Recapping the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline Deals

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Recapping the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline Deals
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The always interesting Major League Baseball trade deadline came and went at 3 p.m. central time today as some big names were added to contenders and stellar prospects will now call someplace else home. 

Since the Matt Holliday trade between the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics, there have been 18 trades. While some of these deals cannot fully be evaluated until it is seen how prospects pan out, we’ll go ahead and try to do it anyways.

Trade: (July 27th) Cleveland Indians trade Ryan Garko to the San Francisco Giants for Scott Barnes

Who Wins: The Indians officially began their firesale by shipping away their starting first baseman to the Giants who were in much need of a replacement for Travis Ishikawa. Garko gives the Giants a solid fifth hitter in the lineup as they make a run at the NL Wildcard this season. His contract is up at the end of the year but the Giants are expected to at least make an offer to him.

Barnes was 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA for Class A San Jose and was ranked by Baseball America as the Giants’ ninth best prospect in 2009. The lefty has an excellent changeup and projects to be a No. 3 starter in the big leagues.

If Garko re-signs with the Giants it would be a great deal for the them but I believe Barnes can be something special. Still, the Giants got what they needed and take this deal by a small margin.  WINNER: GIANTS

Trade: (July 28th) Boston Red Sox trade Mark Kotsay to the Chicago White Sox for Brian Anderson

Who Wins: It was clear that Brian Anderson’s time in Chicago was up as he had been optioned to Triple A and was not in the plans for the future of the White Sox.

He demanded a trade and was given his wish by trading places with the veteran Kotsay. Clearly the Red Sox felt as though they had enough outfield depth on the team and could spare Kotsay to pick up a potential player in Anderson.

Kotsay will be great off the bench for the White Sox as they make a run at the AL Central this year.  WINNER: WHITE SOX

Trade: (July 29th) Seattle Mariners trade Wladimir Balentein to the Cincinnati Reds for Robert Manuel

Who Wins: Neither of these players project as much in the big leagues but give both teams some added depth at a few spots. Balentein has more Major League experience and has a better shot at contributing in the near future.  WINNER: REDS

Trade: (July 29th) Seattle Mariners trade shortstop Ronny Cedeno, Jeff Clement, Ben Prebanic, Brett Lorin, and Nathan Adcock to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell

Who Wins: This is a very interesting trade for both squads because the Pirates were in a no-win situation with the two players they gave away. Wilson had already denied a contract extension with the team and Snell was very unhappy with his situation in Pittsburgh.

What they got in return was about as much as they could have asked for, including slugger Jeff Clement.

Cedeno was thrown in the deal because the Pirates will need to fill a void at shortstop but is hardly the long-term solution. Clement has a great bat but does not have a true position, seeing time at catcher and first base. He is projected as a designated hitter but now will not have that chance in the National League.

Pitcher Nathan Adcock sports a great curveball and could be a starter in the future.

Seattle is buying for the future and got one of the best defensive gloves in the game in Wilson, as well as a pitcher with a ton of skill in Snell. While the results have not been there, Snell has potential if he can stay focused and work on his problems.

It’s tough to say that the Pirates could have won this deal because they were dealing with two disgruntled players, so I’ll give this one to the M’s.  WINNER: MARINERS

Trade: (July 29th) Pittsburgh Pirates trade Freddy Sanchez to the San Francisco Giants for Tim Alderson

Who Wins: Sanchez adds another much needed bat to the lineup and puts the Giants in great shape to find a spot in the National League playoffs. Along with Garko, Sanchez improves the offense with a .300+ batting average and some power to go around.

However, Alderson is showing a ton of potential and could be an outstanding pitcher in the near future. In three seasons of professional ball, he is 20-6 with an ERA just over three. He sports an excellent curveball and was projected to be a back-end starter in the outstanding Giants’ rotation that includes Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and No. 1 prospect Madison Bumgarner.

Sanchez is a great hitter and an average fielder that puts the Giants in contention. The Pirates were in a no-win situation with Sanchez who, like Wilson, refused to sign a contract extension. What they got is a 20-year-old starter with a ton of potential.  WINNER: PIRATES

Trade: (July 29th) Cleveland Indians trade Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and Lou Marson

Who Wins: The Indians are clearly in selling mode and traded away their second straight Cy Young Award winner to the Philadelphia Phillies who are all of a sudden huge contenders in the National League.

