Friday, July 31, 2009

Deadline Deals

Well the trade deadline has come and gone and barring any Manny-esque post-deadline deal both the Yankees and the Red Sox are done... for now.

The Red Sox made the biggest splash this side of Cliff Lee, taking advantage of the Cleveland fire sale by getting swith-hitting C/1B/DH Victor Martinez. Martinez was probably the Sox third choice out of the triumvirate of Roy Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez and Martinez, but he was by far the most affordable and the most realistic. Halladay and Gonzalez would have cost them a boatload of prospects and Theo Epstein is not one to part with many of his prospects.

Martinez does make the Sox better since he can spell Jason Varitek, David Ortiz and Mike Lowell via Youkilis playing third. He is a solid bat and the Red Sox have needed a bat more than an arm since their offense has hit the skids of late. The only piece the gave up that will immediately impact the team is Justin Masterson.

Masterson has been solid for the Red Sox, more so last year than this year, but nonetheless a solid hard thrower out of the pen who could spot start when the need arises. It's likely the Indians give him a shot at the rotation before the pen becomes his full-time livelihood. The other two arms are solid prospects but are far away from the majors. Bryan Price is a right-hander struggling at High A-ball right now and Nick Hagadone is a promising left-hander who has pitched well at High A, but only has 59 professional innings.

It's a solid deal for the Red Sox who will not give up Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard or Lars Anderson, three of Epstein's favorites.

The Yankees were much quieter than the Sox. Their only move before the deadline was for Jerry Hairston Jr. Far from a huge impact, Hairston will be on the bench for the Yankees where he might spell Melky Cabrera in center on occasion and can play just about any infield position. He is a better bat than say Cody Ransom and can be trusted to play second, short or third, which was something you couldn't do with Eric Hinske. Once Gardner comes back from his broken thumb, the Yankees bench will be deeper than it has been in years.

It's probably the best the Yankees could have done without giving up anything significant. They lose Single-A catcher Chase Weems, but that isn't very much. They still need a pitcher, but that wont come until teams start putting people on waivers. The Yankees could and will probably grab someone then.

Overall this was a pretty exciting deadline. Two big bats on the move (Martinez and Matt Holliday) and two former Cy Young winners have new homes (Cliff Lee and Jake Peavy). This year the deadline lived up to the hype.

And as a Yanks fan I have to say that I'm just glad the Sox just got Victor Martinez and not Halladay or Gonzo. The Yankees have a hole in the rotation, but if a fifth starter is your biggest problem then you are in pretty good shape.


Dennis said...

What, no mention of the Giants picking up Freddy Sanchez?

Joey said...

I don't understand the obsession with Gonzalez. A solid player having a career year batting .252. That sounds like Adam Dunn to me. And the price, suggests a serious meth problem in San Diego. Also I like the Casey Kotchman deal. They can cut ties with Ortiz and V-Tek this offseason and have younger better players in place for the next couple of years. Going to London tomorrow hopefully the Sox will start hitting the baseball while I am gone.

Dan said...

Kotchman is the head-scratcher for me. Adam LaRoche is a much better player. I could easily see him playing first and DH next season. LaRoche averages more HR's a season than Kotchman has hit in his whole career. We got another light-hitting, bench warming first baseman, a younger version of Mark Kotsay. Doesn't make sense to me.

Peter said...

A solid pick up for San Fran no doubt. It always helps to get a former batting champ. I think the moves that Sabean has made (Sanchez and Garko) will really help the team down the stretch. With the pitching they have they dont need a ton of offense and those tow guys will shore up the lineup.

I'm glad to see other teams taking advantage of the MLB's league wide AAA team: The Pittsburgh Pirates.