Tag Archives: trade deadline

A’s Stand Pat

Last night I went to the A’s vs. Rays 5 hour marathon that ended in a surprising 12th walk off win for the A’s. The highlight other than the walk off sac fly was either seeing Cespedes fly around the bases or the seemingly standard outfield assist from Reddick. As the innings rolled along was thinking about the good things that come from having a dive park. One, you never have to worry about a game being sold out (except against the Giants), and two, you can get in for under $15 and sit in pretty good seats or at least move to some. Also, the fans that go to the game seem genuinely into the game opposed to the other parks I’ve been to where cell phones seem to rule the stands.

Anyways, bear with me, because sometimes I stray on my A’s posts due to extreme excitement. I wasn’t disappointed to see the A’s not make any moves at the deadline. Even though the Angels and Rangers made big splashes with their pitching acquisitions of Greinke and Dempster. In Beane we trust, and if he didn’t see the right deal for the A’s there probably wasn’t one. Plus the A’s already made their moves in June right around the time they started taking off. Waiver claims on Travis Blackley and Brandon Inge have been huge boosts while giving up nothing. Everyone they’ve called up from the minors seems to help in one way or another. If for some reason they need help in the starting pitching department when the rookies hit their limits or break down a little, they currently have SP Dan Straily waiting in AAA and he’s the #1 rated prospect in all of baseball according to ESPN. They also have proven pitching in Dallas Braden, Brett Anderson, and Brandon McCarthy all rehabbing from injuries. The only obvious place they needed an upgrade was shortstop, and last night recent shortstop call up Brandon Hicks hit a game tying homer. Hicks also had a walkoff in his third game with the A’s. One of the many examples of the A’s stumbling into found money in their system this year.

Everyone says the A’s need another bat, because they have the worst BA in the league, but when you get past the BA there’s a lot of good things going on. The BA statistic can be misleading, because since early June the A’s aren’t bad on offense, and the big reason their BA is so low is because of a dreadful April and May where they only averaged just over 2 runs per game. During their current July streak they only trail the Yankees in homers for the month, so standing pat is more and more palatable when they’ve gone from last to eighth in a month and a half in homers hit in the AL. Chris Carter’s emergence has been crucial to protecting Cespedes in the lineup, as he’s finally showing the patience and power that had A’s fans so excited about his Ryan Howard type potential when they acquired him in the Dan Haren deal.

Some think the A’s will fade as the season gets into August and September, but weren’t they supposed to fade when they had to play the Rangers and Yankees? Wasn’t the fairy tale story supposed to fade when they went back east to play Baltimore and Toronto last week? I know that the team has over achieved at least a little, but at some point you have to accept it as fact over a trend. Even last night I felt like Melvin out managed one of the best managers in the game in Joe Maddon. A big question I have is why doesn’t Cespedes get any love for helping turn this team around. Since he returned to the lineup on June 20th all he’s done is hit over .350 with 9 homers and 30 RBI’s. I get it, Trout is the MVP and ROY, but it seems like Cespedes should be getting more press than he is. Especially with the A’s sitting a half game ahead of the Angels in the standings, and a HUGE reason for that has been because of Cespedes’s play.

Quick side tangent, if the A’s, Rangers, and Angels all make the playoffs it will be the first and only time 75% of a division makes the playoffs. The reason it would be the only time is because of the addition of the 2nd wild card and the Astros will be joining the AL West next year, which will make it impossible to happen again.


Getting Back To Work

It’s Monday, which pretty much explains itself. I made the smart move of putting some work off on Friday in the name of leaving early, and in turn, set myself up for a pretty impossible Monday. I feel like I’m not the only one having a hard time getting back to work though. There’s a few baseball teams out there that didn’t look like they were ready to get back at it after the All-Star break. Sounds like the NFL and its players will soon be getting back to work. And while the NBA seems like an afterthought now, some of its players have begun to look for work overseas – a trend we’re likely to see continue as the beginning of the season fast approaches. So, while it’s been a dreadful past month in sports if you don’t watch soccer, it starting to feel to me like the calm before the storm. Pretty soon, we’re likely to see flurry of player movement in all sports. The Major League Baseball trade deadline is looming, and it sounds like nearly every team is exploring options. Once the NFL lockout is officially over, it figures to be one active offseason since teams will be scrambling to get their rosters set and into camp. In the NBA, hearing about guys like Avery Bradley and Pooh Jeter looking to sign overseas doesn’t get me jazzed up, but who knows, maybe the dominoes will fall faster – and bigger.

