One of the most exciting times of the year for MLB fans is the trade deadline, whether your team is a “buyer” or “seller.” With the trade deadline in the rearview, let’s take a look at the top 9 trades the deadline facilitated.
1. Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate for Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough
The Dodgers deal for Ramirez was hands down the best of the season. Not only did the Dodgers get Ramirez, but they got a veteran reliever in Choate, who can provide quality relief innings; posting below a 2.50 ERA in his last two seasons. But back to Ramirez as he was the focus of the deal. The Dodgers bring in one of the game’s best talents who can do it all, whether it’s hitting for power, getting on base, or even stealing bases. His defense is a bit shaky, but that is not why the Dodgers traded for him. The Marlins were obviously sick of Ramirez, and were just looking to dump him as they are in another fire-sale season. They did get Nathan Eovaldi in return, who was one of the Dodgers best prospects, so they didn’t lose out completely. In his first start for the Marlins, Eovaldi went 5.1 innings with one earned and picked up the win. Overall, the Dodgers made a great move in getting to the postseason as they now have a dominant trio in the middle of the order of Kemp-Ethier-Ramirez. As for the Marlins, they may have picked up a solid 22-year-old top of the order starter.
Winner in 5 years: Dodgers (As long as they keep him)
2. Zack Greinke for Jean Segura, John Hellweg, and Ariel Pena
I thought having Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, and Ervin Santana was scary, but add Greinke to the mix and now I have no word to explain it. The Angels without question have the most talented rotation in the league, and their offense is top 5 as well. Greinke immediately brings ace material to the Angels, and will either be their No. 2 or No. 3 starter. The Angels did give up three prospects featuring Top 50 prospect Jean Segura, but I think the addition of Greinke is more important because they’re clearly trying to win it all this year. Though Greinke will be a free agent at the season’s end, I think the Angels have what it takes to sign him to a long-term deal. LAA made a great move to help them win the division over the back-to-back AL West champion Texas Rangers.
Winner in 5 years: Angels (As long as they keep him)
3. Hunter Pence for Nate Schierholtz, Tommy Joseph, and Seth Rosin
Quite surprising to see the Giants deal for a big name bat for the second consecutive season, but they picked up a solid one in Pence. In his sixth season, Pence has a career average of around 23 HR, 90 RBI, and a .300 average. Plug that into the middle of the Giants order, and they now have a solid trio as well in Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey, and Pence. As for the Phillies, they pick up a solid catching prospect in Tommy Joseph, who was San Francisco’s No. 2 ranked prospect by Baseball America. They also added a veteran bat in Schierholtz, and a solid prospect in right-hander Rosin. The move for the Phillies was an obvious sign of giving up, as they are in the cellar of the division and looking into the future. Only time will tell if the Phillies or Giants had the better deal, but for right now, the Giants made out. Let’s hope they can keep him for longer than a season unlike the Phillies.
Winner in 5 years: Giants (As long as they keep him)
4. Ryan Dempster for Christian Villaneuva and Kyle Hendricks
After weeks of trade rumors, the Texas Rangers made a down to the wire move to finally land Ryan Dempster. The move for the veteran Dempster gives the Rangers one of the best pitchers in the game this year, and helps fix the woes they currently have at pitching. With Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz out for the season, Dempster will jump right into the top of the rotation. Though he has been pitching in the NL for his entire 15-year career, he now moves to the AL to a most unfriendly hitters park. Regardless, I think Dempster will still be a big help for the hopeful Rangers, and hold his own. As for the Cubs, they continue to rebuild with two young prospects. It’s never easy to give up your best pitcher, but it was a good move to dump the old Dempster who was probably going to leave at year’s end.
Winner right now: Rangers
Winner in 5 years: Phillies
5. Shane Victorino for Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin, and a PTBNL
The Dodgers continued their push for the playoffs and picked up a fantastic leadoff hitter in Victorino. The outfielder doesn’t just bring over a .270 average with 15 HR, 60 RBI, and 30 SB, but he brings over three gold-glove awards and a championship ring. Placing a veteran at the top of your order that you know will carry his own weight does wonders for managers and GM’s. Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are the best hitters on the Dodgers, but none of them have been to the World Series. With the roster the Dodgers have put together in the last two weeks, I think they have a legitimate shot to make it, and having a guy like Victorino will help get them there. As for the Phillies, as I said above, it’s a rebuild year so dumping the 31-year-old center fielder for three prospects is a good move in the long run.
Winner right now: Dodgers
Winner in 5 years: Phillies
6. Jonathan Broxton for Donnie Joseph and J.C. Sulbaran
I almost put this move higher, but for now, this is will do. The 28-year-old Broxton finally regained his stuff from two years ago when he was one of the game’s best closers. Now on the Reds, he can make a huge impact as the set-up man. The starters can pitch six or seven innings now, and then turn it over to lefty specialist Sean Marshall, then to Broxton, and finally to fire-baller Aroldis Chapman who usually slams the door in the ninth with his un-hittable stuff. With the Reds at the top of the division right now, I think this move guarantees them the division, and probably gets them to the NLCS, at least. As for the Royals, they can easily afford the loss since they have great relievers in Greg Holland, Tim Collins, and Aaron Crow.
Winner right now: Reds
Winner in 5 years: Reds
7. Wandy Rodriguez for Rudy Owens, Colton Cain, and Robbie Grossman
What do you know, the Astros are dumping players again. This time they send their best pitcher, Wandy Rodriguez, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates in return sent over three prospects for Rodriguez, but this isn’t just a rental. Rodriguez is signed through 2013 and has a player option for 2014. If the Pirates are on the brink of something this year, Rodriguez could be a part of multiple playoff runs with the young Pirates. As for the Astros, three more prospects to add to the long list. Let’s hope someone turns into something because the Astros can’t just keep selling year after year.
Winner right now: Pirates
Winner in 5 years: Pirates
8. Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson for Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman
The poor Braves just couldn’t bring over Ryan Dempster, so they settled for well traveled Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson. In his career, Maholm has never been an ace, but he could help the Braves make the push for the playoffs; he has been one of the best pitchers in the last month after posting a sub-2 ERA. Johnson brings over a veteran bat, but he really isn’t a big factor in this trade. As for the Cubs, they picked up a great prospect in Arodys Vizcaino, who looks to have many solid years in the bigs ahead of him if he can successfully recover from his TJ surgery. It’s a big “if”, but the Cubs may have gotten a huge steal here. At only 21 years old, Vizcaino was ranked as the No. 14 prospect in baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law, who ranked him ahead of Braves prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado. Law thinks Vizcaino could be a No. 2 starter or even No. 1 when it’s all said and done.
Winner right now: Cubs
Winner in 5 years: Cubs
9. Travis Snider for Brad Lincoln
Here’s another deal I wish I could rank higher. A straight up, one-for-one deal, both filling appropriate needs. Snider, who never could get it going consistently for the Blue Jays, was picked in the first round of the 2006 draft. Lincoln, who never could be set as a reliever or starter, was also picked in the first round of the 2006 draft. For the Blue Jays, this deal gives them a solid younger pitcher who will probably end up a starter for them. Ultimately this move for Lincoln makes sense; the Jays have plenty of outfielders, and have dealt with injury and inconsistency in their rotation. For the Pirates, adding Snider gives them hopefully a great bat that will be plugged right in to the middle of the order to build a powerful future punch of McCutchen-Alvarez-Snider. Losing Lincoln hurts a little, but the Pirates have an underrated rotation (especially with the addition of Wandy), and the bat seems to be more important right now.
Winner right now: Even
Winner in 5 years: Even
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