Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

Season Preview: Playoffs and Awards


With less than a week until opening day, here’s my predictions for the playoffs and the major awards as well. I already gave my division winners in each division preview post, but here’s a recap:

NL: San Francisco, Milwaukee, Philadelphia
AL: Texas, Minnesota, Boston

My two wild card predictions are Atlanta and Tampa Bay. As a result, here’s my playoff matchups:

Atlanta vs. San Francisco
Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia
Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota
Texas vs. Boston

I think that San Francisco and Philadelphia will both just have too much pitching not to advance in these matchups, and will face each other in the NL Championship. On the other side, I think that Tampa and Boston will be the top two teams overall in the league, and will advance to the AL Championship

Tampa Bay vs. Boston
San Francisco vs. Philadelphia

In the AL Championship, I think that the Boston lineup will be just too much for Tampa, despite potential flaws in the Boston pitching staff. In the National League, the addition of a 4th ace by the Phillies may be too much for the Giants, but it will definitely be a series that is built around pitching.

Boston vs. Philadelphia

In what appears likely to be the top offensive team facing off against one of the best pitching staffs in recent memory, I think that Philadelphia would likely defeat Boston. Off the top of my head guess makes me think it will take 6 games.

Awards Predictions

Here’s my picks for the major awards:

AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson
NL Rookie of the Year: Brandon Belt
AL Cy Young Award: Jon Lester
NL Cy Young Award: Roy Halladay
AL Most Valuable Player: Evan Longoria
NL Most Valuable Player: Ryan Braun
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon
NL Manager of the Year: Ron Roenicke

Season Preview: AL East


With Spring Training well under way and the first games starting very soon, I figured it was a good time to take a look at my own predictions for the league, and the changes the respective teams have made.

Last Year’s Records
Tampa Bay – 96-66
New York – 95-67
Boston – 89-73
Toronto – 85-77
Baltimore – 66-96

Notable Additions

Baltimore – Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, J.J. Hardy, Justin Duchscherer

Boston – Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler

New York – Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez

Tampa Bay – Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Felipe Lopez, Sam Fuld, Chris Archer

Toronto – Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Juan Rivera, Scott Podsednik, Brett Lawrie, Rajai Davis

Notable Losses

Baltimore – Kevin Millwood, Julio Lugo, Ty Wigginton, David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio

Boston – Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez, Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, Bill Hall

New York – Javier Vazquez, Andy Pettitte, Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood

Tampa Bay – Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Rafael Soriano, Carlos Pena, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit

Toronto – Vernon Wells, Shaun Marcum, John Buck, Miguel Olivo, Scott Downs

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Who are the Faces of their Franchise? AL East Edition


The recent signing of Eric Chavez by the Yankees and trade request by Michael Young got me thinking: which players are truly the face of their franchise right now?

Generally, this is most likely someone who is among the highest paid players on the team, and usually one of the best players on the team as well. It generally seems to be a position player, but some teams may have a pitcher as the face of the team. And of course, there’s always the possibility that a team simply doesn’t have one player who stands out from the rest. With that, here’s my thoughts on each franchise:

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Prospect Review – Drake Britton


The next prospect up for review is Drake Britton of the Boston Red Sox.

The Basics
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 23rd round of the 2007 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 21

Scouting Reports and Statistics

The Baseball Cube

Lg     Lev W L  ERA   IP  H ER HR BB SO  WHIP
SALL     A 2 3 2.97 75.2 69 25  5 23 78 1.216

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/1/2011.

Prospect Ranks
Deep Leagues: #141 (Overall -  2011), #58 (SP – 2011)
Baseball America: #3 (BOS – 2011)
Keith Law: #90 (Overall – 2011)
John Sickels: #2 (BOS – 2011) B
Scouting Book: #20 (LHP – 2011), #124 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #6 (BOS – 2011)

Analysis

Britton was drafted out of high school in the 23rd round by the Red Sox in 2007, but only really made his full season debut in 2010. He posted an excellent set of stats, going 2-3 with a 2.97 ERA and 78 strikeouts to 23 walks in just under 76 innings pitched for the Red Sox’ Sally League affiliate.

