Monday August 2, 2010
Major League teams went wild as the deadline drew near this past Saturday. Teams got better for this season, and teams got better in the future. Here are some facts about teams that made moves, some that failed to, and one that might have made the right move by not making any.
The Yankees are the best team in baseball today, but they still made moves. They traded for three veterans and didn’t give up any of their big prospects. They acquired 1B/DH/OF Lance Berkman from Houston, OF Austin Kearns and P Kerry Wood from Cleveland. Many fans are saying they didn’t need to make these moves. Sometimes midseason moves prove vital to a team. They have three veterans who are hungry for a title. That might be the edge the Yankees need to continue.
The Rangers proved to be the ultimate winner by the deadline. Cliff Lee is a gold star let alone the other moves they made. They acquired infielder Jorge Cantu and veteran catcher Bengie Molina. These moves enhance an already bolstered lineup with potential MVP candidate Josh Hamilton and the resurging Vladimir Guerrero. The Rangers made themselves from a potential playoff contender to a potential championship team.
The Angels are losing their grip on the AL West. They acquired the next big pitcher in Dan Haren. However, Haren has struggled as of late. He’s currently 0-2 against Boston and Texas, their AL West rivals. They need Haren to step up and be the work horse. However, their lineup also needs to rise from the ashes and take control. It might be too late for the Angels to ascend to the playoffs.
The Tigers are hurting. They needed players to fill the holes left behind by infielders Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge, who both are on the disabled list. So they got a player that can both second and third in Jhonny Peralta. So far, this move has worked. Peralta seems to have resurfaced from the Indians and found a new life. He quickly made an impact and is now a reliable force in a short amount of time. Will it help them win the AL Central?
The Braves have an already stacked team. It doesn’t hurt to fill the holes with OF Rick Ankiel and RP Kyle Farnsworth, both from Kansas City. Ankiel provides power and can take the pressure off of their sluggers, but he has to get it going. Farnsworth has closer material, but he is also hot & cold. The first place NL East team is looking forward to another playoff berth and another NL East crown.
The Cardinals had a big shopping spree to balance their lineup and bolster their rotation. They acquired Cleveland’s best pitcher in Jake Westbrook, who will be placed 4th on the rotation. Yet, they got rid of Ryan Ludwick to San Diego in their three team deal with Cleveland. Speaking of San Diego…
The Padres are resurging thanks to an incredible season. They are in the lead in the NL West. It doesn’t hurt to add two guys that can help your lineup and add depth. Ludwick provides a power bat and protection for 1B Adrian Gonzalez. Veteran infielder Miguel Tejada also provides power and versatility to an already versatile lineup. These two should be great additions for the Padres.
The Dodgers are vying for either a Wild Card spot and/or the NL West Championship. They traded for OF Scott Podsednik to leadoff and play left field consistently. They also added depth to their pitching in starter Ted Lilly and reliever Octavio Dotel. Both played under Torre as Yankees and are familiar with Torre’s managing style. They should be just fine, but is it enough for a late surge?
The Astros fulfilled many needs to start rebuilding. They traded Roy Oswalt to the Phillies and got a major league ready pitcher in J.A. Happ. They also got rid of Lance Berkman to the Yankees for reliever Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes. They also gave Brett Myers a two-year extension with a club option for a third year.
The Red Sox were the latest victims of the injury bug. Only David Ortiz hasn’t been bitten yet. Everyone else is dealing with injuries, whether on the DL or not. They traded for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, which seems like an odd trade considering he’s still in the minors. He cannot make the throw back to the pitcher. Plus, Victor Martinez is behind the plate for them. Many are still scratching their heads after this one.
Many felt the Rays needed to make an impact on the trading block. Their big acquisition was reliever Chad Qualls. Their ONLY acquisition was Chad Qualls. Qualls, from the Diamondbacks, has an ERA of 8.15 with 15 walks and 61 hits in 38 innings. They needed protection for Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena. Instead they will have to rely on B.J. Upton, who is floundering between the top of the order and the bottom. His average is .229, and his playing efforts have been questioned recently.
Rising Contenders: it seems many teams are content to keep their teams the way they are. Cincinnati did not make any moves to bolster their lineup. The same goes for Colorado. Yet, the team that needed to get a slugger was the Chicago White Sox. They wanted either 1B/DH/OF Adam Dunn and OF Manny Ramirez but could not make a trade in time. They will have to wait until either man is put on waivers.
Potential Rebuilders: Washington failed to unload any of their stars including Dunn and C Ivan Rodriguez. Yet, they did trade closer Matt Capps to Minnesota. Kansas City could have traded their closer Joakim Soria to the Yankees for Jesus Montero, their top prospect. They said no! Everyone’s scratching their heads after that one. The Orioles failed to unload veterans Ty Wiggington, Kevin Millwood and Luke Scott. They did get rid of Tejada though.
Surprised? The Mets didn’t make any moves this trade period. That isn’t saying much considering they lose out every trade deadline. However, what is surprising is the level of demand their current team has. Teams wanted P Jon Niese, 1B Ike Davis and C Josh Thole. The Mets said no! This deserves applause. By not trading these young guys, the Mets saved themselves for the future. These three could be the studs that David Wright was when he came onto the scene. Plus, they’re still in the race for this season. Will they make the playoffs? Well, their chances aren’t good but it’s something. Yet, the Mets could actually wait for next season with a smile on their faces. The future may definitely be NOW!
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