CttP Roundtable: MLB Trade Deadline Winners and Losers


Aug 1, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher

Jake Peavy

(44) prior to a game against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB trade deadline came and went last Wednesday without much fanfare. With the advent of second wild card spot, more teams are waiting to assess evaluate their postseason odds. Teams like the Philadephia Phillies, who had tradeable chips in Michael Young, Cliff Lee, and Carlos Ruiz, held onto their players with the thought that they have a chance to claim a playoff spot. They haven’t fared all that well lately and are now 15.5 games out of first in the NL East, after being as close as 6.5 games out a week before the deadline.

So, with that in mind, we wrangled in a few of our writers here at CttP and asked them who the deadline winner and losers are, and this is what they had to say:

Tom Froemming

Winners: Red Sox, Padres and Dodgers

I was impressed with Boston adding Peavy without giving up any prized prospects. Considering their depth at shortstop, the Sox really knocked this one out the park. I liked what the Padres did for 2014. Ian Kennedy was one of the best pitchers in baseball a couple years ago, and is still only 28. Also, you have to hand it to the Dodgers for getting active early. Ricky Nolasco has already made four starts for them.

Losers: Pirates and Astros

The Pirates reportedly pushed hard to land a bat, but ended up with nothing. Even a modest upgrade, like Nate Schierholtz, would have been a boost. I was not a fan of the Astros’ return on Bud Norris. It’s starting to feel like Houston is just going to be in an eternal state of flipping major leaguers for prospects.

Ray Kuhn

This might have been one of the most boring trade deadlines in recent history. And for that we have the addition of the second Wild Card to thank. There were not many players available for trade, and the price was high. A lot of teams were afraid to commit to being a buyer or a seller as prospects now carry a higher weight and are no longer as expendable as they once were.

I have to give a lot of credit to the Red Sox as they really went after it at the trading deadline. With the return of John Farrell, this year has gone much differently for Boston than it did last year. But adding an ace the quality of Jake Peavy certainly never hurts. Peavy will greatly enhance the rotation and gives the Red Sox a proven 1-2 punch of Peavy and Jon Lester at the top of the rotation heading into the playoffs. While Jose Iglesias is a top shortstop prospect, he was expendable to Boston as they still have Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts. The Tigers were also able to turn an expendable piece, outfielder Avasail Garcia, into Iglesias who will be extremely useful with the impending suspension of Jhonny Peralta.

With the Phillies 15.5 games back in the division and 10 games in the Wild Card going into Sunday, they clearly aren’t going anywhere this season. Had they been willing to unload Cliff Lee, they would have been able to shed some payroll, add a prospect and take a look towards the future. Instead, they stayed pat and now will continue to be in a holding pattern.

Jimmy Kraft

The MLB has to come out as a loser in this somewhere down the line. In the slowest month of the year, sports-wise, the MLB has a built-in advantage to dominate the news during the month without a game even played. Instead, with the BioGenesis scandal and Alex Rodriguez impending suspension overshadowing baseball’s headlines, the trade deadline became second fiddle. Add in that there were no huge movers or shakers in this year’s deadline, and you have a recipe for a real snoozefest of a trade deadline.

If I had to pick one team as my winner, it has to be the San Deigo Padres. While they don’t have a very good chance of making it into the postseason (currently nine games out of the wild card) they picked up a young frontline starter in Ian Kennedy and threw him into a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Let’s not forget that it was a rare intra-division trade, so it was a double-whammy for the Padres who gained a very valuable asset, while potentially weakening their rivals in the short term.

As for a loser, I think the Pittsburgh Pirates fit into this category very well at this deadline. There is something to be said about the idiom, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” but the Pirates haven’t exactly set the MLB on fire in the past 20 years. Their pitching has won them games, while the hitting is middle-of-the-pack in the NL. While, they did try to acquire young slugger Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, but Miami wouldn’t budge. Pittsburgh needed a contingency plan in case that fell through, which they did not, and now they need to put their hopes on a pitching staff holding up a lineup that ranks 11th, 8th, and 10th in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, respectively.