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MLB Trade Deadline Recap

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

Tons of rumors swirled as the deadline approached but it came and went without much movement at all.

MLB Trade Deadline Recap

The MLB trade deadline came and went Wednesday afternoon without much movement occurring. Like normal, as it came down to the wire there were tons of rumors and trade winds swirling but it looks as if nothing was able to come to fruition.

Philadelphia Phillies’ third baseman Michael Young was not interested in going anywhere but the Texas Rangers in a trade last night but as the deadline loomed he started naming more teams he would welcome a trade to, specifically the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, but no deal was able to be consummated.

The Red Sox already made a significant deal yesterday in acquiring Jake Peavy as did the Yankees last week in getting Alfonso Soriano. But on deadline day neither team was able to hammer out any deals. The Yankees were rumored to be in talks to move pitchers Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.

Other rumors that fell by the wayside involved a number of Seattle Mariners. Michael Morse, Tom Wilhelmson and Oliver Perez were all rumored to be on the move but look to be ready to play tonight for the Mariners in Boston against the Red Sox. San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence entered the clubhouse this afternoon not sure where he would be also but looks like he is staying in the Bay Area.

Somewhat surprisingly the Pittsburgh Pirates, who currently hold the best record in the majors at 64-42, did not add a bat to help improve what is an overall poor offense. They have a deep minor league system and could have really used an upgrade in right field, shortstop or first base. 

It may have been a quiet deadline from a name standpoint but there were some teams that made deals prior to the deadline Wednesday.

Not surprisingly the Kansas City Royals made a questionable trade just to keep them in contention this season. This offseason they traded away top prospect Wil Myers to get James Shields and Wade Davis in an effort to bolster their starting rotation. Shields has been good for the Royals, but its tough to swallow watching Myers rake with the Tampa Bay Rays right now. Again the Royals dipped into their minor league system today and shipped out 20-year-old Kyle Smith who is dominating Class-A Wilmington this season. Smith has 194 strikeouts in 176.2 career minor league innings to go along with a 2.85 ERA. Yes, the Royals just shipped that out for a underachieving 29-year old that will be a platoon player on their team in Justin Maxwell. That sound you hear is Royals fans cussing and weeping at what looks like another questionable decision for a quick-fix that was not necessary.

The Baltimore Orioles were able to improve their starting rotation again with the acquisition of Bud Norris from the Houston Astros. Norris will join Scott Feldman from the Chicago Cubs and Francisco Rodriguez from the Milwaukee Brewers as arms the Orioles added to their staff to load up for a post season run. Norris is a good get for the Orioles because he will be under team control beyond this season and helps stabilize a staff ranked 26th in ERA and 25th in opponent’s batting average. The best part is that they did not have to part with any of their upper tier prospects to land Norris or the other two players. For Norris they traded away outfielder L.J. Hoes, pitcher Josh Hader and a competitive balance draft pick from Baltimore.

In a somewhat surprising move the San Diego Padres picked up starting pitcher Ian Kennedy from the Arizona Diamondbacks for left-handed pitcher Joe Thatcher, minor league pitcher Matt Stites and a competitive-balance draft pick. Kennedy has struggled mightily this season, making headlines only for causing brawls and pitching poorly, but he looked like a legitimate number two starter in 2011. The Padres hope a change of scenery and the more spacious Petco Park will help Kennedy get back on track. 

The Diamondbacks were happy to move Kennedy as he looked more and more likely to be the odd man out come the end of the season in their starting rotation. In the process they pick up one of the best lefty specialists in the majors. He will help them immensely come September as the Diamondbacks will be very much in the race with seven games against the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers; the Dodgers happen to employ three lefties in Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Either who do not look as imposing with Thatcher coming out of the bullpen.

Speaking of the Dodgers, they made some news on deadline day but not because of a trade they made; the Dodgers made their big trade landing Ricky Nolasco a few weeks ago. On Wednesday they made some noise in the free agency market, signing former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson for the remainder of the season. Wilson will come right in after spending two weeks in the minors catching up to speed as the set-up man with the Dodgers. The three-time All-Star and holder of 177 career saves signed a contract worth $1 million with incentives added that if reached increases the total. Wilson was a good signing for the Dodgers. The trade market for relievers was very high as teams were hesitant to part with useful pieces unless they were more than compensated for.

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline may have passed but that does not mean trades cannot still happen. Last season we saw the Red Sox and Dodgers pull off a massive waiver trade that saw the Dodgers land massive contracts in Crawford, Gonzalez and Josh Beckett. It is not unheard of teams making trades in August during the waiver period but it is difficult as teams will strategize and block rivals and other contending teams by placing a bid on a player with no intentions of adding him; just for the sheer fact of not allowing another team to get better.

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