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  • 08/01/2012, 12:27AM ET

Which team made the best trade deadline moves?

CuntryBlumpkin (305-247-64) vs williewilliejuan (47-5-2)
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Good luck WWJ.

I'm gonna take the homer route and argue for the Braves.

The Braves added Paul Maholm to the rotation and Reed Johnson to the bench from the Cubs.

Maholm is taking Jurrjens' spot in the rotation, who was struggling big time this season. Maholm has had a solid season for Chicago, and he has been on a tear in his last 5 starts. The Braves really needed to patch up the back end of the rotation if they want to catch the Nats and they did.

Maholm also has a team option for next season.

The Braves also needed a 4th outfielder since Matt Diaz could be gone for the season. Johnson has the most pinch hits this season, and the Braves have struggled against lefties, Johnson will provide some help in that department.

The Dempster deal falling through was a blessing in disguise. The Braves only had to send Aroldis Vizcaino, who has missed all of this season with Tommy John surgery and Jaye Chapman. All of the Braves young starting pitching stayed with the Braves.

They also added Paul Janish earlier, who has filled in nicely filling in for the injured Andrellton Simmons.


Partly because I'm a homer, but mostly because someone in the comments said not to, I am picking the Giants as the team that made the best deadline moves this season.

As of this writing, the Giants hold a slim one-game lead in the West over the Dodgers, who made several moves of their own. I would have argued them except I think the addition of HanRam will ultimately blow up in their faces.

Once again this season, the Giants haven't had enough offense. They are 4th in the NL in ERA, but 11th in runs scored. Their lack of offense has put too much pressure on their starting pitching and bullpen. The Giants needed to get a bat or two to shore up their offense and give their pitching staff a little breathing room.

The Giants first move was to pick up Marco Scutaro. While certainly not a game-changer, he's a big improvement over Brandon Crawford, who is hitting 0.233 this season and has struck out 66 times. Scutaro can also fill in at 3B while Sandoval is injured.

Their next move was to get Hunter Pence, who immediately becomes the team leader in HR and second in RBI on the season. He's a good clubhouse guy and gives the Giants a needed power option in the OF.


I thought about arguing for the Giants, but there's a couple of reasons why I chose not to.

Hunter Pence is having a bad season hitting in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the NL. What are those numbers gonna translate to in san Francisco where the air is heavier and the ball park is a lot bigger? Pence is a lot like Jayson Werth. You don't get him expecting him to be the focal point of the offense, he's a nice complementary piece.

To get Pence the Giants traded a highly though of prospect in Tommy Joseph. It's just a matter of time before Posey is a first baseman, when that time comes, the Giants will regret letting him go. All in all, the Giants recieved two players before the trade deadline and sent away 4.


The Braves really needed Jurrjens out of the rotation, and Medlen is too valuable out of the pen to take over the rest of the year. Maholm gets Jurrjens out of the rotation, and keeps him out of the pen when Hanson comes back and Medlen resumes his role.


Plus the Braves only sent away an injured Vizcaino, who would best be used as a closer, and he would have never taken Kimbrel's job and Jaye Chapman.


The beauty of the Pence trade is he isn't being asked to be the focal point of the offense. He's there to add more power to the lineup. They already have Melky, who's leading the league in hits and 2nd in BA; Posey, who's batting 0.317 with 61 RBI; and Sandoval, who's hitting right at 0.300. Pence is a complementary player who gives the Giants a hitter who has averaged 25 HR and 91 RBI per 162 over his career.

The cost wasn't as high as you make out. Joseph has shown some promise, but has stepped back this season. Opinions are varied about how he'll perform at the MLB level and the Giants don't really have a place to put him. They also moved Nate Schierholtz, an average player who wanted more playing time. He says that wasn't a distraction in the clubhouse, but the fact that he denied it probably means it was.

The Braves, on the other hand, got a whole lot of "meh" at the deadline. In Maholm, they got a guy who has had a hot few weeks, but has averaged a 4.30 ERA and a 1.407 WHIP over the course of his career. Smart money has him reverting to form at some point. They also got Johnson, an average OF with no power. Not a bad pickup, but nothing to write home about.


That 25 home run career average for Pence is a product of playing in Houston and Philadelphia his entire career. Two very hitter friendly parks. Pence might provide some extra pop, but the fact of the matter is he's struggling this year. He has a few homers, but his overall production has been lacking.

If Pence turns out to be a dud for San Fran, he's under contract and arbitration eligible next season.

If Maholm doesn't work out for the Braves, nthey can decline the option and move on. If Maholm performs well for the Braves, they have a very affordable club option for next season, and they get another lefty in the rotation.

We don't need Maholm to be an ace. We just need him to be a serviceable arm in the bottom of the rotation. Him being left handed is a plus. He's an instant upgrade over Jurrjens, and this move provides the Braves with more insurance in case of injury.

It's a very low risk move. The Braves improved their rotation and their bench, two clear areas of need and they didn't give up much to get it.

The Braves traded away two low level prospects and Vizcaino, 3 players, and they got 3 players in return(Janish).


At the end of the day, the Braves got an average (at best) back of the rotation pitcher and an average fourth outfielder. Neither is likely to have much impact on the long-term fortunes of the club. They gave up Vizcaino, who has great bullpen potential and who Baseball America said was the number 3 prospect moved at the deadline.

