Stephen Drew Finally Heads To New York – And Other Deadline News
After months and months of rumors and speculation, Stephen Drew will finally call New York his home.
Yes, Stephen Drew is a New York Yankee, acquired in a trade for Kelly Johnson. Drew has struggled mightily since re-signing with the Red Sox in late May, much to the joy of those Mets fans who believed the Mets were better off without him. Maybe so. I’m sticking to my guns, believing the Mets would still be a better team today had they signed Drew last winter. I’m under the delusion that Drew would have better offensive numbers right now if he went through a full spring training and started playing MLB games in April. I also believe the Mets would be a better team if they had all three of Drew, Ruben Tejada, and Wilmer Flores to choose from in the middle infield. But it doesn’t matter, because Drew never put on the orange and blue, and is now in the Bronx.
The Yankees also acquired Martin Prado, a player I’ve always loved for doing the little things, his versatility, and his ability wielding the stick. Prado is no superstar, and no game-changer, but he IS a “ballplayer” — that coveted breed of player who may not do anything spectacularly well, but does everything well. A great pickup for a team in the playoff hunt. Will he be a difference-maker for the Yankees? I doubt it, he’s not that kind of player, but he can plug a different hole every day and prevent mistakes.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox had a fire sale, trading off not only Drew but also sending Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland, swapping Andrew Miller to Baltimore, and shifting John Lackey to the Cardinals. St. Louis sent back Allen Craig and Joe Kelly; I think Boston may have gotten the better end of that deal. Craig has struggled this year and his numbers have dropped dramatically over the past two years, but at age 30 there’s still a chance he can rebound, and the 26-year-old Kelly has an electric 97-MPH fastball that can play either in a starting or closer role. Good haul in return for a 35-year-old righthander with a history of chronic arm injuries. From the Athletics, the Bosox received Yoenis Cespedes in a deal that seemingly was more about Boston’s reluctance to sign Lester to a long-term deal. Interestingly, Billy Beane is usually the guy who is too smart to give starting pitchers over 30 long-term deals, so it seems doubtful Lester will be in Oakland very long, either. What the deal says to me is that Beane is “all in” for a World Championship this year, and I wonder if he overpaid. To me, it’s similar to when he backed up the truck for Matt Holliday in 2009 — if you remember, that was how the Rockies acquired Carlos Gonzalez and Huston Street. Pairing Lester with previously acquired Jeff Samardzija, Sonny Gray, and Scott Kazmir, the A’s now have a playoff rotation that can hang with Detroit.
Or do they? The Boston-Oakland deal was the blockbuster of the day until the Tigers roared into the deadline by plucking David Price from the Rays in a three-way trade. Uh-oh. In that stunner, Price goes to Detroit, Austin Jackson goes to Seattle, and the Rays get Nick Franklin from the Mariners and Drew Smyly and minor-league shortstop Willy Adames from the Tigers. Wait, what? In return for one of the five best pitchers in baseball, the Rays get a LOOGY, a backup infielder, and some guy in A-ball? And Seattle gets a starting centerfielder for a backup shortstop whose best tool is his bat, yet is hitting far below the Mendoza Line? What am I missing? Yes, I’m aware that Tampa Bay felt pressure to deal Price, but he still has another year left on his contract.
Remarkably, the Mariners found a taker for Chris Denorfia, and received two warm bodies in return.
The Nationals picked up Asdrubal Caberera in return for Zach Walters. They needed some infield depth with Ryan Zimmerman going on the shelf. My guess is Cabrera will move from his natural SS position to 2B, while Anthony Rendon takes over 3B.
The Indians also moved Justin Masterson, who joins Lackey in St. Louis.
Finally, the Brewers picked up Gerard Parra in return for two minor leaguers.
I *think* that’s it, though it’s possible I missed something.
Oh, the Mets didn’t make any deals, as far as I know. I had heard that the Giants and Nationals were inquiring about Daniel Murphy, but the price was too steep.