2011 saw aces and all-stars switch leagues as well as teams. Adrian Gonzalez goes from the cash strapped Padres to the cash rich Red Sox. Kansas City shipped off their 2009 Cy Young award winner to the Brewers for more pitching prospects and a shortstop. Some teams cut their "fat" while others became "fatter". We will look at the major deals that took place during the off-season and see how they've panned out for the two teams. We will be looking at the major league players only with regards to the trades.
Oakland gets OF David DeJesus from Kansas City Royals for SP Vin Mazzaro and minor league P Justin Marks
If Jeff Francoeur isn't having the start he's having, I'd say the Royals really screwed this one up but DeJesus hasn't done much yet in Oakland. He's hitting .232 with eight rbi. The Royals, as you can see above, continue to stock pile young pitching and make that farm system even deeper. Advantage Royals.
San Diego Padres acquire OF Cameron Maybin from the Florida Marlins for RHP Edward Mujica and RHP Ryan Webb
This is another deal that the Padres had to do. Petco isn't a home run hitters park by any means and with the departure of Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres only have Ryan Ludwick as any source of power. Maybin isn't a home run hitter at all but can run a little bit and seems to fit the mold of what the Padres were looking for in an outfielder than maybe the Marlins were. So far this year he has three home runs and six stolen bases. The Padres are more concerned with the six stolen bases as that is how they have to score. It's hard to tell who actually won in this deal.
Atlanta Braves trades INF Omar Infante and LHP Mike Dunn to Florida for 2B Dan Uggla.
Uggla and the Marlins couldn't come to a contract extension agreement so the Marlins did what they do best, trade away talent. Uggla has averaged over 30 home runs and 100 rbi the past four seasons and is off to a five home run and eight rbi start. His numbers will pick up but adding him to a line up with Heyward and McCann will make the Braves a force in the East. Advantage Braves.
Toronto Blue Jays acquire Rajai Davis from the Oakland Athletics for Dany Farquhar and Trystan Magnuson.
Davis is a prototypical lead off man. The Blue Jays can score a lot of runs. Looks like the perfect match. I think the Blue Jays actually upgraded in the long run over Wells. They will save a boat load of money and have added speed to a dynamic line-up. His stats don't show it right now (.163 batting average and three stolen bases) but in the long run, I think the Jays did alright.
Well, there really isn't a whole lot to say with this deal. The Rockies have a surplus in the middle infield and the Astros; well the Astros need a whole lot of things. Besides his break out year in 2009, Barmes hasn't stayed healthy and really hasn't contributed a whole lot. He is just again coming off of a DL stint so he really hasn't gotten enough at bats to see what he can do. This trade, as of now, hasn't really done much for either team.
Never one for much power, the Cardinals were in need of upgrading their middle defense. Theriot has a steady glove and can swipe 20 bases a year. With the Cardinals trading Brendan Ryan to the Mariners, Theriot was a nice pick up for the Red Birds. He has stolen 3 bags this year to go along with eight rbi and four doubles. I think any power they get from Theriot will be gravy when you add him to the line-up with Albert and Holliday. The Cardinals have the advantage so far with this deal.
Toronto Blue Jays acquires 2B Brett Lawrie from Milwaukee for RHP Shaun Marcum.
Marcum is an average number one guy and will probably slide as low as three when Zach Grienke returns. That being said, he's about the second or third best number three in the National League behind Oswalt and arguably Matt Cain. The Brewers were very busy last off season upgrading their pitching staff (which now has Gallardo as the ace who would become number two) and keeping together their offenses at least for the rest of the year. Marcum has responded with a 3-1 record and a sparkling 2.21 ERA. This has worked out fantastic for Milwaukee and should only get better when Grienke makes his season debut sometime in the next few days.
Boston Red Sox acquire 1B Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego for OF Reymond Fuentes, RHP Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo and a player to be named.
This is the deal that many thought would happen in 2010. The cash strapped Padres, knowing they wouldn't be able to pay Gonzalez what the open market would dictate, decided to be preemptive and trade the all-star first baseman to the Red Sox for "major league ready" talent. I don't care what type of talent you are getting in return, there never will be enough to give up Gonzalez. Gonzalez has made the transition to the American League very smooth. Yes he has hit one home run and has driven in 15 but he does have 10 doubles already and, for fantasy owners, has one stolen base.
