The 2010 Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and passed. It’s one of the most exciting trade deadlines in recent memory, with atleast 3 top of the rotation starters changing position. The following are the biggest winners and losers at the 2010 trade deadline.
1) Texas Rangers
Wow, the Texas Rangers took home a lot of prizes at the trade deadline. The largest of which was Cliff Lee, the best pitcher on the market. He was acquired by the Rangers early in July and has already provided the Rangers with a 2.55 ERA in 4 quality starts. However, the Rangers weren’t done there. They also picked up Bengie Molina and Jorge Cantu to improve their defense and lineup. They’ve currently got a 8.5 game lead over the Oakland A’s, and it appears with their pickups that they’re never going to surrender that lead.
2) Philadelphia Phillies
For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Phillies pick up a top of the rotation starter for the playoff run. This time it’s Roy Oswalt. What makes this such a great deal is that Oswalt is currently signed for the 2011 season and there is a mutual option for the 2012 season. So Philadelphia, while giving up a nice chunk to get Oswalt, did not have to pay the price for just a several month rental. They’ll have Roy Oswalt for atleast another playoff run next year.
3) Los Angeles Angels
Although he’s struggled this year more than others, Dan Haren is a top of the rotation quality starter and has already provided the Angels with two quality starts. At the time of this writing, the Angels are 9 games out of first place, which makes you wonder why they were in the market for Dan Haren. Similar to the Jake Peavy deal last year, it appears the Angels are doing this for next year, not this year. Dan Haren is currently under contract through 2012 with a team option for 2013. Top of the rotation starters aren’t easy to come by, so obtaining one is always a good thing. With Dan Haren along with Jered Weaver, the Angel’s now have a potent 1-2 punch of starters.
4) San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres offense has been horrible. They’ve scored the fewest runs of anyone in their division and fifth fewest in the NL, but luckily their pitching has been the best the NL, which is what has put them at the top of their division. While the names Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Tejada don’t strike fear the hearts of pitchers, they are upgrades to the offense that will ultimately help them maintain their lead in the division.
5) New York Yankees
The Yankees do what the Yankees do, they go out and get what they need for the playoff run. While Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns are nice additions, the addition that stole the spotlight was Lance Berkman. He’ll become the left handed DH/platoon player they were looking for with Nick Johnson, but didn’t get. It’s a nice upgrade.
6) Washington Nationals
The Nationals were able to get a pretty good prospect in Wilson Ramos for the completely overrated Matt Capps. It’s been discussed in Moneyball before, for some reason teams will pay high for closers.
7) Los Angeles Dodgers
Similar to the Yankees, the Dodgers didn’t do anything exciting, but they got a lot of good pieces for a playoff run. They got a solid pitcher in Ted Lilly and solid reliever in Octavio Dotel.
1) St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are currently second in the NL in ERA and and ninth in runs scored. So it boggles the mind why the Cardinals elected to (effectively) trade Ryan Ludwick for Jake Westbrook. Ryan Ludwick wasn’t the beast that blasted 37 home runs several years ago, but his .827 OPS is solid and puts him as the fourth best OPS for the Cardinals. Perhaps the Cardinals coaching staff can work their workaround magic on Jake Westbrook like they’ve done with so many other pitchers, but it’s unlikely that Jake Westbrook will pay higher dividends than Ryan Ludwick.
2) San Francisco Giants / Tampa Bay Rays
Both the San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays are losers for the same reason, they did pretty much nothing. They are presently 1.5 and 2 games out of first place respectively. While the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees retooled to get better (see above Winners comments), these guys sat around and did nothing. Ok, they got a few middle relievers, but really, is that anything to give them a push into the playoffs?
3) Washington Nationals
Yup, the Washington Nationals can be called winners and losers on this list. They’re winners for trading Matt Capps, and they’re losers for not trading Adam Dunn. The trade of Lance Berkman definitely hurt the market for Adam Dunn, but that shouldn’t have stopped them from trading him. Adam Dunn is a studd (Adam Dunn: Underrated Superstar), and would have been welcome to any number of other teams. One can only speculate that the Nationals held out for too much and couldn’t find any takers.
4) Houston Astros
This must be so depressing to both the Houston Astros management and fans. The Astros are doing absolutely terrible this year. They’re in fifth place in the National League Central. They’d be in last place if it weren’t for the perennial last place Pittsburgh Pirates. They’ve scored the second fewest runs in the National League. After all that heartache, they trade both their club superstars in Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt. While they got some good players in return, they weren’t potential superstars by any measure.
“Trade Scorecard”, ESPN
“ESPN Statistics”, ESPN
“Baseball-Reference.com – Major League Baseball Statistics and History”, Baseball-Reference
“Dan Haren”, Wikipedia