Executives assess the trade deadline (cont.)
Moves: Acquired relief pitcher Matt Capps from Washington for C Wilson Ramos and LHP Joe Testa
Executives' Comments: "Capps is an average major-league closer. He's above average as a set-up man. But as a closer, he's only average.''
My take: They needed to upgrade the bullpen, and Ramos was blocked by reigning AL MVP Joe Mauer. So, pretty well played.
Moves: Acquired 3B Brett Wallace from Toronto; Traded P Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia for P J.A. Happ and three prospects
Executives' Comments: "Houston did what it had to do. It's been a long time coming. They still have a lot of rebuilding to do.''
My take: I congratulate them for getting started on their rebuilding.
Moves: Acquired Scott Podsednik from Kansas City for C Lucas May and RHP Elisaul Pimentel; Acquired P Ted Lilly and IF Ryan Theriot from Chicago Cubs in five-player deal; Acquired relief pitcher Octavio Dotel from Pittsburgh for P James McDonald and OF prospect Andrew Lambo
Executives' Comments: "I like what the Dodgers did. Though, I still think McDonald has potential"...."(Jamey) Carroll, (Rafael) Belliard and Theriot are all pretty much the same player. Dotel was the only experienced guy out there.''
My Take: Lilly gives them a veteran presence and Podsednik is a useful player, especially with the uncertainty surrounding the health of Manny Ramirez. Dotel is solid, though his clubhouse rep is spotty. It's amazing how much activity the Dodgers have every July with no money to spend.
Moves: Traded P Kerry Wood and OF Austin Kearns to New York Yankees in separate deals; Traded P Jake Westbrook to St. Louis as part of a three-team trade; Traded 3B Jhonny Peralta to Detroit for LHP Giovanni Soto
Executives' Comments: "They saved some money. I don't think they got back much. Everything goes in cycles.''
My take: Everything they do makes sense. But they need to cycle back pretty soon.
Moves: Traded 1B Mike Jacobs to Toronto
Executives' Comments: "They were the least aggressive club to deal with. Any deal you talked about, they wanted you to take back Luis Castillo. Or if it was a bigger deal, you had to take back Oliver Perez. I don't think anybody's going to take Oliver Perez or Castillo"...."The Mets didn't do anything and needed to.''
My take: They Mets didn't want to repeat the Scott Kazmir trade of 2004 in which they dealt a well-regarded prospect for a mediocre big leaguer (in that case, pitcher Victor Zambrano) so they turned down a chance to add Dotel for Class-A pitching project Robert Carson and Lilly for catching prospect Josh Thole and one other player. Not sure any deal would have helped them anyway and Oswalt wouldn't have been worth it. But too much time appears to have been wasted trying to dump Perez when they need to decide whether to just release the struggling southpaw starter.
Moves: Acquired P Jake Westbrook from Cleveland and traded OF Ryan Ludwick to San Diego in a three-team, four-player trade
Executives' Comments: "Westbrook's a good pitcher. And they gave up a good hitter to get him (in Ludwick)''
My take: They have faith in young outfielder Jon Jay, so it makes sense to give up Ludwick. The AL-to-NL switch may help Westbrook.
Moves: Acquired relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez from Boston; Acquired P Javier Lopez from Pittsburgh for P Joe Martinez and OF John Bowker
Executives' Comments: "I'm sure they're frustrated they didn't get a hitter. But Ramon Ramirez will help their pitching staff. And Javier Lopez is having a very good year"...."I'm sure the Giants are frustrated that they didn't get a hitter, but maybe they'll pick someone up on the waiver wire.''
My take: I agree, they have to be frustrated after looking into everyone and getting no one for their lineup. But for the most part, they seem to be rolling along. With Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, their pitching staff is pretty darned special.
Moves: Acquired P Sean Gallagher from San Diego; Acquired C Chris Snyder from Arizona for OF Ryan Church, IF Bobby Crosby and P D.J. Carrasco; Acquired P James McDonald and OF prospect Andrew Lambo from Los Angeles Dodgers for relief pitcher Octavio Dotel; Acquired P Joe Martinez and OF John Bowker from San Francisco for P Javier Lopez
Executives' Comments: "They did a good job. Chris Snyder should be a nice veteran presence, and they didn't have to give up much.''
My take: Maybe it's a good job, but the end of their 17- (soon to be 18-) year losing streak isn't in sight.
Moves: Acquired 3B Jack Hannahan from Seattle; Acquired C Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Texas; Traded relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez to San Francisco
Executives' Comments: "Saltalamacchia was a centerpiece in the deal (that sent Mark Teixeira from Texas to Atlanta in 2007). He's still developing as a hitter. Catchers develop later than other positions. He seems over his throwing issues.''
My take: Getting Saltalamacchia can't hurt Boston, which appears snake-bit this year with all of their injuries, most recently to Kevin Youkilis.
The Yankees did come close to getting Mike Lowell in a three-way trade with Texas and Boston, but the Rangers and Red Sox wound up settling on the Saltalamacchia deal instead. WEEI reported on the Lowell possibility first.
The Blue Jays and Yankees talked about Jose Bautista but Toronto is said to have wanted Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain, at least hypothetically. Others say talks never got serious, as the Jays don't like to trade within their division. They are believed to have sought at least Jonathan Sanchez from the Giants.
Neither Jose Bautista nor Dunn is seen as having any chance to clear waivers. Bautista is under contract for 2011 for $6 million but Dunn is a free agent.
Nice note: The Marlins, along with Food for the Poor, launched "Homes for Haiti,'' a month-long fundraising initiative aimed to build much-needed housing in Haiti. Marlins catcher John Baker, along with members of the Marlins front office traveled to Haiti to spearhead efforts. That is a great cause.
MLB has to be thrilled Mark Cuban's group didn't beat out Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan to buy the Rangers. The winning bid was $593 million. MLB usually gets to pick its owners, but in this case they breathed a sign of relief. Cuban has done well with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks but he's often been critical of the league, a fact not lost on MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who occasionally corresponds with NBA commissioner David Stern.