I’m still trying to get my head around all the trades that went down over the last few days. The folks over at MLBTradeRumors always do a terrific job of keeping up on who’s doing what and they put together a recap of the moves, by contending team. Here’s the AL Central:
- The White Sox fortified their rotation by acquiring Edwin Jackson from Arizona in exchange for Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg.
- Even with Jon Rauch doing a fine job in the interim, the Twins solidified the ninth inning by acquiring closer Matt Capps from the Nationals. They gave up Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa.
- After suffering a string of injuries, the Tigers acquired Jhonny Peralta from the Indians for minor league lefty Giovanni Soto.
So who were the winners and losers after all of this past week’s trades? That depends on who you ask.
Winners: Rangers, Padres, Yankees, Astros, Phillies, Nationals, D’Backs, Cards, Dodgers
Losers: WhiteSox, BlueJays, Orioles, Giants, Twins, Rays, Mets
MLB Fanhouse (AOL):
Winners: Yankees, Astros, Rangers, Nationals (“may have pulled off the heist of the entire trading season” by getting Ramos for Capps)
Losers: RedSox, Giants, Tigers
Hardball Talk (NBC):
Winners: Angels, Rangers, Phillies, Yankees, Pirates (honorable mention: Nationals, Padres, Dodgers)
Losers: WhiteSox, Twins, Giants, Cardinals, Rays (dishonorable mention: Astros, DBacks, Tigers)
Winners: Rangers, Angels, Yankees, Phillies, BlueJays, Mets, Dodgers
Losers: WhiteSox, Giants, Tigers, Twins, Cardinals, Rays
So to summarize… it seems most of the national media is agreement with most of the Twins blogosphere in that they feel the Twins overpaid for Matt Capps and overvalued the ‘save’ statistic. The good news is that the Twins AL Central competition is not viewed has having improved themselves much at the deadline. It’s hard to imagine Jhonny Peralta being a true “difference maker” for the Tigers and the WhiteSox appear to have a much higher opinion of Edwin Jackson than… well… pretty much anyone else.
In addition to feeling the Twins gave up too much for Capps, the media also seems to feel the Twins inability to acquire starting pitching help moves them in to the “trade deadline loser” category. But before we all retire to our caves sobbing hysterically about being fans of the “loser” Twins, let’s remember a few things.
First… the Twins Major League team IS better with Matt Capps. Those of us who want to see the Twins win THIS YEAR can look past the cost and point out that while Jon Rauch did a nice job of stepping in for Joe Nathan, Capps (and the extra 3-4 MPH he has on his fastball) is likely going to be more reliable at the end of games and Rauch makes the group of quality set up relief pitchers much deeper.
Second… keep in mind that the nonwaiver deadline has become a very soft deadline. All Much of the help that Bill Smith brought in to push the Twins toward the playoffs in 2009 (Cabrera, Pavano, Rauch, Mahay) was obtained after July 31 last summer. [Correction made thanks to commenter Deb who correctly pointed out that Cabrera was obtained pre-July31 last year and Pavano should have been included in the post-July 31 group. My bad.-JC]
The biggest improvements that can be made to the Twins at this point are the additions of Justin Morneau and Orlando Hudson. Hopefully, they’re both on their way back toward rejoining the team and in the mean time, I doubt Bill Smith plans to take the month of August off.
Oh… and as for the whole trade deadline winners and losers thing, keep in mind that the Yankees were on Jason Stark’s ESPN “trade deadline losers list” last year. They managed to find a way to overcome that label and finish the season in good shape.
So let’s not fold up the tent quite yet. – JC