|Breaking down all of the deadline deals||| Print |||Send|
Written by Joshua Kay (Contact & Archive) on August 02, 2012
The new rule is known in the baseball brain trust circles as the “Alex Anthopolous rule.” This rule says that a player who is an impending free agent and does not re-sign with the team that traded for him, does not give a compensation pick anymore. Anthopolous basically has been milking that system for all its worth the past few years, as he has traded for countless type A relievers, with the sole intention of not re-signing them in order to get a compensation pick.
Photo by D.L., used under creative commons license.
The compensation pick rule has some interesting history that I’m not sure some are aware of. In 2008, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rented Mark Teixeira. It went very well, as Teixeira posted a slash line of .358/.449/.632 in 193 PAs as an Angel. But it gets better: Teixeira did not sign with the Angels after the season, thus giving them a first round compensation pick, thanks to the type of Free Agent that Tex was. That pick became the 25th pick in the 2009 draft; it turned into… wait for it…. Mike Trout.
With the new rule in place, the prospects that changed hands at this year’s trade deadline were of much lesser stature, which disappointed me to say the least.
Let’s get to all the trades of the past week:
July 23rd: New York Yankees send RHP D.J. Mitchell and AAA RHP Danny Farquhar to the Seattle Mariners for OF Ichiro Suzuki
Spin: D.J. Mitchell projects at best as a No. 5 starter/innings eater and is a good young arm out of the bullpen. For Seattle, Mitchell is easily a guy you can see them grooming in SafeCo and then flipping him later for prospects.
Obviously though, the most intriguing portion of this deal is Ichiro moving to the Yankees. For Seattle, Ichiro needed to go, because they need to build for the future and he wasn’t hitting. His streak of consecutive seasons with 200 hits stopped last year in 2011 (2001-2010), and he’s been even worse this year. Ichiro’s production has dipped to all-time lows and his home park is a major culprit, but he’s also lowered his walk rate (which was already small to begin with).
So now, Ichiro and his .310 road OBP are now moving to New York and the short porch in right field: let the 280 foot HR jokes commence. Seriously though, although Ichiro is more name value than actual value at this point in his career, his 1.3 WAR is a full run higher than it was last year, due to a better defensive season, and he will definitely improve the Yankees defense in left field just by not being Raul Ibanez.
July 23rd: Miami Marlins send RHP Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers for RHP prospect Jacob Turner
Spin: For Miami, this was the beginning of their fire-sale. They acquire potential No. 2 starter Jacob Turner who has had a down year. Turner has really good stuff, but has really seen a decrease in his minor league K/9 numbers. He doesn’t project as a monstrous strikeout guy, but he misses a lot of bats with a good arsenal that’s centered around a great mid-90s fastball and improving off-speed offerings. Interestingly though, Turner had right shoulder inflammation (tendonitis) in the spring, so we could have a cause for this decline.
While Miami did make a nice pick-up here with Turner, it’s discouraging to see them in re-build mode so soon after going out and buying Jose Reyes and Heath Bell and recently trading for Carlos Lee.
For Detroit, they get Anibal Sanchez, a great right-handed pitcher who seems to always be underrated, and 2B Omar Infante. Infante is a huge upgrade at 2B over Ryan Raburn, whose -1.9 WAR is one of the worst in baseball for a position player. Interestingly enough, Infante has a WAR of positive 1.9; that is a 4-win swing right there alone.
Sanchez comes in and replaces Drew Smyly/Jacob Turner combination, and interestingly enough Sanchez already is what Jacob Turner projects out to be (at-best case scenario for Turner). Sanchez is in the last year of his contract, but I have been vocal in saying that I think he is sign-able for Detroit. This trade should really help Detroit’s playoff push, and with a possible play-off rotation of Verlander-Scherzer-Sanchez-Porcello, the top 3 at least looks as good as any in the AL.
July 25th: Los Angeles Dodgers send RHP Nate Eovaldi and reliever Scott McGough to the Miami Marlins for SS/3B Hanley Ramirez and LHP Randy Choate.
Spin: The Dodgers committed grand theft here; they give up a nice young pitcher in Eovaldi who has a good chance to be a No. 4 starter down the road for a shortstop/third-baseman of the future in Hanley Ramirez and under-rated lefty specialist Randy Choate. Ramirez is under contract through the 2014 season for a hefty price of $16 million per year.
