MLB Trade Deadline Rant

Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays

I really don’t know what to think as a Blue Jays fan today. The Jays pulled out a big 9th inning win against the Astros (awesome) but made bigger headlines for their lack of activity at today’s non waiver trade deadline. The Jays are currently 3 games up on Seattle for the second AL Wild Card spot and are only 1.5 games back of the Orioles for the AL East lead. In other words, the Blue Jays are holding down a playoff spot for the first time in a LONG time. So it would only make sense to perhaps make a trade or two to strengthen your rosters weaknesses and prepare for a tough drive down the stretch, right? Wrong.

The only noteworthy transaction(s) the Jays made on Thursday was placing Dan Johnson on the 15 day DL, bringing up Chad Jenkins and watching the Yankees claim Esmil Rogers off waivers. You may remember Esmil Rogers as the RP we received from the Indians in exchange for IF Mike Aviles and C/1B Yan Gomes… yes the same Yan Gomes who has been a revelation behind the plate for the Indians.

Luckily for the Jays despite most of the AL bulking up, one could make the case that their division actually got weaker with the Rays trading Price and the Bo’Sox dealing Lester. Unfortunately for the Jays, Price went to Detroit and Lester went to Oakland.

But why were we not part of the trading frenzy? Why are we happy to sit by and consistently shop at the waiver scrap heap. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the contributions that guys like Nolan Reimold and Dan Johnson bring but these are not the additions that are going to allow us to go head to head with the best in the AL. It just seems that the Blue Jays have chance to make an appearance at the big dance in October and instead of lucking their best, they are content with shopping at thrift stores.

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What really pisses me off though is that the Jays management will spin the lack of activity as “missing” out on players and being “close” but not close enough, when in reality it’s because the ownership has decided to put a clamp down on their spending. Are you kidding me? This is the same team that threw prospects and cash around like they were at a strip club last offseason in the HOPES of being in this kind of position. AND NOW they are in that position and are content to penny pinch!

Look, I am by no means an accountant, marketing major or economist but I have to believe that any kind of postseason baseball would EASILY generate the revenue to compensate for the team taking on additional budget. Hell even a close Wild Card race in September would pay for adding a body or two.

What’s equally as annoying is the Toronto media spinning our returning DL players (Edwing, Lawrie and Lind) as being “just as good” as making a trade. Give me a break. You know what would have been nice would to have them come back IN ADDITION to the other players that were brought in – sorry Danny Valencia but you dont count. I just hate thinking that we are squandering a great chance at ACTUALLY making a run at the playoffs and instead we are nickel and diming it because our Multi Billion Dollar communication giant of an ownership doesn’t want to open their ludicrously deep pockets.

rogers

What worries me is that the we still have a lot of question marks on our roster. Our starting rotation currently features a 39 year old novelty pitch pitcher (Dickey), a 36 year old soft tossing southpaw (Buehrle), another southpaw who could be lights or out or get lit up and pulled by the 3rd (Happ), and two unproven 23 year old kids (Stroman and Hutchison); one of whom is coming off of Tommy John (Hutch). What happens if one of them gets injured or if the rookies get capped by innings or run out of gas come September? Then who do we bring in to pitch for them?

Sure Aaron Sanchez has looked great out of the pen but do you really want to throw him into the fire of a pennant race as a starter? I just feel that adding an arm would have been great preventative maintenance for a potential breakdown or injury.

I mean are you telling me that we couldn’t have gotten Tommy Milone from the A’s for Anthony Gose? Gose is essentially the EXACT same player as Sam Fuld, younger, faster and a better defender. I just shake my head.

I don’t want to come across as one of those blowhards you hear calling into the FAN or PTS saying we have to make a move just to make a move or that we should get Dustin Pedroia for Kawasaki, Rob Rasmussen and yesterdays paper. But I think we are really squandering a golden chance here to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since Jurassic Park was in theatres. Right now the Yankees are missing their two best starting pitchers, the Red Sox are looking forward to next season and the Rays are barely treading water.

Our only real threat are the Orioles and their lack of activity should have also prompted AA to make a move. With all the parody in the MLB, what are the odds of the Jays being in a similar position next season? Do we REALLY think that the Sox, Yanks and Rays are going to be floundering as badly as they are. I say that like the Yankees are out of it, they’re not. In fact they made moves to solidify an aging and depleted IF and could be poised to perhaps pick up a big name during the month of August; perhaps Cliff Lee?

cliff lee

Hell maybe this rag tag team of misfits can continue to pile up W’s and stay hot until the cavalry comes back from the DL. Then again this could also be a team that quickly falls apart and watches a glorious chance slip through their fingers. I really hope that it doenst come back to bite the Jays management in the ass especially with all the rumoured discontent coming from the Jays clubhouse over the lack of trade activity.

Rapid Fire Rant:

billy beane1

Oakland’s Billy Beane and Boston’s Ben Cherington seemed more like two guys pounding out a trade in a fantasy league than two MLB GM’s when it came to the Lester trade. I figured the A’s must have dug further into their minor leagues but I was BLOWN AWAY when I had heard that the A’s had parted with Yoenis Cespedes. Regardless of his pending FA after NEXT season the guy is a beast and is capable of putting fans in the stands with his defensive play alone.