He stood out to me when I was first looking at which prospects to review because John Sickels had ranked him as the 2nd best prospect in the system after the Adrian Gonzalez trade. The part that was interesting to me was the fact that he was not particularly well ranked by many of the other major websites out there.

According to SoxProspects.com, Britton missed the majority of 2009 while he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and was limited in 2010 by the Sox as a result of this as well.

Not surprisingly, there’s not been a whole lot written about Britton since his surgery. But here’s what Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally had to write about him:

In the Sally, multiple scouts reported his being between 91-95 MPH with one stating he’d rather have Britton in his organization than Colorado Rockies uber-prospect Tyler Matzek.

Here’s some of what Keith Law had to say about it in his Top 100 profile of Britton:

He’s aggressive and will throw strikes, if not always the quality strikes he needs, and his arm works well. He threw only about 90 to 95 innings in 2010, including work in spring training, so he’ll remain on a fairly low innings cap in 2011 and is probably a good three years out, with the chance that he’s a Jon Lester Lite down the road.

Outlook

Overall, he seems like a very high upside prospect given where he’s at currently. The Red Sox system has been effectively cut off at the top with the trade of Adrian Gonzalez to the Padres, but Britton looks like he could make the next jump in 2011.

Prediction for 2011

7 wins, 110 innings pitched, 3.50 ERA, 100 strikeouts, 30 walks (High-A)

Expected ETA

2014 seems most likely for an appearance in the bigs, but based on the fact that he will need to build up endurance in addition to progressing up the levels, he seems more likely to be in a permanent role in 2015.

Free Agent Signing – Carl Crawford To The Red Sox


I know I skipped that humongous contract that Jayson Werth signed last weekend, and I plan on getting back to that, but this signing seemed to come so far out of left field that I felt I needed to write about it first. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe is reporting (via MLBTR) that the Red Sox have not completed their offseason spending spree, and have agreed to a contract with the top position player free agent on the market, Carl Crawford, on a 7 year, $142 million contract. Before I get into the impact on the involved parties, let’s note this: Crawford will now be the highest paid outfielder (based on Average Annual Value) in the history of baseball.

From the Red Sox Perspective

Clearly, they felt that they needed to make a gigantic splash after not reaching the playoffs last season. Crawford will bring them an excellent defender, a definitive speedster to pair with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and another middle of the order type hitter. I am not entirely sure how this lineup will be constructed, but this seems like a definite possibility:

  1. Carl Crawford LF
  2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
  3. Kevin Youkilis 3B
  4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
  5. David Ortiz DH
  6. J.D. Drew RF
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
  8. Marco Scutaro SS
  9. Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Of course, this could change by having Gonzalez and Youkilis switch to offset having too many left handed batters in a row, but I’m not sure I see a lineup that makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox that doesn’t put Crawford at the top of it. They don’t really need him to be a #3 hitter type like the Rays did, and will probably not use him that way as a result.

I find it extremely interesting to see what the Red Sox are going to do long-term. They have now committed to Crawford through 2017, and seems like they have spent an amazing amount of long term money in the past few offseasons.

That said, they do have J.D. Drew, David Ortiz, and Mike Cameron all coming off the payroll come 2012. Speaking of Cameron, I’m not sure where he plays coming into 2011 unless they are completely banking on needing another full-time outfielder for when J.D. Drew or Jacoby Ellsbury get hurt. Always a possibility at this point.

From the Rays Perspective

The Rays will receive two compensation draft picks for losing Crawford to the Red Sox. They will receive the 24th pick for sure (the Red Sox’ first round pick), and a pick in the sandwich round as well. The only way that they could possibly lose this pick is if the Red Sox were to also sign Cliff Lee (based on the Elias rankings reported by MLBTR). The team had already established previously that they were extremely unlikely to retain Crawford, as they would simply be outbid for his services. Thankfully for them, they have a player who appears to possess similar tools (which I also wrote up last year) in Desmond Jennings.

