Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Most Exciting Time in Baseball

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, it can get exciting projecting who might end up where. Unfortunately, it often ends up a tease with little swapping really going on. This makes the trade deadline incredibly exciting and incredibly disappointing at the same time.

A few pieces have been moved by mid-day on the 29th, with Roy Oswalt being the biggest fish to change ponds. As speculated, Oswalt will join the Phillies who must now likely move Jason Werth to make salary room for Oswalt moving forward. Good news for prospect Dominic Brown who made his MLB debut last night for the Phils by going 2-3 with a couple RBI’s. This trade is interesting, however, because the Phillies moved Cliff Lee in the winter, then realized they didn’t have enough pitching and had to make a desperation move at the deadline to re-bolster the rotation by adding Oswalt. After the all of the pieces have settled, the Phillies would have been way better off just keeping Lee in the first place since it appears that keeping Lee would have been a possibility (especially if they had been willing to move Werth before the season since they knew that contract issues were sure to arise after the 2010 season concludes).

Dan Haren moved over from the D-Backs to the Angels, a move that really helps Los Angeles going forward. Haren seemed to be really excited about the trade since he’s a California native and the Angles are much bigger contenders than the Diamondbacks who are in total rebuild mode. The Angels are hurting without slugger Kendry Morales in the lineup for the rest of the year and shouldn’t, in my opinion, try to make a big push this season. The Rangers aren’t going anywhere and the Angels aren’t going to run them down, no matter who they might add at first base (Derek Lee is a bad idea). Its been well-documented that the Angels gave up very little to get Haren and they should begin assembling pieces to regain the division in 2011 when Morales is healthy again and they have Haren and the recently acquired Callaspo for an entire season.

In smaller moves, the Padres acquired Miguel Tejada from the Orioles. In the first post of this blog, I explained why the Padres needed to buy at least one bat and possibly two. They’ve got one and, if they can acquire a hitting outfielder, they may not just win the West but be strong pennant and title contenders. They are beginning to distance themselves in the NL West and I don’t expect them to be caught unless the Rockies get hot. The Dodgers don’t have the resources to make a push and the Giants’ don’t appear to be on the verge of making up major ground.

The Ranger snatched Jorge Cantu from the Marlins and, although he’s cooled down significantly since he began the season red-hot, he should be a strong platoon-mate for Chris Davis. This adds to the versatility of the Rangers as Cantu can play third base as well or DH. This will let them rest guys like Vladamir Guerrero or Michael Young down the stretch to prepare for the playoffs. The Rangers may not be done adding, too. Rumors are that they are looking to acquire another piece or two in the next two-plus days as the deadline approaches. I fully expect the Rangers to make an all-out push for the AL pennant despite they’re future franchise sell-off question mark.

I don’t expect Adam Dunn or Prince Fielder to get moved before the deadline and it appears that moving Jason Werth may be difficult. We’ll see, though!

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