MLB Trading Deadline: Team Grades
Well, the MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and I have finally been able to digest all of the moves. Some big names, like Victor Martinez and Jake Peavy, moved, but others, like Roy Halladay, did not.
Sometimes, the big names aren't the ones who bring the results, and the acquisition of a role player is the reason why a team ends up on top.
How did your team do?
Please comment with what you think!
Add: Jerry Hairston Jr., Eric Hinske
Lose: Minor Leaguers
Short Term: Hinske has helped with some experience off the bench, but pitching remains a problem.
Long Term: The Yankees are the Yankees and will get what they need in the offseason, but if they fail again this year, there might be a new general manager doing the deals.
What they should have done: The Red Sox improved, and usually that means improvements for the Yankees as well. Not this year. With Joba Chamberlain nearing the end of his innings limit, the Yankees should have acquired another starting pitcher. A fourth or fifth starter like a Brian Bannister would have been a great fit.
Add: Victor Martinez, Casey Kotchman
Lose: Justin Masterson, Prospects
Short Term: Martinez will bring a much-needed boost to this lineup and much-needed days off for the ailing Mike Lowell.
Long Term: Just like the Yankees, the Red Sox usually get what they want, so they will be set for years to come.
This trade was brilliant, and the Red Sox are set to contend for another pennant.
Short Term: Without bullpen help, this team will not be a contender this year. The starting rotation has been a mess (Jeff Niemann leads the team in wins) as well.
Long Term: They are a still young team that will only get better.
What they should have done: The Rays should have pushed harder for Heath Bell if they wanted a shot at making the playoffs this year.
Add: Edwin Encarnacion, Prospects
Lose: Scott Rolen
Short Term: Keeping Roy Halladay means it's win next year or bust for J.P. Ricciardi and his Blue Jays.
Long Term: J.P's contract is over after next season, so keeping Halladay this year may mean another shot for the Blue Jays and a contract extension for the GM. Two problems for the Blue Jays will be the Yankees and the Red Sox. Halladay will not be a Blue Jay by the time next season ends.
What they should have done: They should have taken the Phillies' offer of Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, and other prospects. They should have also tried to move Vernon Wells any way possible, even eating some of his contract if they had to.
Lose: George Sherrill
Short Term: This team wasn't going anywhere, so it was a good thing they got rid of Sherrill while his trade value was still high.
Long Term: The Orioles are rebuilding and have the pieces in place to become a good team within the next couple of seasons.
What they should have done: I like this move, and the O's got even more prospects. Sherrill wasn't going to stick around when a chance for a big payday became available to him in the future.
Add: Jake Peavy
Lose: Clayton Richard, Prospects
Short Term: A good move to counter the Tigers' acquisition of Jarrod Washburn. If Peavy comes back healthy, the White Sox could take the highly contested AL Central. If they make the playoffs, the duo of Peavy and Mark Buehrle could be the catalyst that pushes the Sox deep into October.
Long Term: The White Sox will have two aces (Peavy and Buerhle) for the foreseeable future.
What they should have done: I love this trade. The White Sox got an ace that won't be a free agent until 2012.
Add: Orlando Cabrera
Short Term: Cabrera gives them a solid bat and glove at the SS position, which is something that they were lacking.
Long Term: This buys time for the younger prospects like Matt Tolbert to work in the farm and not have to be rushed into the majors.
What they should have done: I like this move, but their starting pitching needed an upgrade.
Add: Jarrod Washburn
Short Term: The Tigers got him for next to nothing, considering the Mariners wanted highly touted prospect Austin Jackson from the Yankees.
Long Term: I doubt Washburn sticks around after this season.
What they should have done: Exactly what they did. Great move that will help them compete in the AL Central race.
Short Term: The Royals were thought to be the team to watch out for this year. Instead, they have fallen off the face of the earth.
Long Term: They have the right personnel, but can they get their acts together next year?
What they should have done: If Jose Guillen were healthy, I think he would have been moved. The Royals were smart to not trade anyone away; this team needs pieces added, not subtracted, in order to compete.
Add: Prospects, Justin Masterson
Lose: Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, Mark DeRosa
Short Term: The Indians had basically written off 2009, but with the trades of V-Mart and Cliff Lee, you might as well forget about 2010 as well.
