While it might be too early to tell where some of this year’s deals rank all-time, some of the transactions that went down over the course of the past week are certainly going to pay dividends, one way or another, over the remainder of the regular season. Here are our winners and losers of the 2013 MLB trade deadline.
Boston Red Sox
The reason the Jake Peavy deal vaults the Red Sox into the winners column is that they were able to deal from a position of strength and flip that for a need. Boston is second in the league in both runs and batting average, so giving up Jose Iglesias and his .330 batting average (which may feel won’t last) in exchange for a front-line starter is an excellent move for general managers Ben Cherington.
The loss of Iglesias will be mitigated by the presence of 20-year old prospect Xander Bogaerts, who is already at Triple-A for Boston. In the meantime, Peavy gets added to the stable next to Jon Lester at the front of the rotation to help keep the sails set straight until Clay Buchholz and his 1.71 ERA returns from the disabled list.
The best trade deadline deals are often made a week-plus in advance of the trade deadline. After all, the more value a team can bring back for a longer period of time, the better, right? The Rangers did exactly that in acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs on July 22. That means Texas will get two to three more starts out of its acquisition than, say, the Red Sox will get from Peavy.
With the Rangers working to stay afloat in the wild card race and claw their way up the division towards the Oakland A’s, those extra starts from a front-line pitcher could make all the difference.
Facing the suspension of Jhonny Peralta in connection with the Biogenesis case, the Tigers took the opportunity to inject themselves into a three-team trade with the Red Sox and division rival Chicago White Sox. Jose Iglesias’ bat has certainly come along with extended playing time to go with his Gold Glove-caliber defense. Most importantly for the Tigers, Iglesias, just 23, won’t be arbitration eligible until 2016 and will be under Detroit’s control until 2019.
While his .330 average may be a mirage, Iglesias just needs to hold the fort down at shortstop for the next few months, assuming Peralta is suspended.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are a winner, but that tag comes with a caveat: they’re still not going to make the playoffs this year. San Diego acquired Ian Kennedy from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a move that isn’t going to help the Padres as much for 2013 as it will for the next two seasons.
Kennedy, just 28, went 21-4 just two seasons ago and San Diego was able to acquire his comeback potential for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, hard-throwing minor-leaguer Matt Stites and a competitive balance draft pick. Should Kennedy approach his 2011 numbers rather than his current 3-8 record and 5.23 ERA, this will be a great move for the Padres.
The suspension of Ryan Braun should have further forced the hand of Brewers GM Doug Melvin, but only one minor move was made, giving up Francisco Rodriguez for third base prospect Nicky Delmonico. Milwaukee had an opportunity to shed the contracts of Kyle Lohse and Aramis Ramirez, who will almost certainly not be on the roster the next time the Brewers are competitive. Instead, Melvin and the Brewers stood pat and let the final days of the trade deadline pass them by.
Granted he wasn’t willing in necessarily helping the Phillies too much, but Philadelphia needed to find a way to turn Michael Young’s expiring contract into something. The teams that Young was willing to waive his no-trade clause for were limited, but he does not factor into the Phillies’ long-term plans and it would have been beneficial if they could have gotten something in return for the 36-year-0ld. A huge bonus would have been if Philadelphia could have dumped Jonathan Papelbon, whose bloated contract isn’t worth his meager production.
The Phillies are out of contention this year and have a vastly over-inflated payroll and they did nothing to fix that at the deadline.
The fact that the Mariners didn’t do anything was shocking, since they have several pieces contenders were interested in. Raul Ibanez, Michael Morse, Oliver Perez and Tom Wilhelmsen could have all brought back pieces that could help in the future. Instead, GM Jack Zduriencik decided to stand pat.
Entering today the Mariners are 50-56 and sit 12 games out of first place in the AL West. The team could compete in 2014, but by not dumping players and picking up prospects all they did was essentially guarantee a mid-round draft pick next year. One they will probably have to surrender if they want to sign a big-name free agent this offseason.