A rundown of the trades that have already occurred (asterisk represents trades I personally feel are the most important for contending teams--not to be confused with steroids):
June 6: Angel Berroa (SS) to the Dodgers; Juan Rivera (IF) to the Royals
June 13: Trot Nixon (OF) to the Mets; Diamondbacks get player to be named or cash
July 7: *C.C. Sabathia (SP) to the Brewers; Matt LaPorta (OF), Zach Jackson (P), and Rob Bryson (P) to the Indians*
July 8: *Rich Harden (SP) and Chad Gaudin (P) to the Cubs for four players to the A's (more here)
July 17: Tony Clark (1B) to the Diamonbacks; Evan Scribner (P) to the Padres
July 17: Joe Blanton (P) to the Phillies for three players to the A's including Matt Spencer (OF)
July 20: Ray Durham (2B) to the Brewers for two players headed to the Giants
July 22: Pitching deal--Randy Wolf to the Astros, Chad Reineke to the Padres
July 25: *Xavier Nady (OF) and Marte (P) to the Yanks for four players to the Pirates*
July 26: Casey Blake (3B) to the Dodgers for Carlos Santana (C) and Jon Meloan (P) to the Indians
July 27: *Mark Teixeira (1B) to the Angels for Casey Kotchman (1B) and Marek (P) to the Braves*
July 28: Ivan Rodriguez (C) to the Yanks; Kyle Farnsworth (P) to the Tigers
The Braves were going to lose Mark Teixeira at the end of the season to free agency, but they don't seem to have taken advantage of his worth. On the other hand, the Angels capitalized on this trade and are nearly a sure bet for clinching that division. The Padres seem to be trading all over the place, but are they even going to make it to the post season? I highly doubt it. The Dodgers needed a bat, Casey Blake on a good day probably won't be enough for them. The Cubs and Brewers made wise pitching choices that will leave them in the race up until the end. The Yankees are attempting to clean up their lineup with so many injuries. If anyone can replace Jorge Posada, it's Pudge Rodriguez, but that doesn't make me feel any better about Pudge going to the Yanks!
Players to keep an eye on today: Greg Maddux (SP) of the Padres, Adam Dunn (OF) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (OF) of the Reds, Jeremy Hermida (OF) of the Marlins, Manny Ramirez (OF) of the Red Sox, Jason Bay (OF) of the Pirates, Will Ohman (P) of the Braves, Brian Fuentes (SP) of the Rockies, Ron Mahay (P) of the Royals, and Adrian Beltre (3B) of the Mariners.
Update (9:18 a.m. MST): Ken Griffey, Jr. is said to be in talks for a trade to the Chicago White Sox. The former Mariner and current Red has never played for a World Series winning (or playing) team and would like to do so before the end of his 608-home run and still counting career.
Update (9:32 a.m. MST): From the rumor mill...embattled Boston Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez may be going to the Florida Marlins (of all teams!!) in a three-team deal. If this indeed happens, I still don't believe Theo Epstein will let it, this coul put the Marlins in a position to take over the National League East where they have been battling the Mets & Philles competently for over a month. Manny, who like Ken Griffey, Jr., gets the final say and he's saying he won't block a trade.
Update (9:50 a.m. MST): Word is the Reds have agreed to trade Junior to the White Sox, but are awaiting final word and approval from Griffey himself.
Update (9:59 a.m. MST): And it's golden! Ken Griffey, Jr. is headed to the White Sox--just agreed to it. No word on what the Reds get in return.
3 hours and 53 minutes to go...
Update (10:09 a.m. MST): Marlins trade prospect Hernandez for left-hander Rhodes; Astros acquire Hawkins from Yanks
Update (10:26 a.m. MST): Pirates may be holding up the Ramirez deal.
Update (10:56 a.m. MST): Sports Illustrated is reporting that Manny Ramirez has approved possible trade to the Florida Marlins. However, the Pirates want more from the Red Sox for Jason Bay than Theo Epstein and the Bo-Sox may be willing to pay. Seems the Marlins are willing to trade whatever is necessary to the Pirates to assure Manny arrives in Miami. What do you think the chances are all those empty seats at Dolphin Stadium will fill up if Manny turns up in Miami?
3 hours and 4 minutes to go...
I've yet to decide what the silence out of the Mets and the Nationals means for the National League East. Where Washington is concerned, I suspect it boils down to having very little money and players that aren't worth much if anything (Paul Lo Duca I'm looking at you).
Found this from yesterday's Houston Chronicle: Astros to those interested--thanks for asking, but not a snowball's chance in hell. They are keeping Tejada! Is this the second-wind of Miguel Tejada? If his performance in the all star game is any indication, then a resounding yes!
Update (11:37 a.m. MST): If the Red Sox don't deserve Manny, nobody deserves Manny? It's beginning to look like a deal that would land Manny Ramirez in Miami and Jason Bay in Boston is all but dead. There are of course still 2 hours and 23 minutes before the Red Sox have hit a brick wall (or big green monster) with this deal, but it doesn't look good for the BoSox.
