2009 MLB Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers
While the 2009 non waiver trade deadline has passed us, we have seen some blockbuster moves that will aid several teams.
Today, I will look at the winners and losers of this year's Trading Deadline. There were moves that have almost guaranteed a playoff spot for some, while others had sold or hung on to players that needed to stay.
Without further ado, I look back at the winners and losers of the 2009 Trading Deadline. I hope you enjoy my slideshow.
Winner: Philadelphia Philles
Even though the Phillies are leading their division, like the Yankees they did need a starting pitcher to solidify themselves as the best in the division. Unlike New York, the Phillies had been pursuing Roy Halladay for a good while until they were at the point where the Blue Jays were just asking for too much.
Fortunately, the Phillies dropped out of the Halladay race and turned their attention towards Cliff Lee. Despite his inferior numbers, he may be of almost the same value as Halladay except at a much more reasonable price. They did not need to trade Kyle Drabek or any other prospect that was deemed untouchable.
Now they have a Cy Young caliber pitcher who will be so much better on a great team in the National League. The Phillies certainly solidified themselves as the likely winners of the NL East
Loser: New York Yankees
While the New York Yankees do have the best record in baseball and are currently on top of the American League East, New York really needed to make some move for a starting pitcher more than anything else.
While they did gain more versatility by acquiring Jerry Hairston from the Reds, New York could have solidified themselves as the favorite to win their division by possibly getting Jarrod Washburn, who was later dealt to Detroit.
Even with Washburn gone, New York could have looked at Bronson Arroyo, Felix Hernandez, or even into Roy Halladay as 4:00 p.m. neared. The Yankees certainly had the prospects to make some kind of trade for a starting pitcher, but it seems they are more confident in their rotation.
Does New York need this starting pitcher? I do not think it was needed as much as other teams, but I think they would have really benefited from making some type of move as Boston is only 2.5 games back.
Winners: St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis have really made their team just so well rounded and they are now back to being the playoff contenders that they were for so many years at trade deadline time. On June 27th, the Cardinals got Mark DeRosa from the Indians. Although he spent time on the disabled list, but he will make an impact on this team as a very versatile player.
Also they have aquired Matt Holliday from Oakland as well as Julio Lugo from Boston. I have to say that both of these men have been on fire since joining the Cardinals. Lugo is now the starting shortstop and Holliday is in a lineup with good hitters. Holliday provides big time power, whereas Lugo is the perfect hitter to either lead off your lineup or bat at the bottom of the order.
The team has made some final adjustments and though they may need an extra arm in the bullpen, but that is nothing that they can not fix by August 31st. They are legit contenders to go to the playoffs this season.
Losers: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates continue to trade every star on their roster in exchange for more and more prospects. Freddy Sanchez, Ian Snell, Jason Bay, Adam LaRoche, Jack Wilson, Xavier Nady, and Damasto Marte had all been dealt over the past two seasons. It leaves me wondering if the Pirates just are in some cycle where they see a star prospect or young talent with potential, but they deal him for more prospects with less potential.
Example: Jason Bay had gone to Boston in exchange for prospects Brandon Moss and Craig Hanson as parts of a deal to bring Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers. Sure Moss and Hanson are all right, but they are nothing like Jason Bay, but I guarantee that both of these men will be dealt by this time next year for more prospects.
I could go on and on with examples from this year and last year, but I think you get my point. This team just has no faith in letting their superstars like Jason Bay or Freddy Sanchez grow and stay in Pittsburgh. Sanchez is not Bay, but he is a good player and is very valuable. Why not just hold on to some prospects like how San Diego held on to Adrian Gonzalez, and then trade other young guys with lesser value on the team? Certainly they could have held on to some players instead of just trading them for prospects.
The Pirates need to stop selling their entire farm system to big market teams and start focusing on their future.Believe it or not, the Pirates could have been successors if they held on to some of their players instead of throwing them all away for prospects of lesser value. Have faith in yourselves Pittsbrugh!
Winners: Minnesota Twins
Though only getting Orlando Cabrera from Oakland in exchange for a Class A shortstop, this does make an instant impact on the AL Central divisional race. The Twins got Cabrera in a lopsided deal in my opinion. the prospect that they traded is a long way from making any sort of impact, whereas Cabrera could help Minnesota to the playoffs.
