Another trade deadline has come and gone....
This time around the New York teams stayed relatively quiet (unless one considers Jerry Hairston Jr. a big-time move), Roy Halladay stayed put and the Pittsburgh Pirates took a page out of the Marlins book and traded away their entire team...
Let's take a look at who best put their teams in line for a playoff push...and who decided to do nothing but sit on their thumbs or just give up altogether...
#1 BOSTON RED SOX:
Question....What do you do when you have question marks about the health of your third baseman as well as a catcher that hits an anemic .233?
Answer....You go out and get Victor Martinez!
With the addition of VMart, the Red Sox added yet another bruiser to their lineup. If Lowell manages to stay healthy, Martinez can rotate between catching and playing first base making this lineup absolutely scary...Need convincing? VMart went 5-6 today with 4 RBI...
There may be questions about the pitching staff up in Beantown..but as the old adage goes..if you score runs than you give up, you'll win...
Watch out Yanks..they're only a half-game back now...well get to you later....
# 2 PHILADELPHIA PHILTHIES:
They didn't get Roy Halladay, but they did get the AL's reigning Cy Young award winner in Cliff Lee, along with OF Ben Francisco for practically peanuts....
This makes their rotation 4 lefties strong, not including the eventual return of..PEDRO!
Hamels and Lee make a solid 1-2 punch and pretty much put to rest who's taking the division this year....
#3 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS:
Tony LaRussa wanted offense...they got it!
Matthew Holliday has officially rejuvenated his season in a big way after leaving the bay to hit behind the best baseball player on the planet, Albert Pujols.
Since becoming a redbird, Holliday is hitting an unconscious .540 with 3 HR and 10 RBI
The Cards also went out and traded for Mark DeRosa, who has hit 7 HR in his first 12 games and SS Julio Lugo, who is hitting .340 in his first 9 games as a Cardinal..
Add Troy Glaus back into the equation when he returns from the DL and you're looking at a lineup that may be one of, if not the very best in the National League.
I guess this is GM John Mozeliak's way of making up for their horrendous offseason where the highlight was signing Jeff Spicoli look-alike contest winner, Khalil Greene.
Note the resemblance.........
#4 CHICAGO WHITE SOX:
In the 11th hour, the Southsiders got their big time righty in the form of Jake Peavy.
It may have taken 3 months for him to reconsider getting traded to the Chi Sox, but in the end I believe he saw the Padres going into a rebuilding mode that he wasn't willing to stick around for..
He may be out until the end of August, but you can be sure that the Sox will still be in contention.
There will be questions as to whether he can adjust to hitter-friendly confines as well as if he can regain his form..but there's no question that if Peavy pitches like Peavy Ozzie Guillen will have this equation...
Buehrle + Peavy = A dirty 1-2 punch...with that being said...
#5 DETROIT TIGERS:
Went out and nabbed the man who is arguably the ace of the Mariners staff in Jerrod Washburn.
From 2006-2008, Washburn posted a brutal 23-43 record after signing...definitely earning that $10 million/yr contract (sarcasm)
This year, Jerrod is enjoying a renaissance going 8-6 with a miniscule 2.64 e.r.a...if the man can keep it up, the following math equation will make sense
Justin Verlander+Edwin Jackson+ Jerrod Washburn = Nasty 1-2-3 punch (with sub-4.00 e.r.a's!)
Very helpful move if they can hold onto the division lead and especially if Peavy returns in top form.
#6 SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS:
Full of pitching...not a whole lot of offense...
The San Francisco baseball Giants went out and picked up first basemen Ryan Garko, a year off of a 90-RBI season and 2B Freddy Sanchez, former batting champ to fill in a lineup that is second to last in baseball in home runs and runs batted in.
This should be enough, in my view to make a run at the wild-card, but how far can any team go with Bengie Molina batting cleanup?
Those were the winners....now here's the teams who were...well they were losers
#6 LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Yes, they did pick up O's closer George Sherrill to shore up the pen behind Broxton...however, the Dodgers needed to make a move to pick up one more starting pitcher; particularly one with postseason experience.
