Home > MLB > 2013 Trade Deadline: “Not deadline day yet” edition

2013 Trade Deadline: “Not deadline day yet” edition

A Sporting Nerds tradition (insofar as we have traditions) much more fun than bitter prospect disputes and manic-depressive fits of irrational pessimism has been our liveblogging of the trading deadline. We should have something like that coming up Wednesday afternoon, but in the meantime, let’s talk about the trades that have already happened.

July 30

11:48 PM – Goog: Guys, I’m just…we turned Jose Iglesias into Jake Peavy. I can’t even…I don’t know what to do with all of this happy.

Red Sox get: RHPs Jake Peavy (and Brayan Villarreal?)
White Sox get: OF Avisail Garcia; three Red Sox prospects
Tigers get: SS Jose Iglesias
Sportspun: We’re still waiting for all the names to trickle out on this one – usually this is the sort of thing that makes me push back my dinner on Deadline Day Evening – but I get the impression that the remaining pieces are the sort of prospects that Goog would deem entirely interchangeable. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but considering I’m just an hour removed from biting my nails over how much I’d like to keep Jackie Bradley, I’ll cope just fine if someone else gets to enjoy Buttrey goodness or something. Unless you think Iglesias can return to a ludicrously high BABIP, this looks like a coup for Boston. For the White Sox, I’d think it takes another decent prospect to make a good return on Peavy, who wasn’t going to be around for their next contending team. And for the Tigers… well, I guess they reap some benefit if Villarreal is known to slip laxatives to his teammates during games, or something. This is, however, not the sort of replacement for Jhonny Peralta that they should have settled for; Iglesias in Detroit will be a little bonus for the part of me that cares about the Indians.
Goog: It’s a solid return for Peavy, I guess, although most of Garcia’s success at AAA this year has come thanks to a really high BABIP and he has a pretty terrible K:BB rate. For the Red Sox, obviously, it’s a steal of epic proportions. For the Tigers…I just don’t know. I get that they’re going to need a shortstop, and that their defense has been costing their pitchers runs all year long, but…good God Jose Iglesias just can’t fucking hit, you know? He can’t hit. At all.

10:47 PM – Sportspun: For the record, I remarked to Goog immediately after Iglesias was lifted that the Tigers could be in the market for a shortstop thanks to Jhonny Peralta’s impending suspension. As of this moment, that appears to be the case, though I wonder if reports might be mixing up details on the three-way, as the White Sox would seem inclined to want to move Alexei Ramirez. Then again, a good team should seem inclined not to want Iglesias.
Goog: I’m just…so…happy…

10:38 PM – Sportspun: Holy crap. It, uh, really IS happening? No details, but the Red Sox apparently have a deal for Jake Peavy, and Jose Iglesias is on his way out. I guess Iglesias’ month of falling OBP meant the Red Sox were automatically stupid for “selling low” and not just dumping off a guy whose value may continue to fall for the rest of his career. Details to come.
Goog: We get Jake Peavy, and we lose Jose Iglesias. Unless the other pieces to this deal are “give up Xander Bogaerts and take on Adam Dunn and all the money,” we automatically win.

10:34 PM – Sportspun: IT’S HAPPENING! After weeks of rumors, Billy Beane has finally gotten his man!
Athletics get: 3B Alberto Callaspo
Angels get: 2B Grant Green
Fans get: Peavy-teased blue balls. Naw, but Callaspo’s a fine depth move for the A’s – displacing an Adam Rosales is the sort of minute tinkering a first-place team with a quickly growing lead can afford to settle for – but after the team was rumored to have interest in Garza, then Peavy, it’s still a bit of a letdown.

Peavy, meanwhile, could change the color of his Sox any minute now. Or probably not for another 18 hours, because the baseball gods don’t want me to relax.

