Sunday, August 02, 2009

Nobody knows who the big trade deadline winner is!

The trade deadline came and went and of course it is always one of the coolest days of the year for a baseball fan.

It's the sports equivalent of Randolph and Mortimer Duke trying to corner the frozen concentrated orange juice. And of course rumors flew, trades were analyzed, and some stunning deals took place.

Some teams decided to go for it, like the Mariners when they acquired Jack Wilson and Ian Snell.

Other teams decided to cash it in, like the Mariners who dealt Jarrod Washburn?


So was I when I saw the Rangers had stockpiled prospects and were within striking distance of the AL West and the Wild Card...and stayed pat.

So was I when I saw the Yankees with a glaring need for a starter and a lefty reliever saying "We're fine with Jerry Hairston."

So was I when I saw the White Sox say "We don't care if he is hurt and clearly doesn't want to play for us... we NEED Jake Peavy!"

So was I when I realized the Red Sox felt they didn't have ENOUGH first basemen.

So was I when I saw Riccardi say "Nah... we think it's best to deal Roy Halladay when his value dips!"

But now EVERYONE is writing up their "Winners and losers of the trade deadline" articles. And the funny thing about every one of those write ups is they are all meaningless now.

We don't know!
Sure, it looks like the Phillies are a big winner with Cliff Lee throwing a complete game victory in his first game for the Phils. But what if he slumps? Or what if he doesn't throw well in Philadelphia?

I made fun of the Yankees picking up Jerry Hairston, but what if he gets some big hits down the stretch?

Sometimes what looks like a big time move at the deadline can look downright rotten when the season ends.

Just taking Red Sox deals as an example, in 2007 I celebrated the pick up of Eric Gagne.

There wasn't a lot of reasons to crow after the deadline.

I remember in 2002, Cliff Floyd came over to the Sox in what was supposed to be a tide turner.

And in 2003, when the Red Sox acquired Jeff Suppan and Scott Sauerbeck from the Pirates, it looked like they got the pitching depth they desperately needed.

How did those turn out?

And in 2004, who noticed the Red Sox picked up Dave Roberts? NOBODY! And now he is a beloved Red Sox icon.

We don't know how any of these trades will pan out and we won't for a few years.

When the Tigers traded for Doyle Alexander on August 12, 1987, Detroit was 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays.

He went 9-0 for the rest of the season for the Tigers.
Not only did he win all 9 decisions (and the Tigers clinched the division on the final day of the season, so needed every win) but he pitched remarkably in crucial games.

He beat the eventual World Champion Twins twice. He outdueled the eventual Cy Young winner Roger Clemens. He got a no decision pitching into the 11th inning of a 13 inning win against the Blue Jays on September 27th. And finally on October 2nd, he pitched 7 strong against the Blue Jays as the Tigers tied them for the Division Lead... only to clinch 3 days later.

The Tigers got all of that production and did have to sacrifice a single player from their major league roster.

And this writer calls THAT trade one of the worst of all time FOR THE TIGERS.

Of course that's because the minor leaguer the Tigers parted with was John Smoltz.

But the trade won the division... and what else can the GM do besides give the manager the horses he needs to get into October.

Writers should be banned from analyzing this years trade deadline and instead breakdown the deadline from 5 years ago.

I'd do it, but I need to go to bed.
Perhaps tomorrow.


  1. Good post, Sully. Naming winners and losers at the July 31st trading deadline is like those idiots who write columns about who were winners and losers on NFL Draft day. You can't know until the season is over. And remember how the Red Sox were proclaimed big winners for acquiring Eric gagne two years ago?

  2. um CC Sabitha and Manny Ramirez last year? yeah they made a difference right away! when its a star player as long as the player keeps being a star it helps right away, case closed!

  3. Both trucks are car qualify for the cash for clunkers but not the motorcycles


  4. Totally disagree. A trade is like a bet. You evaluate its wisdom before the fact, not after. Some bets are just plain dumb even if they work out against all odds. Hindsight is 20/20.

  5. It is like assigning grades for the NFL draft the next day. It is easy to immediately identified who the losers are after a sell out trade - the fans. If you bought tickets hoping to watch stars play and then they're gone to another team for players who won't reach the majors for a couple years (if at all) you'd be justifiably miffed.

  6. johng2:02 PM

    GM's have 4 goals in building a team:

    1) Make the owner money.

    2) Win, ASAP.

    3) Keep fan interest.

    4) Win in the future.

    Sportswriters don't take all 4 into consideration when they whine about front office moves. The Peavy trade is being panned everywhere, except that it was exciting, and made something for sportswriters to write about.