It always seems that on July 31st, one baseball team makes at least one move that has a significant impact on the outcome of both the regular season and the playoffs. This year, with so many teams within reach of a playoff spot, the trade deadline came and went with a lot of familiar faces jumping into the final playoff push.
The regular crowd was involved, as the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies made important moves to their rosters. However, there were newcomers to the party as the Texas Rangers and the San Diego Padres upgraded their clubs for the stretch run.
While there was a lot of action on the July 31st deadline, some of the most important wheeling and dealing occurred during the week prior to the deadline. The Yankees were active, stealing Lance Berkman from the Astros, along with acquiring Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns from Cleveland in separate trades. Cliff Lee was traded for the second straight season, bringing his talents to Arlington. (Sorry Lebron it has to be done) He hopes to help the Texas Rangers get further into the postseason than they have in their 3 playoff appearances.
Over in the National League, another staff Ace was shipped to help his new team get into the playoffs. Houston Astros, who dismantled their past, present, and future, sent Roy Oswalt over to the Phillies for about 60 cents on the dollar. This gives Philadelphia all the ammunition in the arms race as Oswalt and Halladay will strike fear into the lineups on the NL East.
What was most interesting about this year’s deadline was the inactivity of teams in need of an upgrade. The Chicago White Sox were in discussions for a few big time players such as Adam Dunn, and only ended up pulling the trigger on Edwin Jackson. The Boston Red Sox, in dire need of some bullpen help, traded for a 3rd string catcher in Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The New York Mets stayed put with their roster, something you don’t normally see from a New York team on deadline day.
As the dog days of August approach, we will see how these deadline deals pan out and who the true winners and losers are. Until then, it is only fair to put these trades in perspective and decide who won and who lost when the clock struck 4 PM ET on July 31st.