Just to save readers from having to click on several articles we decided to group some of the smaller moves into one nice and neat package. This way you can stay in the know on everything going on as we approach the deadline. This is our second Low Impact Swaps article.
The Arizona Diamondbacks Chad Qualls experience has been an absolute disaster this year, but the Tampa Bay Rays are hoping the change of scenery will do his ERA some good. There is one positive in his stat line this year, his K/9 rate has increased but every other stat has taken a nose dive from his career averages. There were some murmurs of him being hurt earlier in the year, but it probably was just a way for people to pass off his lack of performance so far this year. The Rays gave up a player to be named later for Qualls, so this is one of the most low impact moves we have seen so far, but the Rays did get another MLB worthy arm for that bullpen.
After landing the big fish in Lance Berkman yesterday they made a smaller move to solidify their bullpen. When Wood has been healthy he has been effective out of the pen but being healthy has been his problem. This year he has only pitched 20 innings in 23 appearances with a ballooned ERA and WHIP while allowing a .250 average against when in save situations. It is obvious he will not be getting any save opportunities in New York unless some unforeseen circumstances occur. It gives manager Joe Girardi one more experienced horse in his bullpen stable that has the ability to have lights out stuff. In return the Yankees are sending a player to be named later.
With Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek dealing with plenty of injury issues it has been rumored that the Red Sox have been checking on several catchers and they finally grabbed one with Salty. Saltalamacchia has never been consistent at the plate at the major league level, but through 2008 he had shown quite a bit of ability at the plate. The Red Sox are hoping that maybe a change of scenery and consistent play for a while will spark his bat back to life. If it does, there are long term things to think about on Salty with the two mentioned catchers being free agents at the end of the season.
The Red Sox sent prospect first basemen Chris McGuiness and prospect relief pitcher Roman Mendez and a player to be named later back the Rangers way in the deal.
As exposed by when Jonathan Sanchez was warming up on Friday night to face Los Angeles Dodgers lefties in the 9th on Friday night, the Giants really need a lefty specialist out of the pen. They made a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates to get their lefty specialist by swapping John Bowker for Javier Lopez. Lopez has a slash line of .243/.337/.351 over his career against lefties, numbers that are produced largely because of his side arm delivery. Unfortunately that delivery makes him quite hittable by righties.
All in all he is exactly what the Giants needed. Going the other way is John Bowker , a player who has not yet been able to get over the hump to becoming a consistent contributor at the major league level. He probably will continue to be a bench player in Pittsburgh. The Pirates also added right hand reliever Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox for bullpen depth.
This move lets everyone know that the Marlins still consider themselves in contention for the time being. With it being rumored that Will Ohman would be going to the Giants or others in contention needing a lefty out of the pen the Marlins seemed to have come in and swooped him up. Ohman has been solid this year, holding lefties to a .226 batting average against while posting a 3.30 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his 51 appearances this year.
It will remain to be seen if this is a move the Marlins needed to make or not, but it surely strengthens their bullpen down the stretch.
In return the Marlins send Rick Vandenhurk who has seen a bit of Major League time over the past few years but has spent a majority of this seas in triple-A. He is only 25 years old and has a chance to be a contributor to the Orioles in some role next year.