Update (11:43 a.m. MST): Details of the Manny situation via Ken Rosenthal. Is no news good news? Not if there is "nothing to talk about."
I didn't say there was anything sane about the trade deadline! 1 hour, 32 minutes and the race is on.
Final Update and Analysis:
As of the 4 p.m. (EST) trade deadline, no deals had been announced for today's most talked about players: Manny Ramirez and Jason Bay. It seems that in the last hour before the trade deadline, a deal that would have sent Manny to the Florida Marlins fell apart and Jason Bay was left hanging. Then talk got louder about Bay going to the bay, literally, Los Angeles to be exact.
The 4 p.m. trade deadline came and went. Still no deals to be announced.
However, word is that a deal has been reached between three teams, the Boston Red Sox, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, sending Manny Ramirez to L.A., Jason Bay to Boston, and four minor leaguers (possibly Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche) to the Pirates.
I didn't believe that the Red Sox would trade Manny, but once Manny started saying he'd accept a trade anywhere, I figured things had gotten bad enough that Manny wanted out and Boston would in fact move him. After all he's done and said recently, Manny needed a move almost as much as the Red Sox needed him off the front page of the Boston Globe. Ironically, L.A. deserves Manny. Hopefully for Joe Torre the trade turns out better than it did when Andruw Jones booked a flight from Atlanta to L.A.
Jason Bay's presence in a Boston outfield doesn't detract much from the overall defense of the BoSox. His hitting may. For all that has been said about Manny, there is no denying his presence in any lineup. You don't trade away a 600-career homerun hitter and not feel the pain a little.
As for the rest of today's trade deadline news, I am happy to see Ken Griffey, Jr. getting some of the spotlight. This guy is a class act. More so than any other active player in the league. He is what is great and decent about Major League Baseball. Will his move to the White Sox earn him a World Series victory? Too soon to tell if Chicago will still be at the top of the their division. However, Chicago fans, I think, can really appreciate the talent of Griffey. He'll be happy, showing of that trademark smile, no matter where he plays. Let's just hope he's playing for a team that will see a whole lot of the post season.
Here's what no news from the Mets and Nationals means to me. The Nationals will not see post-season play for at least another couple of years. Without making any moves before the trade deadline they aren't ever going to bring in young talent or get rid of veteran talent. As far as I'm concerned, they should send Paul Lo Duca packing. For whatever they're paying him they could easily pick up some minor league talent. The Mets are a bit more complicated. They have had their own shakeup this year and the exit of Willie Randolph may have been the biggest change they could handle. They have a decent, young team that is still in the race. Despite their epic collapse last year, they know what it takes to win. It would have benefitted them to go shopping for a little more outfield help. Trot Nixon and Carlos Beltran can't do it all and it may be awhile before Ryan Church and Moises Alou are healthy and back in the lineup. The funny thing is, when the season started I thought that by the trade deadline they'd be shopping for a new first baseman by way of the Diamondbacks or Braves. Good for Delgado for coming around.
The team I think stands the most to gain by these pre-deadline happenings is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Mark Teixeira brings gold-glove skills and a serious bat to their roster. He will be what the Braves were looking for and couldn't capitalize on. With a solid lineup behind him, look for big numbers from Tex.
The team I don't want to have anything to gain from all of this is the Yankees. In fact, since last night I've spent a lot of time wondering if my favorite catcher can remain my favorite catcher once he suits up in pinstripes. I was looking at stats for Ivan Rodriguez earlier and noticed that he's listed at 5'9" and 190 lbs. Pudge! Are you kidding? I wonder how pitchers will adjust going from the tall and slender Jorge Posada to the short (can't be more than 5'5") and stocky Pudge. Regardless of size, the 2003 NLCS MVP brings thirteen gold gloves with him to the remaining days of Yankee Stadium. Thirteen gold gloves behind the dish, can you really beat that? Nady will stabilize the Yanks' outfield, his arm is certainly stronger than Damon's, but will his bat bring the numbers the Yankees need to stay in contention? Who knows. I want to say no.
Who were the winners and losers this trade season? Obviously, the Angels and the Brewers. With solid hitting and pitching you can't go wrong. The Red Sox struck even. The Pirates three years from now may be the winners of today's trade, but tomorrow they'll be the team without two solid bats. The Braves made a horrible trade in terms of what they got for what they had. And I'm still wondering how the Tigers couldn't agree to send Pudge to the Marlins in some sort of deal similar to the Willis/Cabrera deal. The Reds lost big time, the White Sox too soon to tell, but probably winners in the short term.
Surprise of the day? Not a single Molina was traded. Can't blame the Cardinals for holding tight to Yadier, the Yankees now have a backup catcher for their backup catcher, but Bengie? Staying put for a team that doesn't seem to need anyone to catch anything behind the plate--not with fastballs that everybody is hitting and wild pitches that not even the backstop is knocking down.
Minus the part where I had "Best of You" by the Foo Fighters stuck in my head all damn day and had to take a break for physical therapy, this has been a fairly exciting and enjoyable trade deadline.