What they got in exchange was a ton of young and talented players that are sure to make a splash in The Bigs in the future.

For the Phillies, they filled up their starting rotation by adding Lee, who is 9-7 this year with an even 3.00 ERA. He will go to a staff that was desparately looking for good pitching and becomes the ace.

They did not have to give up their two best pitching prospects in Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ, which they would have if they had gone after Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay.

For the Indians, they get two very solid pitchers in Knapp and Corrasco as well as good position players in Donald and Marson. Baseball America ranked the Indians’ return players as the second, third, fourth, and 10th best players in the Phillies’ farm system.

Still, the Phillies become legitimate contenders with this move and win the deal as well.  WINNER: PHILLIES

Trade: (July 30th) Baltimore Orioles trade George Sherill to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Josh Bell and Steve Johnson

Who Wins: The one knock on the team with the best record in baseball was that the bullpen was extremely shaky. Outside of Jonathon Broxton, no one really had the makings of someone you’d like to rely on late in games. Enter George Sherill and that is no longer the case.

Sherill gives the Dodgers a great 1-2 punch in the bullpen and they did not have to give up much to get it. Bell is a solid prospect at third base and projects to be a starter in the big leagues one day, but the Dodgers are completely in win-now mode and were going to do anything possible to pick up a reliever.  WINNER: DODGERS

Trade: (July 30th) Pittsburgh Pirates trade Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow to the Chicago Cubs for Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and Josh Harrison

Who Wins: This trade was probably one of the fairest deals of the deadline and it is hard to pick a winner.

For the Cubs’ sake, they received a much-needed lefty arm out of the bullpen in Grabow. Gorzelanny had a great 2007 but has not showed much since and is pretty comparable to Hart.

The Pirates free up more cap room and get a decent young pitcher in Kevin Hart. Time is against him as he is already 26-years-old, but if he can keep up his solid numbers he will be a steal.

Ascanio still has a lot to prove and Harrison was stuck behind Josh Vitters at third base in the minors so it isn’t a huge loss for the Cubs.

I’ll give the Cubs the win on the trade because it helps them right now (Grabow) and potentially in the future (Gorzelanny) but both sides come out on top here.  WINNER: CUBS

Trade: (July 30th) Detroit Tigers trade Josh Anderson to the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.

Who Wins: No, cash considerations are not a player on the Royals. This trade occurred to shore up a little bit of money before trading for pitcher Jarrod Washburn, so the Tigers make out well here.

The Royals get an average prospect in the outfield that has seen some at bats in the big leagues. For a team to not get a player in a trade makes it hard for them to win the trade, so the Royals get the nod here.  WINNER: ROYALS

Trade: (July 31st) Seattle Mariners trade Jarrod Washburn to the Detroit Tigers for Luke French and Mauricio Robles

Who Wins: Both of the prospects that the Mariners received in return have pretty low ceilings and do not project as much in the future.

French is 23-years-old and has not produced much, with a 35-43 record as a pro. Robles has more upside than French but is still a pretty big project as he is just in Single A.

Many Tigers fans seemed to be upset to have to part ways with Robles, especially with Washburn being a three-month rental. Washburn’s contract is up after this season so the Tigers are clearly making their run at the division right now.

If Robles becomes something big, the Mariners will have the advantage but for now it looks as though the Tigers came out on top.  WINNER: TIGERS

Trade: (July 31st) Oakland Athletics trade Orlando Cabrera to the Minnesota Twins for Tyler Ladendorf

Who Wins: The Twins must feel that they are contenders in the AL Central by trading for a rental at shortstop in Cabrera. Batting .280 and playing solid defense, Cabrera will help the Twins fight for the top spot.

They gave up very little in Ladendorf who has potential but is struggling in Low A ball. I have always thought that Cabrera was underrated and believe the Twins come out big winners here, especially if they can pull off the upset of winning the Central.  WINNER: TWINS

Trade: (July 31st) Milwaukee Brewers trade Vinny Rottino to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Claudio Vargas

Who Wins: Vargas was seeing very little action with the Dodgers but will now be thrown into a Brewers starting rotation that is badly looking for starters who can throw a lot of innings.