What This Means for the Free Agent Market At Large

Crawford was pretty far and away the top prize on the position player side of the free agent market. As a result, his contract may start the dominoes going for a lot of the other secondary free agents on the market. To me, the players who could stand to benefit the most include Adrian Beltre, Cliff Lee, and Carl Pavano. The rising tide raises all ships, and Beltre now is the best offensive option available who is still on the market. Pavano’s value is helped if Lee’s value goes up, and with the Red Sox taking these shots across the bow of the Yankees, I am not sure I see a scenario where the Yankees don’t offer Lee the most money of any team.

Honestly, I’m not sure that there is a future free agent that this particularly affects as of right now. There is the possibility that the Red Sox don’t get Adrian Gonzalez inked to an extension. (As of this writing, I can’t find anything involving the Red Sox that definitively states a contract extension is complete.), which could affect the First Baseman market come next offseason, but it seems likely to me that someone is going to get paid to play 1B by the Red Sox starting in 2011 regardless of whether or not it is Adrian Gonzalez.

My Overall Thoughts

This one really came out of left field (not to be punny), as I didn’t really think that the Red Sox would go out and attempt to sign Crawford. I think he’s a class guy that will fit in well with the organization, and will definitely be able to take on the role of the “face of the franchise”, but will not necessarily need to do so. It seems a bit like an overreaction to not making the playoffs in 2010, but it’s hard to argue with spending your money on a player of the caliber of Crawford. The contract’s length does concern me some, as Crawford is a player who does rely on speed pretty significantly, and the contract will pay him until he is 36 years old. But otherwise, a job well done by the Red Sox, as it clearly makes the other teams that were chasing him weaker.

Trade Review: Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox


You know, I keep planning on writing about the Hall of Fame case of Kevin Brown, and major stories in the game seem to keep coming up. When I went to bed last night, it appeared that the trade talks surrounding Adrian Gonzalez had been heating up, and that teams besides just the Red Sox were involved. When I woke up this morning, it appears that the other teams have fallen by the wayside, and that the Red Sox are very close to acquiring Gonzalez from the Padres.

According to MLBTR, the players involved have been confirmed, but the things holding up the trade remain a physical for Gonzalez and the contract extension discussions as well. The package of players seems to have reached a general consensus, if not complete confirmation for the public. Let’s take a look at how this trade looks:

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Free Agent Signing – Victor Martinez to the Tigers


We have the first major piece to fall into place from free agency this offseason, with the news that catcher Victor Martinez has agreed to a 4 year, $50 million contract with the Detroit Tigers.

It appears, according to MLBTR, that Martinez was offered both a 3 year and 4 year deal by the Red Sox, but for less money than the Tigers offered. 

From the Tigers’ Perspective

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Season Previews in Review: American League East


Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I’ll be going a division at a time, starting with the American League East.

Baltimore Orioles

Predicted Record: 70-92            Actual Record: 66-96

It was a tale of two seasons for the Orioles, as they spent the first half of the season clearly as the worst team in all of baseball. Nothing seemed to go right for the team, and it ended up costing manager Dave Trembley his job before too long. This left interim skipper Juan Samuel to try and right the ship, while the Orioles also continued to look for his (and Trembley’s) replacement. By the August 31st trade deadline, the team had managed to ship just one of its movable pieces for prospects with Miguel Tejada being traded to the Padres. But they had also hired Buck Showalter to manage the team, and the team has already seen a drastic improvement. This record would have actually been much further off if not for the late-season turnaround.

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Trade Retrospective – Josh Beckett to the Red Sox


On November 24, 2005, the Red Sox acquired SP Josh Beckett, 3B Mike Lowell, and RP Guillermo Mota from the Marlins for P Jesus Delgado, P Harvey Garcia, SS Hanley Ramirez, and SP Anibal Sanchez.

