Sunday, August 1, 2010

2010 Trade Deadline Recap

So much for this.

The 2010 trade deadline came and went, and Brian Sabean may have helped the team a bit, and probably didn't hurt it much at all, but once again failed to be one thing: creative. In fact, Sabean hasn't been creative since the Matt Williams/Jeff Kent trade. When I say creative, I mean pulling off a trade like the Dodgers did in 2008 when they acquired Manny Ramirez for Andy LaRoche, a move that sent them to the NLCS that year. Or perhaps a trade like the Padres pulled off today, getting Ryan Ludwick for a couple minor leaguers. Both of these moves have in common the fact that they were 3 team deals. It certainly seems like if you want to get proven talent for cheap, 3 team deals are the way to go. In the Dodgers case, they were able to get Manny Ramirez for Jason Bay's trade value, because Pittsburgh sent Bay to the Boston. San Diego, meanwhile, took advantage of a very strange move by the Cardinals. More on that later. The Giants were rumored to be in a possible 3 team trade with the Blue Jays and D Backs today, but nothing ever came of it, and it makes you wonder if "possible" means a lonely phone was ringing in Brian Sabean's office, begging to be answered.

What did the Giants end up doing, since they didn't get Jose Bautista, Adam Dunn, or Jayson Werth? They got Javier Lopez, a sidearm lefty-specialist. Also Ramon Ramirez, some relief guy from Boston. That's it. A couple "whatever" acquisitions.

To get Javier Lopez, the Giants sent Joe Martinez and John Bowker to Pittsburgh. I could care less about Joe Martinez. He's got a 2 WHIP in the big leagues, albeit in very limited innings. John Bowker's major league numbers are also pretty dismal, but his AAA numbers the past 2 years are fantastic. Taking into consideration that he plays in the Pacific Coast League, a notoriously easy league to hit in, Bowker's numbers in Fresno are still appealing. That doesn't mean I think he is going to hit in the big leagues. But I feel his trade value could have been much better used as the 3rd part in a package for a big hitter, as opposed to half a package for an average at best reliever.

Javier Lopez's left arm coming out of the bullpen could definitely help this team, but I don't see him as the reliever that the Giants needed. His ERA looks nice, but we know that ERA is a ludicrous stat to use to judge a relief pitcher. His WHIP, 1.48, is not good. Neither is his K/BB ratio, which is under 1.5. Lopez doesn't strike me as a pitcher that Bruce Bochy is gonna give a lot of innings to. It's going to be strictly a lefty specialist role. In that case, Lopez DOESN'T replace Jeremy Affeldt or Dan Runzler while they are on the DL. So what was point of getting him exactly?

Ramon Ramirez was gotten for minor leaguer Daniel Turpen, a player I know nothing about and will not speak of. Ramirez has been in the Boston pen the last couple years. Earlier he was in Kansas City. In those 3 years, he put up some okay numbers. But is he really more talented than soon-to-be-gone Denny Bautista or Santiago Casilla? He has just as much a chance of causing 8th inning weirdness as they do. Well, maybe he's a little better. He has been pitching in the AL East the past 2 years. It's an okay pickup, but it doesn't change much.

The Padres and Dodgers were a lot more active at the deadline. The Padres acquired Miguel Tejada, a meaningless pickup, getting a player who just can't hit or field well anymore. But then they were able to get outfielder Ryan Ludwick from the Cardinals, in a 2 team deal with the Indians, in which the Padres sent prospects to Cleveland and St. Louis, and St. Louis got starter Jake Westbrook. San Diego got a good hitter in Ludwick, with an OPS of .827 this year, just below his career average. But we'll see how he hits in Petco Park without Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the lineup.

The Dodgers made 3 trades before the deadline. They got Scott Podsednik to play left field while Manny Ramirez is injured. Okay. Scott Podsednik is having an okay year, but he's old and he sucks. In short, he's Dave Roberts. The Dodgers also picked up Octavio Dotel for their bullpen, in exchange for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo. Kind of a "whatever" move. Dodger fans, actually, are disappointed to see James McDonald go. The most interesting trade they made was giving Chicago Blake DeWitt and a pair of minor leaguers for Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot. On the surface, it looks like a good deal, to get a 2 month rental of a good lefty starting pitcher, for a 2nd baseman that wasn't really doing anything all year. But one visit to this dodgers blog tells us the other side of the story. The Dodgers got a good pitcher, but one they probably didn't need, and they downgraded at 2nd base to do it. Blake DeWitt isn't great at all, but he's only 24, and has okay minor league numbers. Ryan Theriot is 32, he's gonna cost some money next year, and he's TERRIBLE. Dodger fans seem to view this trade deadline not as the team improving for a run to the playoffs, but getting older and worse for next season. Sounds pretty good to me.

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