With one week remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline, let’s take a look at some of the notable transactions that have been made thus far.
These are two good moves for the Orioles. The still-dangerous Thome fortifies their lineup, and it’s a good move for the 41 year-old as well. Instead of biding his time on a National League bench, he gets to play more often with the AL club. Quintanilla is a solid defensive shortstop and can handle the bat pretty well too.
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
The ChiSox picked up RHP Brett Myers from the Houston Astros. The Birmingham Barons traded RHP Matthew Heidenreich to the Corpus Christi Hooks and Winston-Salem Dash traded LHP Blair Walters to the Lancaster JetHawks.
Basically, the Astros picked up 2 prospects for Myers from Chicago. Also, the White Sox are on the hook for just $1MM of the $4.45MM still owed to Myers this year, according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com (via Twitter). It should be a good trade for each team – the ‘Stros pick up pieces for the future, and the Sox grab a bullpen arm for their stretch run.
Colorado is so desperate for pitching right now that they’re willing to take a chance on Oliver Perez Lite. And one would imagine Guthrie (6.35 ERA with CO) must have popped some champagne upon learning he would return to sea level.
At last, the Motor City Kitties appear ready to make a run at the AL Central. They availed themselves of the Marlins’ latest firesale by acquiring RHP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante from Miami. In exchange, the Tigers traded RHP prospect Jacob Turner to Miami Marlins; the Toledo Mud Hens traded C Rob Brantly to New Orleans Zephyrs, and the Erie SeaWolves traded LHP Brian Flynn to Jacksonville Suns.
They give up a top pitching prospect in Turner, but Sanchez, and especially Infante, will be a big help to Detroit down the stretch.
The Astros have been big-time sellers this July, and rightly so for a team that’s 23.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. Thus far, they’ve dealt Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, Brandon Lyon, J.A. Happ, David Carpenter, and Wandy Rodriguez.
In all, they’ve acquired 11 prospects in those trades, along with veteran outfielder Ben Francisco and veteran reliever Francisco Cordero. GM Jeff Lunhow did a great job building up their farm system.
Los Angeles Dodgers
LA was desperate to bolster their lineup, and Ramirez (.752 OPS, 14 HRs) might be the guy to do it. A change of scenery would do him good as well. Despite the efforts of the Marlins’ PR department to paint a happy picture, Hanley was disgruntled in South Beach. The Dodgers gave up a promising right-hander in Nathan Eovaldi.
And now to the Marlins. They started off July with a buy: Carlos Lee from the Astros. Since then, the team with the new stadium, new uniforms, but still no fans, have sunken to 12.5 games back of the NL East-leading Nationals. So it’s time to sell, sell, sell.
They have unloaded Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, Randy Choate, and Hanley Ramirez. (details above)
Not that they haven’t gotten anything in return. Among the players they’ve received, Nathan Eovaldi is ready to help them now, and Jacob Turner should be ready to help them soon, though he will start off with Triple-A New Orleans.
But this is not what the Marlins had in mind when they spent all their money on big-name free agents during the offseason. 2012 is turning into a disaster for Miami.
New York Mets
The Mets were kicking the tires on some available relief pitchers, but then they lost 100 in a row or something, and now appear to be on the way to sellerdom. After all, the Mets’ only problems are no longer just bullpen and defense. Now you can add the starting rotation and lineup to that list. But their uniforms do look really good. So they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice.
Remember fans, despite the Picard settlement, this is still a team deep in debt, with a system full of mediocre prospects (save for 2 or 3), and mediocre major leaguers . It’s this blogger’s opinion that Sandy and the Nerd Herd have to concentrate on rebuilding this organization from the draft up.
New York Yankees
The first-place Yankees made perhaps one of the most surreal trades you’ll ever see: They traded for Mariners’ OF Ichiro Suzuki while they were in Seattle. Ichiro walked across to the visitor’s clubhouse, put on a #31 road-gray Yankee uniform, and took the field for New York. How many Mariners fans showed up that night confused to see Ichiro’s name in New York’s lineup?
Ichiro has not been himself the past couple of years. He had only a .642 OPS this year for the Mariners. But playing in the bandbox in the Bronx, and being surrounded by a potent lineup might provide just enough spark to make him a valuable piece for the Yanks.
The Yankees gave up a couple of prospects (because they have the prospects to give up), gambling that Ichiro will show a flash of his old self here and there during the pennant run. But he is not at all the player he once was.
They also picked up reliever Chad Qualls from the Phillies for cash.
The Phillies’ biggest move this July did not occur in the form of a trade, but rather in the form of a huge contract extension. Philadelphia inked LHP Cole Hamels to a 6-year $144 million contract extension last night. So he’ll be around to bug the Mets (and the rest of the NL) for several more years to come.
I’m not sure he’s worth that amount of money, but that’s what the market is these days. He’s still only 28 years old, so a 6-year extension isn’t all that outlandish. Overall, it’s a good signing for the Phils.
Besides being a Mets killer, Rodriguez is a solid starting pitcher who should help keep the Pirates in contention the rest of the way. It’s refreshing to see Pittsburgh, a storied National League franchise, back in the hunt for a pennant.
Toronto Blue Jays
Canada’s Team is only 4 games back of the AL Wildcard, despite being in last place in the AL East. They added RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP J.A. Happ and RHP David Carpenter from the Astros in return for RHP Francisco Cordero and LF Ben Francisco and a slew of prospects.
The Jays are going for it, and they should. Opportunities to get to the playoffs have been few and far between for this franchise.
So, with 6 days remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline, the big moves are starting to pile up. What other blockbusters do we have in our future? Will the Mets get involved? As is the case every year, it will be fun to speculate.
About the Author
Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.