The Background

Josh Beckett had his best season to the point prior to the trade in the 2005 season, going 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA and 166 strikeouts in 178 2/3 innings pitched. However, he was entering his 5th full season, and would be eligible for free agency after the 2007 season. Mike Lowell, however, was the main reason for the potential trades being floated. The Marlins were desperately looking to slash payroll, and Lowell was due $9 million in 2006.

The Red Sox had won the AL Wild Card in 2005 with a 95-67 record, but were needing a solid pitcher to slot in behind Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield. Current 3B Bill Mueller was also going to be a free agent, and the organization did not necessarily want to hand over the job to the young Kevin Youkilis.

The Moving Pieces

In Boston, Beckett slotted into the front end of their starting rotation, and Lowell as their starting 3B.

In Florida, Hanley Ramirez was installed as the starting shortstop, and Anibal Sanchez was sent to the Marlins AA affiliate.

What Happened Next

The return for the Red Sox in the 2006 was a bit of a mixed bag, as Beckett went 16-11 over 204 innings, but posted a 5.01 ERA. Lowell had a solid season, hitting 20 home runs, driving in 80 runs, and posting a .284 batting average. The team itself however, did not make that playoff push that they had grown accustomed to. They went 86-76, and finished 3rd behind the Blue Jays in the AL East.

The Marlins were extremely happy with the players they got in return, specifically Hanley Ramirez. He won the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year award behind a stellar season: .292, 17 HR, 59 RBI, 51 SB, and 119 runs scored. Anibal Sanchez came up and gave the team a shot in the arm as well, posting a 10-3 record with a 2.83 ERA in 17 starts.

The Net Moves

Red Sox – First Level

  • Josh Beckett remains with the team, signing a contract extension first through the 2010 season, and now through the 2014 season. He has been a bit up and down overall, posting a 69-37 record with a 4.29 ERA in 880 2/3 innings pitched. He has 804 strikeouts and 232 walks, and has represented the Red Sox twice in the All-Star game.
  • Mike Lowell is also still with the team, despite their best efforts to move him in the past 2 seasons. He has posted a .291/.347/.472 line with 79 HR and 368 RBI, and was an All-Star once.
  • Guillermo Mota spent approximately 1 month with the team, before being traded on 1/27/2006 to the Indians with Andy Marte and Kelly Shoppach for C Josh Bard, OF Coco Crisp, and P David Riske.

Marlins – First Level

  • Hanley Ramirez has developed into the NL’s best shortstop, and one of the top fantasy players overall. In 737 games, he has hit .313/.384/519 with 119 HR, 375 RBI and 190 steals. He has made 3 All-Star appearances, and has won 2 Silver Slugger Awards. In addition, the Marlins have signed him to contract extension through 2014.
  • Anibal Sanchez has seen some rough patches, mostly due to injuries and inconsistency, but still pitches for the Marlins. He has a 28-25 record with a 3.62 ERA in 430 1/3 innings pitched. He’s struck out 323 and walked 190.
  • Jesus Delgado pitched 2 innings in the Majors with the Marlins, and was selected off waivers by the Mariners on 3/15/2009. He appears to be out of organized baseball at this point.
  • Harvey Garcia threw a few more innings (12 1/3), but was released by the Marlins on 3/16/2009. Must have been roster clearing time that week.

Red Sox – Second Level

  • Josh Bard appeared in 7 games for the Sox, and was used primarily as the personal catcher for knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield. It became clear very quickly however that he was not well suited for the task, and was traded by the end of April to the Padres with P Cla Meredith for C Doug Mirabelli.
  • Coco Crisp was with the Red Sox through the 2008 season. He hit .271/.330/.390 with 21 homeruns and 70 stolen bases during his time there, but was traded when it became clear that prospect Jacoby Ellsbury was ready to man center field. Crisp was traded to the Royals for RP Ramon Ramirez on November 19, 2008
  • David Riske made 8 appearances with the Red Sox in 2006 before being traded to the White Sox for P Javier Lopez.

