The MLB Trade Deadline has no gone and passed and we are left reflecting on yet another exciting, down to the wire finish in terms of deals being made. We had some deals made months in advance, and some made literally in the final seconds before the deadline. Now that we have officially begun the ‘home stretch’ of the 2012 baseball season, let’s take a look back at who dealt themselves a winning hand, and who swung and missed badly at the deadline.
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
Acquisitions: SS Hanley Ramirez, OF Shane Victorino, P Brandon League
The Dodgers were a pretty solid team before the deadline but they made strides towards their goal of a World Series when they added three key players before the deadline. Los Angeles picked up infielder Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins who will play shortstop until Dee Gordon returns and will then slide over to third, the position he was playing in Miami. Adding Ramirez adds great defense to the infield and speed on the base paths. Los Angeles doubled up in the speed department by acquiring leadoff man Shane Victorino from the Phillies. Victorino will bat leadoff for the Dodgers and has a history of getting on base, which is what the Dodgers need with bats like Andre Ether and Matt Kemp in the lineup. They also added a player that was overshadowed by the bigger names acquired. Right-hander Brandon League from Seattle will add another right handed presence in the bullpen. Don’t be surprised if he’s a name a lot of people are talking about late in the season and into October.
Loser: Cincinnati Reds
Acquisitions: P – Jonathan Broxton
The Reds needed a leadoff hitter badly and they didn’t get one before the deadline. Without a leadoff man, the Reds playoff hopes aren’t dashed but they really needed a guy at the top of the order who could steal bases and score runs early. Instead the Reds doubled down and got a relief pitcher to serve as a setup man for Aroldis Chapman. Jonathan Broxton comes over from the Kansas City Royals with closing experience which will serve the Reds well in late inning situations. It seems that to win in OCtober you need a closer and then a backup closer. The Reds got that in Broxton and they’re really only losers because they didn’t get what they needed. Broxton is a grade A pickup in the bullpen but if the Reds can’t score runs, Broxton and even Chapman are rendered useless.
Winner: Chicago White Sox
Acquisitions: 3B – Kevin Youkilis, P – Bret Myers, P – Francisco Liriano
The White Sox quietly put together the best midseason acquisition list as they, like the Dodgers, were already a solid team to begin with. GM Kenny Williams admitted that he felt the Sox were already a team that had the pieces in place but he still went out and made the South Siders even better. The Sox made the first trade wave when the acquired Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox. They then added bullpen arm Bret Myers from the Houston Astros who will play set up man and backup closer to Addison Reed. The Sox were reportedly also hot after Zack Greinke but they settled instead for Twins lefty Francisco Liriano. By adding Liriano the Sox now will run with a six man rotation that includes Jake Peavy, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana to name a few. Chicago is surprising a lot of people by out playing the Tigers who can get hot at any moment. With the trades they made, Kenny Williams and the Sox are serious about bouncing the Tigers and everyone else who stands in their way of another World Series title.
Loser: Miami Marlins
Acquisitions: Minor league players and draft picks
It looked like the Marlins were going to be buyers after they dealt for Astros first baseman Carlos Lee on July 4th. But since then Miami has been just an awful team which is being reflected by their awful ownership. The Marlins claimed they weren’t going to have a fire sale and they laughably stood by that claim as they shipped off Gabby Sanchez, Omar Infante, Edward Mujica, and Hanley Ramirez to name just a few. Miami’s grand plans to exploit the Latin population of South Beach and file them into their obscenely and idiotically placed stadium has failed and they now have a billion dollar mansion with no furniture — because they traded it all. Miami is bleeding money and it proves they’re the bratty kid who claimed he could be responsible only to see his horrid pyramid scheme investments blow up in his face. The trade deadline could not have gone worse for the Marlins.
Winner: Chicago Cubs
Acquisitions: P – Kyle Hendricks, P – Jake Brigham, P – Arodys Vizciano, P – Jaye Chapman, IF – Christian Villaneuva
The Marlins were secretly hoping they could have been the Cubs. Chicago straight up said it was going to be a fire sale this season and that was accurately reflected in their trades. They said they were going to trade Ryan Dempster and they did. They said they’d be moving pieces at the right price and they did. Yu had to imagine that every phone call the Cubs fielded was a friendly one. The Atlanta Braves called up with an offer for Dempster and although the Cubs rejected it, they said ‘hey, let’s still do business” and dealt pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta for Arodys Vizciano and Jaye Chapman. They sent Ryan Dempster and his catcher Giovanni Soto to the Texas Rangers for Christian Villaneuva, Kyle Hendricks, and Jake Brigham. Although they didn’t move Alfonso Soriano and his giant contract, the Cubs have officially begun their rebuilding process and they got some great pieces to do so with. Cubs fans shouldn’t be upset with the clubs selling attitude; they are going to be singing praises in years to come.