July 31, 2009
Roy Halladay(notes) and Adrian Gonzalez(notes) stayed put, a few contenders like the Angels and Rays remained relatively quiet and others like the Phillies, Dodgers and Cubs were content with previous acquisitions.
Still, Friday's deadline day brought a flurry of activity and lots of speculation through the blogosphere and Twitterverse. Here's a quick review of the results, in the order of how much each trade moved the needle in the world of Major League Baseball.
1. Jake Peavy to Chicago Just when we thought the deadline was going to pass without Kenny Williams performing an attention-grabbing cannonball in the pool, the White Sox GM pulled off a trade for the Cy Young pitcher who spurned the South Side just two months ago.
The deal wasn't made public until after the deadline had passed — Williams said less than a minute was left when he and the Padres agreed to terms — and it definitely came as a shocker. Peavy is still on the disabled list with an ankle injury and the White Sox estimate he won't be back until the end of the month. Meanwhile, they gave up two talented young pitchers in Clayton Richard(notes) and Aaron Poreda(notes), as well as prospect pitchers Adam Russell(notes) and Dexter Carter. Williams has always enjoyed grabbing headlines with his deadline dealings, but it's hard to remember him taking such a risk. Solace can be taken in the fact that the White Sox control Peavy through 2013 and he could help anchor the rotation for a few years to come — once he's healthy, of course.
2. Victor Martinez to Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was rumored to have an interest in roughly 68 percent of the league's players, but he ultimately chose to bolster his lineup instead of strengthening his starting options. The addition of the Cleveland catcher creates confusion among a group of players hungry for at-bats (Papi, 'Tek, Youk, Lowell), but the Red Sox were able to hang onto Clay Buchholz(notes) and Daniel Bard(notes), giving up Justin Masterson(notes), Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price instead.
3. Jarrod Washburn to Detroit The ex-Mariner lefty was rumored for a lot of places, but he ended up at the Tigers' Comerica Park, which should suit a flyball pitcher like himself just fine. This was the first deal of the day and when you consider he'll form a great starting trio with Justin Verlander(notes) and Edwin Jackson(notes), definitely one of the best.
4. Orlando Cabrera to Minnesota The M&M boys wanted proof the Twins were serious about taking the AL Central and time will tell if getting stronger up the middle will help their chances. Adding Cabrera in exchange for minor league shortstop Tyler Ladendorf will help, though not with a pitching staff that definitely could have used a new addition.
5. Scott Rolen to Cincinnati So who here had the Blue Jays' biggest move being the shipment of a veteran third baseman to a team that's more or less out of contention in the NL Central? Liars! With the movie, Rolen reunites with sugar daddy Walt Jocketty, who believes that he'll be able to infuse some leadership onto a young team for the rest of this year and through the 2010. Cincy, meanwhile, loses Edwin Encarnacion(notes), reliever Josh Roenicke(notes) and a minor leaguer, in a deal that perplexes me just a bit.
6. Adam LaRoche to Atlanta Speaking of perplexing deals, the Atlanta-Boston swap of LaRoche and Casey Kotchman(notes) — both lefthanded first basemen — might as well be written in Sanskrit. It's obvious that the Braves like reacquiring LaRoche for the power he provides, but where exactly does Kotchman fit into the scheme of things for the Red Sox? He'll definitely be a part-time player at Fenway and we'll likely forget he's even on the team until we see him pinch-hitting some time in September or October.
7. Nick Johnson to Florida The Fightin' Fish are only three games off the pace in the NL wild card hunt and that apparently emboldened them to break character and make a move for the Nats' first baseman. The trade also officially marked the end of an era: Johnson was the last National to have played for the Expos when the franchise was in Montreal.
8. Joe Beimel to Colorado Freed from the morass that is the Washington bullpen, Beimel will now get a chance to provide a little health for the Rockies bullpen. A solid move for Colorado, though sadly maybe about the best Rockies fans could hope for.
9. Jerry Hairston Jr. to New York New York GM Brian Cashman laid low on Friday with this deal for the Cincy utilityman being his only movement. However, it provided for one of the afternoon's most humorous moments as MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo Tweeted that top Yanks prospect Austin Jackson(notes) might be part of the deal, sparking off scores of responses that said such a trade couldn't possibly be true. (It was not.)
10. Claudio Vargas to Milwaukee 11. Sean Smith to Toronto Sometimes trades are so small and insignificant that you just can't have an opinion about them. These two Friday swaps are deals that definitely qualify. (Sorry, Brewers fans.)