Baseball Trades I Expect To See – No Explanations (or prospects) – Toronto trades SS Yunel Escobar to San Francisco for SP Jonathan Sanchez. Anaheim trades C Hank Conger to New York Mets for OF Scott Hairston. New York trades OF Carlos Beltran to Texas for OF Julio Borbon and C Taylor Teagarden. Seattle trades 3B Chone Figgins and SP Doug Fister to Detroit for OF Ryan Raburn and P Phil Coke. Pittsburgh trades 3B Pedro Alvarez to Oakland for OF Josh Willingham and OF Hideki Matsui. Los Angeles trade OF Andre Ethier to Philadelphia for RP Antonio Bastardo.

Football Signings I Expect To See – No Explanations – Nnamdi Asomugha to Dallas. Cedric Benson to Jacksonville. Terrell Owens to Tampa Bay. Braylon Edwards to Kansas City. Antonio Cromartie to San Diego. Tamba Hali to Chicago. Santonio Holmes to Oakland.

Basketball Players I Expect To See Sign Overseas –  As if the previous predictions weren’t asinine enough, how could I possibly know who’s going to play in what country? Instead, I’m just going to visualize what it could be like if more guys like Deron Williams, who just made his deal to Turkey official on Friday, made the jump to an international location. All of a sudden, Dwight Howard is hinting at going international and specifically mentions China. I just hope he doesn’t take his talents to Foshan to team up with Stephon Marbury. Howard would be a perfect fit on the Shanghai Sharks. It’s Yao’s former team (and I think he even owns it), and Shanghai is really the only city that’s big enough for Dwight. Even though he could join a Flying Tigers team that featured MVP Quincy Douby and went 31-1 last year, I can’t imagine Howard moving to Xinjiang. Seriously, look it up. It’d be like if Alaska had an NBA team. Instead, he could turn the 12-20 Sharks into instant contenders, and quite possibly be the Dirk to Yao’s Cuban.


MLB Trade Deadline Actually Makes Sense

My favorite trade deadline in all of sports is baseball’s July deadline. Basketball might be a close second, but baseball is the most interesting for both teams involved in a trade. Pretty much anyone could go anywhere. In basketball, we only see trades that fit within contract constraints hence the creation of the ESPN trade machine. Basketball also has a lot of players that are disgruntled with their current team only to be shipped away for basically nothing, so the talent traded isn’t all that exciting except for the team that gets the big name player. In baseball, we at least see talent traded for talent. You’re either a team building for the future, and stocking the farm system with prospects or you are going to improve your team to compete for a championship that year by sacrificing your farm system. In short, you get trades that actually make sense for both clubs kind of like when your a kid trading baseball cards with a friend. Even if it’s a high risk high reward proposition for all teams involved. Sure we may not know who the AAA guys are that were in the trade off hand, but if you’re a fan of that crappy team that just gave away their star, you instantly have hope for the future, and want to see these guys called up as soon as possible. I doubt the A’s will be wheeling and dealing since they have little to offer other teams. Maybe we can get a couple of project guys for Sheets, but I’m not holding my breath at this point. Here’s a few guys that I think could make an impact on a contending team that sound like they are on the block.

Pitchers – Obviously Cliff Lee was by far the best pitcher on the market, and he was gone before we could even start the rumor mongering about him. After him there isn’t a whole lot of big names out there, but there’s a few impact players that could make a difference.

Dan Haren – It sounds like the D-Backs want more than a kings ransom of prospects for Haren, and it’s doubtful that teams are willing to give that much up to get him, but if someone can pull of a deal to grab him, he’s by far the best pitcher in the market. He usually doesn’t do as well in the 2nd half of the season, but it’s hard to say adding an ace of his status isn’t worth it for anyone seriously contending for a pennant. The Twins desperately need someone of his pedigree. He’s also not a short term fix since he’s locked up through 2012, so it’s a move that could yield more than one playoff run.

Roy Oswalt – It’s tough to see a lot of teams wanting to give up a ton of prospects, AND have to pay Oswalt $25M on top of that. Plus, he has a no trade clause that would make things even more tricky, but then again I’m sure you could persuade him to waive that clause if he has a chance at pitching some meaningful games. He made a trade demand, but made his small list of teams that he’d like to go to… Houston might have to send some cash in any deal made.

Joakim Soria – I think the Royals must be riding the short yellow bus thinking they are in the race, but somehow, in spite of their record each year, they seem to think they are. I don’t think they’ll trade away one of their only players worth having on the roster, unless they get some godfather offer from someone. They’d deal Soria five times before Grienke though, or he would be on the list as well.

