Deadline Winners and Losers continued: Part II
San Diego Padres: The Padres have had a great year this season, despite having one of the worst offenses in the league. San Diego began to address that with trades for Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick. While they gave up solid prospects for them, they didn’t give up any of their top guys or anyone who could help them this season.There might have been better bats on the market, but Ludwick ended up being one of the best ones dealt. It remains to be seen if they added enough offense to go deep into the post season, but it was a productive deadline for San Diego nonetheless.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies added one of the top pitchers on the market and did so without giving up much in the way of talent (or money). Oswalt isn’t a true ace, but he is pretty close and should give Philadelphia a top of the rotation to match Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco. The Phillies did really well to get a lot of money thrown in, to ensure they have some financial flexibility next season. The fact that the Phillies accomplished this without giving up any of their top guys is even more impressive. Philadelphia would be higher if they added some bullpen and bench help, both of which have been issues for the team. But all around a solid deadline in Philly.
New York Yankees: The Yankees added Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood, and if this was 2006 would have had the best deadline of anyone. As it stands they added a platoon DH, a backup OF, and a middling bullpen arm. Given how talented the team is they didn’t need much, and they did strengthen both their bench and bullpen, so that is a plus. The Yankees also kept their top prospects which is a major plus (and unexpected). On the downside though I don’t think they shot high enough, especially when it comes to their pitching. With major questions in both their rotation and bullpen I’m not sure if Wood is the answer. The Yankees did well at the deadline, but by no means ensured another World Series title.
Kansas City Royals: The Royals sold a couple of redundant pieces and did a great job shedding salary and picking up some quality prospect depth. They didn’t receive any major young stars, but made some smart baseball trades. The Royals didn’t move any of their top players, which may end up being a mistake, but they will still have major value in the offseason if they want to revisit those discussions.
Los Angeles Angels: The Angels added two good players in Alberto Callapso and Dan Haren and did so at below market prices (esp. in Haren’s case). The problem is the Angels didn’t address enough of their needs, and probably didn’t do so early enough that they are pretty much out of the playoff hunt this season. The good news is Callapso and Haren are under team control for the next couple of years at solid contracts so they are winners for the future, but not pulling the trigger on bullpen/1B help will keep this team at home in October.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox are similar to the Angels, they are looking at a big deficit and didn’t do much to help their cause. While it is good they didn’t overpay, Boston is basically conceding this season to the Yankees and Rays, and that’s not good for business. They did pick up Jared Saltalamachia for some low minors prospects, so that could be a big deal for them going forward, but as it stands now Boston will be sitting out the playoffs.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers were one of the more active teams in the last week adding Scott Podsednik, Octavio Dotel, Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot. Unfortunately I don’t know if they did enough to really get back into the playoff race. Dotel and Lilly are upgrades on the pitching staff, but might not be enough. Theriot is a bit of an upgrade over Dewitt whom he was traded for, but I wouldn’t say there is a huge difference. And Podsednik is a 4th outfielder. Without an impact bat Los Angeles isn’t going anywhere, and to make it worse Podsednik, Dotel, and Lilly will be free agents after the season meaning unlike some of the other teams on this list there isn’t any future value. The Dodgers also gave up some of there better prospects, meaning these deals could really come back to haunt them.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The D-backs got rid of Haren, Edwin Jackson, Chad Qualls and Chris Snyder unfortunately they didn’t get much in the way of return either. They did clean their payroll for next year and going forward (though I still don’t get the Joe Saunders acquisition) and given their level of play they needed to be a seller. I just question their return for Haren especially. In fact I think they got almost as much for Edwin Jackson as they did Dan Haren, and he isn’t half the pitcher Haren is (or has nearly as good of a contract). Arizona has a long rebuilding process, but unfortunately they didn’t add much in the way of assets to their fire sale.
Houston Astros: The Astros parted with two of their most veteran players and biggest stars. While it was necessary, the Astros had to kick in money and at the same time didn’t get major prospects in return. The best move the Astros made was trading one of those prospects (Anthony Gose), for a better and Major League ready player in Brett Wallace. The Wallace deal gives Houston a building block, but overall not nearly enough of a return considering what they gave up.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cards did a great job strengthening their rotation, but did so at a fairly high cost of Ryan Ludwick. I’ve never been a Ludwick fan, but his loss does weaken their offense going forward. In addition to weakening their starting lineup the Cards didn’t add any bench or bullpen depth, two things that could have helped them going forward.