Trade Deadline Winners and Losers: Part I
Texas Rangers: The Texas Rangers might be in bankruptcy, but you wouldn’t know that from all the deals they have made in the past month. First they went out and traded for Cliff Lee, the best pitcher on the market, and a veteran catcher in Benji Molina. Then they added a couple of bats and infield depth in Jorge Cantu and Christian Guzman. The Rangers finished up their trading yesterday by sending one time top prospect Jarrod Saltalmacchia to the Red Sox for a pair of solid low minor leaguers, a player to be named later and cash. While the Rangers gave up one great prospect, a few good ones, and a couple of interesting pieces, they reshaped their roster and are poised for a deep playoff run (and got a lot of cash to offset the returning salary). At the same time they still have one of the deeper minor league systems, and can restock for future playoff runs.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Considering the fact that the Pirates hadn’t made any real moves before yesterday it is a bit shocking to see them on this list, but Pittsburgh shed a lot of dead weight off their roster and got some useful players in return. In three separate deals the Pirates traded away OF Ryan Church, INF Bobby Crosby, RHP D.J. Carrasco to Arizona, LHP Javier Lopez to the Giants, and RHP Octavio Dotel (and $500K) to the Dodgers. In return they got C Chris Snyder, INF Pedro Ciriaco and cash ($ 3 million) from the D-Backs, RHP Joe Martinez and OF John Bowker (AAA) from the Giants and RHP James McDonald and OF Andrew Lambo (AA). While the guys the Pirates got in return won’t set the world on fire or likely bring a pennant to Pittsburgh, they have some upside Snyder is a bit pricey for next year, but that $3 million helps, and Ciriaco, Martinez and Bowker are basically younger cheaper versions of Church, Crosby and Carrasco. McDonald and Lambo were both one time top prospects in the Dodgers system, and while their status is tarnished some they are a nice haul for Octavio Dotel and $500K. Snyder gives Pittsburgh at worst a solid platoon catcher and could end up being a solid starter. Lambo especially has the tools to develop into a good starting outfielder and at just 21 can still reboot his career. That is not a bad return for Crosby and Lopez who were free agents and Church who they were going to non-tender. Dotel had an option for next year but he was redundant and pricey in the Pirates pen. And while Carrasco has two more Arb. years remaining he is 33 years old and will cost over $1.5 million next year. When it is all said and done, the Pirates did well to add some younger talent, without really increasing payroll for next year.