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Trade Deadline 2011: The Losers

As the dust settles from the absolute insanity that was the non-waiver MLB trading deadline, let’s take a look at some of the teams that emerged as winners and losers. Because negativity is all the rage these days, I’ll start out with some of the losers.

New York Yankees: Being a Red Sox fan, I always pay close attention to what the Yankees do at the deadline, and while they were involved in a lot of discussion, at the end of the day the Bombers didn’t make a single transaction. While their grip on a playoff spot is strong (they currently hold a 6.5-game lead on the similarly idle Angels), the Yankees’ rotation right now consists of CC Sabathia and four question marks. In not entering the Erik Bedard negotiations, seeing what the Orioles wanted for Jeremy Guthrie, or even trading one of their many highly-touted prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez, Brian Cashman is basically pinning his championship hopes on Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon staying healthy and effective for the remainder of the season and playoffs.

Chicago Cubs: Jonah Keri has an excellent piece on Grantland today about the Cubs’ inaction. Despite the fact that they’re 16.5 games back of the NL Central lead, the Cubs refused to move any of their tradeable assets. Marlon Byrd, who holds a higher OPS than Ryan Ludwick’s put up in three years, wasn’t moved. Carlos Pena, who had a terrible May but has been back to his old self since, wasn’t moved. The only Cub who should have been considered untouchable was Kerry Wood, and that’s just because of his personal relationship with the team; instead, Jim Hendry removed to move anyone, even going so far as to say that there was no chance that he’d trade 30-year-old utility player Jeff Baker. Incredible.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers are nine games under .500 and 12.5 games out of first place, and they rightfully identified themselves as sellers at the deadline; despite these facts, Ned Coletti still managed to make his farm system worse than it was on July 30. Trayvon Robinson is by no means a can’t-miss superstar, but his ceiling is far higher than either of the prospects that Los Angeles received in their threeway deal with the Mariners and Red Sox. They do get some credit for finding a taker for Rafael Furcal, and Alex Castellanos has at least some upside (although he turns 25 on Thursday and is just now in his first season at AA). What I find more puzzling is that they couldn’t get a deal done with the Brewers for Jamey Carroll; there were talks for weeks leading up to the deadline, but then…nothing.

Milwaukee Brewers: Speaking of the Brewers…what the heck? Are they just going to close their eyes, cover their ears and pretend that they don’t have massive, gaping holes on the left side of the infield? Casey McGhee has been terrible this year, but at least part of that is due to BABIP luck and he does play good defense. There is no such excuse for Yuniesky Betancourt, who is among the absolute worst players in the league and has been for years now. As mentioned earlier, they were speaking with the Dodgers about Jamey Carroll, but nothing ever materialized there. The Red Sox added Mike Aviles at little cost. The Giants added Orlando Cabrera–who, let’s be fair, is FAR from good–again at little cost. The Brewers…added Jerry Hairston. To back up Yuniesky Betancourt, and play second while Rickie Weeks is hurt.

These are just a few of the teams that came up short at the trade deadline. I contemplated adding the Astros because of the pitiful return they got for Michael Bourn, but they do get credit for getting a good amount of value for Hunter Pence. And while the Rockies made the baffling decision to trade their ace in the middle of a highly team-friendly contract and with a core of players that should have been good enough to compete in the NL West sooner rather than later, they also do get credit for adding highly valued prospects rather than just trading Ubaldo for the first offer that came along.

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  1. August 5, 2011 at 6:44 PM

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