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2011 Team by Team Trade Deadline Rankings
- Updated: August 2, 2011
The non-waiver trade deadline ended on Sunday afternoon, and there was no shortage of teams looking to make some sort of move. With nearly every division being within the grasp of a strong run within the last two months of the season, perhaps no trade season in recent memory has had the potential impact this one could carry on review.
Many contenders realized this and made aggressive moves to either secure their spot, or to try to find the final piece to make a conclusive run to get to the top of their division. Only two second place team in either league (surprisingly, the deep pocketed Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees) didn’t make a move at all…albeit for different reasons.
If this hyper-competitive racing around the deadline continues on the field, this season’s plotlines won’t get sorted out until much closer to the end of September than the beginning. Here is a breakdown of how each Major League club emerges from the passing of open trading this season; who made the most of it, as well as who took a few too many swings for the fence.
30. Los Angeles Angels – Their terrible year on the personnel front continues, first taking on the burden of Vernon Wells’ contract last winter, and now within striking range of the Rangers (who were far from quiet) they failed to make any upgrades to either their anemic offense or back end of their bullpen.
29. Cincinnati Reds – Declared as “definite buyers” by GM Walt Jocketty, the only move they mustered was grabbing some minor prospects for Jonny Gomes. In a very much still to be decided NL Central, this failure to act could guarantee them to be onlookers the rest of the way.
28. Kansas City Royals – It’s understandable to keep veterans in tow to ease the transition for their youngsters. But they also could have gained some value by trading high on Jeff Francouer or Melky Cabrera to one of the contenders interested in them. This year is over in KC and they could have easily found similar players again this winter.
27. Arizona Diamondbacks – They are still very much in the picture in the NL West race, but only managing to land Jason Marquis and Brad Zeigler aren’t exact moves that scream “takeover coming soon.”
26. Oakland Athletics – The A’s had a ton of guys that a lot of teams were calling in about acquiring, and could’ve been used to right the ship out there. However, this didn’t cash in as many of their chips as they could have, and one that was completed for Rich Harden ended up voided due to his health…or lack thereof.
25. Minnesota Twins – There was no shortage of interest in their guys, but the Twins basically decided to hold surf on their current beat up roster and come back next year and give it a run again. Good, non panic decision.
24. Baltimore Orioles – A contract dump of Derrek Lee to the Pirates and picking up some promising young roster pieces in exchange for solid reliever Koji Uehara.
23. Seattle Mariners – In a free falling season, there’s nothing that can be done to save them. At least moving Eric Bedard and Doug Fister out of town represents some sort of change.
22. Boston Red Sox – The Sox are the AL’s best so far this year, despite a beat up pitching staff. So as an answer to that issue they trade for the perennially injured Eric Bedard…after a deal for the equally plagued Rich Harden fell through. This makes sense…to somebody, right?
21. Florida Marlins – The Fish can’t get in the mix this year, and instead of piecing away their club, they held on to everyone. No help, no change.
20. Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers aren’t ready quite yet to do an outright salary dump like the Mets have been looking to do, but it’s beginning to take place. Rafeal Furcal (and his $12 million contract) was moved out, and there will surely be more turnover in the near future.
19. Chicago White Sox – The Sox held on to most of their underachieving core, but looked to move money off of their payroll, which is the over $127 million this year (fifth overall in the game). They had little luck in doing so.
18. Chicago Cubs – Speaking of dropping contract weight, the other team in the Windy City struck it big. Despite getting no bites on Alfonso Soriano (despite nearly begging someone to take him) or Aramis Ramirez, they did move one of their long standing contract woes. However, moving Kosuke Fukodome on to Cleveland moves them past his expiring $13.5 million figure.
17. Washington Nationals – The future is the focus in D.C. and they looked aggressively to add a centerpiece to their outfield to serve it…which they did not do. Mostly because they balked at moving one of the game’s best young closers, Drew Storen, which is good reason for a trade to stall.
16. Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays, as usual, were at the center of many rumors, particularly around B.J. Upton and James Shields. In the end, they decided to close those avenues for now, although Upton’s name could still swirl in the waiver trade season in August.
15. Pittsburgh Pirates – Picking up the expiring deals of Ryan Ludwick and Derrek Lee aren’t the biggest moves, but put more experience in the mix, with no long term hindrances. For a team that is in brand new territory with a young team, their experience will be useful.
