Tag: 2012 MLB Trade Deadline

Ranking the 10 Most Shocking MLB Trades of 2012

MLB personnel moves are frequently prefaced by fan speculation, media probing or an executive announcement. Somebody usually spoils the surprise.

This article celebrates 10 exceptions to that norm that were completed in 2012.

The players involved ranged from future first-ballot Hall of Famers to lifetime reserves. The reasons for relocation varied, too.

However, they all understand what it’s like to be moved in a shocking trade.

Let’s review their experiences from the past year.

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Mat Gamel: Why the Brewers First Baseman Could Be Traded

Mat Gamel has fallen upon some bad luck this season.

A torn ACL ended his highly-coveted 2012 campaign, and the emergence of Corey Hart at first has all but assured Gamel’s departure.

Although the 27-year-old was batting a mere .246 before his injury, Gamel is still an interesting trade candidate. He has considerable power and is capable of hitting 20-25 home runs in a full season.

He can also hit for a decent average with consistent playing time. In 2011 with Triple-A Nashville, the left-handed hitter posted a .310 average. His success hasn’t translated over to the majors, but he has hardly had the chance to prove himself. He only saw action in 21 games before he tore his knee up.

I fully believe Gamel can be an All-Star in the big leagues if given the chance to play every day, and if his knee is fully healed. However, it might not be with the Crew.

The Brewers have found their future first baseman in Hart—depending on if they sign him to an extension. The brass will need to make that decision soon, as his contract is up at the end of the 2013 season.

Moving Gamel to the outfield is an option for Milwaukee, but their depth is already overwhelming. With Logan Schafer and Khris Davis making waves in the minors, there simply isn’t any room for the once-promising prospect.

After Aramis Ramirez’s contract expires, replacing him with Gamel could be a possibility. But he would almost be 30 by then, and his shoddy defense makes him more suited for first base.

Placing him on the bench and using him in spot starts and as a pinch-hitter isn’t among consideration. Gamel would be less than thrilled, and his poor attitude would affect his performance. The Brewers would trade him before making him a bench player.

Besides Gamel, Milwaukee doesn’t have much else to offer teams. He has become their greatest trade bait.

The Philadelphia Phillies may be interested in Gamel. If Ryan Howard’s demise continues, the Phillies may be forced to give up on him, despite paying him a fortune. Gamel could be the next Howard with a little less power.

In return, Milwaukee may be asking for a third base prospect, as the Brewers have none in their minor-league system.

Through almost no fault of his own, Mat Gamel’s time in Milwaukee may be over. His season-ending injury cost him his job.

Hopefully, Milwaukee can get someone promising in return for Gamel’s service.

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2012 MLB Waiver Trade Window: Grades for Every Trade

Now that the dust has started to settle on the just-ended MLB waiver-trade period, teams can get to the business of watching the fruits of their labor.

The month of August always presents a set of various issues for teams looking to make upgrades. The waiver process itself is the largest obstacle. For years now, teams in contention have used the month of August to gauge interest in players who could be possible trade chips, either during that month or in the offseason.

Buying teams have much to weigh when making deals as well: assuming the life of a player’s contract, weighing short-term vs. long-term impacts and hoping that the acquisition doesn’t mess with team chemistry.

This season, the month of August didn’t present a tremendous amount of movement, but one deal in particular will make it memorable indeed.

We will take a look at each trade made during the waiver-trade period and attach a grade for both teams involved. Obviously, current results won’t define each trade in the long run, so grades can certainly be seen as subjective in nature.

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Grading All Key MLB Trade Deadline Deals 1 Month In

Baseball is a game of risks late in the season. When a team makes a big-time deadline deal, it could either go extremely well or terribly. Those that merely play average baseball tend not to be the major deadline deals anyway.

A week after the deadline I took a look at the traded players and came away unimpressed. That is, of course, a small sample size. How do they fare when that sample size is widened to a month?

Some have done well after getting used to their surroundings, but others have mightily struggled.

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Re-Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups After the 2012 Trade Deadline

The 2012 MLB trade deadline was highlighted by a deep pool of potentially available starting pitchers, and while not all of them were traded, the likes of Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Francisco Liriano, Paul Maholm and Anibal Sanchez among others should have a significant impact on this year’s pennant race.

On the other side of things, the pool of available bats was as thin as it has ever been, and when the Padres opted to re-sign Carlos Quentin and hold on to Chase Headley, the market become even thinner.

