Trade Deadline Fallout
The Indians coughed up some top pitching prospects (Drew Pomeranz and Alex White) for Ubaldo Jimenez, and it makes you wonder why the Yankees didn't offer a similar package (including Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos), or if they did why the Rockies didn't want it. Jimenez has a good contract and is under team control through 2014, so unless Colorado suspected there was something wrong with him, this seems like a good price. The TINSTAAPP acronym (there's no such thing as a pitching prospect) isn't entirely true - especially when you're talking about players who blew away the high minors like Tim Lincecum and Tommy Hanson or mega talents like David Price or Stephen Strasburg. But for the next tier down - which is how I view both the Indians' and Yankees' duos - the failure rate is awfully high. It'll be interesting to see how Jimenez fares with all of his starts at sea level, albeit in the AL.
The Giants dealt for Carlos Beltran, thereby reducing Brandon Belt to the "Travis Ishigawa role," the kind of thing companies do when they can't fire you and instead hope to humiliate you into resigning. I have a feeling Belt will force his way into a larger role down the stretch, but he's unlikely to see regular at-bats in the near term. I'd rather have seen the team acquire Rafael Furcal, something the Cardinals did, which immediately improves their infield defense, and gives them someone who can get on base on the off chance he remains healthy.
The Red Sox traded for Erik Bedard who could slot in as a valuable No. 3 starter behind Josh Beckett and Jon Lester in the playoffs, should Bedard miraculously hold up that long. Clay Buchholz is likely out for the year, so the Sox would have been choosing between John Lackey (who has pitched better of late), Tim Wakefield and Andrew Miller, so Bedard is a likely key to their postseason success. He'll get far more run support in Boston and good defense behind him (though arguably not as good as Seattle's), but a big downgrade in home park.
The Rangers added two of the best middle relievers in baseball in Mike Adams and Koji Uehara. For now, Neftali Feliz's job should be safe, but one has to think he has a shorter leash now that there are viable in-house alternatives.
The Astros moved Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn to AL East rivals, the Phillies and Braves, respectively. Pence gets a lineup and park upgrade and displaces top prospect Domonic Brown, who was demoted, something that might not be great for his development. Bourn should be largely the same given the comparable ballpark, though he could score a few extra runs in front of a better lineup.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about the deadline is what didn't happen. The Yankees did nothing to improve, the Cubs traded away only Kosuke Fukudome when they should have tried to move Aramis Ramirez (though he could veto any trade) and Ryan Dempster at the very least. Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano are almost impossible to move due to their contracts, but if the Jays were able to pawn off Vernon Wells, anything's possible. The Royals didn't move Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera or Joakim Soria, the Rays didn't move B.J. Upton, James Shields, Johnny Damon or Jeff Niemann, the Orioles moved Derrek Lee, but Jeremy Guthrie is still on the roster, and the Padres moved Mike Adams, but not Heath Bell. In fact, with the exception of the Mets dealing Francisco Rodriguez a couple weeks ago, closers were left virtually untouched by the deadline, a rarity in recent seasons.