need. Garko's ability to go the other way and not try to do too much with a pitch will play to the nice gaps at AT&T Park.
Garko is a run producer that just needs playing time to be consistently reliable for a team. He'll get that chance in San Francisco and combined with Sanchez atop the lineup, the Giants are prone to score more runs for their dominant pitching staff.
Both of these guys combined make it a high-impact get for the Giants, probably the highest impact of the deadline because of the quantity they impacted at their weak positions.
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