Long Term: The Indians still have Grady Sizemore to build a team around, but Fausto Carmona will need to get his game back and return to dominant form to give the Indians a chance.
What they should have done: Personally, I would have held on to both of them and given it another shot next year. Rumor has it that the Indians will be under some financial constraints next year. If that is the case, then these moves make sense.
No Major Acquisitions
Short Term: The Rangers really needed to find some starting pitching depth, but they did not want to do it at the cost of losing a lot of young talent. They still have the bats to keep them in this race, and their closer Frank Francisco will be back soon.
Long Term: Elvis Andrus and their pitching staff will gain more experience this season, and this franchise is most certainly heading in the right direction.
What they should have done: I think they could have used another pitcher, but not at the price being asked for Washburn. Guys like Ian Snell or Brian Bannister would have been good fits.
Although they didn't make any big splashes, the Angels are still in the hunt, thanks to good young players on the mound and in the field
Short Term: Yeah, they missed out on Roy Halladay, but they still have a solid team that just needs to get healthy.
Long Term: With Mike Scioscia at the helm, this team isn't going downhill anytime soon.
What they should have done: Nothing, which is what they did.
Add: Prospects, Jack Wilson
Lose: Jarrod Washburn, Jeff Clement, Prospects
Short Term: Jack Wilson is the best defensive shortstop in baseball, but losing their best pitcher puts the nail in the coffin for 2009.
Long Term: Whenever you build a team, you want to make it strong up the middle. Now the Mariners have a strong defensive catcher, SS, and CF and a rotation that can be built around Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard.
Lose: Matt Holliday, Orlando Cabrera
Short Term: Can we just skip the rest of '09?
Long Term: Their season was over before it started, but the A's have a solid young pitching staff. If the bats come around, they could become contenders within the next couple of years. Billy Beane always finds a way to get them back into contention, but how much longer will the fans put up with his style?
What they should have done: Try to get more for Cabrera and possibly even trade Brad Ziegler.
Add: Cliff Lee, Ben Francisco
Short Term: The Phillies were already a World Series-caliber team, but the addition of Lee could put them over the top. This is a huge pickup, considering Jamie Moyer is leading the team in wins. Francisco also adds needed depth to the bench.
Long Term: With the core of players the Phillies have, they will remain contenders for a long time. Plus, the Phils kept their top prospect in Kyle Drabek and didn't trade away the farm in order to get a pitcher.
Add: Nick Johnson
Short Term: If the pitching holds up, Nick Johnson could be the catalyst that keeps the Marlins in the playoff race. He brings a solid glove and a high on-base percentage, both things the Marlins are lacking.
Long Term: The Marlins always seem to cycle through players. You never know who will get traded from this team.
What they should have done: A little more help in the bullpen would have been nice. It's more what they should do: Sign Johnson to an extension this offseason and keep this group of guys together for as long as you can, because I think this team could win a championship within the next few years.
Add: Adam LaRoche
Lose: Casey Kotchman
Short Term: The Braves get a little more power, but not much else.
Long Term: Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens will anchor the staff, but who is going to hit?
What they should have done: They need more power from their corner outfielders, so expect them to make a move this offseason if they feel it's necessary.
The Mets were unwilling to trade young talent to try to save this season. This team just needs to get healthy.
Short Term: Well, at least NFL training camps are starting.
Long Term: If this team stays healthy next year, they will be a contender.
What they should have done: The Mets could have gone after a guy like Nick Johnson, who they could possibly re-sign if an aging Carlos Delgado doesn't recover like they hope.
Add: Nyjer Morgan
Lose: Lasting Milledge, Nick Johnson
Short term: Morgan has provided a spark for the Nationals this season, while the trade of Johnson allows Adam Dunn to move to first and Elijah Dukes to take over in right.
Long Term: The Nationals' future success may hinge on the signing of phenom Steven Strasburg.
What they should have done: There weren't many takers for Dunn, but I expect him to be traded this offseason.
Grade: B (for not doing anything)
The Cubs had little wiggle room with an already high payroll.
With Aramis Ramirez back from the DL, this team has new life to it. Its ownership is in limbo and with a high payroll, the Cubs weren't expected to make a splash anyway. Ted Lilly is on the shelf, making the only question mark the starting rotation.