The Giants picked up two everyday players who address the team's greatest weakness and are big improvements over the guys they replaced. They gave up an unhappy, average fourth outfielder, a decent prospect they don't have a place for and a couple of nobodies. The Giants got players who will help them win their division; the Braves got a couple of guys who will help them tread water toward one of the wildcard spots.

That last point is the biggest reason why the Giants trades were better than the Braves. The Braves moves weren't the sort to help them gain ground on the Nationals. The Giants moves help them score more runs and stay ahead of the Dodgers in the West. Under this year's modified playoff format, winning the division is extremely important since the wildcards have to play a one-game elimination.

The Giants had better deadline moves.

Comment #1 has been removed
Comment #2 has been removed
August 1, 2012  12:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Surprised it took so long for this TD to be started.

I typed out an argument for the Giants, the typed half of one for the Dodgers, then said screw it, I'm arguing the team I know best.

August 1, 2012  12:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Jurrgens is going to the bullpen?

For now. The rest of the story will be used in my second argument.

Comment #5 has been removed
Comment #6 has been removed
August 1, 2012  12:44 AM ET

I'll get to this tomorrow when I'm supposed to be working. I have a couple of different ways to go on this one and I'm not sure which way I want to go.

Comment #8 has been removed
August 1, 2012  12:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Yes, we know. You're from San Francisco.

It's always nice to have options....

Comment #10 has been removed
Comment #11 has been removed
August 1, 2012  01:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I'll get to this tomorrow when I'm supposed to be working. I have a couple of different ways to go on this one and I'm not sure which way I want to go.

Don't know which way you swing? :-p

August 1, 2012  11:58 AM ET

Seriously, the Braves acquiring Paul Maholm was the best move? That is a weak argument.
Even for a Braves fan, you have to be kidding with that.

First question, when we say trade deadline moves, does this include only the trades made yesterday OR do we count any trade made in the last couple of weeks.

Either way, Paul Maholm to the Braves WAS NOT the best move. The Dodgers picking up Victorino OR the Angels picking up Grienke were clearly better moves (since Vic and Grienke are much better players then Paul Maholm).

August 1, 2012  12:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I'll get to this tomorrow when I'm supposed to be working. I have a couple of different ways to go on this one and I'm not sure which way I want to go.

Don't and I say Don't say Pence to the Giants.

Trust me, coming from a Phillies fan who watched Pence, EXTREMELY OVER RATED as a player. His defense is atrocious and his overall baseball sense (something that does not translate on the stat sheet) is horrible. If the Giants expectations are for him to be a corner stone offensive player to hit 3-5 in the lineup, prepare to pleasantly disappointed.

Pence is a nice guy, good club house player, great to the fans, and just an overall good guy. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate into wins on the baseball field.

August 1, 2012  12:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Don't and I say Don't say Pence to the Giants.Trust me, coming from a Phillies fan who watched Pence, EXTREMELY OVER RATED as a player. His defense is atrocious and his overall baseball sense (something that does not translate on the stat sheet) is horrible. If the Giants expectations are for him to be a corner stone offensive player to hit 3-5 in the lineup, prepare to pleasantly disappointed. Pence is a nice guy, good club house player, great to the fans, and just an overall good guy. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate into wins on the baseball field.

Just shut the fuck up and let us argue for whoever we want to. If we want your opinion, we'll give it to you. Go be a blowhard somewhere else. It's WWJ's job to argue that my choice was dumb, not yours. And he is fully capable of picking his own team to argue for.

August 1, 2012  01:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Just shut the **** up and let us argue for whoever we want to. If we want your opinion, we'll give it to you. Go be a blowhard somewhere else. It's WWJ's job to argue that my choice was dumb, not yours. And he is fully capable of picking his own team to argue for.

Wow so sensitive, are you new to the cite or is just a bad time of the month?

If you can't take the heat, maybe you should choose a new website to look at.

But in the mean time, I will continue to make my opinion heard regardless of your pathetic insults

August 1, 2012  01:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Just shut the **** up and let us argue for whoever we want to. If we want your opinion, we'll give it to you. Go be a blowhard somewhere else. It's WWJ's job to argue that my choice was dumb, not yours. And he is fully capable of picking his own team to argue for.

By the way Paul Maholm blows. He is at best an average pitcher (according to his WAR number, he is actually a below an average pitcher).

If you think the Braves are suddenly going to be World Series contenders because of Paul Maholm, you are going to be pleasantly surprised in October. Not saying the Braves don't have a shot at the NL pennant but it won't be because of Paul Maholm.

August 1, 2012  01:27 PM ET

Being a Braves Homer, I am worried that the Braves made the trade just to be trading. The ONLY positive I see is that Maholm is a Left Handed pitcher in the rotation.

Comment #19 has been removed
 
August 1, 2012  01:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

By the way Paul Maholm blows. He is at best an average pitcher (according to his WAR number, he is actually a below an average pitcher). If you think the Braves are suddenly going to be World Series contenders because of Paul Maholm, you are going to be pleasantly surprised in October. Not saying the Braves don't have a shot at the NL pennant but it won't be because of Paul Maholm.

Your first problem is you are using WAR. Find me a standardized formula for WAR, and we'll talk.

This is the team that did the best before the deadline. I say the Braves did because they upgraded their bench and rotation without giving up much to do it. It's not just who you gets, it's who you give away. Teheran, Minor and Delgado are all still with the Braves.

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