I am going to grade all of the MLB deadline trades that happened recently, just the big ones, not something like two Single A prospects swapping teams.
Atlanta Braves trade Mark Teixeira to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for 1B Casey Kotchman and minor league P Steve Marek.
Atlanta Braves: B+ - After dealing for Mark Teixeira just a year ago, the Braves are now dealing him away and they got on the better end of the deal. Casey Kotchman usually hits around .300 yearly and is just like Teixeira without the power (he'll still hit close to 20 a year though). Steve Marek is a highly rated prospect who could be a great closer in the big leagues. He is a set-up man in the minors right now and he has 351 strikeouts in less than 400 innings pitched with a 3.52 ERA. He is only 24-years old and he still has time to improve. The Braves weren't winning with Teixeira in their lineup so they made a good move getting another first baseman and a great prospect.
Los Angeles Angels: C+ - I don't really see why the Angels had to make this deal. They give away a great prospect and swap first baseman and now they end up with a good first baseman . . . on the final year of his contract. He is making $12,500,000 this year and will demand a huge contract after this year - probably up over $15,000,000. They could have had a cheaper Casey Kotchman for a longer time but they didn't. They didn't improve much on this deal and their farm system just keeps getting worse and worse, they may be able to go far in the playoffs this season but the future isn't looking too good.
Detroit Tigers trade C Pudge Rodriguez to the New York Yankees in exchange for RP Kyle Farnsworth.
Detroit Tigers: D - With the loss of Pudge Rodriguez we'll have to go to our .220 hitting catcher - Brandon Inge. I notice that Inge doesn't provide great defense behind the plate either. Pudge was having a great year, hitting .300 with one of the best defensive seasons out of any catcher in the league and now they trade him for Kyle Farnsworth. Farnsworth is supposed to be the Tigers new closer even though he has more career saves than saves. He, like Pudge, is also in the last year of his contract which was mainly the reason I thought the Tigers make this trade, to get something for Pudge when you can. The Tigers might not get a lot of save opportunities: 1. Their starting pitching is terrible and 2. They will lose offense out of the catcher position. I don't like the move a bit.
New York Yankees: A - This was a huge deal for the New York Yankees. Their opening day catcher Jorge Posada is injured and will possibly retire after this year. Pudge is still a great catcher and went 1-for-3 on his first day with the Yankees, raising his batting average to .300. If Jorge Posada does come back for next year, the Yankees don't have to resign Pudge but if Posada retires, they have the money to sign Pudge. Their bullpen was already very good so losing Farnsworth doesn't hurt them very much. If I was a Yankees fan, I would love this moode . . . Airplane ticket to New York please?
Seattle Mariners trade RP Arthur Rhodes to the Florida Marlins in exchange for minor league P Gaby Hernandez
Seattle Mariners: B- - Although the Mariners didn't get much in return (in my opinion) they weren't using Arthur Rhodes much so mean as well trade him. Rhodes was originally going to be a lefty set-up man before the season began but because the Mariner's lack of save opportunities, Rhodes went from a set-up man to a situational lefty relief pitcher. Since Seattle is already soaking this season in and looking forward to 2009, trading for a prospect wasn't a bad move. Hernandez is just 5-8 with a 6.47 ERA in Double A and Triple A ball this year but Pedro Grifol, Seattle's minor league cordinator, showed interest in him.
Florida Marlins: A- - Now the Marlins were a team who weren't expecting much out of Hernandez but they knew that the Mariners were so they made a great trade here, geting a veteren left-handed reliever in the bullpen. He is 2-1 this year with a 2.86 ERA along with 26 strikeouts in 22 innings. He has a career major league ERA of 4.28 with a 77-61 record in 689 games. Rhodes will likely be a set-up man when he goes to Florida because the Marlins are a team who gets quite a few save opportunities.
Cincinatti Reds trade Ken Griffey Jr. to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for 2B Danny Richar and RP Nick Masset
Cincinatti Reds: C+ - I think that moving Ken Griffey Jr. out of Cincinatti was a good move but the Reds could have gotten a lot more in this deal. Danny Richar is hitting .230 with six home runs in under 200 at-bats in his first year in the MLB this year and he could turn into a decent player but no where near Griffey's caliber. Nick Massett is a 26-year old middle relief pitcher with a 5.63 career ERA. Nothing great in return but Cincinnati had to trade one of their many outfielders to open up an everyday spot for Jay Bruce for this year and the next. Decent trade, but they could have gotten more.
