Sunday, August 09, 2009

Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

I will do a post in the next day or so on another forgotten reformer, but I have to post about the winners and losers of the MLB Trade Deadline. I have been amazed at ESPN's continued fantasy about Boston. Most of their radio hosts have claimed Boston was the big winner just edging out Philadelphia. That is completely wrong. Philly is the big winner because they got the best Pitcher available: Cliff Lee. They did not have to sell the farm system like they would have to get Roy Halladay, but they still got a pitcher to make them battle ready in the post season. Boston got Victor Martinez who does make them better. He will be able to make Boston injury proof at several positions and help management give Ortiz and Veritek "days off" so they can get someone who can actually hit in the line up. However, this was Boston's last big chance to win. They needed more pitching to do it. Dice K is awful and Smoltz is no longer starter material. A few young guys and Josh Beckett are not enough to pull off a title, or maybe even a trip to the post season this year. Boston tried to get both Lee and Martinez in one deal, but could not. Thus, Boston is the big loser. Note they are still dropping in the AL East. Plus, they did have to give away some young guys, and it only further depletes the Boston farm system. Their team is old. Ortiz is done. Veritek is done. Lowell is done. Their offense is not what it used to be. Beckett is having a good year this year, which means next year he will be a .500 pitcher. Add in the fact that their first title was basically proven to be on the back of massive steroid use, and you see the desperate need for a title this year.

The only other option for biggest loser is the St. Louis Cardinals or the Minnesota Twins who both failed to improve their club. The Twins have pulled off a post deadline deal, but it may not be enough. Seattle also made some trades where they gave up some young talent, and got almost nothing in return. They may well be a loser too.

The biggest winner has to be the Phils, who proved they are thinking about the post season match ups in a seven game series now. They needed another dominate pitcher to be comfortable against the Dodgers and they got that. I still think that they will disappear and miserably fail, but they have a much better shot at actually pulling it off now.

The real biggest winners are Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Toronto. Pittsburgh because of the sheer number of people they have added to their farm system. They now have five of the top 75 prospects in baseball. That is pretty good. Cleveland got a bevy of young guys as well. Toronto also is a winner because they got to keep Halladay. He gets one more year with the Blue Jays and they can add their young guys to him and maybe get a free agent to help out. It is a long shot because of the division they play in, but it is still a good thing for the fans of the Blue Jays. They still have the best in baseball.