Still, a number of hitters were traded at the deadline as contenders looked to shore up their biggest roster holes and add some punch to their lineups.

With that in mind, here is a look at where all 30 MLB batting orders rank after the moves that went down prior to the July 31 deadline.

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MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Recap and Grades for Every Deal

After months of MLB trade rumors and speculation, the trade deadline is now over. Players who were expected to move stayed on their own teams, and players who completely slipped by all the trade rumors were shipped out.

As a result, as is the case every year, the landscape of baseball looks different. Which teams made great moves to push themselves to the playoffs and which teams stocked up on solid prospects?

For that matter, which teams completely whiffed at the deadline? Each deal will be graded on both sides to figure this out. Trades from July 30 and 31 will be evaluated.

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MLB Trade Deadline: Inactivity Resumes Status Quo for the Minnesota Twins

As Minnesota Twins fans eagerly checked Twitter to see if general manager Terry Ryan would make a move at the Major League Baseball trade deadline, one had to wonder what would happen if this scene was set in the film Major League II.

In the film, the Cleveland Indians acquire a player from Japan by the name of Isuro “Kamakasi” Tanaka, who constantly questions Pedro Cerrano’s manhood by repeatedly screaming at him “You have no marbles!”

Mr. Tanaka may have a role waiting for him in the Twins’ organization after Tuesday, where Ryan failed to make a move to bolster his incredibly weak farm system.

In all honesty, nobody should be surprised by Ryan pumping the breaks. However, this trade deadline has a much different feel for the franchise because instead of adding a key piece (which Ryan had hesitated to do over his previous tenure as GM), the Twins almost needed to make a deal to make the future brighter.

It takes two to tango, but Ryan had to have a sense of urgency after seeing a team continuing a downward spiral since the Twins were swept by the New York Yankees in the 2010 American League Divisional Series.

The Twins probably wanted to hold onto Josh Willingham, who is in the first year of his three-year deal. They probably didn’t get a package good enough to ship Justin Morneau (who has one year left after 2012) either. Those scenarios are understandable.

However, with the Twins reluctant to deal Denard Span, the Twins continued a trend that was stated by Joe Christensen in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Tuesday morning: The Twins never sell high.

Span is having a great year for the Twins in the leadoff spot. He’s ranking toward the top of many categories among American League leadoff hitters (outside of power numbers), but he also had several years under the Twins’ control.

But with the emergence of Ben Revere and the opportunity for clearing a spot to give more major league at-bats to prospect Chris Parmelee, it might have been best to ship Span for some help in the Twins’ awful pitching rotation.

Pitching has been the one thing that has held this team back this season and instead of learning from the mistakes of former general manager Bill Smith, Ryan decided to hold back and hope for better value during the offseason (or worse, not at all).

It’s a mistake that has cost the Twins in previous years, and will continue to do so until Ryan can find some assets and turn them into players who can help the team in the future.

Meanwhile, Smith takes a lot of heat from Twins fans for running the team into the ground…but at least he took a risk. That’s what Ryan needed to do this year by following the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros lead by stripping down to the studs and building toward the future.

Perhaps Ryan didn’t see anything he liked, but he needed to do something. Of course, with Target Field continuing to rank 12th in attendance (at 88.7 percent capacity), maybe the Twins didn’t feel any pressure to make a move with their pocket books.

Either way, the Twins train to a quick turnaround has just left the station. Twins fans now need to hope that the conductor knows what he’s doing.

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Philadelphia Phillies: Grading the Phillies’ Trade Deadline Deals

Last year at the trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies were 68-39, six games up in the NL East. This season, the Phils are just 45-57, 16.5 games out in the NL East and 13 games out in the wild-card race.

Needless to say, with the payroll over $174 million, second to the New York Yankees in MLB, expectations were high.

They have not come close to meeting those expectations.

There were several rumors going around, including the potential trade of veteran starters Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay, but Ruben Amaro, Jr. held his cards, hoping to rebuild with his powerful rotation for the 2013 season.

With the deadline came a couple of major trades for Philadelphia. The club was able to acquire some talented young players to build around, while opening up the outfield for young players like Domonic Brown and John Mayberry, Jr.

Let’s take a look at how the Phillies fared on Tuesday.

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4 Reasons Why the Los Angeles Dodgers Erred by Not Upgrading Their Rotation

The Los Angeles Dodgers were easily the most active buyers leading up to today’s 4 p.m. ET, MLB non-waiver trade deadline. 