14. St. Louis Cardinals – They were very active in the late week. First moving promising young outfielder Colby Rasmus to Toronto; and in the process ended a nearly two year soap opera between him and manager Tony LaRussa. In return they received multiple pieces to complete the current team, headlined by Edwin Jackson. In addition, Rafeal Furcal was acquired to strengthen their questionable infield defense.
13. New York Mets – The Metropolitans made contradictory statements around the deadline. As part of a very necessary cost cutting/talent building agenda, they moved out big name/high price players in Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran. Yet they refused to move Jose Reyes, who would’ve netted a major payout in return via prospects and salary relief. He pending free agency and is guaranteed to get a major pay bump, just when the Mets are looking to cut costs. For a team trying to save every dollar, why they would hold on to the guy that would’ve netted them the most in return is a confusing move.
12. San Diego Padres – In the end Heath Bell stayed put, but moving Mike Adams out netted them two talented minor leaguers in Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland, which will continue to add what the Padres value most: young talent to continue rebuilding their system.
11. Houston Astros – They tried their hardest to move every productive player they had, and succeeded feeding two clubs headed to the postseason by sending All-Star Hunter Pence to Philadelphia and Gold Glover Michael Bourn to Atlanta. In exchange they received a group of top tier prospects, headlined by Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton, which will play out better in the long term for a club a long way away from competing, even if they kept their established stars.
10. Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays continued to masterfully add young talent to their core in the trade market, and acquired two more such players in Colby Rasmus and Zack Stewart. Both cost little in the form of substance from their end and could pay out big time going forward.
9. Atlanta Braves – They were outbid by Phillies and Giants for their preferred options. However they didn’t leave empty handed; in Michael Bourn they netted the Major’s leading base thief and an elite defender to cover their spacious outfield.
8. Detroit Tigers – Detroit nearly dealt top prospect Jacob Turner (who made an impressive big league debut on Saturday) for Ubaldo Jimenez, but instead went smaller scale and netted the efficient Doug Fister. The hope is that his consistent effort (3.33 ERA) plays out better than it did in Seattle (3-12 record).
7. Colorado Rockies – They dangled the biggest pitching talent on the market for over a month to all of the game’s biggest heavyweights, and eventually bit on what a surprising candidate offered. The Indians package of top prospects is exactly what the club wanted back for parting with Ubaldo Jimenez. Over time, this deal could end up as a turning point for the club if the biggest piece of the deal, Drew Pomeranz, pays out.
6. Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers struck first in landing Francisco Rodriguez to boost their bullpen, immediately following the All-Star Game. However, they also were forced to get deeper closer to the deadline to compensate for an injury to Rickie Weeks by landing Jerry Hairston and Felipe Lopez.
5. New York Yankees – The Yankees were, as usual, involved in every big name pitching scenario on the market. With everyone from Ubaldo Jimenez to Heath Bell tied to them, they decided (for a change) to not deal their top prospects to get an immediate pay out. With talents such as Manny Banuelos and Jesus Montero a step away from NY, holding out could be worth the calculated risk.
4. San Francisco Giants – Once again, their offense was slipping down the stretch. Where last year they pieced together several veterans to strengthen their attack, this year a more direct route was taken in the form of the best bat available, Carlos Beltran. It cost them their top pitching prospect in Zack Wheeler, but if any team can afford to pay that cost, it’s the Giants.
3. Cleveland Indians – The Indians said they were going to go for it during the deadline, and nobody going in expected them to be as serious as they came out being. Landing Ubaldo Jimenez to add a frontline starter to their rotation and Kosuke Fukodome for outfield depth shows that they were more ready to stay in the race than any other club that has lost ground over the last month. In the process, they kept both of their top two young talents in Jason Kepnis and Lonnie Chisenhall as well.
2. Texas Rangers – The club was committed to digging into the Padres treasure chest of relievers, and especially at Heath Bell. In the end they landed his former setup man, and arguably, the more desirable target. Mike Adams was stated as being off the trade block earlier in the week, but the Rangers upped the ante as the deadline drew closer and netted what could be their closer of the future. Along with the acquisition of Koji Uehara to the end of games, the Rangers are now a six inning proposition if they are ahead.
1. Philadelphia Phillies – The rich continue to get richer. In adding Hunter Pence to their outfield, the Phillies now start a current or former All-Star at seven of their eight starting spots, and put a dangerous right handed bat behind Ryan Howard, a season-long need after the departure of Jayson Werth. This acquisition just makes their lineup potentially just as dangerous as their pitching, and furthers their standing as the games most complete team.