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.

The A’s also traded Tommy Milone to the Twins for Sam Fuld. Milone was immediately sent to AAA Rochester by the Twins.

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.

The Braves acquired Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell from the Cubs for minor-league catcher Victor Caratini.

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.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Yeats August 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    Even if Stephen Drew were a better performer than he’s been this year, no thanks (provisionally). Last I heard, prior to his signing with the BoSox, was that his contract demand was for 2yr/14M, with a player option after the first year.

    Zach Walters, Zelous Wheeler, Zack Wheeler. Freaky.

  2. Murder Slim August 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    Such a horrible trade for the Rays. I like the Rays a lot as the underdogs in a pricy division. Losing Price for so little is a massive step backwards. Let’s hope Franklin sorts himself out.
    I couldn’t agree more on Drew as well. Yes, he’s been lousy but it’s a function of lack of proper preparation. But I’m not shedding a tear that Boras will only get a cut of a few million next year because he played hardball and lost.
  3. Bat August 2, 2014 at 12:56 am
    I just read this and cannot help wondering if this might heighten the Giants’ interest in Colon:

    The Giants are always aggressive when it comes to trades and filling holes…let’s see what happens especially with Colon pitching against the Giants on Sunday. If he is impressive, will it stoke their interest?

    • Dan42 August 2, 2014 at 6:08 am
      One hopes.
  4. DaveSchneck August 2, 2014 at 9:34 am
    For what it is worth, the Mets are “only” 6 behind in the WC race. The Giants are direct competitors now weakened by the loss of a quality SP. If the Mets play like they did last night for the next three it won’t matter, but would Alderson help a direct competitor in August to shed money for next year? That would be quite interesting.
  5. DanB August 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm
    Dave, I believe your question should be stated, “Knowing there is less then a 4% chance to make the playoffs this year, would the Wilpons tell Alderson to shed payroll for this year and next considering it could be easily justified as part of the “rebuilding” process?” Put my way, I think the question answers itself.
  6. DaveSchneck August 2, 2014 at 6:18 pm
    Yes, depressingly, your question answers itself. But, should the Mets some how take the next three from SF, and Atlanta continue to falter, that 4% will go up. Being 3 out of the WC with a month plus to go and strengthening a competitor to dump 2015 salary could be very short-sighted.
    • Dan42 August 3, 2014 at 8:01 am
      But if he’s cleared waivers already, or claimed by the Giants, he could be starting for them today.
      • Dan42 August 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm
        But apparently he likes it in NY, giving up 6 runs in 4.2 innings to eliminate any possible Giant interest in his retirement package.