We all know the situation with his defense, but playing on the turf in Minnesota will probably aid his glove and he also has better defensive players in the infield who will help his defense because a good portion of his errors came from the A's overall lousy defense.
The real bright side of adding Cabrera is his smoking hot bat as he is one of the hottest hitters in the past month with his .280 batting average. Now put his very consistent bat in a much better lineup and he should only play better. Cabrera is hard working and he will make an impact in the division with the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central race.
Minnesota really needed a consistent bat who would play some solid defense to contend, and now that they have Cabrera there should be a good race to the finish between Detroit, Minnesota, and Chicago.
Losers: Cleveland Indians
Now I almost had marked them as "Undecided," but I feel that with all the trades that Cleveland has made, that perhaps there should have been more prospects involved for both Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez. Here are prospects they got in return:
P Justin Masterson, P Nick Hagadone, P Bryan Price, P Jason Knapp, P Carlos Carrasco, C Lou Marson, and SS Jason Donald
The only ones with true potential are Justin Masterson—who will be a starter for the Indians—as well as Carlos Carrasco. The others are good prospects, but they are just not going to be that great in my opinion. They are all going to be good, but not at the level of Martinez or Lee. Hagadone is also good, but he is a risk due to his Tommy John surgery he has last season.
In reality, Boston and Philadelphia did get a bargain for both of these players. Cleveland just got more players with lesser values. I also have to imagine that the fans there must be outraged that the franchise players are gone. The Indians are now officially in the rebuilding stage.
Winner: Detroit Tigers
Detroit needed a starting pitcher. It looks like there will be a dominating trio of pitchers that will be exceptionally hard to take down after they acquired Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners.
There is really not much to say that has not been said about the Tigers. They are a strong team and Washburn only increases their playoff hopes for this season. The Mariners also were winners because I do believe that Washburn will sign with Seattle again during this offseason, but for the time being this is a great move for Detroit that will help them succeed in the playoffs.
There is some competition in the AL Central, but I sincerly believe that Detroit now has the greatest chances to make the playoffs after this move. In what was probably the biggest splash in this year's trade deadline besides Jake Peavy moving to Chicago, it seems like they are indeed going to be in the playoffs as long as everyone remains healthy.
Undecided: Boston Red Sox
Well there may be some disagreement that Boston was a winner this year in the Trading Deadline, I am not convinced that this was enough to put them over the Yankees in the AL East or even Texas in the Wild Card race. There were a few moves that had confused me and one deal I was feeling bittersweet about.
First of all, the Red Sox had gotten Victor Martinez from the Indians in exchange for Justin Masterson and two lower level prospects in Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price. That was a great move in my opinion because the Red Sox needed the bat and they really did not give up much considering that Hagadone was a first round pick in 2007, but had just come off Tommy John surgery. That really could hurt his career. Price was a late pick who is in Class A and I doubt he will make any kind of impact in the majors.
Masterson is an odd ball in this trade, but he was the man I wanted to see leave over any other top prospect. He is a pitcher that can be a starter, a setup man, a long reliever, or even a closer. Masterson is very durable and he was the best man to move, but why did Boston not go after a relief pitcher as opposed to trading Adam LaRoche to Atlanta for another first baseman? That trade made sense because LaRoche is a starter and Kotchman is more of a back up, but he will expect to play as well.
The addition of Martinez is great and all, but now Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Victor Martinez, and Casey Kotchman are going to wonder whether they are playing or not each day because all of these men expect to play every day. I know Youkilis and Martinez will play every day, but Ortiz, Varitek, and Lowell will have to swallow some pride to let Martinez be in that lineup over one of them. One man that needs to catch in my opinion is Varitek because he is essential to the starting rotation. It is all so confusing on who will play and who will not.
At the end of the day, a lot of questions will be going on in Boston and even though they got Martinez for a bargain, there will be a lot of problems stemming from how much playing time some players will get. Then there are voids to be filled in the bullpen as well as the shortstop position. Hopefully by the waiver deadline, Boston will make some moves to benefit them more than they did here. I'm leaning towards calling them losers, but getting a bat in Martinez certainly makes them seem like winners.