Red Sox – Third Level

  • Doug Mirabelli became the personal catcher for Tim Wakefield again, and spent both the 2006 and 2007 seasons in that role before retiring.
  • Ramon Ramirez spent the 2009 and part of the 2010 seasons with the Sox, posting a 7-7 record with a 3.46 ERA out of the bullpen. He was traded on July 31, 2010 to the Giants for minor leaguer Daniel Turpen.
  • Javier Lopez was in the Red Sox bullpen from 2006-2009, and posted a 5-3 record with a 3.30 ERA, primarily as a LOOGY reliever. He left the Red Sox as a free agent after the 2009 season.

Overall Reactions

I think that this is another one of those trades that worked out well for both teams. The Red Sox, led by the performances of Beckett and Lowell, won their 2nd World Series in 4 seasons in 2007. Whether or not they come to regret the extension that they gave to Josh Beckett recently in the same way that they regret the one that they gave to Lowell remains to be seen, but as I’ve said before, flags fly forever. They also got some decent production out of Crisp while he was in Boston, and got a solid reliever in return for him.

The winner, if I had to pick one, would have to be the Marlins though. Ramirez has become a perennial MVP-caliber player, who routinely is at the top of the batting average charts as well as the stolen base leader boards. They were able to sign him to a team-friendly contract extension through 2014, and Ramirez remains the franchise player for a team that was in desperate need of one when the team traded 1B Miguel Cabrera and P Dontrelle Willis. I am not sure he will be able to stay at shortstop once that contract expires, as his fielding is less than amazing at a high-defense position. But time will tell on that one, and in the mean time the Marlins are enjoying every bit of production he provides.

Trade Deadline Review


Well, we are now officially one day past the non-waiver trade deadline, and there have been quite a few different trades made. It was definitely one of the more active periods in a lot of years. I wrote up the major trades as they happened, and you can read my thoughts with the links below.

Major Trades

Texas Rangers acquire SP Cliff Lee and P Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners for 1B Justin Smoak and 3 minor leaguers
Los Angeles Angels acquire SP Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Joe Saunders and 3 minor leaguers
Philadelphia Phillies acquire SP
Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros for SP J.A. Happ and 2 minor leaguers

Semi-Major Deals

1. New York Yankees acquire RP Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later or cash
2. New York Yankees acquire 1B Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros for P Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes
3. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire SP Ted Lilly and IF Ryan Theriot from the Chicago Cubs for IF Blake DeWitt, minor league P Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit
4. St. Louis Cardinals acquire SP Jake Westbrook from the Cleveland Indians and minor leaguer Nick Greenwood from the San Diego Padres, San Diego Padres acquire OF Ryan Ludwick from the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians acquire minor leaguer Corey Kluber from the San Diego Padres
5. Pittsburgh Pirates acquire C Chris Snyder and OF Pedro Ciriaco from the Arizona Diamondbacks for P D.J. Carrasco, IF Bobby Crosby, and OF Ryan Church
6. Chicago White Sox acquire SP Edwin Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Daniel Hudson and P David Holmberg
7. Minnesota Twins acquire RP Matt Capps from the Washington Nationals for C Wilson Ramos and minor league P Joe Testa
8. Texas Rangers acquire IF Jorge Cantu from the Florida Marlins for minor leaguer pitchers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda
9. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire OF Scott Podsednik from the Kansas City Royals for minor leaguers C Lucas May and P Elisaul Pimentel
10. Los Angeles Angels acquire 3B Alberto Callaspo from the Kansas City Royals for P Sean O’Sullivan and P Will Smith
11. Toronto Blue Jays acquire SS Yunel Escobar and P Jo-Jo Reyes from the Atlanta Braves for SS Alex Gonzalez and minor leaguers Tyler Pastornicky and Tim Collins
12. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire RP Octavio Dotel from the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Andrew Lambo and P James McDonald

