Gradin’ the Tradin’: Part II

The first post I put out a few days ago was only to rate the trades that occurred on Friday, the trading deadline day. 

However, I got a few e-mails asking me why I left out one trade or the other.  They got me to thinking….why NOT go through the notable trades from the trading deadline and just before? 

I enjoyed arguing with some of you through comments and e-mail about what you thought of some of the trades.  Good times…

This post might be more for me than anybody since I LOVE trades and how they affect teams.  I think they are something that is utilized by baseball better than any other sport and is part of the reason why this game is so grand.

Again, I’m primarily looking at the team that is the bigger part of the deal, though in some cases I grade both teams.

So without further adieu….here is part deux. 


Deal:  Reds trade Edwin Encarcion et al to the Blue Jays for Scott Rolen

Analysis:  It seemed that Encarnacion never really got it going in Cincinnati.  He hit a load of dingers last year, but the average the last few years was never really what Dusty Baker wanted (.209 in 2009).  I don’t see him being the 3B of the future for the Jays, unfortunately.  However, from what I’ve read about the two young pitchers who were also sent to the Jays, the real value might be there.  These two pitchers might make an impact on Toronto this season, which would make the Jays winners here.  The Reds get an aging 3B who might be able to help out a little next year.  While the Reds play in a strong offensive park, the fact is that Rolen is 34 and has seen his best years pass him by.

Grade:  Reds–C+   Jays–B+


Deal:  Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the Yankees for a Single-A catcher

Analysis:  This just doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.  Of course, the Rays are notorious for making the “not a big deal” trades that end up getting them a bunch of wins.  Maybe the Yankees have been taking notes.  They already went into the Rays’ playbook to make a deal for Eric Hinske earlier in the year, after all.  Hairston, Jr. has speed and versatility.  For those reasons he might be a nice guy to have on a team.  A National League team.  I don’t see him helping the Yanks out too much.  Then again, New York didn’t give up much, either.

Grade:  B-


Deal:  Brewers deal to get Claudio Vargas from the Dodgers

Analysis:  The Brewers needed a starter.  A good starter.  They needed somebody to help them contend with the Cubs, Cardinals, and, suddenly, the Astros.  Instead they dealt for a bullpen guy in LA who they actually had not that long ago and dumped because of his ineffectiveness.  They didn’t give up much, but they didn’t get much, either.

Grade:  D-


Deal:  Cubs get John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny from Pirates

Analysis:  This is a case where I think both teams won out.  The Pirates got a young hurler in Kevin Hart and a strong piece of the bullpen in Jose Ascanio.  The Cubs needed a starter in Gorzelanny (he’ll start this week) to fill in for Ted Lilly and they needed a strong lefty in the ‘pen in Grabow who will take the place of the Tommy John-bit Neal Cotts.  Grabow will complement Sean Marshall in the bullpen and add some stability to a shakey group.

Grade:  A for both teams (especially because of the mad kung fu skills of Gorzelanny)


Deal:  Royals get Josh Anderson from the Tigers

Analysis:  This guy was got for cash.  That’s it.  Typically these deals are non-issues.  This one fits in with that characterization.  So why are we talking about it?

Grade:  Who cares?


Deal:  The Giants get Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates

Analysis:  The Pirates are becoming to be old hat in these trade discussions.  With that said, the Bucs are doing the right thing.  Sanchez was scheduled to make $8 mill next year.  That’s too rich for a team with so many holes.  I was hoping that the Rays would get this guy–he’s one of my faves–so that they could move Ben Zobrist’s rocket arm and huge bat to right field.  Alas, not to be.  This move will probably lead to the Giants releasing Rich Aurelia and his salary.  Sanchez will help the Giants.  The Pirates got a pitcher in Tim Alderson who will help them–in the future.

Grade: B+


Deal:  Phillies land Cliff Lee from Indians 

Analysis:  C’mon, do we have to talk about this one?  I was hoping the Rays might get active here, and they were, but not as active as the Series champs.  They got Lee, gave up some guys they’ll miss, and promptly saw him throw a complete game shutout.  ‘Nuff said.

