We all know July 31 and the days leading up to that day change the season for some teams. There were some serious trades including a trade involving a Cy Young winner and a couple of ex-first overall draft picks. This slideshow shows the top nine pickups and the worst trade deadline pickups. The slideshow only shows teams in second or third place who brought in players who have played well since joining their new team.
Lopez as a Pirate
Pirates: 50 games, 2-2, 2.79 ERA, 38.2 IP, 22 Ks
Giants: 18 games, 2-0, 1.13 ERA, 16 IP, 11 Ks
Javier Lopez has pitched in 18 games since being traded from the Pirates to the Giants. He has gone 2-0 with an earned run average of 1.13. The Giants have two lefties injured (Jeremy Affeldt and Dan Runzler). Lopez, 33, has an expiring contract in seven days.
Lopez's flaw is that as a member of the Red Sox, he pitched in five playoff innings over two years and allowed 11 hits and five runs.
Chris Ray as Texas Ranger, San Francisco Giants
Rangers: 35 games, 2-0, 3.41 ERA, 31.2 IP, 16 Ks
Giants: 21 games, 3-0, 4.76 ERA, 17 IP, 11 Ks
Since being traded from Texas for Bengie Molina, Ray is 3-0 with a save and 11 strikeouts. Ray has an ERA over 4.00, but what made this trade so great is that with Bengie Molina gone, Buster Posey got to start at catcher.
Posey has been great since being given the starting job. He is batting .326, with 11 home runs and 55 RBI. Ray let the greatest young star play and provides a young, cheap bullpen option if SanFran is to make the postseason.
Indians: 23 Games,1-4, 6.30 ERA , 20 IP, 18 Ks
Yankees: 15 Games, 2-0, 0.54 ERA, 16.2 IP, 20 Ks
With Joba Chamberlain unable to be trusted as a set-up man, Kerry Wood created a bridge to Mariano Rivera. In 15 games in pinstripes, Wood is 2-0 with 0.54 ERA. The two-time All-Star and ex-Rookie of the Year is a free agent at the end of the year and the Yankees are hoping Wood is a good option for a clutch playoff performance.
Orioles: 97 Games, .269 BA, seven HR, 39 RBI, .670 OPS
Padres: 34 Games, .273 BA, five HR, 17 RBI, .766 OPS
Miggy T has cooled down since his red-hot start in San Diego. Tejada, who won the AL MVP in 2002, has five homers and is batting .273 in 34 games in San Diego. His home run total is almost as high as it was in his 97 games in Baltimore earlier in the season. Tejada, 36, needs a great postseason to secure a contract in 2011.
Indians: 91 Games, .246 BA, seven HR, 43 RBI, .698 OPS
Tigers: 36 Games, .272 BA, seven HR, 24 RBI, .803 OPS
Jhonny Peralta is another example of a player playing great in his new town. Since joining a Tigers team that is pretty much out of the playoffs, Peralta has hit as many home runs in 36 games as a Tiger, as he had in his 91 games as an Indian earlier this year. As an Indian in 2007, Peralta proved he could hit the ball well in October batting .333 and hitting two home runs with 11 RBI in 11 games.
He looks a bit like LeBron James. Am I right?
Diamondbacks: 21 Games, 6-10, 5.16 ERA, 134.1 IP, 104 Ks
White Sox: 6 Games, 3-0, 2.05 ERA, 44 IP, 51 Ks
Already on his fourth team at the age of 27, Jackson has been great since moving from super-hot Arizona to the Windy City. He is 3-0 in six starts with an ERA barely over two. Jackson has allowed a run in every four innings. He has been striking out guys left and right, and with a White Sox run, Jackson will be a great help in October.
Also, doesn't Edwin look a bit like LeBron James? Agree or disagree?
Cubs: 18 Games, 3-8, 3.69 ERA, 117 IP, 89 Ks
Dodgers: Seven Games, 5-1, 3.18 ERA, 45.1 IP, 43 Ks
I know the Dodgers are pretty much out, but I can't make this slideshow without mentioning Ted Lilly. Lilly has made seven starts as a Dodger and won five of them including a complete game shutout.
The Dodgers tried waiving Lilly like they tried to waive Casey Blake and Scott Podsenik, but when manager Joe Torre's old team, the Yankees, claimed Lilly, the Dodgers pulled him back.
At 34, is Lilly back to his All-Star self? You decide.
Capps as a National
Nationals: 47 Games, 3-3, 26 Saves, 2.74 ERA, 46 IP, 38 Ks
Twins: 18 Games, 1-0, 10 Saves, 2.00 ERA, 18 IP, 14 Ks
You could make an argument that Capps deserves to be at No. 1. He has 10 saves and a win with a 2.00 ERA in 18 games.
Capps provides a massive boost for October without Joe Nathan. Capps has yet to pitch in the playoffs, but has 36 saves this year and is having a career year in the first year of his new deal.
Blue Jays: 85 Games, .259 BA, 17 HR's, 65 RBI's, .793 OPS
Braves: 49 Games, .263 BA, four HR's, 25 RBI's, .746 OPS
Mariners: 13 Games, 8-3, 2.34 ERA, 103.2 IP, 89 K's
Rangers: 11 Games, 2-5, 4.69 ERA, 80.2, 72 K's
Before I get to No. 1, we have to debate.
Did the Braves make a mistake trading potential star Yunel Escobar for Alex Gonzalez? Since joining the Braves, Gonzalez has four home runs and is batting .263. He was having a career year in Toronto with 17 home runs in 85 games while maintaining a batting average at about .260.
Cliff Lee, on the other side, was great last time he was traded to a team in need of star power for a World Series push. The Rangers have a chance at achieving what the Phillies did with Lee, but he will not be the reason the Rangers make the World Series. Lee was great as a Mariner, but since going to Arlington, he is 2-5 with an ERA of 4.69. Lee allowed 92 hits in Seattle in 103 innings, but has allowed 85 hits already in 80 Texas innings.
So was this star worth Justin Smoak?
Oswalt against Washington
Astros: 20 Games, 6-12, 3.42 ERA, 129 IP, 120 K's
Phillies: Eight Games, 5-1, 2.30 ERA, 54.2 IP, 48 K's
Roy Oswalt was awful in 20 starts with a 6-12 record to start the year while in Houston.
In his eight starts in Philadelphia, he is 5-1 and has a 2.30 ERA and 48 K's. He provides the Cliff Lee 2009 role for the struggling to reach the playoffs Phillies. Oswalt hasn't pitched in the playoffs since the 2005 World Series loss to the White Sox. In his eight playoff starts in '04 and '05, he had four wins and no losses with an ERA of 3.66.
Will Oswalt help take the Phillies back to the World Series?
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