Chicago White Sox: D - A name isn't everything even though Griffey has a big one. Kenny Smith did get a steal here but where exactly are they going to put Junoir? They have Carlos Quentin, Jermaine Dye and Nick Swisher in the outfield - all of these players can hit 30 home runs on any given year. At DH you have Jim Thome - where will he go? Plus Griffey isn't as good as he used to be - he is only hitting .245 with 15 home runs. They didn't have to give up much for him but this trade may hurt them anyway. Your going to have to take one of your outfielders out of the lineup and put in a struggling veteren who demands playing time. You do the math.
Washington Nationals trade minor league P Jhonny Nunez to the New York Yankees in exchange for SS Alberto Gonzalez
Washington Nationals: A - I am very high on this Alberto Gonzalez dude. He is already one of the better fielders in the minor leagues at only age 25. He may not be a great hitter (only a .275 average in the minors and an average under .200 in the majors) but hitting wil lcome as he matures. He doesn't have great power either. He does have decent speed - 42 stolen bases in just about 500 at-bats. They Nationals don't have much depth at the shortstop position so this is a very good trade for them.
New York Yankees: A- - Derek Jeter is getting older and you could look at this trade and not like it because they might need Gonzalez down the road when Jeter retires or gets injured. Instead, the Yankees will get a shortstop the same way that many New York Yankee teams have done before - they'll buy one. Seriously though, Jhonny Nunez has put up good stats in the minor leagues so far and he is still only 22-years old so he has all the time in the world to improve. He only has a 6-14 record in the minors but hey, what do you expect, he is playing on a Washington Nationals Affiliate. He has a 3.78 ERA and has the ability to either be a reliever or a starter.
Boston Red Sox trade Manny Ramirez to the Los Angels Dodgers as well as trading RP Craig Hansen and OF Brandon Moss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Jason Bay from the Pittsburgh Pirates while Los Angeles sends 3B Andy LaRoche and minor league P Bryan Morris packing to Pittsburgh
Boston Red Sox: C+ - Although the Red Sox did get rid of future Hall Of Famer Manny Ramirez, Jason Bay could be said to be having a better 2009 season with his 22 home runs amd .282 average. Bay is also a 2-time All-Star. Manny Ramirez was becoming a problem, not trying his hardest, messing up locker room chemistry, taking it out on the management. It isn't great when you have to get rid of some of your good prospects, both Hansen and Moss have had good minor league seasons in the past but getting Bay is a good move. If the Red Sox didn't get rid of Manny now, they would have had to get rid of him in free agency with nothing in exchange for him during the off-season.
Los Angeles Dodgers: B - The Los Angeles Dodgers are only . . . what's a good word for it . . . "renting" Manny Ramirez for the rest of the year but this move could mean the difference between making the playoffs and the opposite. The Dodgers already have a full outfield - they have been rotating Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier already and now adding Ramirez . . . anyways, Andy LaRoche was probably the Dodger's best prospect and it was too bad that they had to get rid of him but getting Manny could majorly help them win the division over the Arizona Diamondbacks. If they do keep Manny past this year though (which they probably won't) they will have to move an outfielder to the infield or trade someone.
Pittsburgh Pirates: B+ - The way I look at it, getting rid of only Jason Bay, not even an All-Star, and getting four very good prospects in return for a struggling young team - this is a wonderful trade. In seven years of minor league baseball, Brandon Moss has hit .287 and he is still only 24-years old. He has hit .291 with two home runs and 12 runs batted in in 100 at-bats at "The Show". Hansen has also got his MLB playing time, none of it good though. He has an ERA over 6.00 in two years but his minor league stats are amazing - a 2.61 ERA in four seasons. Andy LaRoche, like Hansen, has struggled in the majors but again has had minorleague success. He hit .294 with 95 home runs in 1,800 career minor league at-bats. Last but not least, Bryan Morris. He is a 21-year old starting pitcher with more strikeouts than innings pitched in his minor league career. His ERA is at 4.00 but that should improve as he gets older. The Pirates knew that they wouldn't be able to contend this year but these prospects will help them contend the next few years.
You already know how the C.C. Sabathia and Rich Harden trades turned out.
Thanks for reading . . . or pretending to read it