Grade:  A


Deal:  Mariners get Jack Wilson from Pirates for a bunch o’ guys

Analysis:  The M’s got the shortstop they had hoped they had in Yuniesky Betancourt.  When they realized Betancourt was a flop defensively, they shipped him to Kansas City–where he’s struggled.  Wilson is a solid piece of the future puzzle for the M’s and will get them some wins in the future.  The guys the Pirates got will be helpful, but not too helpful right away.  Ronny Cedeno is flopping right now and catcher Jeff Clement was not sparking the way the Mariners wanted.  I thought that the addition of Clement might lead to the Bucs moving Ryan Doumit–to the Rays.  Not so.  Oh well.

Grade:  Mariners–B+    Pirates–B


Deal:  White Sox get Mark Kotsay, Red Sox get Brian Anderson


Analysis:  No doubt, the White Sox won this trade–right now.  The White Stockings got a premiere pinch hitter who can play almost any corner position.  He is a veteran who can fit in immediately with is new team and pay dividends as they push for October.  The Red Stockings got a supreme underachiever in Anderson.  He might develop, though, into a guy who might be the utility outfielder Rocco Baldelli is supposed to be.  With JD Drew on his way out (c’mon, folks, he’s hurt, like, ALL THE TIME) this might be a good add–next year.

Grade:  White Sox–B+    Red Sox–B+ (potentially)


Deal:  Giants get Ryan Garko for Single-A pitcher

Analysis:  Garko was a fan fave in Cleveland, but he was going to be up for big money in the off season.  So he was shipped.  He was taking playing time away from guys the Indians really wanted to see and they did not view him as a piece of the future.  He has a gift for being offensive–in a good way–and should help the Giants offense get going.  The guy Cleveland got will be good two years from now.  That’s something to be happy about in Clevelend–and there isn’t much these days.  However, the move will give more AB’s to superstar-in-the-making Matt LaPorta

Grade:  B


Deal:  Matt Holliday goes to St. Louis

Analysis:  Waste of time to talk about.  He’s hitting .529!!! 

Grade: A+ (and it sickens me to say that)


Sorry if the pics got a little weird there at times.  I’m as distracted by the strange moments of our favorite sport as anybody.

I think that runs down most of the more notable trades that have occurred the last few weeks (and a couple of not-so-notable trades). 

I think that this time of year is the most captivating of any sport out there.  Teams are fighting for division titles.  Others are scrambling for wildcard berths.  Franchises are deciding whether to buy or sell.  Squads are scouting for both this and next year–and with a do-or-die attitude.

It’s just great.

And the waiver-wire trades are going to get going soon too.  Teams have to make waiver deals before August 30th if they want that guy to be eligible for the post season.

And the countdown begins.


And if anybody asks me about the Julio Lugo deal……..


  1. mattpeas

    GREAT ANALYSIS. and i do agree with you, for the most part. I like wher eyou stand with teh Pirates, you’re hitting the nail right on the head. Cedeno has actually done very, very, very well in his first 3 games in black and gold. playing great D. getting on base and he belted a 2 run HR. hes looking like a nimbler, cheaper version of Jack Wilson

  2. devilabrit

    I got to agree with your views here, I just cant believe how well both the Pirates and the Indians seem to be after trading everyone, I know it’s only a couple of days, but they are both playing really good, and the other disbelief is you didn’t boycott the Cliff Lee trade….on another note, although never happy to see a player get hurt, I was a little amused that Rolen got dinked, proves he’s not as quick as he used to be…
    Outside the Phillies Looking In

  3. santosis

    Every time I see Mark Kotsay I feel his 7-30 against the Rays with a veritable ton of runners LOB from last season in the pit of my stomach. Kotchman is a much better “in case of emergency” upgrade at first.

    I like what the Mariner’s are doing–they are making a run next season (although I find it hard to believe they couldn’t get back a better pitcher than Luke French). Wilson will be a great addition to a team that should have a solid defense. In the off-season, they should have about $50mil to play with. A large chunk of that will have to be dedicated to holding on to Bedard. But, if they can do that, then they should have money to try and improve their struggling offense, and a rotation of Fernandez, Bedard, Snell, and French (assuming he puts up decent rookie numbers at age 24 after a solid season at AAA) could be enough to win the division. Were I a betting man, I’d put a Franklin on them winning the AL pennant next season (I don’t know the odds, but I bet the longshot would pay out well).