5:24 PM – Indians get: LHP Marc Rzepczynski
Cardinals get: With the market this year, it’s anyone’s guess
Sportspun: This one’s just coming out with no word on the return for St. Louis, but given Scrabble’s poor results in the bigs this year and the Cards’ disinterest in keeping him with the club, I can’t honestly expect the Indians paid much. Still, Rzepczynski should give Cleveland a decent second lefty in the pen, and given the probability that Rich Hill’s arm falls off in any given appearance, he serves as a good insurance policy.
Goog: Rich Hill kinda blows this year, dude. Rzepcynski might not be any better, but there’s a better than decent chance that he just takes Hill’s job.

July 29
Tigers get: RHP Jose Veras
Astros get: OF Danry Vasquez
Sportspun: Yes, “Danry.” Not “Danny.” I got nothing here. What I DO have, however, is a dispute with Goog: Veras has been solid enough this year, but I really can’t muster up any enthusiasm to say the Red Sox should’ve been the team trading for him at even the low, low cost of a 19-year-old corner outfielder with crappy results at A-ball. He doesn’t have the stuff to get away with such terrible control, and I’m just skeptical a 32-year-old has really put it together in a way he’ll sustain the rest of the year. I’d put him in the margin of error for relief volatility and say he could conceivably be no real upgrade; even if he’s better than Jose De La Torre (who is not good), I don’t think he’s better by enough of a margin to give it much concern.
Goog: My opinion is basically that the Tigers gave up nothing and got a fine-to-good reliever who’s controlled for this year and next. Stunningly, the Astros seem to have been more concerned with shedding salary than with improving their ballclub; that’s never happened with them before, has it?

Braves get: LHP Scott Downs
Angels get: RHP Cory Rasmus
Sportspun: Downs is good. Rasmus is not. I’m pretty surprised the Angels couldn’t do better here, but I guess their scouting likes the 25-year-old’s stuff. He’s shown a solid ability to get strikeouts since moving to the bullpen, but that came at a steep cost (more than 5 walks per 9 over the last two seasons at AA and AAA) for non-elite results. And all of this is ignoring the hilariously bad line he had in his three games in the big leagues. So yes, I’m thinking that the Angels’ scouts are smoking crack. Just keep it away from Josh, guys. We want him alive and physically able to get on the field for that whole contract.
Goog: You supported the team acquiring the reliever for the non-prospect AND stole my chance to make a Hamilton joke. I have nothing to add.

Rays get: RHP Jesse Crain
White Sox get:
Sportspun: Well, who even knows? The teams arranged compensation to be determined later, which I suspect means there’s a short list of possible Rays low-level prospects who could be dealt depending on how much Crain is able to pitch. The righty is currently on the DL with a strained shoulder; I’m immediately reminded of the time the White Sox were the ones landing an injured pitcher near the deadline, that being none other than recent rumor subject Jake Peavy.
Goog: I had figured that Crain wouldn’t get moved once it turned out that his injury would keep him out past July 31, but leave it to the Rays to swoop in and do something unconventional that works for them. Even if they only get ten innings out of Crain, the cost is so little, and the value of a marginal improvement is so high for them, that this was a smart move.
Sportspun: It’s telling that you say “the cost is so little” when we literally have no idea what the cost is.

July 26
Yankees get:
OF Alfonso Soriano
Cubs get: RHP Corey Black
Goog: Soriano is by no means a perfect player, as his sub-.300 OBP and let’s-be-kind-and-say-“limited” defensive capabilities would attest. But with Vernon Wells having turned back into Vernon Wells and Alex Rodriguez being trapped in limbo and possibly going to be suspended forever, the Yankees were in desperate need of some righthanded power. That is one thing, perhaps the only thing, that Soriano brings to the table. If Corey Black ever turns into anything, or if Soriano’s salary for 2014 proves to be a hindrance, this trade will look pretty bad. Of course, Corey Black is a 21-year-old currently struggling in high-A, and the Yankees have more money than God, so I don’t think either of those are particularly likely.
Sportspun: Black is basically nothing; this is about the money. The Yankees will pay less than a third of Soriano’s contract, so I really don’t get why the Cubs bothered here. Soriano’s not particularly useful, but if they’re only saving $7 million… well, he’s useful enough he’d probably be worth that. You’d at least think Jed Hoyer could’ve acquired a better minor leaguer than a particularly longshot lotto ticket.