I know that Billy Beane is apparently trying to accumulate SP like it’s Pokemon (gotta catch them all) but it seems like a lot to give up for a rental player. Especially one who is almost guaranteed not to resign in Oakland (My call: Lester resigns in Boston). What’s more shocking is the “name recognition” of this trade. I honestly can’t remember the last time that the two All Stars were traded for one another.

The A’s made a bit of a head scratcher of a move after acquiring Lester when they shipped SP Tommy Milone to the Twins for OF Sam Fuld. I wasn’t too shocked that Milone was dealt (he had openly requested a trade earlier in the week), what did shock me was the fact that the A’s basically GAVE HIM AWAY for a player that they had already had this season and DFA’d.

I know the A’s LOVE platooning players together and the platoon of Gomes and Fuld in LF is definitely up their alley, but do you not think that with all the teams out their who are starving for pitching that the A;s couldn’t have gotten a better haul for a 27 year old SP who is controllable for multiple years? I am sure Brad Pitt, I mean Billy Beane knows what he is doing though.

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Never thought I would question a move that the Cardinals organization and GM Jon Mozeliak made but I have to shake my head at their trade for John Lackey. Lackey is a 35 year old end of the rotation starter at this point in his career, he is also a known fan of KFC. The only real attractive aspect about John Lackey is the fact that he is set to make $500 000 next season due to an injury clause in his contract.

That being said, the fact that the Cardinals sent the Red Sox not only SP Joe Kelly but also threw 1B/0F ALLEN CRAIG into the deal makes this an ABSOLUTE swindling for the Red Sox. I mean honestly, how long do you think it took Sox GM Ben Cherington to agree to that deal? I just hope he had the phone on mute while he was giggling before signing off on the deal.

I get that Craig is having a down year but this is a guy who is a year removed from a .315/13/97 season and is controllable through 2017. I wouldn’t have traded him straight up for Jake Peavy, let alone John Lackey. If the Cardinals win the World Series than it won’t be as big of a loss. But if they don’t, then this will be an even bigger head scratcher of a trade…

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

I honestly don’t know what the bigger embarrassment of riches is. Is it the A’s rotation of Lester, Samardzjia, Kazmir, Gray and Hamel? Is it the Cardinals rotation of Wainwright, Wacha, Masterson, Lackey and Miller? Or is it the Tigers rotation of Verlander, Scherzer, Price, Sancez and Porcello?

Yeah you’re right. It’s definitely the team that features the winners of the PAST THREE AL Cy Young Awards – the Detroit Tigers. For weeks Price was rumoured to be going to the Dodgers, Cardinals or the Mariners and out of nowhere the Tigers come on scene and STEAL HIM.

The Tigers flipped CF Austin Jackson to Seattle for 2B/SS Brad Miller and then flipped Miller to the Rays, along with SP Drew Smyly and a prospect, for the Rays ace. If the Red Sox hadn’t already fleeced the Cardinals for Craig and Kelly, than this would be the swindling of the deadline. The only reason I say that is because of the rumoured packages that were being offered for Price.

The Cards were said to have been willing to give up SP Shelby Miller, OF Oscar Taveras and a supplemental 1st round pick in 2015. The Dodgers were rumoured to be building a package around top prospects OF Joc Pederson, SS Corey Seager and SP Julio Urias. The Mariners apparently willing to part with SP Taijuan Walker, 3B DJ Peterson and 2B/SS Brad Miller. At least the Rays got Miller though.

It just seems like a weak return compared to what the Cubs got for Samardzj and Hammel. I mean even the Cards got a better package for Lester and Lackey. It surprises me that the Rays were so willing to part with Price even though he had a year left after this season. Do you not think they could have gotten a better deal come the offseason or even next trade deadline if they were in a similar situation?

Other notable moves:

Arizona Diamondbacks traded 3B Martin Prado to New York Yankees for C Peter O’Brien and Player To Be Named Later.

Arizona Diamondbacks traded RF Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee Brewers for LHP Anthony Banda and RF Mitch Haniger.

Boston Red Sox traded SS Stephen Drew and cash to New York Yankees for Kelly Johnson.

Boston Red Sox traded LHP Andrew Miller to Baltimore Orioles for LHP Eduardo Rodriguez.

Chicago Cubs traded 2B Emilio Bonifacio, LHP James Russell and cash to Atlanta Braves for C Victor Caratini.

Cleveland Indians traded SS Asdrubal Cabrera and cash to Washington Nationals for 2B Zach Walters.

Houston Astros traded RHP Jarred Cosart, LF Enrique Hernandez and OF Austin Wates to Miami Marlins for CF Jake Marisnick, 3B Colin Moran, RHP Francis Martes.

San Diego Padres traded RF Chris Denorfia to Seattle Mariners for CF Abraham Almonte and RHP Stephen Kohlscheen.

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