Trade deadline winners and losers (cont.)
1. Marlins. They should have pulled off the Ramirez deal. What a coup that would have been for the $22 million team. Beyond that it would have enhanced their chances in a winnable NL East. But word is they got a little greedy. Apparently it wasn't enough that Boston was offering to pay the rest of Ramirez's salary. Perhaps sensing Boston's desperation, they overplayed their hand. What a shame. Ramirez might even have drawn a few fans to Florida.
2. Mariners. There wasn't any fire to their reputed fire sale. After removing their manager and GM during the season it was declared that no one was safe. As it turns out the only ones who weren't safe were low-.200s-hitting first baseman Richie Sexson, who was released, and 38-year-old middle reliever reliever Arthur Rhodes, who went to the Marlins for pitching prospect Gaby Hernandez in a deadline deal that was said to be on the table for a month. Perhaps they didn't let their interim GM Lee Pelekoudas do anything, because just about nothing got done. There's no reason they didn't accept the Yankees' generous offer to pay the remainder of Jarrod Washburn's contract. On the bright side, since about all their players are overpaid, many of them will clear waivers, allowing for a re-do.
3. Reds. Their fire sale was more of a bake sale. GM Walt Jocketty did find a taker for struggling superstar Griffey, but the market turned out to be a disappointment for all-or-nothing slugger Adam Dunn and high-priced starter Bronson Arroyo.
4. Adam Dunn. The man has a major-league leading 32 home runs (not to mention an MLB-best 198 over the past five years), yet apparently no one likes him much more than Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi does. This can't be great news for Dunn as he's about to hit the free-agent market.
4. Rays. They've all done a terrific job down there in general. But it's like this contention thing hasn't sunk in yet. They didn't want to part with any of their many excellent prospects, and that cost them a chance to add the right-handed bat they wanted. Bay -- a right fielder who bats right-handed and isn't a rental -- would have been perfect. It's nice that they've drafted so well and are so well stocked, but they aren't going to be able to use all these players, anyway. Not everyone from the group of Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann, Reid Brignac, etc. is going to be a great major leaguer. But Bay already is a fine one.
5. Blue Jays. First they're a seller, then they're a buyer. In the end they were nothing. The contract they gave A.J. Burnett with a player option made him basically untradeable. Then, even though they aren't in contention, they decided they might try to add outfielder Raul Ibanez. But in the end it was just another unproductive talk with the Mariners. Good thing, because Ibanez made no sense for them, anyway.
6. Pirates. They did the right thing by moving Nady, Marte and Bay, and they deserve applause for the guts to do what was necessary. But unfortunately for them, even in this supposed sellers' market, no one wanted to surrender a top prospect. If you'll notice, the only premium prospect traded this summer was slugger Matt LaPorta, (and to get him from the Brewers, the Indians had to trade the great Sabathia). So the Pirates couldn't get Hellickson, Niemann or Brignac from the Rays, or Fernando Martinez or Jon Niese from the Mets. They appeared to do fine in the Bay deal, but in the deal for Marte, a guy the Yankees absolutely had to have, they came up a little short. "They got nothing,'' one GM said. "The only one we like is (Ross) Ohlendorf, and he's average.'' The Pirates apparently like talented and immature outfielder Jose Tabata more than most others, including the Yankees, who had given up on the idea that he was ever going to be a star.
7. Mets. Their big deal came in the winter, when they landed Johan Santana. Like a lot of teams they held tight to their prospects in a market without anyone they saw as a difference maker for them. They didn't crave Ibanez or Bay enough to mortgage their future, and that's probably understandable. They did flirt with the idea of adding Nats reliever Luis Ayala before realizing that Ayala has a 6 ERA and isn't better than what they have. And with their clubhouse settled and happy now under new manager Jerry Manuel, Mets ownership didn't want Ramirez and his baggage coming home. Can't really blame 'em for that, either. But the result is they could still use help in the outfield corners as well as the pen.
8. Paul Konerko. The captain of the White Sox is now the captain of the White Sox bench. Well, at least his hefty checks will still clear.
9. Legacy of Sports. Ramirez's former agents, who incidentally are just down the block from Boras, lose the $2 million in commissions with the two $20-million options dropped. Ramirez whined about that contract, which was negotiated by Jeff Moorad at the time, but he made $160 million and won two World Series rings, not too bad, really.
10. Billy DeLury, Dodgers iconic honorary traveling secretary. The elderly DeLury, a quirky character, is beloved by the blue. So at least if Manny should come after him, Dodgers people will have his back.