Ted Lilly, Ricky Nolasco, Jake Westbrook, Edwin Jackson, Kevin Millwood, and Wandy Rodriguez – None of these starters are going to be an ace for teams, but they might be cheaper to get than the other guys mentioned above. I like Lilly and Nolasco the most of the bunch. I don’t see any of them really making a huge impact on teams unless a team like the Yankees needs to grab someone they know can hold down the fort while others get healthy from injuries.

Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor, Kerry Wood, Brandon Lyon, Kevin Gregg, David Aardsma, and Aaron Heilman – These are all guys you could bolster that bullpen with. Everyone needs some reliable guys that they can call on in a sticky situation. Some of these guys might not be sexy names or guys you’d really be all that excited about if your team traded for them, but they will be invaluable in bridging that gap to the closer.

HittersThere aren’t a ton of teams looking for hitters, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Giants, Angels, Padres, and possibly the Cardinals try to make a move that would improve their offenses.

Prince Fielder – It’s pretty unlikely any offer they will receive would match what they want for him. He’s as big a name as you could find on the trading block, but it sounds like there’s not many ways he’d actually be traded. It’s more likely he ends up being traded over the off season than the July deadline.

Jayson Werth – The Phillies haven’t given the five tool outfielder a new contract that he was asking for. If they keep playing mediocre ball, and fall behind the Mets and Braves further than they are, don’t be shocked if Werth is moved for the right price. I can’t think of many teams in the hunt that couldn’t use an upgrade in the outfield.

Corey Hart – The more likely player to leave the Brew crew. He’s only moving if they get some pitching in return, it’s just a matter of what teams are willing to give up. The Giants sound intriguing possibly giving up Sanchez or Bumgarner, and Corey would provide Buster Posey some protection or vice versa.

David Dejesus – He’s in the same boat as Soria with a breakout season this year. It would be nice to see him in another uniform playing some meaningful games, but for some reason Kansas City’s front office always thinks it’s still in the race.

Adam Dunn – He’s the big guy that a lot of teams will look at as a rental with a solid track record of performing. I hope he doesn’t don the Angel red in place of injured Kendry Morales, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they did pull out a trade as an answer to division leading Rangers big move in acquiring Cliff Lee.

Everyone else on the Marlins, Blue Jays, Astros, Diamondbacks, Cubs, and Orioles – All of these teams have some interesting players that could help a team out. None are extremely exciting, but are guys that could mildly upgrade a position for a playoff bound team. Should be fun when it gets closer to the deadline!


Evaluating the NBA Trades

The trade deadline has come and gone, and there was some activity over the past week leading up to the salary dump or be a contender deadline. I can’t say I was surprised that Amare or Boozer didn’t go anywhere since both teams are still in the playoff hunt, and the Jazz look to be a threat in the west. There were some big moves by teams in contention, so I’ll go through and give you my thoughts on if these teams actually made themselves better to contend for a title…

Camby to the Blazers for Blake and Outlaw

Great pickup for a team that desperately needed someone to help out Aldridge down low. Aldridge has been playing out of position since Oden and Pryzbilla went down, so moving back to his natural PF spot should increase his productivity. I don’t see Portland as a contender, but this move could get them into the playoffs, and give them a little more experience come next year when they have a better chance at competing for a title. That is, if Brandon Roy starts looking like his old self, and gets that hammy healthy. Trade grade B.

Caron and Haywood to the Mavs

Yeah, I know. I already wrote about this one. I’ll rehash what I wrote before, this does make them better defensively, which should improve their soft image. Caron hasn’t had a great start in Dallas, but I’m sure it will take a little while to assimilate to the new team. I really like Haywood down low. I caught some of the game against the Suns last night and he was swatting all that weak sh** out of the paint. I thought they had a chance before the trade to do something in the west, but this only increases their chances. The trade grade B+

Tyrus Thomas to Charlotte

This feels like a terrible trade for the Bulls. They are finally gelling and out of nowhere they ship out a big man that is finally playing well out of town. I like the move for Charlotte, who needed to make a move to be better, and getting rid of Acie Law and Flip Murray won’t effect them at all from an on court standpoint. They’ve easily leapfrogged the Bulls in the east to get destroyed by one of the top three seeds. I still like that they made an improvement, so I’ll give them a B.

Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, and a first round draft pick to the Rockets

Great deal for the Rockets, although I don’t see why they traded away Landry who has a shot at 6th man of the year. I’m just glad he landed in Sac who now has ten PF’s. I think having K-Mart will help the Rockets in the clutch, and since they are in a lot of close games, they will need him at the end of games. I feel like he will give some relief to Ariza and Brooks on the scoring load, and also make their offense tougher to zero in. He’s being reunited with his old coach Adelman so at least there’s a familiarity there. Martin also has that high basketball IQ which never hurts on a team that looks to overachieve. Trade grade B+. I don’t like them giving up their best bench guy in Landry could hurt their chemistry, but overall it’s a good move…

Antawn Jamison to the Cavs

I really like Jamison (partially for his Warriors ties, and partially because it’s my favorite Irish Whiskey). There’s no doubt that Amare would’ve been a bigger acquisition, but Jamison is no slouch. He’s a team guy and his averages are nearly identical to Amare’s 20ppg and 8 rpg. I’m not sure why people don’t view this as a great move. I mean look how well Jamal Crawford is doing for Atlanta after being stuck on crappy teams for years and years. The Cavs didn’t need to add someone that needs to dominate the ball to be effective, and Jamison is a guy that can get his without holding the ball too much! I thought they were the best team to knock off the Lakers, and this only improves them. Trade grade A-. It’s only a minus because they could’ve gone for Amare.


The Trade Deadline is Coming Who Will Find a New Home?

Stock Trading Floor

With the trade deadline approaching, it looks as though teams need to make some moves to ensure that a playoff run is going to happen. There are powerhouses (Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox), that may not need to make a move to make the playoffs, but there’s a good chance they may need to make a move to win a championship. I’ve been waiting to see what prospects the A’s can pull out of it, and they do have a few bargaining chips so this may be the last time I’m excited about news from them for awhile. Aside from the Halladay sweepstakes, many say there aren’t many difference makers in the market this year. I agree to some extent that Halladay could make an impact like CC Sabathia did last year taking Milwakee to the playoffs. Then again there are the subtle differences like Boston adding Orlando Cabrera and upgrading their defense to help them push their way to breaking the curse. I will run through some other players not named Halladay, that could be a big difference maker when it’s all said and done.

Matt Holliday. I guess I have to start with a player from my team. Matt HollidayI’m just hoping we get something to the tune of a few major league ready minor league players, instead of two compensation draft picks when he leaves this off-season. San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, and even Boston could use some power at the moment, and are all within three games of the wild card spot at the moment.  Holliday hasn’t lit the world on fire since coming to Oakland, but is showing teams he’s still a good player as it gets closer to the deadline with 3 HR’s, 13 Runs, 14 RBI, and a .311 BA over the last month.

Justin Duchscherer. Another A’s player, and Buster Only was all over him as a poor man’s Halladay. I’m not sure I’m sold on him returning to his dominant form of last season, but the numbers don’t lie, as he’s set to make his re-hab stint and hopefully a return to the majors soon. Pitching as a reliever or a starter his ERA has never been higher than 3.27, which makes me a believer that teams would pick up his modest salary in hopes he returns to form by playoff time. It also opens the door for him to return to the bullpen when he makes it back up, which would make the likes of Wuertz and Ziegler available. I would rather have either of them that the Orioles George Sherill.

Victor MartinezVictor Martinez. He’s having a solid comeback season with 14 HR’s, 59 RBI’s and a .286 BA. Vic is a player that would be a good fit for Red Sox or the Mets with Delgado and Lowell constantly battling injuries. He would also be a solid fit behind the plate in Boston with the deteriorating Varitek.

Cliff Lee. I think the chances of Lee making as much of an impact as Halladay are fairly likely. It’s been reported that since the Sox placed Wakefield on the DL they sent their top scout to Toronto to watch Lee dominate the Jays in his second consecutive complete game. It seems like Cleveland should have plenty of phone calls for last years Cy Young award winner and Martinez.

Marco Scutaro. He’s an interesting player on the block. I think he is the ultimate team player, kind of like Mark DeRosa was to the Cubs last season. Marco ScutaroHe can play multiple positions, and can come through with clutch hits (Many fond memories of him in an A’s uniform). He’s a glue guy that every contender needs, and if a team deals for him they won’t be disappointed with what he brings to the table.

Freddy Sanchez. The Pirates failed to reach agreements with Sanchez and Jack Wilson, so it looks like once again they will be trying to trade their soon to be free agents for some more prospects. Sanchez is the most interesting of the two as he plays phenomenal defense, and gets on base with regularity hitting .311 on the season. He’d be a good fit with the Giants or the Cubs.

Only time will tell, and after July 31st we will see which teams make their upgrades, and which teams think they already have what they need. Even though I doubted there would be any fireworks this year. I think there are some good names on the market besides Halladay!