What an exciting day! Most trade deadlines tend to disappoint, but baseball fans received everything they could have wished for today. Which teams came out on top today? Keep reading for my humble opinion.
1. The Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox had a brilliant deadline (I am going back and including the Peavy and Dubront deals also). GM Ben Cherington realized this season they will not contend, so not only did he sell, but he sold wisely.
This offseason will have multiple talented starting pitchers available (Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, James Sheilds, Max Scherzer) to name a few. The Red Sox lineup has struggled offensively all season, so Cherington sold all of his pitching for prospects and MLB bats.
Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes will certainly hit in Fenway Park and David Ortiz will love the protection. Kelly Johnson is a spare piece and struggled with the Yankees but is not the worst guy coming off of the bench.
Cherington saw the bigger picture. There will be arms to get this offseason and now has more prospects to trade if free agency does not work out. He did not make these moves to win in 2014 but could easily rebuild the 2015 Red Sox back into playoff contention if all goes right.
Look for the Sox to also re-sign Jon Lester this offseason, which would really make today look even better for the front office.
2. The Detroit Tigers
David Price come on down! Though the addition of Price likely signals that Scherzer will not be back next year, the Tigers stole one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Drew Smyly is a nice young pitcher, Austin Jackson will be a free agent in 2015, and an 18 year-old in A ball for Price? Someone please tell me this is a joke.
Scherzer, Price, Verlander, and Porcello will be tough to match up with (cough OAKLAND cough) and they still have one of the best lineups in the league. Detroit has been knocking on the World Series door for a few years now and this trade may be the one that puts them through.
Don’t forget the prior acquisition of Joakim Soria either.
3. The Oakland A’s
I can’t mention one team acquiring an ace without the other.
Yes this is a much riskier move, but one worth making.
Lester will probably be gone at the end of this season but Cespedes would have most likely left Oakland after next season anyway, so are the A’s more likely to win this year with Lester or next year with Cespedes? I think GM Billy Beane made the right choice.
Lester, Samardzja, Gray and Kazmir will be tough to match up with also.
Yes the lineup will take a hit losing Cespedes, but OF Johnny Gomes and Sam Fuld are good players who get on base. They will no doubt lose some pop in the middle, but its not all bad news for them.
There is now immense pressure on this team to win the World Series, I hope they can pull it off for Beane’s sake.
Maybe I am going a little ahead of myself here but:
Lester, Samardzja, Gray and Kazmir v.s. Scherzer, Price, Verlander and Porcello will be very fun to watch in the ALCS.
Honorable Mention: The Seattle Mariners: Getting Austin Jackson for Nick Franklin. Enough said.
1. The Tampa Bay Rays
Thats it? Thats all they could get for David Price?
I have a hard time believing that GM Andrew Friedman could not get a better offer than this one during the offseason.
As I said in the “Winners” section, Smyly was great out of the bullpen last year and is having a solid (3.77 era) year this season as a starter and he is only 25 years old. 2B Nick Franklin is 23 years old and has raked in AAA but in 416 MLB at bats is only hitting .214. SS Willy Adames is playing well in A ball and is only 18. He is a few years away from contributing at the MLB level and Tampa better prey that this kid pans out in a big way.
You can’t sell me on trading a legitimate ace for one nice pitcher and two question marks.
Awful haul here for Tampa. Especially after looking at what Boston got for Lester, Lackey and Peavy.
2. The Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies did not make a single move and thats why they are a loser.
Marlon Byrd, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and AJ Burnett are all still on the struggling Phillies team, which has seen attendance drop 30% this year.
GM Ruben Amaro must be removed immediately. He has no idea what he is doing.
Their run from the late 2000’s is over and it is time to blow it up and rebuild. I would have moved anyone I could for young players just to tell your fans this is the direction you are going in.
I think it is better to lose with young players than to lose with old veterans. The fan base would at least know what the team is trying to do, rather than watch this same core group continue to struggle.
This process can begin this offseason and it rightfully should.
3. The American League (minus the As and Tigers)
The ALCS could have been set today. I would be very surprised to see any team take out the As or Tigers in the ALDS, setting up for a classic matchup. Both teams have unbelievable pitching staffs, quality bullpens, and solid lineups (Though I give Detroit a edge now).
The Angel’s rotation of Weaver, Richards, and Wilson will not be easy to beat, but I think do not compare favorably to either Detroit or Oakland. Baltimore and Toronto can hit, but neither of their starting rotations are even close now.
The trading deadline often finds a way to shaping the playoffs and I think this year was no different.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment below and follow me on twitter @J_Cioffi
Enjoy the pennant race everyone!