Trade Deadline Winners and Losers – Philadelphia Phillies not Among Winners
Trade Deadline Winners and Losers – Philadelphia Phillies not Among Winners
The idea of ranking winners and losers at the end of a trade deadline or offseason is not exactly a new one. You won’t be surprised that at my previous writing gigs, this is how I did things. I know that this is Phillies101, but this column is going to review the deals that were made today by talking about the winners (there were three of them) and the losers (there were three of them.)
Unfortunately for the Philadelphia Phillies, they did not end up in the win column today…or very much this season at all. We’ll get more in-depth about this later. As for right now, you’re winners…
Detroit Tigers: If you looked at the Detroit Tigers, you’d say that they were missing two key pieces that would set them apart from the rest of the “could win a World Series” crowd. An upgrade at second base and one more veteran pitcher who could come out every fifth day and give you a fighting chance. The Tigers only made one deal, and sent starting pitcher Jacob Turner to Miami for starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante. Infante is a definite upgrade over anything the Tigers could have hoped to get from Ramon Santiago or Ryan Raburn.
Los Angeles Angels: You might have heard of the guy that got the Angels on this list. His name is Zack Greinke. Oh, you have heard of him! Great. There’s a few reasons why I loved this move for the Angels. Greinke was struggling this year on a pretty bad team and they got him for a decent price. Greinke doesn’t have to be the star because he can share the spotlight with Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson – two guys who know how to pitch big baseball games. As several analysts have noted, this deal could turn out ugly if Zack doesn’t sign long term. Does anyone actually think that will happen? Have you seen the young talent on this Angels team? Unbelievable.
Los Angeles Dodgers: If you can think of a single medium-to-big name player on the trade block that wasn’t associated with the Dodgers at one point in time, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you. If you thought that Magic Johnson and company would sit back and wait for the offseason to make a move, you were being naïve. The Dodgers are one game out of the National League West and four game (and two teams) out of the second Wild Card spot in the NL. What did they do? Added Hanley Ramirez – an upgrade at 3B and/or SS. Add Shane Victorino – probably their new left fielder…sorry Bobby Abreu. Added Randy Choate and Brandon League to fix their huge hole – the bullpen. If the Dodgers don’t win the West, I’ll be stunned.
Now, we can talk about the losers. As I mentioned above, there were three teams that stand out when we talk about losing. The Phillies, obviously, will be included on that list. I’ll talk about the other two teams first.
Chicago Cubs: There just isn’t a whole lot that goes right for the Cubs. That didn’t change this year. Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, and a few other guys were on the chopping block, and people were interested. You might have heard, that didn’t go well. Matt Garza got hurt and was untradeable. In my opinion, it’s probably for the best because at least fans will buy tickets to every fifth game. Alfonso Soriano isn’t exactly a pretty trade piece…unless you’re looking for an old left fielder who can’t run or hit anymore. Dempster, for some reason, turned down a trade to the Atlanta Braves and they were forced to deal him to the Texas Rangers for less “stuff.” We could keep talking, but it wouldn’t help.
Miami Marlins: As a fan of the Phillies, I spent a lot of time this offseason worrying that the Marlins were forming the next great baseball franchise. They had all the pieces. A pitching ace in Josh Johnson, a reliable veteran in Mark Buerhle, a deep-ish rotation including Sanchez and Carlos Zambrano. Brilliant middle infielders in Ramirez, Infante, and Jose Reyes, a young stud, Giancarlo Stanton….everything. I don’t know how this team, along with Ozzie Guillen at the helm, didn’t prosper and win a lot more games. It should have, but it didn’t. They were forced to sell off a lot of the pieces I talked about above because the interest in baseball isn’t high in Miami and it was time to make some moves. It’s too bad that it didn’t work because it could have been fun to watch…I’m depressed.
Philadelphia Phillies: As I go back and review my Twitter feed, I can’t help but wander two things. 1 – what was I thinking? 2 – what were the Phillies thinking?
In a nutshell, the day started and everyone knew the Phillies would be selling. The consensus seemed to be that the Phillies would sell and get returns that would make them competitive in 2013 and beyond. We’ll be lucky if we’re competitive in 2015.
Let’s review what the Phillies needed when the day started: bullpen help, young third baseman, outfield return depending on trades.
Let’s review what happened….
Hunter Pence to San Francisco Giants for outfield Nate Schierholtz, Double-A catcher Tommy Joseph, and Class A pitcher Seth Rosin – Hunter Pence takes with him the best bat the Phillies had, as he was leading the team in a ton of offensive categories and I’m not sure the trade makes sense. Schierholtz will be a free agent at the end of 2012, Joseph was ranked as San Francisco’s number two prospect, but he’s only hitting .280 with eight homers and 38 RBIs in 80 games this season. Rosin is still at the Class A level and doesn’t seem to have a defined role as a starter or closer at this point.
Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin – The Dodgers could afford to deal Lindblom because of the additions we talked about in the winners’ section of this column. He was 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances this season. If those numbers don’t knock your socks off, you’re probably sane. Martin was a first-round pitck in 2008, but he’s still at Double-A and he’s sporting a 3.58 ERA and an 8-6 record. He’s Joe Blanton of the minor leagues.
Let’s review what didn’t happen:
Joe Blanton did not get traded to the Baltimore Orioles – There was a lot of sources that claimed money was the sticking point for the trade. It looks like it really stuck because Joe is still wearing a Phillies uniform today.
Cliff Lee did not get traded to the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Dodgers, or any other team – There were rumors that Lee was on the trade block, but general manager Ruben Amaro seems to think no one knows. He told Lee that they were just rumors, and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.
Let’s recap this…
The Phillies needed outfielders to fill the holes made by trades, a young third baseman to take over for the aging Placido Polanco, and bullpen help. No one would have been offended if they got some starting pitching back for Lee or Blanton. Instead, the Phillies got a soon-to-be free agent outfield, shipped Victorino and Pence away, kept a soon-to-be free agent outfielder (Pierre), and didn’t trade it’s two worst contracts (Lee and Blanton).
That leaves the Phillies with bullpen issues, three empty outfield spots, and starting pitching depth to take care of this offseason. Amaro might have created some wiggle room, but he didn’t wow me with the returns in these trades (or any other columnist), and it doesn’t look like the aging Phillies got much better.
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