The Red Sox haven't set the world on fire so far this year but the fact the Sox signed Gonzalez to the contract extension has already proven this a winning trade for Bean Town.
Quietly, the Orioles have made themselves competitive in the beast AL East. They signed free agent Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero and also traded for Mark Reynolds. Reynolds is a feast or famine player. He has an unbelievable amount of strikeouts (204, 223, and 211 the past three seasons) but he also has 28, 44 and 32 home runs over that same time span. So far this year he has two homers and 14 rbi but also has 25 strikeouts so everything has held true to form. I still think this will end up being a good trade for the Orioles as long as Buck Showalter can keep his sanity with all the strikeouts from his third baseman.
Baltimore Orioles acquire SS J.J. Hardy and INF Brendan Harris from Minnesota for RHP Jim Hoey, RHP Brett Jacobson and cash considerations.
As a Twins fan, I wasn't happy with the trade that sent Hardy to the Orioles. It didn't bother me they threw in Harris as we never was going to crack the starting line-up (until this year). The deal was made for a couple reasons: 1) the Twins thought they had an everyday shortstop in Alexi Casilla (nope) and 2) the Twins needed bull pen help (still do). Hardy was injury prone his one year with Minnesota and outside of his 2007 and 2008 years in Milwaukee, he hasn't done a whole lot. He is hitting .200 this year and is just coming off the DL for a strained oblique. After the way the season has started for the Twins and their middle infield, this is beginning to look, overall, like a good trade for the Orioles.
Tampa Bay Rays traded and SS Jason Bartlett to San Diego Padres for RHP Adam Russell, RHP Brandon Gomes, LHP Cesar Ramos and RHP Cole Figueroa.
Bartlett was traded back to the Padres and filled a need for them at shortstop. He had his career year in 2009 when he batted .320 with 14 home runs and 66 rbi. Since then, he has been average at best. The Padres are trying to definitely win with pitching and defense and those are both something the Padres do well. As for the trade, Bartlett hasn't been setting the world on fire hitting only .222 with four rbi this year. I think, simply because of the pitching, the Rays won this deal but it remains to be seen.
Milwaukee Brewers trades SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jeremy Jeffress and CF Lorenzo Cain to Kansas City for SS Yuniesky Betancourt and RHP Zack Greinke to Milwaukee Brewers
Pretty simple formula here: Grienke wanted out of Kansas City and the Brewers think this may be the last opportunity to put together a championship ball club before Prince leaves Milwaukee. The other part in this deal is Kansas City continuing to stockpile young talent by trading pieces other teams prize.There really can't be a winner at this point at Grienke hasn't pitched yet this season. On paper though, if he returns to his Cy Young form of 2009, the Brewers will indeed be in the hunt for a championship and Grienke could be that piece that puts them over the top.
Detroit Tigers traded RHP Armando Galarraga to Arizona Diamondbacks for Kevin Eichorn and Rob Robowski
Galarraga is 3-2 this year with a 5.45 ERA. This is right in line with his career numbers while in Detroit. The Diamondbacks were looking for some back end rotation pitchers and have one in Galarraga. The Tigers decided to go with a veteran rotation which left Galarraga out. The Diamondbacks have helped themselves so far with this deal.
Toronto Blue Jays traded C Mike Napoli to Texas Rangers for cash and RHP Frank Francisco.
I think the Rangers got a steal on this deal and it's proving to be that way. Napoli is only hitting .245 but has hit six home runs and has 15 rbi. He has averaged over 20 home runs the past three seasons and is well on his way to obtaining that this season. Francisco is a decent relief pitcher but the Rangers saw trade value in him with Feliz taking over as closer last season. Napoli and the Rangers are the winners so far in this deal.
Huge win for the Jays. Wells has one home run and six rbi this season. Rajai Davis, who the Jays replaced Wells with, is only hitting .209 but has six stolen bases and is considerably cheaper. Wells has been overpaid for a long time now and even if the Jays don't get everything they hope out of Davis, they rid themselves of a horrible contract which will pay dividends down the line. Huge win for the Jays.