His second stint with the Brewers will hopefully see him throw those much-needed innings and keep the Brewers in contention in the NL Central.

Rottino was the starting catcher on Italy’s team in the World Baseball Classic, but at 29-years-old was stuck in Double A. With Angel Solome considered to be the future of the Brewers behind the plate, Rottino was expendable.

Both teams made out well on this trade but it will definitely help the Brewers more.  WINNER: BREWERS

Trade: Boston Red Sox trade Justin Masterson to the Cleveland Indians for Martinez, Bryan Price, and Nick Hagadone

Who Wins: Martinez is a huge addition to the already powerful Red Sox and probably put them as the front-runners to win it all. He will play first base and enter a very dangerous lineup.

Martinez is signed for this year and has a club option for next year that will most surely be picked up. After that, the Red Sox will obviously have enough money to re-sign him and he should be the first baseman of the future.

He did not come cheap, however. Masterson is already Major League-ready and the other two prospects have a ton of upside.

Hagadone, when healthy, has great stuff and should see the Majors sometime soon. The one question mark is that he is coming off of Tommy John surgery and, as is always the case, he might not stay healthy.

Price is further away in terms of progress but is also younger.

Martinez was sad to leave Cleveland but all the wins he will soon rack up in Boston should put a smile back on his face. Huge win for the Bo Sox.  WINNER: RED SOX

Trade: (July 31st) Cincinnati Reds trade Jerry Hairston Jr. to the New York Yankees for Chase Weems

Who Wins: I researched Weems and he does not seem to be a huge talent and Hairston Jr. will provide some good outfield depth and is a good bat off the bench. He has never been much in the field but has a little bit of pop in his bat.

For the Reds, they get rid of some cap room and have a young catcher in the minors potentially for the future.  WINNER: YANKEES

Trade: (July 31st) Boston Red Sox trade Adam LaRoche to the Atlanta Braves for Casey Kotchman

Who Wins: I am having trouble figuring out why the Braves would want any piece of this deal. Kotchman is four years younger than LaRoche and has a ton more upside. Past that, he is playing better baseball at this point and is the better player.

The Red Sox somehow dumped a player and got better. For the Braves, they get LaRoche for the second time and now have a decent glove and a power bat to compliment Chipper Jones.

In the end, Kotchman has a ton of upside and is only getting better.  WINNER: RED SOX

Trade: (July 31st) Washington Nationals Joe Beimel to the Colorado Rockies for Ryan Matheus and Robinson Fabian

Who Wins: Beimel will help the bullpen out for a Rockies team that feels as though they have a legitimate shot at winning the Wild Card this season.

For the Nats, it’s more prospects that are more than likely going to fade out. Neither have a ton of upside and do not project as big leaguers.  WINNER: ROCKIES

Trade: (July 31st) Cincinnati Reds trade Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart to the Toronto Blue Jays for Scott Rolen

Who Wins: I am a little confused by this deal as Encarnacion is really coming into his own as a big leaguer right now. His stats do not really tell the story, but he is batting .276 in July after coming back from injury.

The Reds are not contenders for anything this year and would have been wise to keep Encarnacion around for a while.

Rolen is having a pretty good year both with the bat and, as always, in the field.

The two prospects that the Reds gave up are both big league material, so this trade is a tad bit confusing.  WINNER: BLUE JAYS

Trade: (July 31st) San Diego Padres trade Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, Adam Russell, and Dexter Carter

Who Wins: Poreda and Richard are two very highly-rated prospects and Richard has already burst on to the scene. Both are young and talented and should be in the Padres’ rotation for quite some time.

Russell and Carter also have some upside, so it was a lot to give up for the White Sox.

However, if they truly believe that they received one of the best five pitchers in the game today (which I do), then it was the right trade to make.

Peavy will be making boatloads of money over the next five years but the White Sox have a lot of money to spend. He will anchor the rotation and move Mark Buehrle back to the No. 2 spot, with Gavin Floyd going third.

Kenny Williams always seems to be making deals, and this one is a huge one, but I believe he made out good on this deal. Peavy had been stuck with a terrible offense for so long but will now get the chance to truly shine.

Poreda and Richard have superstar potential, but any time a talent like Peavy is being dangled in front of you, it’s hard to pass up on it.  WINNER: WHITE SOX

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