Minor Moves

1. Texas Rangers acquire IF Cristian Guzman from the Washington Nationals for minor leaguers Ryan Tatsuko and Tanner Roark
2. Texas Rangers acquire C Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants for P Chris Ray
3. Toronto Blue Jays acquire 1B Mike Jacobs from the New York Mets for a player to be named later
4. San Diego Padres acquire IF Miguel Tejada from the Baltimore Orioles for minor league P Wynn Pelzer
5. Tampa Bay Rays acquire RP Chad Qualls from the Arizona Diamondbacks for a player to be named later
6. New York Yankees acquire OF Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians for ?
7. Detroit Tigers acquire IF Jhonny Peralta from the Cleveland Indians for minor league P Giovanny Soto
8. San Francisco Giants acquire P Javier Lopez from the Pittsburgh Pirates for P Joe Martinez and OF John Bowker
9. Atlanta Braves acquire IF Wilkin Ramirez from the Detroit Tigers for cash or a player to be named later
10. Florida Marlins acquire RP Will Ohman from the Baltimore Orioles for P Rick VandenHurk
11. San Francisco Giants acquire RP Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox for P Daniel Turpen
12. Atlanta Braves acquire OF Rick Ankiel and RP Kyle Farnsworth from the Kansas City Royals for P Jesse Chavez, OF Gregor Blanco, and minor league P Tim Collins
13. Boston Red Sox acquire C Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Texas Rangers for 1B Chris McGuiness, P Ramon Mendez and a player to be named later or cash

Wow. There’s still stuff coming in as I write this, and in the last hour there have been a lot of these to get done. So who did well here and who didn’t?

Winners

The Yankees – Let’s see if we have this right. The Yankees picked up Lance Berkman to be their designated hitter. They added Kerry Wood to help solidify the back end of the bullpen behind Mariano Rivera. And they got both of them for a pair of players that are of no use to the Yankees, and even got some money in the deals? Really? They already have the best record in the Majors, and have decidedly improved their team with both acquisitions. Oh, and they added to their bench depth with Austin Kearns as well.

The Rangers – With a decent lead in the AL West, the Rangers went out and got themselves an ace starter (Lee), a solid catcher who can help them play defense at the position (Molina), a run producing right handed bat who can play two positions (Cantu), a backup infielder who will be able to spell their third baseman and shortstop, and fill in while their second baseman is on the disabled list (Guzman),  and moved a player that they had soured on for some prospects. They are the prohibitive favorite in the AL West at this point, now being 8 games ahead of the 2nd place Angels and 8.5 of the 3rd place Athletics. They plugged nearly every gap they had in their team, and will go into the pennant chase with a very good chance of being in the World Series at the end of it.

The Angels – Even though the moves may end up being more for next season, acquiring Dan Haren to give them a very good 1-2 punch in their rotation for “some magic beans” as Matthew Berry put it on the Fantasy Focus podcast was a stroke of genius. Callaspo also gives them a solid hitter to play at 3B which they had sorely been missing. While it may not be enough to catch the Rangers, they gave up very little of value to do both trades.

The Pirates – They took D.J. Carrasco, Bobby Crosby, Javier Lopez, Octavio Dotel, and Ryan Church and turned them into a major league backstop (Snyder), two solid potential major leaguers (Bowker and Martinez), and 2 higher end, albeit risky prospects (Lambo, McDonald). Someone must have put something in Neal Huntington’s coffee that helped out a lot. They did extremely well to turn a lot of random pieces that aren’t really that helpful into all that.

The Royals – Pieces that aren’t for the future: Podsednik, Ankiel, Farnsworth, Callaspo. All moved for players with varying levels of upside who can help with the rebuilding process: Lucas May, Tim Collins, Jesse Chavez, Gregor Blanco, Sean O’Sullivan, Will Smith. Not the most amazing group of players, and definitely no high-end prospects here. But the Royals have a lot of high-end prospects already, and need others to help give them some balance as well with regard to position scarcity and depth overall. Very well done today.