July 23
Orioles get:
RHP Francisco Rodriguez
Brewers get: 3B Nick Delmonico
Sportspun: For me, this really isn’t about Delmonico’s strengths and weaknesses themselves – he might not stick at third base, and his bat looks pretty poor if he moves to first. But the problem is that it was difficult to argue against him as one of Baltimore’s top five prospects – and to me, it’s difficult to argue in favor of Rodriguez as a huge addition to the Orioles bullpen. They already had a good, deep set of relievers; if you’re going to deal a guy like Delmonico, why not use him to shore up a weakness rather than marginally improve a strength? I suppose the answer may lie in the evaluation of Rodriguez; if you think he’s an elite pitcher, he’s an upgrade, sure, but I’m… incredibly doubtful that that’s a fair characterization of his abilities right now.
Goog: If K-Rod is the elite reliever that his ERA would have people believe, then he’s an upgrade to every bullpen. If he pitches more to his peripherals and is only fine–or even worse, if his extreme fly ball tendencies from this season bite him in a fluky way–then the Orioles are going to look silly for giving up anything for him. But really, what is Nick Delmonico? Saying that he “might” not stick at third is, from what I’ve read, like saying that Jesus Montero “might” not make it as a catcher. And if he can’t play anywhere but first (or maybe a corner outfield spot), and he can’t hit enough to be of any real value in those spots, then he’s…what, Jeff Bailey? Mauro Gomez? The Jeff Baileys and Mauro Gomezes of the world grow on trees; the Orioles won’t regret not having this particular model in three years. I’m not moved by the argument that Delmonico being one of their top five prospects means the Orioles shouldn’t have traded him. If one of your top five prospects is “this guy will be Jeff Bailey in three years,” you need to improve your system, not hoard your crappy prospects.

Bonus fun fact while I’m here: Manny Machado is six days older than Nick Delmonico.
Sportspun: Taking the last word here to say: if your system is that terrible, it’s all the more reason not to move one of your best tradeable pieces for such a dubious improvement. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have moved him at all, I’m saying… that is what you chose to fire your one bullet at?

July 22
Rangers get:
RHP Matt Garza
Cubs get: RHPs C.J. Edwards and RHP Justin Grimm; 3B Mike Olt; PTBNL (or two)
Sportspun: As usual, I’ll assess this in terms of value given/received and Goog will note that Matt Garza is really good and the Rangers needed a starter. (Goog note: Yep!) Maybe Olt is a Quad-A guy and not worth much as a big prospect, maybe Grimm’s not gonna be anything but a spot starter, but Edwards alone is a steep price. He was leading the South Atlantic League in strikeouts, and has yet to give up a home run in 32 starts as a pro. I get that prospects can bust, but two high-floor guys plus a huge-upside lottery ticket, and then you have at least one more guy to be named? The Rangers got a good arm (and have won only his two starts since), but at that price, I think they needed to be in a “move to win the pennant” situation, not a “move to get into wildcard game” one.
Goog note: Matt Garza, as you’ve noted, is really good. Justin Grimm is 24, stinks in the big leagues, and never really did anything that noteworthy in the minors. Mike Olt is Will Middlebrooks in a mask. And CJ Edwards…is a pitching prospect. He’s been a really good one so far, sure, but at the end of the day he’s still made one start at high-A, and that was after he got traded. He wasn’t going to help the Rangers this year, and he almost certainly wasn’t going to help them next year. The Rangers’ immediate championship window is closing, but it’s not closed yet. They made it to consecutive World Series without winning, and they had a chance here to take a shot and significantly improve their chances to get to another one. It’s a chance they had to take, and if all they gave up was a promising 21-year-old pitcher who hadn’t pitched above A-ball, it’s a chance I’m not going to fault them for taking.

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