2009 Trade Deadline Recap

Here is a look at every deal that happened yesterday on what turned out to be a busy trade deadline:
  • Tigers acquire LHP Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners for LHP Luke French and LHP Mauricio Robles - I already wrote a whole post about this one. Check it out here.
  • White Sox acquire RHP Jake Peavy from the Padres for LHP Clayton Richard, LHP Aaron Poreda, RHP Adam Russell, and RHP Dexter Carter - I already wrote a whole post about this one too. Check it out here.
  • Red Sox acquire C Victor Martinez from the Indians for RHP Justin Masterson, LHP Nick Hagadone, and RHP Bryan Price - I am still a little surprised Victor was traded, but leave it to the Red Sox to find a way to get a deal done. Jason Varitek and David Ortiz are both old, and Victor is a good bat that will allow both aging BoSox stars to rest more. The cost was high though. People know about Masterson at this point, but the key to the deal was Nick Hagadone. He is coming back from an arm injury, but he does not look any worse for the wear. Hagadone is a tall lefty with powerful, heavy stuff. He's been getting lots of grounders and strikeouts. He probably will not be up by the end of this year, but he is not far away. Hagadone could develop into a top-of-the-rotation starter. Lastly, Bryan Price is just 22 years old, and also has a good arm. His ERA is high, but the rest of his numbers suggest that some bad luck is involved. Cleveland got three quality arms in this deal. They all have a good chance to reach the majors and stick around for a while. I'm not sure I would have given up this much for Victor if I was Boston.
  • Red Sox acquire 1B Casey Kotchman from the Braves for 1B Adam LaRoche - Once Boston acquired Victor, it was clear that Adam LaRoche didn't have much of a place on the team. So, it is not surprising he got traded, but getting Kotchman in return is a surprise. He looks awfully similar to LaRoche. However, Kotchman is cheaper, which makes adding Victor Martinez's modest contract even easier. Also, Kotchman is not a free agent at the end of the year like LaRoche, and Boston is getting old. It would not surprise if Boston does not re-sign Jason Varitek at the end of this year, makes Victor Martinez their everyday catcher. That makes Kotchman the primary backup at first base, which is important because it will allow Kevin Youkilis to play third when Mike Lowell needs days off or gets hurt. As for the Braves, the move is easier to see. LaRoche has a better bat than Kotchman, and it might be nice that he is a free agent at the end of the year. They have a first baseman they like in AAA called Barbaro Canizares.
  • Reds acquire 3B Scott Rolen from the Blue Jays for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, RHP Josh Roenicke, and RHP Zach Stewart - This was one of the more intriguing trades at the deadline. Both the Reds and Blue Jays are out of the playoff hunt, so the Reds acquired Rolen for the future. To get him, they gave up their current third baseman, who is younger and cheaper, and a couple pitchers. Rolen is the best player in this deal right now, but this is a puzzling trade for Cincinnati. It must have been fueled by a serious mancrush on Rolen. That wouldn't be surprising since their GM, Walt Jocketty, was the Cardinals GM when Rolen was in his prime in St. Louis. From Toronto's perspective, this is an outstanding deal. They get rid of Rolen's big contract. In the process they get Edwin Encarnacion, who I've always kind of liked. He's an underrated hitter, but his defense is horrible. Toronto has Jose Bautista playing left field, but he has experience at third. I would consider moving Bautista back to third and trying Encarnacion in the outfield, or really anywhere besides third base. On top of that, the Blue Jays got Roenicke, who should be a solid, cheap bullpen arm for several years. And, as if that was not enough, they also got Zach Stewart, who has blazed through the minor leagues. Stewart is not a premium prospect, but he could be plugged into the back end of the rotation soon, and maybe develop into a good middle-of-the-rotation type. That's a heck of a haul for a third baseman in his mid-30s making a ton of money with back problems. Sneaky good deal for Toronto.
  • Rockies acquire LHP Joe Beimel from the Nationals for RHP Ryan Mattheus and RHP Robinson Fabian - Colorado wanted bullpen help, and they got about as average of a left-hander as you could imagine. In return, they gave up very little. Mattheus is somewhat old at 26, but he has heavy power stuff. His high strikeout and ground ball rates are pluses, but he's a little too hittable and a little too old to see him being much more than a marginal middle reliever at this point. As for Fabian, he's a throw-in. Nothing about him screams big league potential to me.
  • Marlins acquire 1B Nick Johnson from the Nationals for LHP Aaron Thompson - The Marlins have struggled to fill third base all year, and the acquisition of Johnson will allow the team to move Jorge Cantu over to third. He also gives Florida a very good left-handed bat. In return, the Nats received a 22-year-old left-hander who is already in AA, but does not miss many bats. I am not as high on Thompson as some, but Johnson was gone at the end of the year anyway, and the move frees up room for some pieces that could be in Washington's future. It all adds up to a decent deal, though I think the Marlins got the better end of it.
  • Brewers acquire RHP Claudio Vargas from the Dodgers for C Vinny Rottino - Milwaukee desperately needed starting pitching, and I doubt Vargas is who fans had in mind. He has battled hard to come back from an arm injury this year, and in limited opportunities did a solid job out of the Dodgers bullpen. He will give up more than his fair share of hits. It's hard to say much bad about the deal, because Rottino is a minor league catcher at this point. It's a no-risk, likely no reward move for the Brewers.
  • Yankees acquire INF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Reds for C Chase Weems - New York gets depth on their bench with Hairston. He can play all over the field, and in particular his defense is good in the outfield. He also is a decent pinch-hitting option off the bench. In return, the Reds got 20-year-old catcher Chase Weems. He is in A ball, and is yet to hit. All in all, he looks really raw, so it is hard to say what kind of player Cincinnati got.
  • Twins acquire SS Orlando Cabrera from the Athetics for SS Tyler Ladendorf - I like this deal for Minnesota. Cabrera is not the defender he used to be, but his bat has shown life. He fits the Twins style perfectly, and I see him settling into the second spot in their lineup behind Denard Span and ahead of Mauer and Morneau really nicely. He also will allow Brendan Harris to slide over to second, filling the biggest problem area on their team all year. As for Oakland, Cabrera was not coming back. He profiles as a Type A free agent, so if he was offered arbitration the A's would have received a compensatory first round draft pick if they had lost him. They must value Ladendorf more than that pick, or at least that pick with the risk of Cabrera accepting arbitration thrown in. Ladendorf is only 21, and has barely played as a professional. Oakland must have liked him when he was drafted, because based on Ladendorf's minimal pro playing time, I would have taken my chances with a draft pick.
This was a fun deadline to watch. Financial worries did not seem to hamstring teams at all in the end. Teams also did not seem willing to trust that big-money players would make it through waivers after July 31 either. With all the big names moved this year, the trade deadline certainly will impact the pennant races and the playoffs.