Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Win Some, Lose Some
By Ben Valentine

Now that the trade deadline has passed, we get to that beautiful little period where we put on our “experts” caps and evaluate which teams committed highway robbery and which teams got hosed on July 31st. Of course, the real answers won’t be known for at least three months, and in some cases much longer. But really, who wants to wait three years for a “winner/loser” column on this deadline?

In any case, my thoughts are as follows. Feel free to disagree with them as you see fit. Oh and you can find links to my indepth evaluations of the trades at the bottom.

Give em the Win:

New York Yankees:
They bolstered their offense and rotation at the cost of money, which is actually meaningless to them. It’s true. The Yankees use 1000 dollar bills as toilet paper, and a 100 dollar bills as dog toilet paper. (AKA A-Rod TP) Anyway, they got a very good corner outfielder and a solid innings eater for kids who probably will never contribute. Oh yeah, and they turned Shawn Chacon into a good player. That alone makes me wonder if Brian Cashman has some sort of mind control device.

Seattle Mariners: Outside of the Yankees, the Mariners were probably the second biggest winners at this deadline. Why? The AL West essentially stood pat, outside of some Rangers moves, meaning the Mariners have to feel they have a chance to win the division. When I said I didn’t feel they’d make it, it was because I figured the Angels would get a bat. But with deals for Alfonso Soriano and Miguel Tejada falling through, they’re the same pitching heavy, offensively lite team as before. If the Mariners can figure out how to get something out of Moyer/Piniero/Washburn, they could be dangerous.

New York Mets: They lost Duaner Sanchez which hurts but they didn’t give up anything great for Roberto Hernandez. It also forced them to hold onto Aaron Heilman and Lastings Milledge, which will bolster the team’s future. Oliver Perez is a project, but years from now people will look back and laugh how the Mets were able to get such a talented guy for Xavier Nady.

Colorado Rockies: They’re contenders in a weak division but a contender nonetheless. They were looking for bullpen help and got it in Jeremy Affeldt. It also frees them up to make a waiver wire deal using someone from their pen as bait, supposing someone they’re interested in clears.

Kansas City Royals: In their state, they’re much better off with Ryan Shealy than either Affeldt or Denny Bautista. Best of all they placed Doug Mientkiewicz on the DL today, meaning this move is now Buddy Bell proof! He can’t keep Minky in for that important “veteran leadership”. You know, the same type which has the Royals the laughing stock of the American League, if not baseball. Well they’re a winner today, so that’s a start.

Oakland A’s: They didn’t deal Zito, which will suggest to some that they’re losers. But Billy Beane has shown the ability to replace players even if they leave via free agency, so I see no big loss here. Meanwhile they still can make the playoffs in the AL West. Who knows? Maybe this will be the year they actually take a series.

Texas Rangers: Carlos Lee will improve a mediocre offense, meaning they made the biggest impact move of the AL West teams. Their other trades leave much to be desired however, and as a result, did not make themselves the class of the division. Kip Wells will be disastrous and could well cost them the division if they give him any more than a few starts from here on out. Hopefully for their fans sake, they don’t let him lose more than two games for them.

Washington Nationals: They got a decent prospect back for a useless Mike Stanton. They stole three players from the Reds earlier this month. Sure they didn’t deal Soriano, but if they were getting low balled, then they shouldn’t have. Plus we’ll see what happens this offseason, if they can resign him. The Soriano thing alone would get them a no decision, but with the other deals it’s hard not to like what Jim Bowden’s done this month.

I know, I had to re-read that last sentence a few times because it still doesn’t seem right to me.

Taking the Loss

Pittsburgh Pirates:
Fire Dave Littlefield now. Craig Wilson for Shawn Chacon? Oliver Perez AND Roberto Hernandez for Xavier Nady (and his .813 OPS)? What is there to be optimistic for as a Pirates’ fan now? The countdown until they trade Zach Duke next year for the decaying remains of Darren Erstad? I guess Dave Littlefield deserves some credit for turning Kip Wells into something that could eventually have value and getting a marginal relief prospect for Sean Casey. Not enough credit where he deserves to hold onto his job though.

Atlanta Braves: Did John Schuerholz not watch his team recently? Their pen isn’t good, but their starters are even worse. Yet he trades a solid player in Wilson Betemit for bullpen help… why? Case and point. New acquisition Danys Baez came in and pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday against the Mets. What did it do? Nothing, because Chuck James gave up seven runs in one+ inning of work to start the game. Braves lost 10-6 and got swept. It’s over Atlanta. Time to retool. Too bad you dealt away one of your most useful chips in this pathetic last ditch attempt to make a run at a team that can’t even see you in the standings.

(Yes, this was some seven years worth of aggravation boiling over)

Los Angeles Dodgers: I don’t love the Maddux trade, but Izturis isn’t very good. But then they go and make a trade for a guy in Lugo they likely won’t sign and gave up two good prospects for him in the process. Mistake Betemit was a solid trade yet indicated they were sellers. Then they do this two days later? What changed in that time exactly? Seriously, if Paul DePodesta had done this, the Bill Platskes of the world would have killed him for “lacking direction.” Well I’ll say it; the Dodgers are a mess.

San Francisco Giants: Two franchises invariably linked throughout their history, it’s only fair the Giants have joined the Dodgers in the muck. This team should be dismantling, instead is trading away chips for average players at best. Or in Mike Stanton’s case, below average. They will rue trading away Jeremy Accardo, as soon as next week, since it appears they’ve lost all faith in Armando Benitez. Sure they’ll get two first rounders for Jason Schmidt, but Brian Sabean hates first round picks, so he’ll probably give them away on the next Michael Tucker type fifth outfielder out there this winter. Things aren’t pretty on that side of the Bay.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: This team’s pitching has carried it, but eventually Jered Weaver will come back to Earth. Meanwhile the offense is anemic and while playing Howie Kedrick will help, they needed a big bat in the worse way. The AL West is a jumbled mess right now. The Angels had the pitching and just needed a bat, which shouldn’t have been hard to acquire. Apparently, it was.

Philadelphia Phillies: One year of salary relief for nothing. What a joke. Maybe they can turn Jon Lieber into something in August, since his large contract will probably make it through waivers. Things don’t look pretty at Citizen’s Bank. But hey, at least they’re not that other team from Pennsylvania.

Red Sox/Blue Jays: They didn’t make themselves better while the Yankees did, so this is a default loss. There is still time for both as there are back end rotation guys who could help them who also will pass through waivers. But the Blue Jays especially cannot wait around long since they’re 5.5 behind the Yankees. And the Red Sox should not expect their offense to bail them out every night.

Everyone else gets a no decision; they neither significantly improved nor worsened their chances this year or the next at the deadline. At least it doesn’t seem that way. Time will tell if the small moves, or no moves was actually the right decision. After all, while it’s fun to look at the immediate future, three years from now will be here sooner than you like to think.

Trade Analysis; July 26- 30

Abreu Trade Analysis

July 31st Analysis


Blogger June said...

hey, it's not just the yankees. I once saw a guy walking a dog on the UWS. The dog pooped. The guy looked helplessly around (note he was standing in front of several delis and such), then took out a $20, picked up the poop and put it in the trash. I absolutely swear.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Ben Valentine said...

So he dumped a 20 in the trash? Wow, that guy is clearly more well off than I am. Let's forget about the fact that he used a 20 for it, but that also means he wasnt carrying a bill lower than a 20. That's just crazy.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Mini Me said...

Texas should be improved, don't know if it will be enough to get them into the playoffs though.

1:43 PM  

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