Despite being in first place, the Dodgers pitching staff is led by two pitchers, Billingsley and Kershaw that are only 25 and 21 years respectively. Although they are solid and reliable starters, they are not postseason proven by any means...just ask Chad how well he did in the NLCS last year vs. the Philthies (0-2 18.00 e.r.a)
The Dodgers were the ideal team to go after Doc Halladay in my view simply because the Dodgers needed a true ace to lead their staff...Now that Billingsley may be hurt, you're relying on a 21-yr old to ace ur team through the postseason.
Unless your relying on Jason Schmidt, who just came back after not pitching for 2 years...
#5 NEW YORK YANKEES
Their # 5 starter is Sergio Mitre......need I say more?
The bombers are playing some of their best baseball of the season, but if they really expect to compete in the strong A.L East wouldn't you go out and nab a starter for the back of the rotation?
C.C and Burnett are nothing short of solid, but how long is Joba going to keep up being lights out and how long is Pettite going to remain consistent?
Potential playoff contenders in the AL, like Boston and Detroit made improvements while the Yanks held steadfast. The Red Sox are right on their heels and don't forget about the reigning A.L Champs, the Rays
#4 Seattle Mariners
You decide to replace the ace of your staff with a man who couldn't even hold on in the majors with Pittsburgh...yikes!
The Ms were a mere 6 back, but in the matter of a week have dropped to 9 gb in the wild card hunt...waving the white flag way too early much?
There is upside with Ian Snell...about as much as there is with Oliver Perez...but hey, someone finally got Jack Wilson out of Pittsburgh, right?
#3 Oakland Athletics
It took only 3 short months for the Matt Holliday experiment to be over and done with in Oakland.
3 months after Billy Beane went out and tried to put together a "win now" team, he finds himself in dead last among the AL West and is simply cutting his losses.
Orlando Cabrera got shipped off to the Twins, making it his 5th team in the last 6 years...does anybody really even like this guy??
#2 CLEVELAND INDIANS
Remember back in 2007 when this team was one game away from the World Series???
Now they sit at 44-61 and cleaned house by shipping off Cy Young winner Cliff Lee AND one of the cornerstones of their lineup in Victor Martinez.
How the mighty have fallen....sooner or later Grady's gonna want to jump off of this sinking ship too!
#1 THE FANS OF THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES
It must blow to have your team pack it in by the beginning of June..disagree? Just ask my boy Ian Snell to the left....
In the matter of 2 months you have traded away....
Your All-Star Center fielder (Nate McLouth), starting first basemen (Adam LaRoche), starting second basemen (Freddy Sanchez), longtime shortstop (Jack Wilson), sparkplug leadoff hitter (Nyjer Morgan), Former 14-game winner (Ian Snell) and relievers Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow.....
Phew! kinda tired after typing all that...
In return, the Pirates only received two players that are even considered front-line prospects and they are nowhere near ready to be called up and produce.
It's a shame considering Wilson and Sanchez didn't even want to leave, but the GM of the Buckos seems to hate paying people more than $2 million a year and lowballed the both of them in order to push them out...kinda like he's low-balling the fans
Good luck Andrew McCutchen...it's only a matter of time before you have two good years and your traded away too...
And now for the catch-22 team....
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
C'mon now did you really think I was going to analyze the trade deadline without talking about this guy?? --------->
Jays GM J.P Ricciardi took his fan base on an emotional roller-coaster that almost left them without their stud ace..
For weeks, Ricciardi dangled Doc around to clubs as if he were holding a piece of meat to a bunch of savage dogs...
To play devil's advocate for a minute, I could see his side for the fact that he is afraid that after next ,Halladay could potentially leave as a free agent; thus, they could get nothing back in return...
At the same time, don't lead the fans on and piss off the people that drive the profits of your team in the first place.
So for the season at the very least...Doc's staying in Canada
Should make for some good trade talk in the offseason tho...don't ya think?