The Padres – They gave up a pair of pitching prospects to acquire a much needed outfield bat, and a utility player who should provide some value over the remainder of the season. Nothing too major here, and definitely nothing that mortgages the future. I like the Ludwick acquisition, as he could see an improvement with a change of scenery. I’m not 100% sold on the Tejada acquisition, but they didn’t really give up that much to get him in my opinion.

Losers

The Nationals – The trade of Matt Capps was nice, netting them a very good catching prospect in Wilson Ramos. But the way that they handled Adam Dunn leading up to the trade deadline was inexcusable. They clearly had not made up their mind as to what they wanted to do with him, and in the end they simply ran out of time. They clearly could have gotten more for him had they moved him instead of waiting for his free agency to play out, and the only reason to do that would have been to get him signed to an extension (which they didn’t do either). Not sure what happened here, but we’ll see if this was a really bad plan from the start.

The Dodgers – In a division where they are 7.5 games back of the leader and 5 games back of the wild card leader, the Dodgers decided to go for it, sending prospects Brett Wallach, Kyle Smit, Lucas May, Elisaul PimentelAndrew Lambo, and James McDonald (along with Blake DeWitt) to other teams to acquire: the remainder of this season from Octavio Dotel, Ted Lilly and Scott Podsednik, and also Ryan Theriot. I’m pretty sure that if they had offered those players to the Diamondbacks they would have been able to get Dan Haren, Kelly Johnson, and a bullpen arm. I’m also pretty convinced that they could have offered that group to the Mariners and gotten Cliff Lee, Jose Lopez and possibly David Aardsma. I’m not at all impressed with what they did here, and are only one bad week from being completely out of the race.

The Orioles – It’s a tough beat, but they were only able to move Will Ohman and Miguel Tejada, and would have been served by moving Ty Wigginton and Kevin Millwood, among others. Unfortunately, neither player has been playing well of late, and had essentially managed to knock their own values down to next to nothing.

The Twins – They needed some help in the bullpen, and really could have used another starting pitcher behind Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano. Unfortunately, they only filled one of those gaps, and at a cost that seems high even considering that the prospect that they gave up had no place to play in the Twins’ future.

Mixed Bag

The Astros – They were able to get out from under a lot of the big dollar contracts owed to Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, and got back at least a reasonable return. Brett Wallace will slot in at 1B to replace Berkman, and J.A. Happ will fill Oswalt’s slot in the rotation. But time will tell if they get anything other than salary relief for Berkman, and Happ and Wallace will have to be very good to replace the value of Oswalt in my opinion.

The Phillies – They gave up a lot more to get Oswalt than they got back in return for Cliff Lee, who would have played a similar role for the Phillies this season had he not been traded. Oswalt will need to be the piece that moves them over the top for this one to really be a winner for them.

The Diamondbacks – They acquired a pretty good young pitcher in return for Edwin Jackson (Hudson). But they practically gave away Dan Haren, a better pitcher who was not that much more expensive than Jackson. They got back a bunch of garbage essentially for their second catcher Snyder. Crosby is a free agent after the season, and Church and Carrasco are both likely candidates for a non-tender after the season. They also did not move Kelly Johnson and Adam LaRoche, both of whom had a lot of value built up despite poor performance of late. Some of the players they acquired could turn out to be good, but it remains to be seen.

The White Sox – They really could have used a bat, and it sounds like they were trying to get one by acquiring Edwin Jackson. I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard about a player being acquired with the hope of moving him to another team, only to have that other team tell them it wasn’t enough. Jackson is a nice pitcher, but is not that much better than Hudson should be.

Overall, a very exciting trade deadline, and there is still the possibility that we will see a lot more trades before the waiver deadline of August 31st.