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Trades, Trades, Trades

This has turned into a more active trade deadline than I thought it would be.  Here are recaps of all the trades that have happened in the past couple days that did not involve Roy Oswalt:
  • Rangers acquire INF Jorge Cantu from the Marlins for RHP Evan Reed and RHP Omar Poveda - For as good as Texas has been, they have had a black hole at first base the entire year. While Cantu is not an impact guy for most teams, he may prove to be for Texas because of how big the hole was. There was also some initial speculation that Cantu may play some second base with Ian Kinsler heading to the DL, but I doubt that thanks to today's action. As for what Florida got in return, it is a pretty standard trade deadline kind of haul for a guy like Cantu. Reed is a reliever in AA with nothing to positive or negative about him. He looks to me like the AAAA reliever type at best. It is tougher to say what Poveda becomes, since he is out all of this year with arm surgery. He had great strikeout rates through the lower levels of the minors, but those started to desert him, even before the big injury. How Poveda bounces back will decide how good this deal was. If I had to pick a winner right now, I'd go with Texas.
  • Rangers acquire INF Cristian Guzman from the Nationals for RHP Ryan Tatusko and RHP Tanner Roark - Guzman is a nice backup infielder that will play in Kinsler's absence. Probably the most noteworthy piece of this deal is that it seems to be a clear indication that Texas sees Cantu more as a first base option, and won't try him much at second base. Given that it has been a few years since Cantu has played second, that's probably a good idea. As for the Nats, they get a pair of largely uninteresting arms. Tatusko's ERA has dropped considerably this year, even though he is more hittable than ever. That's weird, and it makes it hard to say how good he is, though no matter what I think he is a marginal MLB arm at best. Roark has a great name, but not the game to match it. He has pitched better out of relief in the minors, but who doesn't? Both of Tatusko and Roark profile as roster fillers, but when you have a place for Miguel Batista, you welcome these kind of guys with open arms. Solid, though utterly forgettable deal for both sides.

  • Tigers acquire INF Jhonny Peralta from the Indians for LHP Giovanni Soto - For years I've felt a kindred connection to Peralta, mostly because his skillset reminded me of Jose Lopez. Both had awkward bodies for the middle infield, but somehow were good enough defensively, and then mildly intriguing power guys because of the positions they played. Now, both have moved to third base, and neither are as interesting. At least Peralta didn't completely crash and burn at the plate. Still, I don't know why Detroit made this deal. Peralta is a stop gap to help them through a rash of injuries. Soto is really young, and several years away, but early returns on his pro career are promising. Soto is too far away for Cleveland to really bank on him panning out, but they didn't lose much in Peralta. Detroit didn't gain much either, and their playoff hopes didn't come off life support with this trade. Advantage Indians, pretty easily.
  • White Sox acquire RHP Edwin Jackson from the Diamondbacks for RHP Dan Hudson and LHP David Holmberg - Jackson is a pitcher that I've felt is overrated for several years now. He throws incredibly hard, and he seems like the type that should dominate frequently, but he rarely does. Even his no-hitter this year was marred by walks and a high pitch count. Still, Jackson is a solid starter, and he upgrades the White Sox in their run for AL Central pennant. However, the price was steep. Hudson is one of the better pitching prospects in baseball, and at just 23 years old, he has lots of nice years ahead of him. Holmberg looks like a throw-in to me, but he is young, so who knows what he becomes. I would have traded Jackson for Hudson straight up, and it wouldn't surprise me if Hudson is a better pitcher than Jackson next year. He certainly will be significantly cheaper for a longer time. After raking the D'Backs over the coals for the Dan Haren trade, I have to give them credit for this one. Rumors are swirling that this is part of a deal to get Adam Dunn, so perhaps this trade will get revisited tomorrow.
  • Twins acquire RHP Matt Capps from the Nationals for C Wilson Ramos - There is definitely a pennant chase brewing in the AL Central. This is an uncharacteristically short-sighted move by Minnesota, considering Capps is only the closer for them this year, until Joe Nathan returns. Furthermore, their current closer, Jon Rauch, has been about as statistically effective as Capps. This looks like a neutral move to me for the Twins, and the cost of neutrality was a young catcher. Granted, Joe Mauer is entrenched in Minnesota, so it's not like the Twins just traded away their future backstop. However, while I'm not super high on Ramos (I don't think he is all that much better than Adam Moore, if any), others clearly are. He was a resource that could have been turned into something more than a neutral move at closer for a few months. Bad move for the Twins, and a solid one for the Nationals.
  • Yankees acquire DH Lance Berkman from the Astros for RHP Mark Melancon and OF Jimmy Paredes - Berkman still gives professional at-bats, and he gives the Yankees another nice bat to play with. As I mentioned in my Oswalt post, it was obvious that Berkman had to go, so this should not be surprising. Interestingly, there are rumors that Berkman turned down a deal to the White Sox earlier today, and we will never know how that package compares to New York's. Houston will pick a decent portion of Lance's salary, and for their troubles presumably gets some better prospects. Melancon is ready for a major league bullpen right now, and may turn out to be a solid reliever for several years. Paredes has speed, and at least enough hitting so far to take advantage of his speed. His skillset is the classic slap-hit, good defense mold. His minor league bio lists him as a second basemen, but I have also seen him listed as an outfielder. Ultimately, it is probably best for Jimmy's future if he can play both, kind of like Eric Patterson. This is a deal that doesn't do much for either club, in my opinion. The biggest outcome is that Brett Wallace now has room to play everyday at first base for the Astros.
  • Yankees acquire OF Austin Kearns from the Indians for a player to be named later - That's about all we have about this deal for the time being as well. Kearns is the definition of a rent-a-player, and not an amazing one at that, so I doubt Cleveland got a ton in return. Kearns gives the Yankees a good right-handed bat in the outfield, which is something they were looking for. 
I better post this and say that's it for now before something else pops up. Rumors continue to fly, which isn't odd this time of year. However, a bunch of the rumors so far have been true, seemingly more than usual to me. It could be a fun trading deadline.