~~Today was one of the most eventful trade deadline days of all-time. The day started with a blockbuster trade orchestrated by the A's (what a shock). And, about 15 minutes before the deadline, David Price, the prized jewel of this year's trade market, was dealt to Detroit as part of a three-team trade. This year's deadline was as exciting as ever and the trade deadline has become a baseball holiday. Here is a brief review of this year's trade deadline with my winners and losers from today and from the days leading up to the deadline:
The Tigers made every move they could to improve their shaky pitching staff. They went out and traded for Joakim Soria a few days ago. Before heading to Detroit, Soria had been fantastic with the Rangers and should replace a struggling Joe Nathan as Detroit's closer. And, today, they captured the biggest prize when they acquired David Price from the Rays. Detroit had to give up Drew Smyly and Austin Jackson, but it will be worth it. You know what's scary? Price might not even be the ace of Detroit's rotation. With an outstanding rotation and an improved bullpen, Detroit looks like a legitimate contender again.
There's no doubt that the A's made the most blockbuster trades. In early July, they acquired both Jeff Samardzjia and Jason Hammel from the Cubs. Today, they set their sights on Jon Lester, the former Red Sox ace, and their persistence paid off. Now, the A's rotation includes Lester, Samardzjia, Sonny Gray, and Scott Kazmir. All four of those pitchers have an ERA of under 3.00 so far this year. That must be frightening for teams like the Angels and Mariners who are trying to catch up to the A's in the AL West. The A's did have to pay a price to pull of those trades. In the Samardzjia-Hammel trade, they had to give up one of their top relievers and their two best prospects. And, in the Lester trade they gave up Yoenis Cespedes, their slugging left fielder with a rocket arm. It's quite obvious that the A's are looking to win now. It's World Series or nothing for Oakland this season.
I think it was shocking to everyone when the trade deadline ended and the Phillies performed no trades. It's shocking because the Phillies reportedly had at least eight players they were shopping. Among those eight players was Marlon Byrd, who is currently fourth in home runs in the National League. If any Phillie was supposed to be traded, it was Byrd. Also on the market was Cliff Lee, the 35 year old lefty and former Cy Young winner. I don't know what happened, but the Phillies should have at least dealt one of their players. Now, they are stuck with overpaid, past-their-prime veterans and have no clear plans for the future. That's why the Phillies are trade deadline losers.
As a Brewers fan, I was disappointed by what the Brewers did, which was pretty much nothing. They did trade for Gold Glove right fielder Gerardo Parra, but I don't know exactly what they will do with him. He's great defensively, but the Brew Crew already have three solid everyday outfielders. He could switch to left field and share playing time with Khris Davis, but that is unlikely. Also, his bat won't be much of a help. What the Brewers really needed was pitching. They reportedly were interested in David Price, but they didn't have anyone "sexy" enough to offer the Rays. Now, the Brewers will just have to work with what they have going into the postseason (if they get into the postseason). The Brewers really needed another starter to separate them from the NL Central pack, but now they have to fight the Cards and Pirates off with an average pitching staff. An average pitching staff isn't going to get the Brewers anywhere this year. On the other hand, the Brewers were smart not to give away key pieces for the future like pitcher Jimmy Nelson.
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