Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Baseball's trade deadline passes: The rich get richer, and the poor get hosed

On Monday at 4 pm (ET), baseball's non-waiver trade deadline had passed. The rich got even richer than they had any right to be, and the poor, well, some might've just gotten hosed.

Take, for example, the Oakland Athletics, who sent star pitcher Sonny Gray to the Yankees in exchange for three minor leaguers, two of whom won't be ready for a while. You see, that's because of the three, only utility player Jorge Mateo, currently in AA, is healthy. Pitcher James Kaprelian had Tommy John surgery in mid-April. Outfielder Dustin Fowler made his debut on June 29, and promptly blew out his knee. He's gone until next season, Kaprelian likely won't resurface until 2019.

The trade came a day after the Yankees had picked up Jaime Garcia from Minnesota, just days after the Twins had acquired Garcia from Atlanta, along with ex-Met Anthony Recker. Atlanta, in turn, had picked up Garcia in December from St. Louis. To think that Garcia was once a rising star in the Cardinals' rotation. Anyway, Garcia and Gray will provide some insurance for the Yankees' rotation, which lost Michael Pineda to injury recently, and Pineda is out for the year.

On the one hand, it reeked of Yankee trades of years ago, when the late George Steinbrenner didn't hesitate to squander the farm system in favor of a quick fix. Now, I'd not be surprised if they're crying foul in Oakland over "damaged goods" (Kaprelian and Fowler) being shipped their way.

Meanwhile, the Mets shipped closer Addison Reed to Boston for three pitching prospects, this coming three days after the team had acquired A. J. Ramos from Miami. Unfortunately, insofar as this Mets fan is concerned, the Mets got hosed on the Ramos deal, as he's not the same dominant closer he was before. Bear in mind that the Marlins moved Ramos out of the closer's role earlier this season, and the Mets lit him up at least once or twice already this season. Reed moves back into a set-up role with the Red Sox, who have Craig Kimbrel closing for them, and was only closing for the Mets because Jeurys Familia is on the DL with a shoulder injury. Ramos' Mets debut on Sunday was not good, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits, with the game all but decided at the time, in a 9-1 loss to Seattle. The Mets have another ex-closer, Fernando Salas, but he's been working middle relief most of the season. I bring that up because I don't think Ramos is the answer in the Mets' pen.

Out west, AL West leader Houston added Francisco Liriano to their rotation. In state rival Texas, however, gave up ace Yu Darvish, sending him to the Dodgers, who, like the Yankees, are looking for pitching insurance with their ace, Clayton Kershaw, on the DL. Darvish got off to a slow start this season, as he's recovering from injuries. The World Series champion Cubs picked up another reliever, Justin Wilson, from Detroit, along with catcher Alex Avila, whose 2nd tour of duty in Motown comes to an abrupt end. AL champ Cleveland welcomed back reliever Joe Smith, who comes over from Toronto.

Good thing football season is right around the corner......

No comments: