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Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 Trade Deadline - Big Moves

So, this afternoon is the trade deadline. I expect there will be a flurry of minor moves (relief pitchers) to happen around noon today but there have already been some big trades that I'll quickly recap below.

Phillies acquire Hunter Pence from Houston for prospects Jarred Cosart SP, Jonathan Singleton 1b, Josh Zeid RP, and PTBNL
This move was a bit of a surprise to me. Pence is a good player but that's all.  To obtain him Philadelphia gave up three of their top 25 prospects though none of them is a sure thing.  The part that makes this deal interesting is that Pence is likely to earn more than $10 million through arbitration next season and then will likely get even more than that in 2013.  Basically, he's about to get really expensive. Still, he's a good right-handed hitter and strong defender in right field who will help the Phillies.

Houston, in my opinion, could have done better. Yes, they got three good prospects but since Cosart and Singleton are still in A-ball there is still quite a bit of risk associated with them. I would have tried to get more of a sure thing when trading my best player.

Giants acquire OF Carlos Beltran NY Mets for SP Zack Wheeler and cash
The Giants offense has been absolutely putrid this season. Part of that is due to managment's misconception that Aubrey Huff represents an upgrade over top prospect Brandon Belt but it's also due to the fact that their offense just isn't any good.  Putting Beltran in the lineup gives this team an everyday hitter opponents will actually have to be wary of.

For a player who would be a free agent in a couple of months, the Mets did very well here. Plus, Beltran has a clause in his contract preventing any team from offering arbitration (thereby preventing the team from gaining compensation picks when he leaves as a FA). From the scouting reports I've read, Zack Wheeler is still very raw but his ceiling is that of an All-Star major leaguer.  Good haul for the Mets.

White Sox trade SP Edwin Jackson, 4C Mark Teahen to Toronto for RP Jason Frasor, SP Zach Stewart
Kenny Williams said he wanted to shed salary and he did ($7.2 million for Teahen this year!).  Edwin Jackson was having a good season but Mark Teahen has been a large disappointment since coming to Chicago.  In exchange the Sox receive a good reliever in Frasor and an intriguing prospect in Stewart. This is a pretty darn good trade for the Sox in my opinion.
After this trade was finalized the Blue Jays made another move:

Blue Jays trade SP Edwin Jackson, RP Mark Rzepczynski, RP Octavio Dotel, OF Corey Patterson to St. Louis for CF Colby Rasmus, RP Trever Miller, RP Brian Tallet, RP P.J. Walters
It's been no secret Tony LaRussa is not the biggest fan of Colby Rasmus. Why that is, I'm sure only the Cardinals organization knows. Additionally, the Cardinals rid themselves of a couple of relievers they weren't using and a prospect who is no longer one (Walters).  The return is just okay. Rzepczynski is a pretty effective lefty who can get guys out from both sides of the plate and is under team control until 2015. Octavio Dotel is decent against righties but shouldn't be counted on in the late innings. Why they took on Corey Patterson I have no idea. I guess he can spot start in center since Rasmus is gone.

I could write an essay on how well I think Toronto did in their two trades. Rasmus has a big fan in this blog, so I guess now we're big fans of GM Alex Anthopoulos.  Trever Miller and PJ Walters are not expected to play significant roles for the Jays and were likely just included because that's what it took to get this deal done.  Brian Tallet, when he comes off the DL, could have some value though. The amazing part is how they managed to get rid of Patterson since he wasn't even a rostered player in spring training. Now, he's been included in one of the biggest deals of the year.  In total Toronto traded four relief pitchers, a decent pitching prospect, and Patterson for Colby Rasmus and Tehean's contract. This took a lot of creativity and flexibility that not all GMs have. Great work by Anthopoulos.

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