They pulled off a stunning trade last week when they acquired former All-Star Hanley Ramirez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate from the Miami Marlins for 22-year-old pitcher Nate Eovaldi and lightly regarded relief pitching prospect Scott McGough.  

That move was augmented by yesterday’s trade to acquire relief pitcher Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners, which then allowed the Dodgers to flip relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and prospect Ethan Martin to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder Shane Victorino. 

Each of those moves dramatically improved the Dodgers’ postseason odds and sent a strong message to the rest of Major League Baseball that the new ownership group in Los Angeles is serious about winning now.

But as savvy as each of those trades were—especially since the Dodgers surrendered none of their top prospects to make the moves happen—there was a glaring hole in the strategy executed by Los Angeles general manager Ned Colletti: he failed to upgrade the starting rotation. 

There’s no question that the Dodgers’ inability to consistently score runs was the biggest issue preventing them from being a legitimate threat to contend for a World Series in 2012 and beyond. But there are four reasons why not upgrading the starting pitching could cost Los Angeles dearly.

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New York Yankees: Grading the Bombers’ Trade Deadline Moves

The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and as has become the “Yankee Way,” Brian Cashman and the Yankees‘ front office made a couple of minor moves without pulling off a blockbuster deal.

Cashman made two small upgrades to his first-place team’s roster, acquiring outfielder Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners for minor league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar on July 23, and acquiring infielder Casey McGehee from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Chad Qualls just before Tuesday’s deadline.

Both deals are low-risk, medium- to high-upside moves that made sense. But the best moves the Yankees made at this year’s trade deadline are the trades Brian Cashman did not make.


July 23, Yankees acquire OF Ichiro Suzuki, Grade: A-

This was a prudent move for the Yankees.

After finding out the Brett Gardner would miss the duration of the season due to elbow surgery, the Yankees were looking at playing the final two months and the postseason with Raul Ibanez (40) and Andruw Jones (35) forming a platoon in left field.

Both players have done well in that role so far this season, but it’s questionable whether either would be able to keep up their performance for two more months at their ages. Neither has any speed, either.

So the Yankees traded for Ichiro, a 38-year-old outfielder who, at worst, comes relatively cheaply and gives the Yankees superb outfield play and the speed element they were lacking. At best, he is a dynamic offensive player who started his career with 10 200-hit seasons and seven times led the American League in hits.

This is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward trade.


July 31, Yankees acquire 1B/3B Casey McGehee, Grade: A-

This is another deal that comes with absolutely no risk and some upside, albeit not as much upside as the Ichiro trade gave the Yankees.

First is the cost. The Yankees gave up Chad Qualls, a reliever who was about to be designated for assignment as soon as Joba Chamberlain was ready to come off the DL. Chamberlain was supposed to make one more rehab appearance, but was instead activated Tuesday after the trade. So, in essence, the Yankees gave up about two days of Chad Qualls’ services.

In acquiring McGehee (via Yahoo!), they gained a corner infielder with a right-handed power bat who can fill in for Alex Rodriguez as he misses time with a broken hand.

McGehee has played primarily at first base with the Pirates this year, but has also been the Brewers‘ regular third baseman in the past. He’s not good at the hot corner, but is serviceable.

He doesn’t hit for average; he’s a career .260 hitter with a .316 on-base percentage. But he does have eight homers in 265 at-bats and his career high was 23 home runs in 2010.

I’m skeptical about how much the Yankees will get out of McGehee, especially since A-Rod will come back eventually and probably take McGehee’s roster spot regardless of his performance, but they gave up virtually nothing. It was a good deal to make.


Overall Grade: A

At the end of the day, though, the Yankees did well at this year’s trade deadline because they did not trade any of their top prospects for a player they did not need.

Yes, the Yankees have been slumping. But they still have the best record in the American League and will almost assuredly win the AL East.

The offense is solid, and they made a deal to improve on their main weaknesses in left field and lack of speed. Russell Martin has had a terrible season, but there weren’t many catchers on the market significantly better than Martin.

Many fans were clamoring for the Bombers to make a deal for Cliff Lee, or Ryan Dempster or another elite starting pitcher. While a deal for a top starting pitcher would have been nice, the Yankees’ rotation has been excellent this year, and fans should be confident with CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and probably Phil Hughes as the team’s rotation heading into the playoffs.

Brian Cashman held on to Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and all of the team’s top prospects for the future, and he still has the best team in the American League.

The Yankees did well at this year’s trade deadline.

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