Add: Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa
Short Term: This has become the most dangerous lineup in baseball. If Chris Carpenter stays healthy, look out.
Long Term: This is could be a short fling for Holliday. Expect him to test the free agent waters this winter.
What they should have done: It's more what they should do; sign Matt Holliday to a long-term deal. Holliday and Pujols would be a two-headed monster for years to come.
Add: Claudio Vargas
Short Term: Not the splash the Brew Crew fans were hoping for. With the Cardinals and Cubs improving, the Brewers will most likely be out of the playoff picture soon.
Long Term: The Brewers have solid young pitching and an offense built around Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. It's not enough for this year, but next year they get to start all over again.
It was smart not to trade any of their young talent away. This team is still building.
Grade: B-; there is no point trying to make a big trade if you are almost out of the race.
Short Term: Do they have enough to hang in the playoff race? Probably not now, with the Cardinals and Cubs improving. Nobody in their right mind predicted the Astros would be where they are now.
Long Term: The Astros did not want to part with their young talent, and this team has shown that they can compete. Can they do it again next year?
What they should have done: Dangle Jose Valverde out there just to see what offers they would get.
Add: Scott Rolen
Lose: Edwin Encarnacion, Prospects
Short Term: Great pickup, but is it enough to push them into the playoffs?
Long Term: Rolen is injury-prone and getting older, but he will fit in very well in that lineup. This deal won't hurt them, but it won't help them much until they pitch better.
Add: Prospects, Jeff Clement, Lastings Milledge
Lose: Jack Wilson, Adam LaRoche, Freddy Sanchez, Tom Gorzelanny, Ian Snell, Nate McClouth, Nyjer Morgan
Short Term: Pittsburgh's battle cry "ice or grass, we'll kick your ass" doesn't apply to the baseball field.
Long Term: There's a plan here somewhere, but prospects have to pan out, and that is never a guarantee.
What they should have done: Wilson, McClouth, and Sanchez weren't staying, so I don't really have a problem with any of their moves.
Add: George Sherrill
Lose: Claudio Varges, Prospects
Short Term: Sherrill provides a backup plan just in case Broxton goes down, as well as a great lefty arm in the pen.
Long Term: The Dodgers were in talks for Roy Halladay, but this deal helps them in the long run. They have kept Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw, which, combined with their solid young position players, will keep the Dodgers a premier franchise for years to come.
What they should have done: I love the move for Sherrill, and barring any injuries, the Dodgers will waltz into the playoffs.
Add: Joe Beimel
Short Term: Beimel is a quality lefty specialist, but not what the Rockies need to get into the playoffs. They will need their young bats to keep hitting in order to stay in this race.
Long Term: The Rockies have a core group of guys under their control for the next couple of years, so they should contend for the next couple of seasons.
What they should have done: The Rockies weren't really buyers this deadline, so getting a quality arm like Beimel was a good pickup considering their situation.
Add: Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Garko
Short Term: Sanchez will provide a solid on-base percentage and a great glove at second base.
Long Term: Extending Sanchez's contract would really help the Giants in the long run.
What they should have done: Sanchez can hit for average, but there is really no source of consistent power; Kung-Fu Panda cannot carry this lineup by himself. A bigger bat would have been nice, but other than Matt Holliday, there weren't many on the market.
Add: Clayton Richard, Prospects
Lose: Jake Peavy
Short Term: Hey, the Chargers have a great offense, and Philip Rivers is set to have another great year.
Long Term: Maybe the Chargers can win the Super Bowl...the Padres aren't winning anything soon.
What they should have done: The Peavy deal had to be done, but the Padres should have moved Heath Bell as well.
Short Term: The D-Backs didn't make any moves this deadline. They have great young talent, but the injury to Brandon Webb has really hurt them. At times they have played like a team that has no direction.
Although they have struggled, there was no reason to trade away their good talent for prospects. This team has a shot next year if they stay healthy.
Long Term: Expect the D-Backs to have a better year next year, but will manager A.J. Hinch be a part of it?
What they should have done: I am surprised they didn't move Jon Rauch or Chad Qualls, who were rumored to be on the way out.