The problem here is that this deal reeks of mal-intent in my opinion from the Marlins side. The Marlins build this nice expensive billion dollar ballpark, have one bad month, lose Giancarlo Stanton to a knee injury and now they are selling everything. The worst part is that this looks the part of another pure salary dump – something the Marlins have been famous for over the years, as Hanley Ramirez’s contract is going to be paid-in-full by the Dodgers which is why the Marlins didn’t get many prospects back.
I just think it’s way too early to be blowing this team up, and it appears that ownership is once again content with just playing the profit game instead of actually trying to contend for another title. Granted, yes, Ramirez may no longer ever be what he used to, but you have to get more value on him if you’re the Marlins.
July 27th: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim send SS Jean Segura, RHP Ariel Pena, and RHP Johnny Hellweg to the Milwaukee Brewers for RHP Zack Greinke
Spin: We knew Greinke was going to be moved at the trade deadline, but it was just a matter of to whom. The Rangers for a long time were the favorites to land the talented young ace, but they were unwilling to part with 3B prospect Michael Olt who scouts consider one of the best 3B prospects in the game right now.
The Angels parted ways with a talented prospect in Segura, but he was blocked by Erick Aybar who’s better than you may think – 3.7 WAR last season due to his stellar defense. Segura is a perfect fit for the Brewers, because shortstop has been a position of need for a long time now; they are currently playing Cesar Izturis as their everyday shortstop. RHP Johnny Hellweg has a nice ceiling as a No. 2 starter, although he needs to improve some of his secondary offerings. RHP Ariel Pena has a No. 3 or 4 starter ceiling and at 23 has some room to grow and continue to improve.
Overall this is a great trade for the Brewers who get a package of prospects rather than just one very good one, in a farm system that desperately needs a lot of work after they failed the past few years on some of their high priced acquisitions: Marcum, Sabathia, Greinke: I say failed because the end result was not a World Series.
The Angels did seemingly give up a lot though for just a rental of Greinke; we don’t know how we will perform under the big lights of Los Angeles, and while he is a massive improvement in a playoff rotation over Ervin Santana, it’s a risk to trade so many prospects for just a rental. However, as listed at the top of this article, that Teixeira rental didn’t work out so bad.
The last week or so of the Trade Deadline has been fairly busy, here are a few more key trades, with quick descriptions, as the return on some of these deals were not as major as those above:
Dodgers acquire OF Shane Victorino from the Phillies for RHP Josh Lindblom (-0.7 WAR) and right-handed pitching prospect Ethan Martin
Giants acquire OF Hunter Pence from the Phillies for C/1B prospect Tommy Joseph, disgruntled RF Nate Schierholtz, and RHP prospect Seth Rosin: Joseph has plus power and has a good chance to stick in the big leagues because of that, but has concerns about his ability to hit for average, as well as his defense. Schierholtz has a plus arm in right field and actually is better defensively than Pence is.
Pirates acquire OF Travis Snider from the Blue Jays for RHP Brad Lincoln: Lincoln is a former prospect who failed as a starter and found a good home in the Pirates bullpen; he should be a nice addition for the Blue Jays whom had lost faith in Travis Snider. Snider has great power but can struggle to make contact, as we’ve seen already with a 35 percent K rate since being called up. Both teams improve in key areas.
Pirates acquire LHP Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros for prospects LHP Colton Cain, OF Robbie Grossman, and LHP Rudy Owens: Might be a bit much to give up for the Pirates, but they needed to show their fans they are serious about trying to win. They haven’t had a better chance in decades.
White Sox acquire LHP Francisco Liriano from the Twins for utility INF Eduardo Escobar and LHP Pedro Hernandez: GM Kenny Williams does it again: acquiring a piece that can help without dipping into their farm system (which is extremely weak to begin with).
Braves acquire Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson from the Cubs for RHP prospect Arodys Vizcaino and RHP Jaye Chapman: Maholm couldn’t have had a better timed hot-streak for Theo Epstein and the Cubs. He has been a marginal starter at best in his whole career, and the Cubs were able to snag a top prospect in Vizcaino who has some injury concerns but has great upside.
Rangers acquire Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs for RHP Kyle Hendricks and 3B Christian Villanueva: Rangers get a good pitcher, but they missed out on Zack Greinke because they wouldn’t part with 3B prospect Mike Olt. Dodgers also missed out on Dempster because they wouldn’t part with pitching prospect Allen Webster.
It was an intriguing MLB Trade Deadline as always. The stretch run should once again be awesome as the second wild card should create many more exciting baseball storylines.
Follow Josh on Twitter: @Rays_Nut1292.