    I am surprised to see the Reds acquire Rolen, especially because he is slated to make $11mil next season. And does acquiring Rolen count as making a run at the division? This trade doesn’t make sense to me–if they had made another aggressive move, say for Washburn, I’d understand it more. But just adding a .300 hitting, light on power, solid fielding third baseman doesn’t seem enough to tip the competitive balance in the central.

  4. raysfanboy

    Matt–I liked Cedeno when he was with the Cubs. He can play just about any position. He’s young and–as you said–nimble at any spot on the diamond he mans. I just think he’s a little inconsistent with his hitting and that will relegate him to the bench.

    Julia–I read that Rolen had a knot on his head where the ball clunked. Not a nice way to join your new team!

    Outside–I think that the Pirates are, surprisingly, doing the right thing with blowing the team up to start from scratch. I don’t get the Indians, though. They sign Kerry Wood to a 10 million contract and proceed to keep him as he underachieves and unload their stars.

    Marc–I totally agree! The M’s should have gotten more for Washburn if he’s so great. French better pan out for them or this is going to be a big bust of a trade. And the Rolen trade is anticlimactic. I don’t see him helping a Reds team that clearly needed a starter.

    TC–The Indians hurt a lot of fans. I am still surprised that they moved Victor since I thought it would be either Lee or Martinez to go–not both. I don’t know what they’re thinking up there, but I hope–for your sake–it works.

    Randy–Ricciardi madea mistake of not moving Doc. I hope that they can get as much value for him in the offseason, but they screwed up royally keeping him on the team right now. They could have really cleaned up, unloaded a contract, and built for next year. Stupid.

  5. diamondgirl55

    I love your entry! I enjoyed reading it and I agree with all of your grades. I’m crossing my fingers that the M’s and Pirates trade truly will result in a B+ for us! Snell went for a no decision the other day against the Rangers but I suppose it was an ok outing! I’m a lot more excited for Wilson. That should be interesting since Yuni was called “Magic Hands” since his defense was great! I’m just glad the trade season is over…it’s just too stressful!!! hehe! :] xoxo

  6. Jane Heller

    You just went on my blog and wrote how Hairston would help the Yankees. Then I come here and you write that he won’t help the Yankees “too much.” Which is it, raysfanboy???? Honestly, I don’t have a clue how much he’ll help, but he can’t hurt and, as you point out, he didn’t cost much at all.

  7. indians

    Indian Trades: The Goal was to trade anyone who was going to make any significant amount of money or who they would lose to FA. The other part of all of these trades were to acquire pitching. I believe they got 9 ( 9 out of the 11 player were pitchers) pitchers in all of these trades because the org was lacking quality pitching depth. (at the higher levels of the org) Plus the Major League pitching was one of the worst, if not the worst in the MLB. Hopefully they pan out.

  8. raysfanboy

    DG–I love the trade season. The stress is part of the fun! I wish teams were a little more agressive at times in giving themselves a makeover when they need it. The Pirates have no fear (or maybe it’s no sense…) and that makes me respect them a whole lot.

    Jane–Ha! I know it sounds like I might be contradicting myself a little, but I think I’m being consistent enough. I DID rate the Hairston, Jr deal a B-, after all. That ain’t great. He’s a role player, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Yanks define his role. I don’t think he’ll have much of one on that team, despite your description of the nice job he did for you guys Sunday.

    Cleveland–Wow. I had no idea they got that many pitchers! That can only be good, right? If only half of them pan out, they’ll have enough to fill out their rotation and bullpen. Not bad. I think that the Pirates’ and Indians’ moves will be the most interesting to watch the next few years, honestly.

  9. JQuist

    *Here’s something we can both agree on lol. If you guys wipe out the Red Sox, followed by US wiping out the Red Sox – we both win. You guys ‘ll be tasting second place in the AL East in no time… So let’s tag-team Boston and hand ’em a few sweeps…

  10. jonnnnnn

    that picture of Tom Gorzelanny isn’t Tom Gorzelanny… lol

    You can tell because his glove is on his left hand… and the face isn’t the same. ahah it’s alright though, Gorzo is an ugly dude, you wouldn’t want his picture on your blog.

  11. devilabrit

    well the Rays paid the Royals back last night. Hoping this is the month for the Rays with Yankees and the RedSox at each others throats 7 times this month the Rays should be up close and personal in the standing by months end I hope…

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